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Elizabeth (Betsy) Bartlett Woodbury

Elizabeth (Betsy) Bartlett Woodbury

Taken from the History of the Jeremiah Woodbury Family

By his Grandson Angus Cannon Woodbury


            On the twenty-fourth day of April, 1794, the home of Daniel and Hannah Woodbury Bartlett, of Montague, Franklin County, Massachusetts, was gladdened by the arrival of a beautiful baby girl.  She was the third child born to the worthy couple, and was given the name of Elizabeth, although among her intimates she was usually referred to as Betsey.

            As she grew towards maturity, she was given what was at the time considered a liberal education, although by modern standards it would have been deemed rather inadequate.  After reaching young womanhood, she was offered and accepted the attentions of a first cousin, Jeremiah Woodbury, whose home was in the nearby town of New Salem.  Their courtship soon ripened into mutual affection, and they were united in marriage June 20, 1815.

            Shortly thereafter they established residence in the husband’s home town of New Salem.  During the year 1841, a short time after their second son Joseph J. had completed high school, the family one and all became Converts to the religion of the Latter-Day Saints.  In the spring of 1842, they disposed of their possessions in New Salem, and migrated to the city of Nauvoo, where the main body of the Church was located at the time.

            During their years of residence in Nauvoo, Elizabeth endured with courage and optimism the hardships and privations that beset them almost continuously.  Her faith in the Restored Gospel, and in its ultimate triumph over the forces of evil, was implicit and unwavering.  She therefore served constantly as a source of moral and spiritual uplift, not only to members of her own family, but to all with whom she associated.

            Although deeply saddened by the untimely death of her beloved daughter, Susan Elizabeth, during their stay in Nauvoo, and by the refusal of her two sons, William and Joseph, and their families, to accompany them to the west, yet she bore up under both of those trials with a firmness and fortitude that would be hard to duplicate.  Her constant daily prayer was, “Father, thy will not mine be done.”

            Although she had been restored to normal health at the time of her baptism, after suffering as an invalid for eight years, yet her body was never really strong.  In spirit, in faith, in courage and optimism, however, she was an ideal helpmate; to her children ever a source of encouragement and uplift.

            After spending the second winter within the walls of the Old Fort, in a house with adobe walls and thatched roof, she moved with her husband and children, in the spring of 1849, into a comfortable home in the Seventh Ward.  It would seem, however, that Providence had decreed that she was not to be permitted to enjoy for more than a brief period the luxury of living in a comfortable home, with pleasant surroundings.

            The hardships and privations she had endured during her residence in Nauvoo, in making the journey across the plains, and after entering the valley, had so weakened her constitution that when she became the victim of a serious disease her frail body was unable to withstand its ravages and she passed to her final reward May 18, 1851.

            She left six living children, a devoted husband, and a host of solicitous friends to mourn her untimely passing, and to honor and revere her memory.  She was laid to rest in the city cemetery, her body being the ninth to be interred therein.

Owner/SourceAngus Cannon Woodbury
Linked toElizabeth Bartlett

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