George Edward Grove Taylor was born 5 June 1810, at Harefield, Middlesex, England. His father, Joseph Taylor, was christened 31 July 1778 at Kettering, Northampton, England. Joseph's parents were Henry and Martha Taylor; his grandparents were William and Alice Taylor. All were born in Kettering.
George's mother, Martha Grove, was christened 21 May 1786, at Harefield, Middlesex, England. Her parents were Thomas Grove and Mary Dawset of Beaconsfield, Buckingham, England, which is just ten miles over the line from Harefield.
I have the Harefield Parish Church record of the Banns of marriage between Thomas Grove and Mary Dawset, published April 22, 29, and May 6th by William Williams. It states, "Bothe of this Parish, Married in this Church by Banns, this Eleventh Day of May in the year One Thousand Seven Hundred and twenty, by me William Williams. The marriage was solemnized between us. The Mark of X of Thomas Grove. The Mark X of Mary Dawset. In the presence of James Smith and the Mark X of Mary Rider."
George's mother, Martha Grove, was the eighth child of the family of eleven, born between 1770 and 1795, all in Harefield.
We do not have a marriage date for Joseph Taylor and Martha Grove. We do have their son, Joseph Grove Taylor, born 1807, then George Edward Grove Taylor born 5 June 1810, both born in Harefield. We have no date for Joseph, the father. George's mother died in 1863, when he was 53 years old.
We wonder where George met Ann Wickes, who was born 7 November 1800, in Tetbury, Gloucester, England. She was of medium height and very pretty. She was thirty years and George was twenty years old when they were married in February 1830.
Her father was John Somerset Wickes, born 15 May 1770 at Tetbury, Gloucester, England. His parents were Somerset Wickes and Joan Ind, of Tetbury. Her mother was Margaret Trotman, born 16 June 1774, at Dursley, Gloucester, England. On the marriage certificate, which I have, John used the name John Wickes Ind. We have other records where he used his John Somerset Wickes. The witnesses at the marriage were David and Joan Trotman.
Ann's father, John Wickes, was a professional barber and hair dresser. He died 15 April 1809. Ann's mother, Margaret, carried on his business to support her daughters. Charlotte was nearly ten years, Ann eight and one-half years, Mary was six years, Margaret was five years old and Eliza was two and one-half years. The daughter, Margaret, died 3 June 1810, a year after her father's passing.
Ann learned to work early in her life. She worked in the homes of the well-to-do. She trained as a nurse and helped to relieve the sick in many homes.
Ann and George Taylor's first child was a son, whom they named Joseph Edward. He was born 11 December 1830, at Horsham, Sussex, England.
George was a tailor by trade. They moved to Spilsby, Lincolnshire, England. It was ten years before they had other children. Margaret Ann was born 20 June 1841; Martha was born 5 August 1843; and their last daughter, Maria, was born 17 January 1845. The girls were born in Spilsby.
The family later moved near London, England. It was here that they met the Mormon missionaries. They were converted, the parents being baptized 27 July 1848. Joseph was seventeen and one-half years old. He was baptized 11 August 1848. The girls were not old enough. They lived some distance from their Church but became very active in the Branch. George and his son, Joseph, became missionaries.
Joseph served two years and three months, and converted many members during this time. He was released in 1851. On 8 January 1851, he joined the 456 Saints leaving London on the ship "Ellen". James W. Cummings was the leader. They landed at New Orleans, U.S.A. He was ill for a time and stayed in St. Louis until the next year. He left Kanesville, Iowa, about the 10th of June in 1852 in the Joseph Outhouse Company of 250 saints and 50 wagons. They arrived in Salt Lake City, 6 September 1852.
In 1851, George married Jane Baxter as a second wife. This was against the wishes of Ann, his first wife. Jane was born 14 November 1818, at Harefield, Middlesex, England. Her parents were Thomas Baxter and Sarah Bird.
Ann and George separated, which made a very unhappy situation for the children.
Joseph was anxious that his Mother should join him in Salt Lake. He worked at many jobs to earn enough money to send for her. Ann Wickes Taylor and her two daughters, Martha and Maria, left London, England 4 April 1854, on the ship "Germanicus". Richard Cook was the company leader. The 220 saints landed in New Orleans after being on the ocean for ten weeks. The daughter, Margaret, stayed in London with her father and "Aunt Jane".
Ann and the girls stayed in St. Louis until the next year, earning money for the trip across the plains. Ann was very helpful as a nurse. They left Mormon Grove, Kansas, 28 July 1855. Charles A. Harper was the Company Leader. This was the sixth company to leave that year. There were 309 saints, and thirty-nine wagons. Many people had to walk the 1000 miles. Ann was not very well so she was privileged to ride much of the way. They arrived in Salt Lake, 29 October 1855. (This data we find in the Emigration Files in Church History records.)
Joseph Edward Taylor had married Louise Rebecca Capener 23 September 1853, in Salt Lake City. So he took his mother, Ann, and the two girls to their home until they could find a home of their own. Ann did nursing. She was sealed to William Black, from Ireland, 12 March 1857, at the Endowment House. He had other wives and we are not sure what this relationship meant.
George and Jane had the following children: George Grove Taylor, born 25 February 1852; Mary Taylor, born 30 September 1853; Edward, born 1 January 1855; and Jane, born 7 September 1861. All were born in London, Middlesex, England. George was Branch President in the Paddington Branch there until they left in 1866. Their son, George, was fourteen years old when they left England. In the Salt Lake Endowment House 28 February 1876, George (the son) married Sarah Jane Shupe. They were the parents of twelve children.
George and Jane's daughter, Mary, was a little over eighteen years when she died 18 January 1882, in Salt Lake City. Her half sister, Margaret, had her sealed to her husband, William Nicholas Goodman. William died 8 March 1885, at St. David, Arizona. Margaret had stayed with her father and "Aunt Jane" in England, and had learned to love these children. We have no death date for Edward and do not know if he married. Their daughter, Jane, died 17 June 1928.
George and his wife, Jane, and family left London, England, 23 May 1866. There were 350 saints in the group, under the Company Leader, John Nicholson. The ship was "American Congress". They landed in New York 4 July 1866. They had been on the ship for seven weeks. As the city of New York was celebrating the 4th of July, they had to remain on board until the next day. But they enjoyed the fire works that night as the ship lay in the harbor.
The next day toward evening they went ashore and then went aboard one of the large river steamers which took them up the Hudson River to New Haven. They arrived early in the morning; then went on the train to St. Joseph on the Missouri River. This took four or five days. They then went on board a steamboat to a small place called Wyoming, Nebraska, the outfitting place of the Church teams. Here they had their first taste of camp life. It was good to be able to run around, after being on ship and train for eight weeks.
They remained on the banks of the Missouri River for about two weeks. The 24th of July 1866, they were finally ready for their trip across the plains with the ox teams and wagon.
After many ups and downs, many trials and privations, they arrived in Great Salt Lake City on 26 September 1866. They had traveled for seventy days. They were happy to meet their loved ones that had come to Utah some time before.
Salt Lake City had seen many changes since the first pioneers came the 24th of July 1847. They were happy to find a home to live in as winter was coming.
George continued his trade as a tailor. He had a shop in the back of the Old Salt Lake Theatre. His granddaughter by his second wife, Bertha Taylor Malan (now deceased), had a tuxedo coat that her father wore, made by his father. Her father was George Grove Taylor who lived in the Ogden area.
George and his family enjoyed the progress that was going on around them. The Salt Lake Theatre was started in July 1861. A little detail about the construction. Quote, "Since Civil War raged in the States, metal was scarce. Nails were fashioned from iron salvaged from the wreckage of government wagons during the threat of Johnston's Army. Some of the theatre timbers were fastened by four inch redpine pins."
On 23 October 1861, the first transcontinental telegraph was completed with the linking, in Great Salt Lake City, to lines east and west.
The 6th of October 1867, General Conference of the Church was held for the first time in the Salt Lake Tabernacle. The famous derby-shaped building, seating nearly 8,000 people was four years in the building. It was designed by President Brigham Young, himself a cabinet maker by trade, and Henry Grow (an ex-bridge builder) and William H. Folsom. Because of nail shortages, structural beams were fastened with wooden pegs and strips of cowhide, wrapped around timbers.
The great Tabernacle organ was also completed in 1867. Designed by Joseph Ridges, its pipes were fashioned by hand from fine-grained white pine hauled three hundred miles from southern Utah. Pieces were fastened with glue made by boiling hundreds of cattle and buffalo hides.
The 29th of January 1868 the name of Great Salt Lake City was changed to Salt Lake City, by Utah's Territorial Legislature.
On 10 May 1869, the first transcontinental railroad was completed, with the joining at Promontory, Utah, of the Union Pacific and the Central Pacific. A telegraph wire was attached to the glittering Golden Spike so that an eager Nation would know when California's governor Leland Stanford struck the historic blow. Swinging mightily with a silver maul, the governor missed. But an alert telagrapher's simulated sound was recorded, and the country's citizens and factory whistles chorused a resounding applause.
After this time Mormon pioneers were able to come by rail and not suffer the hardships of travel by ox team and wagon.
On 10 January 1870, Salt Lake was linked up with the Utah Central Railway, this made it easier for the emigrants to get to the main body of the Church,
Swimming at the resorts on the great Salt Lake was an enjoyable experience. The water was so salty thay could float like a cork. Picknicking in the canyons was a relaxation for many, although they had to be on the lookout for unfriendly Indians that resented the pioneers. Many of the tribes became friends of the pioneers and were converted to Mormonism. Brigham Young often said, "It is better to feed the Indians than to fight them."
Making amusement for themselves during the long winter nights, keeping the standards of the Church as well as having fun was a challenge, and they became closer friends and neighbors.
Basket parties for the young people were popular. The girls would place a lunch in the most attractive basket they could trim up. They were concealed from the boys until such time as they were auctioned off. Then the fellow that bought the basket was to eat with the girl that made it. Usually this was done at a dance, that continued for hours.
Dancing the quadrilles and square dances, accompanied by a caller and someone playing the violin, organ or dulcimer was their amusement, sometimes lasting into the morning hours. Of course the ladies brought food, sometimes molasses or honey cookies or cakes, pies, tarts, or sandwiches made from the boiled ham or beef that might be available. Two waltzes an evening could be played and husbands could only dance with their wives. It was proper that they were far enough apart to see light between.
In the winter they enjoyed bobsleigh riding. The bells on the teams could be heard for miles. They said it was quite a sight to see Brigram Young's sleigh, filled with happy children all singing as they enjoyed the brisk ride. It was customary to go to someone's home and eat and dance for the rest of the evening.
The Salt Lake Temple was still being built. It took strong men to get out the large granite rocks from Cottonwood Canyon, and to see that it was hauled to the Temple block. It was around twenty miles. Then the men chipped the blocks to the right measurements for fitting in the proper place. We are grateful to our pioneer ancestors that built this beautiful structure. They were building homes, churches, and schools at the same time, so we can see how it took forty years to complete. It was dedicated 6 April 1893, by President Wilford Woodruff.
Joseph Edward Taylor, son of George and Ann, was set apart by Brigham Young as one of the first morticians and embalmers in Salt Lake City. The Salt Lake Cemetery was also one of his responsibilities, as to planning the plots. I assume his father, George, was a great help to him in making burial suits. Joseph also made caskets. He made the pine casket for Brigham Young (details in Church History).
On the birth certificate of Martha Little, born 5 August 1843, the father's name is given as George Edward Taylor, the mother as Ann Taylor, formerly Wickes, and as living in Spilsby, Lincolnshire, England. We wonder when George added the name Grove.
Joseph Edward Taylor's first wife was Louise Rebecca Capener; then he married her sister, Jane Maria Capener Hanks. When he took his third wife, Lisadore Williams, Louise and Jane left him. His fourth wife was Clara Ann Sudbury, and the fifth wife was Harriet Arabella Wooley. He became a Patriarch, 2 April 1904.
Margaret Ann Taylor married William Nicholas Goodman on 27 February 1864, in Salt Lake City. They had eleven children. Martha Taylor married George Edwin Little on 6 January 1862 in the Salt Lake Endowment House. (My mother, Mattie Taylor Hanks, was their fourteenth child.) Maria Taylor married Joseph McRae 4 March 1862. They were the parents of ten children.
The obituary of George Edward Grove Taylor: "Deseret News," Salt Lake City, Utah, 7 August 1874 (film #6507 Part 12). "He died 6 August 1874, buried in Salt Lake City Cemetery..
"Departed this life--sometime yesterday, Elder George E. Grove Taylor, of the 13th Ward, died at his residence. Deceased emigrated from London, England, in 1866, crossing the Atlantic in the Company of Saints which left that City, May the 23rd of that year, in the ship 'American Congress.' He was somewhat widely known, having been President of the Paddington, London, branch of the Church for some time previous and up to his leaving for this country."
Ann Wickes Taylor, George's first wife, was sealed to William Black, of Ireland, 12 March 1857, in the Endowment House, Salt Lake. We have checked these records and there is no cancellation of this sealing. Ann died in Salt Lake 26 March 1896. Her son, Joseph, took care of all the funeral arrangements. She is buried in Salt Lake City Cemetery.
This history was compiled by Teton Mattie Hanks Jackman in November 1978 at Provo, Utah. She is a great granddaughter of George Edward Grove Taylor and Ann Wickes Taylor.