B. 6 Aug 1812 - D. 25 Dec 1888 (Age 76)
|Parents: James Fall and Elizabeth Rouston
1st Spouse: Thomas Freestone
2nd Spouse: Andrew Hodnett
Compiled by Hattie Jensen Price
From a dstinguished man in London, Lord Portsea, member of the House of Lords, we learn that the Fall family originated in Normandy. From there they crossed the straits to Jersey Island, many of them later going to England, Scotland, and Wales. The branch of the family from which Ann Fall descended lived in Yorkshire, England.
Ann Fall was born 6 August 1812 in Aldbrough, Yorkshire, England, a small town in Northern England near the North Sea. When she was about six years of age her parents, James Fall and Elizabeth Rouston, moved to Canada, where her father bought 100 acres of wooded land in the Province of Prince Edward Island. He later purchased another 100 acres, according to Canadian records, about 9 miles from Charlestown, the Capitol of the Island.
Prince Edward Island is crescent in shape and is the smallest province in Canada, being only 110 miles in length and from 4 to 40 miles wide. To James Fall it must have appeared to lie low in the waters of the Gulf of St. Lawrence, as it has no high elevations but is a countryside of rolling green hills and a coast that meant riches to the fisherman. The Indians called it, “The Home Cradled on the Waves”. Jacques Cartier first saw the island in 1534 and he described it as a “low and beautiful land”. It was not until 1798 that it received its present name after Prince Edward, Duke of Kent. It is within ferrying distance from New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.
From a letter written by James Fall's grandson, George Fall, it is learned that his grandfather later sold one of these properties and built a house in Crapaud, which is on the southside of the Island and the letter states “lived on his money”. The first home near Covehead was called “Little York” according to this same grandson, because James Fall came from York, England.
It would appear that Ann Fall had more financial security than she ever had after her marriage.
While living at Crapaud, or “Little York”, Ann Fall met Thomas Freestone from England, who had come to Canada with his sister, Sarah, and brother-in-law, William Ward. They were married on the 4 August 1836, he being 41 years of age and she 24. Two years after their first child, George, was born and when he was almost 2 years old they went by ship to the United States to find a new home.
Ann Fall’s nephew, George, tells a little incident in his letter about Ann which indicates her religious character and her determination to do what she believed was right. A certain Scotsman by the name of McDonald came to the island and started a new church; the members being known as the McDonaldites. History says he carried a yellow cane and on Sundays stood at the fork of the road and waved all church goers to his church. Ann joined this cult and wore the long black veil which was prescribed for the women of the congregation. But then McDonald had a change of heart and forbade the wearing of block veils, but Ann insisted on using the veil. Two deacons were instructed to put her out of the church, but as her nephew tells the story “they never put a hand on her, for she walked out and never returned”.
While on board the ship coming to the United States their second son, James, was born 5 May 1840 near Nebo Light House, on American Waters.
Ann Fall and her husband, Thomas Freestone, with their two sons immigrated to the State of Ohio and settled on 40 acres of land in Hardin County. They had a great deal of sickness and the farm was mortgaged for debt and sold. They went to Sandusky City and stayed there a short time, then went back and bought 20 acres of land.
James Freestone, second son of Ann and Thomas, was the first one of the family to hear the young Mormon missionaries speak in a school house near their home. Previous to this, James had made it a matter of prayer, though then about 9 years of age. He went into the woods every day and prayed to the Lord that if He had a people upon the earth who were true followers of Christ that he, James, might know for himself that he might be numbered among His followers. He afterwards heard about the Mormon Elders and believed every word he heard and was so impressed by their testimony that he asked his mother, Ann Fall, to attend the next meeting. At this time Ann Fall and Thomas Freestone were members of the Methodist Church.
Ann Fall was the first member of the family to be baptized which was 10 November 1850. Her husband, Thomas Freestone, was next to be baptized in 1851. The entire family loved the gospel and had a testimony of its truthfulness and were anxious to join the Saints and go to Utah.
Thomas Freestone sold everything they had and bought a light wagon which was pulled by two young cows. They started from Ohio in August 1852. They averaged about 12 miles a day. It was an exceedingly wet fall. Day after day they traveled through rain and mud, weary and sick from being wet most of the time. They landed in the territory of Iowa at a place called Pisga on the 25th of December in a big snow storm. They were then 100 miles from Council Bluffs.
Winter had set in, the cold was intense. They had no money and Thomas worked around a little to get food to feed his family. Ann Fall wrote a letter to the President of the Branch at Council Bluffs telling of their financial condition. She was told afterwards that the letter was read in church and many shed tears when they heard it. The President wrote back that if they could get to Council Bluffs, the church would help them get through to Utah. This was a trying and discouraging time for Ann and Thomas Freestone. They had little food during this period. They stayed there a portion of the winter, then moved twenty miles to a place called Mintsat. The two sons, George and James, cut, sawed logs, and husked corn. They received corn meal and fat beef for pay. One of their cows died during the winter. They had a two year old heifer that they hitched in and they started early in the spring and reached Council Bluffs in April.
A company of fifty wagons was organized to go to Utah and they joined it. They were given a young yoke of cattle to work with the cows. They started on the 10th of June 1853. It was a good company they traveled with and they had a good journey across the plains, arriving in Utah the 9th of September 1853. They went to American Fork, Utah County, and lived there one year and then moved in 1854 to Mountainville, afterwards named Alpine.
Times were hard for this family. The grasshoppers came and swept almost everything off the land. They lived almost entirely on greens and pig weeds. When they were fortunate enough to get a pot of wild onions for soup, they felt very lucky and grateful. Ann Fall and the children fought the crickets everyday and they were the only family in Alpine to raise wheat to mature and harvest in the year of the crickets. One day a man from American Fork told her he was going to butcher a beef and if she would come to American Fork he would give her the head. She walked the 5 miles from Alpine but was disappointed to find he had taken out the tongue, so she did not get much for her long walk. She must have found life hard in comparison to what she had been used to in her father's home.
The Indians became quite troublesome and they had to move into Forts. President Brigham Young visited Alpine and counseled the people to build a fort 12 ft high and 6 ft at the foundation, which they did. Thomas Freestone and his two oldest sons worked on this project a great part of the summer of 1854.
In the year 1857 the United States sent an Army (known as Johnston's Army) to Utah. They did not enter Utah until 1858. All the able bodied men were called out to defend the people. Peace was later declared in 1858. But the years of 1857 and 1858 were years of great unrest and fear among the saints. The fact that the United States had sent an army to Utah caused many to fear that an army might be sent again. Many of the Saints remembered the experiences of Missouri. Remembered that when they pled for mercy, Haun's Mill Massacre was their answer when they asked for help and protection from the government. Their homes were burned and many killed and their women violated. The experiences of Illinois, being driven from their homes in the dead of winter, looking back and seeing many homes in flame, had not been forgotten. And still the Gentiles had followed them and hounded them, and there was fear that again an army might be sent to exterminate them. Many men left their homes in 1858 going north into Cache Valley or south to Southern Utah seeking fertile valleys to take their families to where they felt there would be greater security and perhaps new opportunities to build up the country, also to get more and better land for their families. It was in September 1857 that the Mountain Meadows Massacre took place. This caused terrific tension among the people throughout Utah and fear that there would be a reprisal against the Mormons who were blamed for it.
In the fall of 1857 the U.S. Dept. of War sent Lt. Joseph C. Ives to explore the Colorado River for the purpose of learning whether it could be used to an advantage in the transportation of soldiers and munitions on the way to the valley of Salt Lake. Ives’ expedition went about as far north as Las Vegas and then turned back.
When the report reached Salt Lake City that examination of the Colorado River for navigation was being conducted by the U. S. Government, President Young waited hardly long enough for Ives' expedition to sail down stream before he sent George A. Smith with a company of men to explore the Rio Colorado and the country adjacent to it for suitable location for settlements for his people. Smith and his companions left Cedar City on March 31, 1858. Later they returned without finding desirable locations. But it was made known that the area where St. George was later established was a desirable place with a mild climate. Also it was said that President Young had made the statement that a Temple would be built in southern Utah.
It was during these critical and tense times 1858, four years after Ann Fall and Thomas Freestone and family had settled in Alpine, that they discussed the proposition of looking for a new home that might give them more security. There is also the possibility that Thomas may have been called with some group to explore for new locations. He was not a young man, being 63 years old. He must have felt the necessity of moving or had been called with others to look for new locations, as he left his family to go to Southern Utah looking for a safe and fertile place to take his family. He went to Southern Utah and never returned. It was learned afterwards that he had been stoned to death by Indians.
Stories that have been handed down in the Freestone family are: An Indian later found Thomas Freestone after he had been stoned, mutilated and in extreme pain. The Indian felt he would do him a favor by killing him and ending the pain. The Indian killed him, then wrapped him in his blankets and buried him. This Indian sent a message to Ann Fall or went in person to tell her that her husband was dead by the hand of the Indians and had been killed and buried near Parowan, Iron County, Utah. As far as we know no white man knows where the grave of Thomas Freestone is. It is stated that the Indians had a plot to kill the first white man who crossed a certain trail and he was that man.
Dr. William R. Palmer, noted historian of the southern Utah area, former Stake
President for 15 years of Parowan Stake, enthusiastic leader in many church and
civic positions wrote Lillian Millett this letter:
Cedar City, Utah - 29 Dec 1951
Dear Sister Millett:
Do you believe in mental telepathy? Two weeks or so ago I awoke early with the name Thomas Freestone on my mind. I lay awake for an hour or more trying to remember where I heard or saw that name. It was associated with Parowan and with Indians but I could not get the story clear. At noon I went to the Postoffice and received your letter inquiring about the same man. Since then I have put in many hours searching for some record of his death but have found none.
1858 was a year of great excitement and the records are very skimpy and irregular for that period. Johnston's Army was marching on Utah and many men were tied up with preparations for another move. Some groups had gone west to meet and assist the San Bernardino Saints. Others had gone north to assist the Salt Lake Saints in their flight. Others were busy harvesting the crops and in finding caches in the mountains where the grain could be hidden and stored if there had to be a wholesale immigration.
Still others were exploring for new locations across the Colorado River and in Nevada to which the people could move. Then, too, the Mountain Meadows affair of September 1857 had thrown Iron County (Cedar City and Parowan) into gloom and melancholy, and so, altogether, not many records were made for several years along there. Everything was in confusion, but I feel certain that somewhere I have seen something about Thomas Freestone. It may be in some old diary. I will keep your letter on file and if I find anything I will write you again. Sorry I cannot be more helpful.
Sincerely yours, Wm. R. Palmer
Ann Fall’s life had been one of hardships and deprivation from the time she joined the Church. Now the greatest sadness of her life had come to her in losing her husband and not even having the privilege of having her dear husband’s body brought home for burial. Though Ann was a sturdy and capable woman she and her children keenly felt the loss of husband and father. Ann was a prayerful. woman and she relied on her Heavenly Father for comfort and help and taught her children as she and her husband had always done to seek the Lord first in all they did. Together they gathered their small crop in the fall of 1858. They gathered wood from the canyon to keep them warm. It was a very gloomy winter that faced them in 1858-59. Food was scarce and Ann suffered and often deprived herself to give a little more to her younger children.
Ann became desperate. She had no food, no flour, or wheat. It was hard to ask someone to help her but she finally knew she must ask her Bishop for help. She walked from Alpine to American Fork and told her Bishop her need for flour. The Bishop told her she should get married. But her reply was, “Who would want to marry a woman with eight children?” Some of her children were grown and married by then. The Bishop told her there was a well-to-do immigrant from London, England, that he would take her to see and that he had a year’s supply of food stored away. She was taken by the Bishop to see Andrew Hodnett and immediately they recognized their need for each other and seemed to have a mutual appeal. The very next day they went to Salt LakeCity to be married and were married in the Endowment House 17 May 1862. Andrew Hodnett brought money with him from England. He was a good provider and she probably had more financial security than she had had in her previous life.
Ann Fall and her family that was not married moved with Andrew Hodnett to Orderville and joined the United Order. They turned all their sheep into the Order. When the United Order broke up they were given back their sheep and they had enough to buy a little farm south of Orderville at Tom’s Rock near Mt. Carmel. They seem to have been fairly prosperous for the time and location.
Andrew Hodnett had Ann’s children walk through the fields after he had plowed to break up the clods with a stick. They worked in the fields and herded his sheep. This was not unusual. for those days as women were accustomed to work in the fields along with men. It was necessary to make a living.
Hodnett was a hot tempered man, tight fisted, a hard worker and expected others to do the same. Ann Fall was a mild tempered, kindly woman with great faith in her Heavenly Father.. She spoke kindly to her children and others. She always looked fresh and clean and dressed nice. She had dark hair and dark eyes and as she grew older was on the fleshy side. She raised her family to be true followers of Christ, with a great love and appreciation for the Gospel. She had great faith and was loyal and true to her Church, her leaders, and her Heavenly Father. In the biography of her youngest child, Jane, she states that whenever she was frightened of the Indians her mother would tell her that God would protect her.
In the later years of Ann Fall, her health failed and she was not able to take care of herself. She was taken back to Alpine to the home of her youngest child. Here Jane, who was such a kind and loving individual, tenderly cared for her mother. Andrew Hodnett gave all her children some sheep, which shows his love and respect for her family.
Ann’s eyes grew dim, yet they glowed with the love she had for her loved ones and the Gospel. Though feeble she still expressed her appreciation for the Gospel anann Fall d what others did for her. Her willing feet that had traveled far, never failed in the step that was right. She passed away 25th of December 1888.
(This story was copied from the Book of Remembrance of Norma Jensen Montgomery by Sharon Haws Jewkes and entered into the computer 16 Sep 2008. Both are great great granddaughters of Ann Fall and Thomas Freestone. Their grandparents were James Franklin Jensen and Laura Estella Whitmill.)
THE FALL FAMILY
"The Freestone Family", By Clara Seeman, 1953
From a distinguished man in London, Lord Portsea, member of the House of Lords, we learn that the Fall family originated in Normandy. From there they crossed the straits to Jersey Island, many of them later going to England, Scotland and Wales. Although the people of Jersey speak French, they had a strong antipathy for France and were in constant war with that nation. Their sympathies were with the English, with whom they have a common citizenship.
Lord Portsea sent the writer many historical facts concerning the Fall family and its home on the Island of Jersey. His mother was a Fall and his uncle George Fall wrote a comprehensive history of Jersey, which he sent with a long pedigree of the family. A library of considerable importance was founded by the Falls on the Island, which is still in existence. In the older English records the name is "Falle", which is the French spelling.
The branch of the family from which Ann Fall descended lived in Yorkshire, England, as far as we know. Parish records in the old town of Aldborough, founded by the Romans, reveal many Fall births and deaths. Topcliffe, near Aldborough in Yorkshire, was the birthplace of many ancestors of Ann Fall, and it is thought to be the original home of the family. Their graves are now to be seen in the churchyard of Topcliffe church. However they may have come originally from Scotland. as a family of Falls from Dunbar, Scotland received an armorial grant of arms.
James Fall, father of Ann, was evidently in the military service of England when he met Elizabeth Rouston, mother of Ann. Quoting from a report of F. H. Sunderland, genealogist and researcher in England, we have the following:
"I have made the fullest inquiries as to James Fall's military service. He was a soldier and served at Catterick Camp which is the headquarters of the Northern Command. That is why his banns were published at Catterick Parish Church, although he went home to be married and the marriage took place when he was on leave pending overseas service. It is thought he must have served first, if only for a year, on the Peninsula (Spain and Portugal) and then have been shipped with his regiment to Canada, in view of the threatened attack on Canada."
If, as the evidence indicates, James Fall served in the war of 1812 when the United States drove into Canada and burned public buildings in Toronto, it would explain his leaving England to make a new home in one of the provinces of Canada. He may have seen the beautiful Prince Edward Island and learned of the opportunities to own land, where the soil was rich and the chances for a good living were many.
Prince Edward Island is crescent in shape and is the smallest province in Canada, being only 140 miles in length and from four to 40 miles wide. To James Fall it must have appeared to lie low in the waters of the Gulf of St. Lawrence, as it has no -high elevations but is a countryside of rolling green hills, and a coast that meant riches to the fishermen. The Indians called it ''The Home Cradled on the Waves". Jacques Cartier first saw the island in 1534, and he described it as a "low and beautiful land." It was not until 1798 that it received its present name after Prince Edward, Duke of Kent. It is within ferrying distance from New -Brunswick and Nova Scotia.
The first settlers were French and among the Acadians made famous by Longfellow in his poem "Evangeline". When the British became the new rulers of Acadia (from the Indian name Acadie) which was Nova Scotia, eastern part of New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island, the French living in that area refused to give allegiance to the English crown. So they were forcibly ejected from their homer., which were then destroyed and many of the Acadians were put on ships and taken back to France, while others were unloaded on the West Indies, and parts of families were scattered throughout the settlements of New England where they received an unwelcome reception. According to New England history, many were never reunited with their families and relatives.
When the Falls first came to Prince Edward Island, the land was owned by English landlords, favorites of the Crown. These owners had never seen their holdings, drawing their land by lottery, and then leasing it to tenants at a high rental rate. It was not until 1851 that self government was finally achieved. The Canadian Confederation was born in the historic Provincial Building in Charlottetown, capital of Prince Edward Island.
In order to make the English settlements strong in the Canadian provinces, people of England were given inducements to seek new homes there, and James Fall seems to ' have been one who accepted the challenge and with his wife and little daughter Ann, who was about six years of age, joined other settlers in their search for a new home. From the Registrar of Deeds in Charlottetown, P.E.I. we have the information that James Fall bought 100 acres of land at Covehead, on the northeastern part of the Island, and again in 1836 he purchased another 100 acres in Granville Parish, which is about eight or nine miles from Charlottetown, the capital.
From a letter written by James Fall's grandson, George Fall, it is learned that his grandfather later sold one of these properties and built a house in Crapaud, which is on the south side of the Island and the letter states "lived on his money". The first home near Covehead was called "Little York" according to this same grandson, because James Fall came from York, England. Elizabeth Rouston Fall, wife of James, opened a "little school" for children, teaching them the first grades and instructing the little girls in sewing. James Fall was a devout Methodist, requiring his family to join him in prayer and the singing of hymns twice daily.
While living at Crapaud, or "Little York", Ann Fall met Thomas Freestone from England, who had come to Canada with his sister Sarah and brother-in-law, William Ward. They were married in Grapaud, he being 41 years of age and she 24. Two years later their first child, George, was born and when he was almost two years old they went by ship to the United States to find a new home.
Ann Fall's nephew, George, tells a little incident in his letter about Ann which indicates her religious character and her determination to do what she believed was right. A certain Scotsman, by the name of McDonald, came to the Island and started a new church, the members being known as McDonaldites. History says he carried a yellow cane and on Sundays stood at the fork of the road and waved all churchgoers to his church. Ann joined this cult and wore the long black veil which was prescribed for the women of the congregation. But then McDonald had a change of heart, and forbade the wearing of black veils, but Ann insisted on using the veil. Two deacons were instructed to put her out of the church, but as her nephew tells the story "they never put a hand on her, for she walked out and never returned.
James Fall and Elizabeth Rouston had but three children, Ann, born in Aldbrough, Yorkshire, England - 6 August, 1812; James, born about 1821, Prince Edward Island, and Charlotte. Although an effort has been made to learn the dates of births and deaths of the two younger children, as yet no accurate information has been received. We do know, however, that James, the son, was the only one of the children to remain on the Island. Ann, of course came to the U.S. and her nephew volunteers the information that the last they heard of her "she went to Utah and was killed by the Mormons."
Charlotte, the youngest, died in childbirth after marrying a man by the name of Hickox. Her mother cared for the little son, and Hickox later remarried. James and Elizabeth died in Crapaud and are buried there.