Friday, October 7, 2011

Happy 166th Deathday, Betsy Thompson (1810-1845)!

Anna Cramer's great-great-grandmother
her name on plaque at Nauvoo cemetery

Elizabeth (Betsy) McAulay was the middle of five children raised in Scotland. She lived on an island on Scotland’s west coast, the Isle of Islay. She and her husband William Thompson left Scotland as young parents due to the great potato famine, and moved to York, Ontario, Canada in 1833.  There they joined the Church and were baptized by Orson Hyde. The Thompsons moved with their three young sons to Daviess County, Missouri, to join the Saints. In the midst of mob persecutions, Betsy gave birth to daughter Maria while living in a wagon.   

The family moved on to Quincy and Nauvoo, Illinois, where Betsy had two more children. Her husband attended the School of the Prophets. There is an Elizabeth Thompson on the rolls of the first Nauvoo Relief Society; however, since two women by that name lived in Nauvoo, we can only hope it was our Betsy.

Sadly, her youngest daughter lived only five months, and around the time the baby died, Betsy took a bad fall down a flight of stairs and injured her back. She was bedridden in constant pain for three or four months until she herself died. During that time, she often wished the Lord would take her, but wished to live for the sake of her husband and spouse. Before her death, Elizabeth charged her husband to be good to her motherless children. William wrote home to his family in Scotland of his great loss, telling them, “I have mornful news.” William eulogized his wife as a virtuous woman, respected by all that knew her.  

I would give her a trip to the maternity ward for that delivery!


  1. This adds to the Elizabeth connection in our family. Janet Elizabeth, Tammy Elizabeth, Elizabeth, Liz, Nicole ruined it but her grandmother is Elizabeth.

    I am trying to think of the fatal complications of falling months later except perhaps a deep vein clot and pulmonary embolism from the prolonged bed rest.

    Watch those tricky stairs.

  2. I'd give her some Tylenol to help with the pain.