Saturday, March 12, 2011

Happy 211th Birthday, Martha Brown Billington (1800-1846)!

John Welch's great-great-grandmother

Martha Billington is another pioneer who died "before [her] journey's through."
Oldest of three children raised in England, Martha was the wife of the keeper of the canal locks and enjoyed living in a very nice cottage on its banks. She and Joseph had three children.  They readily accepted the gospel, gave up their work and property, and sailed to America (probably on The Sidney, The Medford, or The Henry, which all left Liverpool September 1842, although no passenger names are recorded).  Due to ice on the Mississippi, the group was stranded in St. Louis and arrived in Nauvoo April 1, 1843. 

That fall, Joseph, Martha, and  their daughter Eliza Billington were among the three thousand Saints who signed the Scroll Petition for Mormon redress due to mob violence.  The Nauvoo period was a time of significant change for their family. Teenage son Hugh died of lung fever, daughter Eliza married John Welch, and Joseph and Martha received their endowments in the Nauvoo Temple on February 7, 1846 with Eliza and John. Joseph and Martha were sealed in Winter Quarters just six months before her death in Council Bluffs.

Martha, I would give you a journal, a story, a voice, a picture--something to carry you a little further down through the ages.  


  1. Amen. What can you specifically give to a woman you know almost nothing about?

  2. i would give her something to remember that happy day in her life when she was sealed to her husband.