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Betsy Jane (Fackrell) Hancock, Early Mormon Pioneer

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Betsy Jane (Fackrell) Hancock, Early Mormon Pioneer
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Date Added
8/14/2020 5:55:25 PM
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Robert Underhill
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Betsy Jane Fackrell (1824 - 1851) was born in Clarendon to James Farmer Fackrell (1787 - 1867) and Amy (Crumb) Fackrell (1799 - 1885); the 3rd of their 5 children.  James had deserted from the British Army in Canada and eventually took shelter in Grafton, VT where he married Amy.  From Grafton the family came to Clarendon and from there to Moriah, NY and in 1837 to Bertrand, MI  It was there in 1843 that missionaries from Nauvoo, IL converted the family to Mormonism. 

Betsy along with others in her family ended up in Nauvoo themselves in 1846 and after a short stay continued their journey to Council Bluffs, Iowa.  It was in Iowa in 1848 that Betsy married  George Washington Hancock (1826 - 1901).  George had already traveled to Utah the year prior thus making him one of the earliest Mormon pioneers to Utah. The first group arrived in July 1847 led by Brigham Young.  George arrived in Sept. of that year in a subsequent group.  George and Betsy stayed in Iowa until 1849 when they and their infant son Charles Hancock (1849 - 1912) went to Utah to settle permanently.  Feb. 22, 1851 Betsy gave birth to their daughter Betsy Jane Hancock (1851 - 1933) in Woods Cross, UT.  Just weeks later on March 19th Betsy died at age 26 of (per the death register) erysipelas.  A more complete descriptive would likely have been "childbed erysipelas peurperal fever" which Dr. Charles Meigs, a leading 19th-century obstetrician called "the most unspeakable terror." 

Betsy's husband remarried and had 13 more children.  His biography can be seen at his Find A Grave entry here.  We learn more about Betsy in the biography of her younger brother James Jr. (1829 - 1892) found here.  The biography of Betsy's oldest brother David (1820 - 1885) found here also mentions her.  David too had lived in Clarendon for a period as a child.  Her other older brother Joseph (1822 - 1900) spent part of his childhood in Clarendon as well and for him we also have a biography at Find A Grave found here.   Lastly, we have the story of how Betsy's father James Sr. came to be in Vermont found here.  All five of these biographies (George Hancock, Betsy's three brothers, and her father) provide insight into the era far beyond what is generally available for most families.