Jane Fields Carlisle
Jane Fields, daughter of Matthew and Dinah Fish Fields, Jr., was christened November 20, 1795, at Willingham, Lincolnshire, England, which is a small parish with 158 people in it. She was the seventh child and third daughter of eight children – three girls and five boys, all born in Willingham. They were in order of birth: Ann, christened February 20, 1780; John, christened December 15, 1781; Matthew, christened February 11, 1784; Joseph, christened May 21, 1786 and was buried May 14, 1790; Alice, christened November 25,1792; Jane, christened November 20, 1795; and Benjamin, May 5, 1799.
Nothing is known about her early life until she met and fell in love with a young man, somewhat her junior. It was love at first sight, and Richard Carlisle, as this young man was called, asked her to marry him, but as she was older then he, he asked her if she would wait five years for him. She loved him too, for she answered, “Why certainly I will wait, and not only five but ten years, Richard, if you wish it.” They were married June 27, 1822, at Willingham, Lincolnshire, England. There was no happier couple in the world than they.
To them were born eleven children, seven boys and four girls, among them a set of triplets. Two of the triplets died at four months old and the other at five years old. Triplets being somewhat unusual, they received many beautiful presents. The Queen of England sent them quite an amount of money. Their names in order of birth were: Thomas Fields, born April 10, 1823, Stew, Lincolnshire, England; Mary, September 10, 1824, Sturton, Lincolnshire; Joseph, July 21, 1826, Sherwood, Nottinghamshire; Benjamin, May 10, 1828 died, May 17 1828, Sturton, Lincolnshire; Matthew, Richard and Jane (Triplets) born June 3, 1829, at Sturton, Lincolnshire; Martha, March 6, 1831, at Sturton,and died April 8, 1836, age five; John, February 9, 1833, at Swinton, Nottinghamshire; Alice, October 9, 1835; and Richard Matthew, June 21, 1840, at Kenby, Lincolnshire, England.
Jane found herself very busy trying to care for the large family, however five of them died as infants and small children. This must have been a very hard ordeal to go through.
Her husband worked in the Lace Mills of Nottingham for a few years, but as his boys grew older, he could see that this was not place for them. Returning to Lincolnshire, he was employed as a farmer and gamekeeper for a very wealthy English Lord, a brother to Sir Robert Peal of the English Parliament. This gave Richard and Jane a much better chance to give the children a little schooling, which was very hard to obtain at that time.
Jane was a very refined and noble character. She always loved those things in life that would make her a better person, so when Elder Joseph Edward Taylor preached the gospel to them, they readily accepted it and were baptized by him. Richard was baptized July 30, 1849 and Jane on August 11, 1849.
A branch of the Church was organized and her husband was appointed Presiding Elder. They kept an open house for the Elders who came that way. Jane was a good cook and always made the elders welcome.
They had a great desire to save their money and emigrate to Zion. In January 1851, she, Richard, and five of their remaining children left for America, the oldest boy, Thomas was married and did not come with them then.
Their oldest daughter, Mary, had been working as a cook for a lady not of their faith, but a very fine woman, who thought a great deal of her. Not long after Mary had joined the Church, this lady died and in her will she left Mary a year’s wages in advance. Mary had been deserted by her former lover when she joined the Church. She was thinking she was soon to wed and saved a years wages for her trousseau, which proved to be a great blessing to the family, for with the little amount Richard could save and these two years wages, the family was able to come to America.
Perhaps that day as she said goodbye to loved ones and left her home, she was somewhat confused, happy with the thought of going to Zion, where they could worship as they so desired, and yet sad with the thought of leaving her home and all her ties there.
The Millennial Star listed the family as: Richard Carlisle, age fifty-two; Jane (Jenny) Carlisle, age fifty-five; Joseph, son, age twenty-four; John, son, age seventeen; Mary, daughter, age twenty-six; Alice, daughter, age fourteen; Richard, son, age ten.
They sailed on the ship “Ellen”, from Liverpool, Monday, January 6, 1851, having on board a company of Saints consisting of 466 souls, who were under the presidential care of Elder J. W. Cummings, Crandall Dunnard, and William Mose. The ship remained anchored in the river opposite Liverpool, waiting for favorable winds, until Wednesday, January 8, about 11:00 A.M., when anchor was weighed and the Saints were soon under way with a fair wind. These two days in the harbor, must have been trying ones as they were so anxious to be on their way. The ship ran at a rate of seven miles an hour until 11:00 p.m. when it struck a schooner in the fog and was compelled to stop for repairs.
The following day the captain put into Cardigan Bay, North Wales for repair. In a few days the ship was ready to sail again. On the very day the big vessel put into port, the wind changed and they were forced to stay there for three weeks. They were very grateful for this, as outside the port was a bad storm which wrecked many vessels and many lost their lives.
Finally the captain became impatient, and although the wind continued unfavorable, the “Ellen” again weighed anchor on January 23, and put to sail, but the wind was blowing the wrong direction so they made very little progress for several days. Finally on February 1, the wind changed and the passengers soon lost sight of the Irish coast. From that time they enjoyed pleasant weather and fair winds. On the night of March 4, they anchored in the Mississippi River off New Orleans, making the passage from Liverpool, in about seven weeks.
The measles broke out among the emigrants the day they left the dock and nearly every child on board had them, besides some of the adults.
During the voyage, six marriages were solemnized and one birth took place. When they left the port, the presidency divided the company into twelve divisions or wards, allotting twelve births to each division and appointed a president over each. Then those twelve divisions were divided in two and a president appointed in the steerage with a president over the whole steerage.
The second-class cabin was organized in like manner. The Priesthood was also organized. A president was appointed over them to see that they attended their duties. This complete organization helped a great deal in preserving peace and good will, order and comfort to the Saints on board. Men were appointed to visit every family twice a day and administer to the sick and report any troubles.
At New Orleans they boarded the steamer, “Alexander Scott”, to St. Louis, which was chartered by the company. They paid $2.50 a head for adults and half fare for children with all luggage was included. The company left New Orleans on the morning of the March 19, 1851 and landed in St. Louis March 26, after a good trip.
While in St. Louis, Jane did a washing for a friend who had cholera and came home that night, took sick, and died, leaving the family without a mother. She passed away on June 24, 1851, age fifty-five years, and was buried on the banks of the Mississippi River.
Richard and the children were greatly grieved at the loss of their wife and mother. They stayed in St. Louis a year to work then came on to Salt Lake with Henry Bryant’sand Maning Jolly’s Seventh Company, arriving in Salt Lake City on September 15, 1852. He first settled in Mill Creek.
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