Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Fearless Females - Day One - Favorite Female Ancestor

In honor of Women's History Month, Lisa Alzo, The Accidental Genealogist, has brought back by demand: Fearless Females: 31 Blogging Prompts.

The female ancestor I feel drawn to the most is my third great-grandmother Mary Edwards.

You may recognize her as the face of the "Ancestor Approved Award". Mary was born September 30 (my birthday), 1810 in North Wales to Thomas and Elizabeth Davies Edwards. 

She married Joseph White. The two of them joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, then set sail for America in 1843. Joseph died before they reached Nauvoo. We do not know whether he died at sea, or after arriving in America. Mary stayed with John and Leonora Taylor when she arrived in Nauvoo.

Mary married my 3rd great-grandfather, George Cannon Feb 24, 1844 in Nauvoo, Illinois. Six month later, George headed for St. Louis, Missouri to find work. Unfortunately he died just after he reached St. Louis, leaving Mary a widow yet again. Six months later her fatherless child was born, my 2nd great-grandmother Elizabeth Edwards Cannon.

In ransacked Nauvoo, there was an incident that immortalized mother and daughter in Mormon lore. When the people were driven out, Mary Cannon, leaving baby Elizabeth on the west side of the Mississippi, decided to cross back, hoping to be able to get a cow which had been left behind. After completing her errand she headed back to find a mob that took possession of the river crossing cutting off her return.

It is not difficult to imagine the anxiety and angush of the parent, her babe on one side of a broad stream, she on the other and a merciless enemy between. 

Noticing her distress, one of the mob approached the almost frantic mother and asked what was her trouble. She told him the cause of her worry, and also gave him her name. Yelding to an impulse of humanity, he placed her on a part of the ferry boat concealed among the guns and ammuition; and when the one in charge inquired what was on board, the answer was: "Nothing but Cannons." Thus the mother was taken across to her helpless baby.

Here is the rest of the story => Fearless Females ~ Continued From Day One. 

Here are some other posts about her:

Treasure Chest Thursday -- The Salt Lake City 14th Ward Album Quilt, 1857


  1. I have Cannon in my tree, too. Wouldn't it be cool if they are the same branch!

  2. Interesting story! I look forward to reading more!



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