This is the story of my Great Great Aunty Alice Dandy. Whilst her brother James was preparing to move to Rowton in the City of Chester to begin our family business, Alice had other ideas, here's a brief biography of Alice Dandy Ollerton, from Pioneer Women of Faith and Fortitude.
"Alice was born in 1802 in England. She was born in the middle of the family having an older sister and brother, and two younger brothers and one younger sister. The family lived in Croston, Lancashire, England where all were born and christened.
Alice met John Ollerton in Eccleston, and they were married there on February 4, 1826 when she was twenty-three years of age. Their first child was born there, and they lived many years within a ten mile area of their first home. Alice gave birth to fifteen children all together, three died the same day or within a short time of their births, one died just under eight years of age. Nine grew to maturity, married and have a great posterity who honor this couple.
The Ollerton family learned about the Church of Jesus Christ of latter-day saints in 1836 or 1837. John was the first to be baptized on November 6, 1837, followed by Alice on February 8, 1838. Many of their children were baptized at various ages and at different times, the strong faith of Alice and john being a strong religious influence for their family.
On May 22, 1856, John, Alice, and their three daughters--Alice age nineteen, Jane Anne age fifteen, and Sarah five, sailed from Liverpool aboard the ship "Horizon," under the leadership of Edward martin with 856 souls aboard. They arrived in Boston, traveled to Iowa City where they secured their handcarts and provisions to cross the Plains.
They left on August 25, 1856 with 575 in the company, many of whom were older. This was the 5th handcart company that year. They pushed along the Platte River, and finally reached Ft. Laramie on October 8, after much toil and hard travelling. Their provisions were becoming scant and rations were cut to starvation proportions. By October 19, they reached the last crossing of the North Platte River, near Red Buttes, where some wagon trains helped them cross, but many had to wade the river themselves. Many were the hardships of the crossing and shortly following, a bad snow and sleet storm hit. many of these pioneers died the next month.
Alice Dandy 1856.
John Ollerton was one who did not survive the terrible cold and privations of the time. He passed away on November 12, 1856, just fifty-six years of age, at about the are of the Sweetwater River. His beloved wife, Alice, followed him eight days later, on November 20, 1856, at just fifty-four years of age. She died just ten days before this company of handcart pioneers entered the Salt Lake Valley.
This left their three daughters alone in this new country. About two days after they arrived in the Salt lake valley, Alice, the oldest girl died.
Jane Ann married in 1860 and had a large family. She died in Nephi, Utah in 1933. Sarah married Martin Gullies and had one son. She ten married George Eatough in about 1874, and had ten children. Sarah died in 1903.
This brave pioneer couple, John and Alice Dandy Ollerton, were young at the times of their deaths, but they had suffered the last months of their lives more than most people experience in a lifetime. They were true to their faith, and died in full fellowship with strong testimonies of the truthfulness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ they had embraced. Honor is given to them."
To read an actual diary extract from someone travelling with Alice and her family across the Great Plains, please click here: https://history.lds.org/overlandtravel/sources/17976408771845236478-eng/rogerson-josiah-martin-s-handcart-company-1856-no-8-salt-lake-herald-24-november-1907?firstName=Alice%20Dandy&surname=Ollerton
From pg 2213, Pioneer Women of Faith and Fortitude, Vol III M to R, International Society Daughters of Utah Pioneers, 1998, USA.