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Rachel Hancey (Seamons)

Birthdate: (77)
Birthplace: All Saints, So. Elmham, Suffolk, England
Death: Died in Hyde Park, Cache County, Utah, United States
Place of Burial: Hyde Park, Cache County, Utah, United States
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Henry Seamons and Mary Seamons
Wife of James Hancey and James Hancey
Mother of James Sands Hancey; Horace Hancey and Arthur Claudius Hancey
Sister of Mary Thurston; Henry Seamons, Jr; Lucy Hancer; Jemima Daines; Lydia Crowther and 2 others

Managed by: Michele Wilson
Last Updated:

About Rachel Hancey

Daughter of Henry Seamons and Mary King

Married James Hancey, 11 Oct 1855, South Elmham, Suffolk, England

History: I, Rachael Seamons Hancey, was born 31 May 1834 in the village of All Saints, Suffolk Co., England. My parents, Henry and Mary King Seamons, were honest and respectable people. I am the 2nd child of 8, 2 boys and 6 girls. My mother kept a small store and fatheer worked for land owners. Very few of the poor or working class were able to give their children schooling, but the Church of England provided a Sunday School. A man and his wife were our teachers. We had great times going to the teacher's home in the afternoon and on our way admire the sweet violets, primroses, and buttercups peeping their heads out of the snow.

About 1840 my father met with an accident that affected him for years after. Between the years of 1838 to 1846, times in England grew harder and wages lower. We were finally compelled to sell our cow, which was a pet of the family. Most of the farmers, journeymen, and laboring classes didn't own their homes, but rented from the Lords and land owners. Sometimes one generation succeeded another on the same place.

Father rented a pretty brick house that had climbing roses and honeysuckles over the front. He also rented more land and we had a garden, father planted choice fruit trees, such as pears, apples, plumbs, gooseberries, raspberries, currents, and blackberries. We lived here 21 years.

When I was 7 years old times grew hard. Father was ill a lot and mother took in sewing or knitting and taught 2 of us girls to knit. By the time we were 8 we could shape a stocking. When I was 9, I was hired out to tend babies. One man paid me 6 pence a week. At 11 I was hired out by the year at shoe-bending.

The fall and winter were busy seasons. My eyes got bad because we had to work until 12 or 1 a.m. in the morning. My mistress used to whip me because I couldn't do it as well as she at 35. I received a pair of shoes and an old pair of scissors for 11 months of work.

In 1847 and 48 the Primitive Methodist, built a new chapel. My father joined and I used to go to church & help sing. They taught that you were saved if you believed in Jesus Christ. During these years up to 1850 the churches had quite a lot of revivals. When I was near 15 I went to live with an elderly man and his wife & granddaughter. They were good to their help because they had been servants at one time. They allowed me to attend the chapel I wished, which was the Methodist.

When I was about 18 my parents sent me word that there would be some preaching in the common. I attended it & it was 2 Mormon Elders. They talked of baptism & the divine mission of Jesus Christ, of the everlasting gospel & he bore his testimony of the mission of Joseph Smith. This in my mind corresponded with the Bible. I did not hear about them for sometime & then they held a meeting at father George Hancey's home. When I arrived late, they were passing the sacrament. This was new to me, for I had never heard of it being passed to the poor. One brother, William Smith, spoke & while he was speaking of the restored gospel & the gifts & blessings of God, his face shown with the Spirit of Truth & of God that was in him. I had to leave early & run home, so I'd be there at the time appointed.

My parents sent word that there was to be an LDS Conference at Norwich about 1 Oct 1852. I received permission to go. We had to go about 15 or 20 miles. We had to walk 5 miles to the bus. When we arrived they were singing. "Glorious Things of Thee Are Spoken, Zion's City of our God." The conference was grand & I'll never forget. The meeting house was built by a man 75 years old. It was decorated in banners of blue, gold and white. Our motto was "Brigham Young-the Lion of the Lord." The morning session was reports & testimonies. In the afternoon Elder Claudious V. Spencer & Cyrus E. Wheelock talked. When they played "The Spirit of God like a fire is burning" many of the Saints were so thankful & full of joy they stood and wept.

After conference, we traveled by bus to Berngay & walked 5 miles to All Saints, Grandpa George Hancey and Robert Daines, Brother and Sister Ellwood, walked 2 miles further. I was baptized 26 Oct 1852 by Elder Robert Winters. My girl friend found out and she and many others shamed me but my employers didn't minnd. A Wesleyan Minister came one day & asked me if I had been baptized by the Mormons. I said "Yes" and he had many questions, but told me the Elders were false prophets and workers of the devil. I asked him if Christ wasn't baptized and he set the pattern for all of us. He couldn't answer me, but said I was wrong.

The following spring I had a severe cold, suffering from consumption. I had to be doctored for a year. 3 Elders came and ate with us, then we went to Rumburg for a meeting. I bore my testimony and asked them to bless me. They promised me health and prosperity. This has been fulfilled.

11 Oct 1855 I was married to James Hancey by Rev. Jeckell of Rumberg. In the spring of 1856 we were ready to set sail for America. Father, Mother, Henry & Mary Seamons, sister, Mary and James Thurston, I & James Hancey, Lucy & John Reynolds, Samuel Seamons & 3 sisters-Jemina, Lydia, and Eliza, William Beddingfield and wife Louise Wilkinson.

The day of parting was sad. We arrived in Liverpool and waited 3 days. 17 Feb we were taken out to the ships. There were 454 Saints on board with Capt. William Sands and Daniel Tyler and 2 counselors. We were about in mid-ocean, when a fierce storm arose. We named our son, James Sands, after the Captain.

We landed in New York 28 March 1856. On 21 June 1858, my second son George Hancey was born in New Jersey. In 1859 our late Pres. John Taylor came and advised us to prepare to go to Utah. We went to Omaha. Here a branch was organized. There was a great deal of sickness. My second son George Henry died 25 Sep 1859. On 14 Jan 1860 our father, Henry Seamons, died at 51, which was a great sorrow. In the spring we started to prepare to go to Utah. 25 Feb another son, Horace William, was born.

About 25 May our company started. It was slow traveling. We met 32 hand carts & 8 wagons. We awoke about 4 one morning, the guards came with words that it looked like Indians. We corralled the cattle and took out our guns and ammunitions. They wanted gun powder from us. They left peacefully. I had to walk and carry my baby a great deal of the way. It took us nearly 4 months from Omaha, Nebraska to Salt Lake. At night in camp we would joke, sing, and tell of experiences and then kneel and thank the Lord for his kindness. We arrived in Salt Lake 4 September and went to Brother John McDonald's home. We moved on to Cache Valley arriving 29 September 1860. Here was my sister Jemina & Robert Daines.

The men made roads to the canyons and they'd go in companies for protection to get firewood and logs. Some brethren came from Logan and organized a town into 4 wards with William Hyde as Bishop and John Anthony Woolf and Simpson M. Molen as counselors. They named it Hyde Park.

Rachel Seamons Hancey lived in Hyde Park from this time until her death, which occurred 2 July 1911. She had 11 children.

Utah Death Certificate

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Rachel Hancey's Timeline

May 31, 1834
All Saints, So. Elmham, Suffolk, England
June 29, 1834
All Saints, South Elmham, Suffolk, England
March 24, 1856
Age 21
February 25, 1860
Age 25
Omaha, Douglas, NE, USA
April 14, 1876
Age 41
Hyde Park, Cache County, Utah Territory, United States
July 21, 1911
Age 77
Hyde Park, Cache County, Utah, United States
July 24, 1911
Age 77
Hyde Park, Cache County, Utah, United States