My Great-great grandmother Sarah Bagshaw married Edward Bradshaw in England in 1850. In 1868 the family, consisting of Sarah and Edward and seven children, ranging in age from 2 years to 17, came to America by ship. The ocean trip took six weeks. Then they got on the train and arrived in Omaha. Sarah was “with child” as they said in those days, and nearing the end of her pregnancy. Nursing the two year old who was quite sick and the three day train trip to Omaha kept Sarah pretty well worn and frazzled.
While waiting for the wagon and teams that had come out from Utah to be organized for the trek back across the plains, a woman who was a stranger approached Sarah and asked her if there was anything she could do to help.
Back in England Sarah had baked a lot of bread to take on the trip, but it had been eaten by the family long ago. The good sister told Sarah that she had just taken six loaves of bread from the oven and Sarah could have them all. This offer was gratefully accepted.
My great grandmother Eliza Bradshaw Roberts wrote about the long trip west.
“The young folks that could walk hardly ever rode, the teams and oxen were heavily loaded. At night all the musical instruments was brought out [and] although very tired, young and old would dance. [my] Brother Sam Bradshaw would play either flute or concertina, the boys that was sent to meet the Saints and drive them to Zion used very rough language for Mormon boys. [Yet] They joined in all the pleasure as well as sorrow and learned the Saints to dance, arriving in Salt Lake City, September 1868.”
Shortly thereafter, the family settled in Minersville, Utah, about 19 miles west of Beaver on todays I-15.
A cousin of mine commissioned me to do this painting. I was very pleased, especially since I had not been familiar with these common ancestors. I prepared some sketches to help her visualize the experience and communicate the best way to present this great story. One of the challenges was placing all the children at their correct ages in the painting. I chose to show Sarah, the mother, with only two or three of the children in the main group.