Susannah Roundy (Wallace) (1820 - 1892) MP

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Birthdate:
Birthplace: Perth, Lanark, Ontario, Canada
Death: Died in Escalante, Garfield, Utah Territory
Managed by: Cheryl Skelton
Last Updated:

About Susannah Roundy (Wallace)

Susannah Wallace was born December 12, 1820 in Perth, Lanark, Upper Ontario, Canada, the first child of Francis Wallace and Sarah Alexander. In May 1847, she became the second wife of Lorenzo Wesley Roundy, son of Shadrack Roundy and Betsey Quimby. Lorenzo was a widower with two small children. Susannah Wallace Roundy helped to civilize the frontier, lived through the Indian wars, survived plagues of crickets and grasshoppers, severe winters and many other dangers. She and Lorenzo had eight children of their own, and she raised his surviving son from his previous marriage (the other child died very young). Lorenzo drowned while attempting to cross the Colorado River 24 May 1876; Susannah survived him for 16 years, dying 4 July 1892 Escalante, Garfield County, Utah Territory at the age of 72.

Children

  1. Wallace Wesley Roundy (1848 - 1918)
  2. Malinde Elizabeth Roundy Pollock (1849 - 1916)
  3. Napoleon Bonapart Roundy (1851 - 1928)
  4. Matilda Ann Roundy (1852 - 1919)
  5. Celestia Almeda Roundy Willis (1854 - 1934)
  6. Mary Isabelle Roundy Williams (1857 - 1938)
  7. Lorenzo Wesley Roundy (1861 - 1904)

Susanna Wallace Roundy - A Utah Pioneer, by Wavie Williams Petersen (a greatgranddaughter)

Susannah Wallace was born December 12, 1820 in Perth, Lanark, Upper Ontario, Canada. She was the first child to be born to Francis Wallace and Sarah Alexander. In those early days the first child was called upon to help with the work at a very early age. Susannah learned to cook and sew and also help with the outside chores. She was a strong, brave, English girl.

In her early teens she heard about Joseph Smith and his new Mormon religion. She met some missionaries and was fascinated by what they told her about the gospel of Jesus Christ, and she knew in her heart it was true. While knowing that her parents were very much against her joining the church, she accepted the Elder's invitation, and was baptized at the age of 16, without the consent of her parents. When her father found out, he told her he no longer wanted her as a daughter.

One night she slipped out, determined to find the headquarters of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. That same night, Susannah's younger sister, Matilda, ages 14, also left home to be with Susannah. What an undertaking for two young girls, all alone, and having to walk at least 50 miles through the desolate Canadian country, before coming to a town of any size.

After many years and much hard work the two sisters finally arrived at Nauvoo, "The City Beautiful', probably in August of 1845. At last they had arrived at the headquarters of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, in which they both were baptized members. But they found the city in turmoil at this time because the persecutions had become unbearable for the Saints.

Preparations for evacuating the city were in full sway. The people in the church soon found that Susannah and Matilda were eager to work and were strong, dependable girls. A family by the name of Barnard met them and invited them to join with their family to work their way across the wilderness. Now the sisters were happy, they were needed. Susanna was to be the cook and Matilda was to tend children and do housework. While living in Nauvoo [the Wallace girls] became acquainted with the Prophet Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum, and were saddened at their murder. They met and grew to love the new Prophet Brigham Young.

The Barnard family [who purchased part of the Roundy's property in Nauvoo] also needed a teamster. A young man by the name of Lorenzo Wesley Roundy offered his services and was accepted by Mr. Barnard. Lorenzo was a young widower with two small children; his wife had died at the time of the second child's birth. His mother, Betsey Quimby Roundy, was caring for the children.

Before they moved out of Nauvoo, Susannah had the thrilling experience of going to the beautiful Nauvoo temple and on February 3, 1846 there she received her endowments. This company of saints left Nauvoo in the winter. They crossed the Missouri River in the ice and snow and sub-zero weather. The next several months were spent at Winter Quarters where more preparations were made for crossing the plains. Everyone helped with the work. A gristmill was built and a good supply of flour was ground. Susannah and Matilda helped with the knitting and weaving. There was happiness and a great deal of sadness too, as many deaths occurred that winter.

Later in that spring of 1847, after Brigham Young and the first company of 148 people left, the Barnards and their helpers, Susannah, Matilda and Lorenzo, along with about a hundred others, began the long trek across the plains. It was a tiring journey as they traveled slowly (Susannah and Matilda walked) and there were many problems and hardships. Somewhere along the way, Matilda became suddenly ill. Everyone tried to help, but late in the day Matilda passed away.

By now Susannah had become close to Lorenzo, and he proved to be a great strength to her. This was the second company to arrive in the Salt Lake Valley, doing so in August 1847. Lorenzo's father, Shadrack, met them out on the trail; he had been sent to help other groups arrive in the valley.

Lorenzo and Susannah were married later the same year, in May 1847. They made their home in Salt Lake Valley for about a year, then moved 15 miles north to Centerville. Susannah and Lorenzo were very close friends to Brigham Young, having known and loved him in Nauvoo. It wasn't long until Brigham began to call Lorenzo to serve in various capacities for the Church. At this time it was suggested that Lorenzo take a second wife. It was not easy for Susannah to share him with someone else, but she finally gave her consent. So in 1857 Lorenzo married Priscilla Parrish.

In the early 1860's Brigham Young called Lorenzo, along with others, to travel to Southern Utah and settle the area. Lorenzo picked up his two wives and families and moved to the settlement of Upper Kanab. It was a difficult assignment because of the savage Indians, who were always plundering, fighting, and stealing. They suffered great losses and many hardships. They were then told to move to the town of Kanarra in Iron County.

Life there was somewhat calmer. Before long Lorenzo built a fine, two-story brick home for Susannah and another one across the street for Priscilla, his second wife. Susannah's home came to be the meeting place for many, young and old alike, and also served as headquarters for the church authorities as they visited Southern Utah.

Lorenzo was ordained and set apart as Bishop by Apostle Erastus Snow, shortly after they arrived at Kanarra, being the first bishop there, and held that position until his death in 1876. In the upstairs of the new home, Susannah and Lorenzo furnished one room in an especially nice way. They put in a beautiful bedroom set, which Lorenzo freighted down from Salt Lake; Susannah wove carpeting for the floor, put up fresh looking white curtains and her best quilts on the bed. It was beautiful, and Susannah kept it spotlessly dean. This room became known as ‘Brigham's Room', for they had decorated it especially for their dear friend Brigham Young to use as he made his trips to St. George to visit his winter home.

Once when President Brigham Young was visiting with them he complimented Susannah on her fresh, clean, calico dress and the large full-length white apron she always wore. He said calico was as fine as silk, so long as it was clean and neatly ironed. He also said he would love to see the women of the church in dresses of silks and satins, if they made them themselves.

Susannah was intrigued with what the prophet had said about silk dresses so she began planning. In the early years many mulberry trees were planted in Kanarra, in fact one grew on the Roundy's lot. Susannah knew that silk worms lived on mulberry leaves. Could she grow them and make herself a silk dress, she wondered? Soon she sent a mail order to Salt Lake for some of the tiny eggs. Hurriedly she opened it, and found the tiny eggs were already hatching. It was in the springtime and the mulberry trees were just getting their shiny new leaves. Susannah fixed a special table and covered it with the tender new leaves. Carefully she placed the tiny worms on the leaves, It was absolutely amazing to see how much the tiny worms ate. Each day the amount of leaves had to be increased. Finally she brought in branches. In about the third week the worms began to attach themselves to the branches and to start spinning a thread from their own little bodies. About 6 to 10 weeks later their bodies had completely disappeared inside as a beautiful little ball of silk thread was formed around them. These had to be heated immediately to kill the moth inside the ball, before it broke out and destroyed the thread.

Next came the careful unreeling of the silk thread, winding it into skins to be dyed, then spun and wound onto spools for weaving the silk material. The tiny worms were touchy. When with them one had to be very quiet--any noise or disturbance or chilling would cause an imperfection or tangle in the thread. It took great patience to produce enough silk for a dress; raising the silkworms, setting up and threading the loom, and many hours of weaving, before the dress could be cut from the silk fabric and sewn. Susannah deserved to be proud of her beautiful hand-woven, pure silk dress; she truly had earned the compliments President Brigham Young gave her upon his next visit.

Lorenzo was often called to investigate new locations for settlements and he would report on climate, water, fertility of soil and ether things. On these occasions Susannah was alone with the children. In spite of her loneliness, she remained a good wife, mother, neighbor and friend to all.

Then President Brigham Young called Lorenzo, with a small company of men, to check a region in Arizona. This required crossing the Colorado River by boat. It was springtime and at this time the river often became turbulent and treacherous. The boat they were in capsized in the middle of the stream. All were thrown overboard and all were saved except Lorenzo. It was said by the others they were certain a cramp, caused by the cold water, must have struck Lorenzo, for they all knew him to be an excellent swimmer. It was May 24, 1876 at the age of 57 that Lorenzo was drowned.

Susannah could not accept the shock of Lorenzo's death. Very soon she sold her home in Kanarra and moved to Widtsoe, Utah, to be near one of her sons, later moving to Escalante, Utah. At the age of 72, on 4 July 1892, she passed away. She was buried in Escalante, Utah.

Sources

  • Family Data Collection - Births. Name: Susannah Wallace; Father: Francis Wallace; Mother: Sarah Alexander; Birth Date: 12 Dec 1820; City: Perth; County: Lanark; State: On; Country: Canada. Source Information: Edmund West, comp.. Family Data Collection - Births [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2001.
  • 1850 United States Federal Census. Name: Susannah Roundy; Age: 30; Birth Year: abt 1820; Birthplace: Canada; Home in 1850: Davis, Utah Territory; Gender: Female; Family Number: 151; Household Members: Lorenzo W Roundy 31; Susannah Roundy 30; Miron S Roundy 7; Wesley Roundy 3; Melinda Roundy 1; Warren Roundy 0. Source Citation: Year: 1850; Census Place: , Davis, Utah Territory; Roll: M432_919; Page: 12B; Image: 29. Source Information: Ancestry.com. 1850 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2009. Images reproduced by FamilySearch. Original data: Seventh Census of the United States, 1850; (National Archives Microfilm Publication M432, 1009 rolls); Records of the Bureau of the Census, Record Group 29; National Archives, Washington, D.C.
  • 1860 United States Federal Census. Name: Susanah Roundy Age in 1860: 40; Birth Year: abt 1820; Birthplace: Canada; Home in 1860: Centerville, Davis, Utah Territory; Gender: Female; Post Office: Centerville; Household Members: Lorenzo W Roundy 41; Susanah Roundy 40; Percilla Roundy 26; Myron Roundy 16; Wallace W Roundy 12; Malinda Roundy 9; Napoleon B Roundy 7; Matilda Roundy 3; Almeda Roundy 6; Mary Roundy 4; Betsy Roundy 1; Fanny Roundy 1; Jno Rigby 28.Source Citation: Year: 1860; Census Place: Centerville, Davis, Utah Territory; Roll: M653_1313; Page: 367; Image: 378; Family History Library Film: 805313. Source Information: Ancestry.com. 1860 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2009. Images reproduced by FamilySearch.
  • 1880 United States Federal Census. Name: Susannah Roundy; Age: 59; Birth Year: abt 1821; Birthplace: Canada; Home in 1880: Kanara, Kane, Utah; Race: White; Gender: Female; Relation to Head of House: Self (Head); Marital Status: Widowed; Father's Birthplace: Scotland; Mother's Birthplace: Scotland; Occupation: Keeping House; Household Members: Susannah Roundy 59; Lorenzo W. Roundy 19. Source Citation: Year: 1880; Census Place: Kanara, Kane, Utah; Roll: 1336; Family History Film: 1255336; Page: 424C; Enumeration District: 027; Source Information: Ancestry.com and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 1880 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2010.
  • Sons of Utah Pioneers Memorial Gallery Index Cards. Name: Susannah Wallace ; Spouse: Lorenzo Wesley Roundy; Birth Date: 12 Dec 1820; Birth Place: Perth, Lanark, Upper Ont, Can.; Death Date: 4 Jul 1892; Death Place: Escalante, Garfield, Utah; Pioneer: before 1869; Chapter: B.Y.U.; Donor: Russell R. Margaret C. Rich. Source Information: Ancestry.com. Sons of Utah Pioneers Memorial Gallery Index Cards [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2001. Original data: Card index created by the Sons of Utah Pioneers, Salt Lake City, Utah.
  • Family Data Collection - Individual Records. Name: Susannah Wallace; Spouse: Lorenzo Wesley Roundy; Parents: Francis Wallace, Sarah Alexander; Birth Place: Lanark, Perth, On; Birth Date: 12 Dec 1820; Marriage Place: Spafford, Onondago, NY; Marriage Date: 16 May 1847; Death Place: Escalante, Garfield; Death Date: 4 Jul 1892. Source Citation: Birth year: 1820; Birth city: Perth; Birth state: On. Source Information: Edmund West, comp.. Family Data Collection - Individual Records [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2000.
  • Family Data Collection - Deaths. Name: Susannah Wallace; Death Date: 4 Jul 1892; City: Escalante; County: Garfield. Source Information: Edmund West, comp.. Family Data Collection - Deaths [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2001.
  • Find A Grave Memorial# 29216995
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Susannah Roundy's Timeline

1820
December 12, 1820
Perth, Lanark, Ontario, Canada
1847
May 16, 1847
Age 26
June 17, 1847
- September 25, 1847
Age 26

Abraham O. Smoot - Samuel Russell Company (1847) departed the outfitting post on the Elkhorn River about 27 miles west of Winter Quarters, Nebraska, on 17 June 1847 and arrived in Utah on September 1847. Ninety-five individuals were in the company when it began its journey, including Betsey (then 53), her children Lauren Hotchkiss Roundy (then 32), Lorenzo Wesley Roundy (28), Jared Curtis Roundy (20), Nancy Jane Roundy (13); and their families.

1848
1848
Age 27
1849
1849
Age 28
1851
February 5, 1851
Age 30
Centerville, Davis, Utah, USA
1852
October 14, 1852
Age 31
Centerville, Davis, Utah, United States
1854
1854
Age 33
1857
1857
Age 36
1861
1861
Age 40