Barker Family History & Genealogy

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Paul Brown MARY ANN BARKER VIRGIN
(Mother of Amos Moses Virgin)


Mary Ann Barker Virgin was born July 25, 1831. She was a daughter of Thomas Barker and Elizabeth (Betsy) Thompson Barker. She was born in Marston, England, and was the fifth child of a family of thirteen.

When but a child she acquired the art of making Valenciennes lace or pillow lace as she called it, because to make it she had a large round pillow stuffed with clean straw. The patterns used were pricked with pins on light cardboard or heavy paper and required the use of dozens of bobbins and hundreds of pins. The bobbins were manipulated back and forward over and under and a pin used to hold each stitch in place. The teacher who taught this art offered a prize to the child who could make the most lace in a given time. Mary Ann won, but to her horror was informed she must have that amount of lace finished at intervals of the same length of time that was given in the contest. She became very efficient in making the lace and also she would prick her own patterns. Even though she was a fast worker, it was slow and tedious work, but more beautiful lace was never made than she made, so smooth, so even and so fine. It was made of thread sizes 60, 70, or 80. She made lace and sold it to help support the family. Once she was given the honor of making lace sleeves for -t dress for Queen Victoria.

She was married to George Thompson Virgin, son of Samuel Virgin and Mary Keep, on September 19, 1852 in the Parish Church at Marston, England. They made their home there for some time. To this family four children were born: Amos Moses, Nephi C., Heber G., and Mercy Ann. The eldest son, Amos Moses was born at Marston, England, on January 23, 1854. A few months later George and Mary Ann heard some Mormon Elders preaching and their message brought joy to their hearts. After praying sincerely to the Lord to know if the message was true, Heavenly Father gave them a testimony. They were baptized members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on September 22, 1854. As soon as it was known that they were Mormons, George lost his job and was unable to find employment. He would succeed in getting work but for a short time, then his employer would learn of his being a Mormon, and again he was forced to look elsewhere for employment.

Nephi Charles, the second son, was born at Wooton, England, on October 6, 1956. Many times Mary Ann would work at her pillow all night to finish the lace that she

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would take to the market place and sell to get money to buy food before they could eat. On the 19th of February 1859, another son, Heber George Thompson, was born at Kempton, England, but he died a year and one-half later.

Again the family was forced to move to find work. At last George was successful in getting employment with the railroad at Birmingham, England, and they began happily to plan emigration to America and to Zion. During all this time they faithfully lived the Gospel and paid into the emigration fund to help others to immigrate to Zion. On December 20, 1861, a little daughter, Mercy Ann, came to brighten their lives. ? Hundred Saints on board the "William Tappscott" when it sailed in May 1862 for America. They crossed the plains in the Horton D. Haight Company. Even though Nephi was under six years of age and his brother, Amos, was eight, they walked almost the entire distance. Nephi said, "Many times they were tired and once they lagged behind the wagon train and would have been lost and perhaps devoured by wolves, but the provisions wagon happened to be behind and picked them up.

Mary Ann became ill from constant exposure and the hardships of the journey made it impossible for her to care for her children. A young man by the nam6 of Ephraim Barton took great interest in the baby-Mercy Ann and carried

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her in his arms almost continuously, but the weather and exposure proved too much for the little one, and she died on October 6, 1862, and the young man died the same night. Mary Ann was so sick that she did not realize that her baby (Mercy Ann) had passed away. A hymn was sung and a prayer offered. Ephraim Barton and the baby (Mercy Ann) were placed in a blanket and buried together in a crude grave. He had the baby in his arm. A fire was lighted over the grave to keep animals away and the grave was covered with rocks and the company moved on. This was near the Utah Wyoming boarder.

They arrived in Salt Lake Valley October 19, 1862. Mary Ann and the two boys settled in Grantsville, Utah. Two years later they moved to St. Charles in Bear Lake Valley to make their home. The boys worked at fishing and trapping. She gleaned wheat in the fields for bread. Some of the terrible hardships they endured are found in the history of the life of each of her sons. She resided in St. Charles until spring of 1907 when she moved to Salem, Idaho. She was sealed to her husband October 12, 1867, and the children were sealed to them October 17, 1884. She was ever a faithful Latter-day Saint, having worked for a number of years in the Relief Society and also as a teacher in Sunday School. She loved to testify of the truthfulness of the Gospel and of the goodness of the Lord.

She died at Salem, Idaho, January 14, 1922, and her remains were laid to rest in the Sugar City Cemetery. At the time of her death she was survived by one son, Amos Moses Virgin, her son Nephi having died March 20, 1917. She had sixteen grandchildren, sixty-seven great-grandchildren, one great great grandchild, and three sisters.


On the night of December 29, Mary Ann had a dream, and in this dream she saw her husband's crushed and broken body. Awakening, she related her dream to her husband and begged and pleaded with him not to go to work, but he said it was just the evil one, trying to worry her in her weakened condition. She clung to him and pleaded with him to remain home but all was in vain. She told him she would never see him alive again. He went and a few hours later one of the workmen came and told her of the accident and of her husband's death. He had been crushed between two cars when the wrong signal had been given. Without waiting for the men to explain the details of his death, she told him she knew all about it for she had been shown it in a dream.

The ordeal of losing her companion and the means of the support of her family brought forth the noble character she possessed and trusting in God she arose to the occasion in the full strength of her womanhood and was father and mother and sole support of her little family.

Spurred on by her desire to go to Zion, she was blessed by the Lord and by spring her greatest hopes were realized. Mary Ann Barker Virgin, her two sons and her tiny daughter were among eight
Dec 01, 2002 · Reply
Paul Brown A HISTORY OF MARY ANN BARKER VIRGIN AND HER SON AMOS MOSES, WRITTEN BY HIS GRANDDAUGHTER Thelma Muir Whittaker


I am proud of my ancestors, particularly those whom I have been privileged to know personally. And through stories and pictures told and shown to me by my parents and grandparents of those others whom I did not know I have learned to appreciate them more. Of these who are members of the Church whether by birth or conversion it may be truly said that they were tried and trusted spirits in their pre mortal life. Many there, we believe hold important positions of leadership. From the test they experienced they emerged triumphant. Because of their faithfulness they were accounted worthy to bear in life great responsibilities and were reserved in training until a day came in earth's history when the very staunchest and bravest were needed. With the dawning of this last gospel dispensation come their call to journey earthward and perform the special mission for which they were qualified by character and experience.

All my Grandparents and Great grandparents were pioneers and remained true to their convictions which they had in spite of hardship and persecutions. Among those Pioneer ancestors was my Great Grandmother Mary Ann Barker Virgin. She was born July 25, 1831. at Marston Bedfordshire, England, a daughter of Thomas Barker and Elisabeth Thompson Barker.

At the age of six she learned the art of making Valencino, or pillow lace as she called it. This lace she sold on the marketplace to help support the family. She was once honored by being asked to make lace sleeves for a dress for Queen Victoria.

On September 19, 1852, she married George Thompson Virgin, son of Samuel Virgin and Mary Keep at the Parish Church in the Parish of Marston in Bedford County. They made their first home there,

Their oldest son Amos Moses (my grandfather) was born January 23, 1854 at Marston Bedford England. One day Great Grandfather heard the Mormon missionaries holding a street meeting and was convinced that what they were preaching was true. He told his wife this but she refused to listen. A few days later she was at the market place trying to sell her lace when she heard the missionaries preaching. She stayed until they were through. So pleased was she with what she had learned that she consented when her husband asked if he might bring the missionaries to their home. She told her sister Mercy Keetch all that had Happened and asked her to come to their home when the Elders made their visit,

Then she and her sister fasted and prayed that the Elders would be led by the spirit of God if it was His work they were preaching, to explain certain principles of the Gospel which they did not understand, great Grandfather invited Milo Andrus to their home one afternoon. He had chosen a text which was not what they had had been praying he would use. But still they waited, He talked on for a few minutes then turning to them he said I thought I would speak on that subject today but it seems I wasn’t supposed to. Then he began talking on the very subject they had been praying he would use. That was all that they needed to convince them that what he was preaching was true. Great grandfather, Great Grandmother and her sister Mercy Keetch were baptized on August 13, 1854.

After Great Grandfather and Grandmother had joined the Church their persecution began. He lost his job just as soon it was learned that he had joined the despised Mormons. Their friends turned against them and they were forced to move from place to place trying to make a living, and get money enough to come to Zion. In the course of their travels they lived at Wootton Bedfordshire England where their second son Nephi Charles, was born on October 6, 1857. Their third son Heber George Thompston Virgin was born at Kempston also in Bedfordshire on February 10,1859,

During this time they faithfully paid their tithing and donated to the Church Immigration fund to assist others in going to Zion. He finally secured a job with a construction crew on the railroad. All the men on the crew knew that he was a Mormon and they tried in every way to get him to give up his religion. One night Great Grandmother had a dream that the train ran over her husband and that the workmen brought his mangled body to her doorstep in a basket. Then one of them knocked, when she came to the door he said "here is your Mormon husband", So vivid was her dream that she awakened her husband and told him about it and begged him not to go to work. He told her that if he did not go then they would have on excuse to fire him and that he couldn’t afford to loose his job, as they needed to money so badly. She told him when he went to work that morning that she would never see him alive again. Her dream in part came true that very day for they were working in a long narrow train tunnel with just little safety holes in the wall for the workmen to step into while a train was passing. A long freight train passed, he stepped out of the safety hole to resume his work when without notice the train backed back, a thing it had never been known to do there before, running over him. He was carried out of the tunnel by the other workmen. One of them asked him what he thought of his religion now. He replied, "That was my greatest possession in life and in death it is still my greatest possession. "He died a few minutes later on December 30th, 1861 at Birmingham England. Thus had he had given his all even his life for the religion he so much prized,

Prompted by this same spirit Great Grandmother refused ease and luxury in her native land to accept hardship and privation with a people then despised and persecuted. For shortly after her husbands death a Baptist Minster came and offered to clothe, educate and care for the boys and to give her every luxury her heart would desire if she would renounce Mormonism. She refused saying that her religion was her life,
The death of her Husband was a sore trial coming as it did just ten days after the birth of their daughter Mary Ann. But rising, to the full strength of her great womanhood she became both father and mother to her little family. Hers was the problem of supplying food, clothing, and shelter for herself and a brood of three. Her youngest son, having died just a short time before the death of his Father on August 25th, 1860.

It required great strength of character and purpose to endure with unshaken faith the persecution that preceded and followed her husband’s death. And to finally start with her three small children on that long difficult journey across ocean plain and wilderness to a new and unknown land alone among strangers. We can imagine her heartache, a young woman barely thirty years age with three small children and no friend or companion to share her responsibilities. She had supreme faith, however that she would reach her destination and be able to make a home for herself and her little family among a people who believed in allowing everyone to worship God according to the dictates of their own conscience. Her faith is shown in the sacrifices she made in caring for the Elders in England, often giving her last crumb of bread to feed them. Many times she had to send her children to bed with no supper and then set up all night to finish a piece of lace to sell in order to buy their breakfast.

She wasn't content until she had taken the step that had started her on her way to Zion. She started out from Liverpool on the ship William Tapscott on May 14th, 1862. The company was under the direction of William Gibson, John Clark and Frances M. Lyman. In the company were 808 saints. After better than nine weeks traveling landed safely in New York. These facts are verified in Church chronology by Andrew Jenson.

Whatever else may be said of these brave pione
Dec 01, 2002 · Reply
Patrick Best Thomas James Barker was the third son of Mr and Mrs Robert Barker. He was born in 1857 in Wellington County, Ontario. In 1882 he came west with his parents, brothers and sister to a farm west of Carnduff. Four years later, he went to Clearwater, Manitoba to claim his bride, Miss Alice Atkinson, who was born in Gray County, Ontario in 1965 and came west with her parents in 1879. Jim and Alice resided on a farm west of Carnduff, the John Thompson farm, where Mable and Percy were born. In 1897, he homesteaded NE 34-3-33 near the Antler River northeast of Glen Ewen in the Mount Pleasant district. A comfortable home was established despite the many hardships of the early years. In 1927 Jim and Alice Barker disposed of their farming interest and went to live with their daughter, Hazel. Alice Barker passed away in 1932 and is buried in Glen Ewen Cemetery with Reverend Hamilton officiating. Jim passed away in 1938 and is also buried at Glen Ewen with Reverend Brown officiating.

Thomas James Barker passed away at the Union Hospital, Oxbow, Saskatchewan on Tuesday, January 4th, 1938 at the age of 80 years, 7 months and 23 days. The service was held in the United Church, Glen Ewen on Thursday, January 6th, 1938, at the hour of 2 P.M., interment following in the Glen Ewen cemetery.

The following is the obituary of Thomas James Barker:

Thomas James Barker, one of the district's early and respected pioneers, passed away at the Union Hospital, Oxbow on Tuesday of this week. Mr. Barker was in his 81 year and had been ailing for some past months. Two days prior to his death, he took quite ill and his sudden passing was unexpected by relatives and his many old acquaintances in the district.

The deceased was born in Wellington County, Ontario, where he spent his boyhood days. In 1882 he came West and settled on a farm west of Carnduff, Saskatchewan. Four years later he went to Ontario and claimed his bride, Miss Alice Atkinson, returning to his humble home in the Carnduff district. In 1897, he homesteaded on the Antler, northeast of Glen Ewen, Saskatchewan, where a comfortable home was established despite the many hardships of the early days. He disposed of his interests in 1927, and since then has made his home with his daughter, Mrs. Walter Wood, north of Glen Ewen. A particularly sad part of his life was passing of his wife in August, 1932.

The late Mr. Barker, was a man of many fine qualities. Amiable at all times, and having a very optimistic spirit, he made many friends who will regret the passing of another hardy old pioneer, who took his place and performed life's work in a manner which was commendable. He was of sterling worth, and his word was as good as his bond.

In 1927, Jim and Alice Barker disposed of their farming interests and went to live with their daughter, Hazel. Alice Barker passed away in 1932 and Jim passed away in 1938.

He leaves to mourn his loss five daughters, Mrs. Herb Atkinson, Mrs. Ken Dunn of Spruce Lake, Saskatchewan; Mrs. John Best of Melfort, Saskatchewan; Mrs. Joseph Hill and Mrs. Walter Wood of Glen Ewen, Saskatchewan and one son, Percy, residing at Carievale, Saskatchewan. He is also survived by 21 grandchildren, two sisters, Mrs. George Lawley of Vancouver, B.C. and Miss Alice Barker of the Maple Grove district, and two brothers, William Squire of Deloraine, Manitoba and Robert of Calgary, Alberta.

The funeral is being held today (Thursday) from Glen Ewen United Church, officiated at by Reverend Mr. Brown. Interment will follow in the Glen Ewen cemetery, the pallbearers being Messrs, E. McIlmoyl, W. J. Dawson, George A. Bishop, L. E. Derrough, John Cooney and J. W. Hill.
Dec 01, 2002 · Reply
Paul Brown Mercy Truth Barker Keetch

Mercy Truth Barker Keetch was born Feb. 21, 1835 in Marston, Bedfordshire, England, a daughter of Thomas Barker and Elizabeth Thompson Barker. Her parents owned a home with a nice garden and play yard. The father was a farmer. There was no machinery so the grain was sown or planted by hand and cut with sickles. Grass and clover were cut with scythes. He also made baskets of many kinds and matting such as people used to kneel on when worshipping in the church pews.

In 1852 Mercy Truth went to live with Elizabeth Wiggins, a daughter of her mother's brother, John Thompson. Here she studied millinery and lace making. Mercy Truth returned to Marston in 1853 and stayed with her sister, Mary Ann Virgin. It was here that she first heard of the new religion. Other members of her family went with her and all were soon converted. After joining the L.D.S. Church they had many trials; the inability to get a place to live, and employment due to the feeling prevailing against the Mormons. Neighbors made fun of them because their God didn't provide for them and the elders "ate them out of house and home." This made them feel very sad. Mercy Truth says, "We used to darken the windows at night so they could not see the light when we worked late. When we would be cooking dinner we used to hang the kettle over the fire. It would boil hard but cooked us no dinner. We sold furniture and would buy what we needed most." The training in millinery and lace making proved very useful to Mercy Truth during these hard times, making it possible for her to earn money.

She left England from Liverpool May 8, 1860. Charles W. Penrose helped her onto the boat and gave her a blessing. Mercy Truth says, "We had some bad storms but I was not afraid. I loved to watch the mountains of water. They looked like they touched the skies. We, in a low valley, Oh, how nice those mountains of white and blue water looked! It seemed they would meet at the tops and shut out the little piece of blue sky there was overhead. Then the ship would mount us on one of those large mountain waves and we could look down into the valley of water."

Smallpox occurred on the boat and though there were no additional cases, they were quarantined for a time after the voyage was completed and all had to be vaccinated. She landed in New York and traveled on to Florence, Nebraska. Here she joined Charles G. Keetch, whom she had known in England. They were married Dec. 1860. After their marriage they saved and planned so were able to leave for Utah the next summer. Charles drove a wagon and Mercy cooked for five men for passage. The journey was hard, as she was soon to become a mother. After they left Florence, as they were traveling along, they had to go down hill and the grandfather said, "Oh, the "hey" has come out of the bow of the yoke." Mercy said, "Take a rock and pound it in good and it will hold," and it did, even in spite of the heavy weight. Her first child, a boy, was born Sept. 12, 1861 near Green River several days out of Salt Lake City. To make matters worse they came to a prairie fire and had to pass through it. Charles took a quilt, fastened it over the front of the wagon, then drove through the fire as fast as possible. They could see the blaze through the cover. Mercy hung onto the baby with one arm and the wagon bow with the other. The rough roads and travel were too much for her and when two days out of Salt Lake City she took a serious set back. She and the baby were put into a light buggy that had come out to meet the company. They arrived in the valley Sept. 23, 1861. After a short time they moved to Grantsville, where they lived until 1864. At first they lived in part of the tithing office but later rented a little log room. After about a year, they rented a room with large windows, a nice porch, a good well and a little shanty. They had a box about a yard and a quarter long to sit on and a trunk for a table; also two quilts, 4 plates, 6 cups and saucers and one heavy plate; 6 knives and forks. During 1863 Charles G. worked for a man named Woolley who paid him in trade with 4 straight chairs and a rocking chair. They were both so pleased when he brought the chairs they could not thank him enough. In the spring of 1864 Charles G. hauled wood from the canyon and earned money to buy a good second-hand wagon. In the fall the family left Grantsville and moved to St. Charles, Idaho. They stayed with friends until they could get a room built. The work was slow, as the weather was cold. When they cut up the willows they picked out all the small dry pieces to make a light at night. They ate before it was dark. Then they opened the stove door and drew out the hearth to make a little fire on the ashes. There was no mill to grind their wheat so they ground it in a coffee mill. Pancakes were made from it, stirred with snow water, as they had no milk that first winter. The next summer Charles built on a kitchen put a chimney in the front room so they could have a fire on the hearth. He also built a frame for a porch and put willows overhead. Mercy brought some currant seeds from Grantsville, which were planted. In 1870 this couple went to Salt Lake to the Endowment House and were sealed to each other. They were the parents of eight children. She died Mar. 10, 1910 at St. Charles, Idaho—Mercy Nelson Boyer

Email me at [contact link] and I will send you the complete (36 page) autobiography of Mercy Truth Barker.
Feb 24, 2003 · Reply
Leanne Bazinet I have the absolute pleasure and love in locating my birth mother Lorna Sogergren (MD) She is an ever present joy and has made my life complete for my twin sister and I. She fell in love with a USAF radar maintenance young man at the Baldy Hughes Air Radar Defense station in Prince George British Columbia, Canada. I believe he was from West Virginia. Lorna and Duke were deeply in love and planned to marry..(approx OCT.1959?) until Duke's family found out that my mom was pregnant. She didn't even know she had twins till we were born May, 1960.
The military were rude to my mom and she was treated horribly as 'unwed' moms were in those days. We were adopted in 1960. I am on a search for my bio father. I do not know if he returned to WV in 1960 or was assigned to another location. Any Barker relatives from WV that may know of him or of any contact information for me would be GREATLY appreciated!!
Thank you for Listening
Leanne Bazinet
Mar 10, 2011 · Reply
Sal Six Icie Fern Barker Royse Crum 1910 KY to 1963 WI

This is a very old family recipe.

1 quart tomatoes
4c. water
1/2 onion minced
1 c. uncooked rice
1 and 1/2 lb hamburger
1/2 lb sausage
2 eggs
Salt and pepper to taste

Put tomatoes and water in a large kettle. When boiling drop balls made from the ingredients listed Simmer 3 hours
Aug 23, 2011 · Reply
Sal Six My grandmother Icie Fern Barker was stolen right out of their yard when she was 4 years old(1915).
Gypsies had been seen going passed in thier wagon a short time earlier.
Great grandpa Harvey Frank Barker jumped on his horse and took out after them to see if they had her. He caught up with them and charged into the wagon finding Icie Fern.
She was a cute dark curly haired pudgy thing. Her hair hung down in ringlets.
A year later she got ahold of a pair of sissors and cut up into her curls and they stayed until great grandma Anna Jordan Barker brushed Icie's hair.
Aug 23, 2011 · Reply