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Sarah Thornton Coleman
Original name: Sarah Thorton Coleman
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Birth: Jun. 11, 1806, England
Death: Mar. 1, 1892
Lehi
Utah County
Utah, USA

Sarah Thornton Coleman, daughter of William Thornton and Elizabeth Christian, was born June 11, 1806 at Little Paxton, Huntingtonshire, England.

She and her older sister, June, were left motherless at the age of 10 and 11 years, as their mother died August 23, 1816. The father placed the two girls in a boarding school and afterward married again.

Rules and regulations of the school were so strict that the students had no childhood or girlhood pleasures. Whipping was not allowed, but some of the punishments were--going without food; undressing and going to bed in the day time; separation from playmates; etc. The most cruel punishment was that given the children when found sleeping with the knees drawn up. They were expected to recline in bed perfectly straight and should they draw their knees up in their sleep, the teachers and nurses roughly jerked the legs down, suddenly waking the child.

Sarah Thornton decided, then and there, that should she ever have children, they should never acquire their education at a Boarding-school. However, she remained at this school about ten years when she met, and after a courtship of six weeks, married Prime Coleman, son of George Coleman and Elizabeth Prime, born in 1804 at Arlesey, Beds, England.

The young man's father told him that he was making the mistake of his life by marrying a girl who had spent her life at school and could not be a helpmate to a cattleman and farmer, But, as the old saying is "love goes where it is sent, "the young man decided he knew best, and so Prime Coleman and Sarah Thornton were married in August 1826.

They owned and lived on a large, well-equipped farm at Thorncot, Beds, England. The house was a large two-story one, splendidly furnished. Here seven children were born to them: George, Sarah, Prime Thornton, Ann, Elizabeth, William and Rebecca, and later one more in Nauvoo, Illinois, U. S. A4 named Martha Jane.

There was always plenty of hired help in the house and on the farm, so the mother's only work was to look after the children and manage the house-hold affairs.

It took only a few years to convince the father -in-law that he was mistaken in his opinion as to what an educated girl could and could not do, for Mr. Coleman finally acknowledged to his son and daughter -in-law that she had made a wonderful wife and mother.

There being no wash-boards nor washing-machines in those days, the family washing had to be done by rubbing the clothes between the hands. This family's washing was done every six weeks, and the task was not finished in less than three days.

One day as Mrs. Coleman approached her home, she met a man with a beautiful feather bed. He asked her to buy it. She thought it looked very much like her bed, but paid the man for it. On taking it up stairs to a bed room, she discovered that her feather bed was missing and upon examination, found she had really bought her own feather bed from a "would be robber."

One of the girls who lived for years with the Coleman family at Thorncot, was Lucy Brown whose father had died, her mother had married again and she had to go out to service. She also joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and came to America with the Coleman family. After arriving in Nauvoo, Illinois, she went to live with the John Taylor family at $1. 00 per week. There she met and married Elias Smith. They came to Utah September 1851. The Coleman and Smith families have been close friends ever since, "Aunt Lucy" as we have always called her, lived so long with the Prime and Sarah Coleman family at Thorncot.

Mrs. Coleman was much more inclined toward religion than was her husband, and often said that while she attended church, he enjoyed more to rest at home reading and smoking his cigar.

When the Elders found them, the Coleman family was not long in making their decision to join the Church, and come to the new world. So with their four children who were over eight years of age, they were baptized in 1841 and 42; and on the first of January 1843 left their home at Thorn-cot in a large baggage wagon and began the journey to America.

Christopher Layton (for whom the city of Layton, Davis Co., Utah was afterward named) had been one of the hired men on the Coleman farm in England, was baptized and came with the family. He and the eldest son (George Coleman, about sixteen years of age) drove the baggage in a very cumbersome wagon with three strong horses tandem. "It was against the laws of England for teamsters to ride, and while both of us were riding, a policeman saw us and gave chase. We whipped up the horses and after going about three miles, we out-ran him and slowed down again to a peaceable pace.

Leaving the wagon at Wolverhampton they went by train to Liverpool, where they joined other Saints, and were enrolled on the ship Swanton-(Captain Davenport) as the 19th company of Latter-Day Saints emigrants, with Lorenzo Snow as company's captain.

They had to stay at Liverpool two weeks waiting for repairs on the ship, but made the vessel their home, doing the cooking and sleeping on board.

Brother Layton acted as cook for the Coleman family. One incident in their history: "one day Brother Coleman said to Layton, "Chris, ain't you going to peel some potatoes and make us a pie?" So Chris made the meat and potatoes into a pie, and when it was baked all the others wanted to share it, and asked for a receipt for "Chris Pie" as they called it."

On January 16, 1843 they set sail from Liverpool, the company numbering 212 souls. After sailing for seven weeks and three days, they arrived at New Orleans, Louisiana, and were transferred to the ship "Amaranth" in which they sailed up the Mississippi River to Saint Louis. There they were transferred from the steamer to a barge, and here they had to stay two weeks waiting for the ice in the river to break up. About the seventh or eighth of April a small steamer fastened a cable to the barge and tugged it up the river to Nauvoo, Illinois, where they landed on the 12th of April 1843, three months and twelve days after leaving their home in Thorncot, England. Choice feather-beds, and other valuable baggage had been left behind, or thrown over board, enroute, to decrease the weight of the ships, as the journey was a long tedious one.

When they arrived at Nauvoo, Illinois, the Coleman family went to live on the farm belonging to the Patriarch Hyrum Smith as Brother Prime Coleman had been an experienced farmer in his native country. Here they suffered privation and hardships not known before by this prosperous family, and the mother gave birth to her eighth child, Martha Jane, September 15, 1843, four months after their arrival in Nauvoo, Illinois.

After a little over one year of this new life of sacrifice and hardship, typhoid fever broke out in Nauvoo( Some of the Coleman children were down with it. The father also was ill. A cat had broken the window, Rather than allow the mother to get out of bed, Brother Coleman insisted on fixing something to stop the wind from the sick room. While in the act of doing so, he took a chill and said, "I'm a dead man." Typhoid fever developed and he lived only a short time. The father, and the eldest daughter, Sarah age 15 years, died in June 1844 within a few days of each other, and were buried in an old dry well along with others.

This left Sister Coleman with seven children to raise, lacking the comfort of "olden days in England," and almost destitute of the necessities of life.

The same month, June 1844, about two weeks after these sad deaths in the Coleman family, the Prophet arid Patriarch were martyred, bringing the Saints an almost unbearable sorrow. One of Sister Coleman's daughters, Elizabeth about ten years old, was staying at the home of the Patriarch Hyrum Smith at the time. She often related the scene of grief and sorrow in the house when the bodies of the brethren were brought home to their wives and children.

The widow, Sarah Thornton Coleman, with her family moved from the Smith farm into the Eleventh Ward of Nauvoo. Here she met David Evans, who was Bishop of that ward, and when the Saints were driven from one county or state to another, she with her children, shared the persecutions and trials of the exodus from Nauvoo and crossing the Plains.

Being driven further west from State to State, they spent between four and five years on the journey to Utah, stopping at times for the men to work and purchase teams, wagons and provisions to continue the long trek over mountains and bridge-less streams. One stop lasted about three years in Nodaway County, Mo., where they built log huts. Babies were born in these huts with no doors, windows, chimneys or floors. Food consisted mostly of corn bread and bran for coffee. The corn had to be ground on a hand mill. Here the men had plenty of work, and completed a good outfit for the trip across the Plains,

Companies were organized for the move, and the Coleman family was placed in Bishop David Evans' company. They made the final start June 15th, 1850; arrived in Salt Lake Valley the following September, spent the fall and most of the winter here, and in February 1851 President Brigham Young sent David Evans south to preside over the little colony already located on Dry Creek.

Sarah Thornton Coleman and her seven children, three sons and four daughters, came with the Evans family and remained to help build up what is now Lehi City, Utah. Her sons built a two-room house for her, which was among the first adobe homes built here. It still stands (1934), one block west and half a block north of the Relief Society Hall.

Sister Coleman was chosen, and acted president of the first Relief Society organized in Lehi in the fall of 1868, and served in that position many years. She was blessed with the gift of tongues and used that gift many many times.

The Coleman family were among the first to employ a genealogist in England to search out their ancestors, and have done temple work for hundreds by the surname of "Coleman, Thornton, Prime and Christian" from England, also the Coleman's of America. Sister Coleman and her eldest son, George, with his wife, Jane Smith, began work in the St. George Temple soon after it was opened for ordinance work for the dead, and as soon as the Manti and Logan Temples were finished, all of her family joined in this work for the dead. When not able to do the work personally, they furnished the cash to hire it done.

Sarah Thornton Coleman raised a highly respected, and very prosperous family; all of them became active in church work, in the cities where they have lived. She lived an exemplary life, passing on at the ripe age of 86 years and 9 months, with full faith in the Gospel for which she had sacrificed so much.

In the personal records of Bishop David Evans, the date of his marriage to Sarah Thornton Coleman is not given.

Sarah Thornton, daughter of William Thornton and Elizabeth Christian, was born 11 June 1806 at Little Paxton, Huntingdon, Eng. She died 1 Mar 1892 at Lehi, Utah, Utah and was buried there. On 26 Aug 1826 she married Prime Coleman, son of George Coleman and Sarah Prime. He was born 20 June 1803 at Ausley, Hartford, Eng. and died 11 June 1844 at Nauvoo, Hancock, ill. They were the parents of the following eight children:

1. GEORGE COLEMAN, born 5 May 1827 at Old Warden, Bedford, Eng.; md. 28 Jan 1857, Jane Smith. He died 22 Feb 1909.

2. SARAH COLEMAN, born Aug 1829 at Old Warden, Bedford, Eng.; died May 1844 unmarried.

3. PRIME THORNTON COLEMAN, born 22 Sep 1831 at Thorncot, Bedford, Eng., md. 10 Nov 1856, Emma Beck Evans. He died in 1905.

4. ANN COLEMAN, born 2/20 Oct 1833 at Old Warden, Bedford, Eng.; md. Joseph J. Smith. She died 2 Oct 1909.

5. ELIZABETH COLEMAN, born 7 Dec 1835 at Old Warden, Bedford, Eng.; md. John Jacobs. She died in 1926.

6. WILLIAM COLEMAN, born 9 Dec 1836 at Thorncot, Bedford, Eng.; md. Amy Gibson. He died 12 Feb 1910 or 1911.

7. REBECCA COLEMAN, born 4 Oct 1838 at Thorncot, Bedford, Eng.; md. 18 Nov 1856, David Evans (1804). She died 7 May 1923.

8. MARTHA JANE COLEMAN, born 15 Sep 1843 at Nauvoo, Hancock, Ill.; md. 20 Oct 1859, William Southwick. She died 13 Nov 1906.

 
 
Family links: 
 Spouses:
  Prime Coleman (1802 - 1844)
  David Evans (1804 - 1883)*
 
 Children:
  Sarah Coleman (____ - 1844)*
  Ann Coleman Smith (1833 - 1909)*
  Martha Jane Coleman Southwick (1843 - 1906)*
 
*Calculated relationship
 
Burial:
Lehi City Cemetery
Lehi
Utah County
Utah, USA
Plot: 11-8-2
 
Maintained by: Bryan Chapman
Originally Created by: Utah State Historical So...
Record added: Feb 02, 2000
Find A Grave Memorial# 95688
Sarah <i>Thornton</i> Coleman
Added by: Ann Pack Reese
 
Sarah <i>Thornton</i> Coleman
Added by: Lee Drew
 
Sarah <i>Thornton</i> Coleman
Added by: Twimom6
 
 
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