Monday, July 27, 2015

The Story of James Glade, Part 1: The Glades of Yarcombe

Beverly Glade Wessman researched and wrote "The Story of James Glade" for a 1991 video presentation of the life of James Glade. 

Here is the text of her history.


Our story begins in England, south and far west of London in Dorsetshire and Devonshire. Ten generations before James Glade was born we trace our roots to about 1504 in Wambrook, a small village in county Dorset. Roger Glade, a yeoman (or farmer) paid tithing to the King’s army.

The 12th century church is still standing at Wambrook where six generations of Glades were christened and married. Here are the names of those who were married in this church.


(1) About 1535 Roger married Christian.

(2) Their son John married Johan in 1563.

(3) Their son John married Joan Starr on 5 November 1593.

(4) Their son John married Mary Collier on 19 January 1631.

(5) Their son John married Bathshua about 1663.

(6) Their son George married Mary Pinny about 1684.

Each of the next four generations married in other churches.

(7) The 7th generation son John married about 1711 to Mrs. John Glade at St. Nicholas.

(8) Their son William married Betty Grigg in Whitestaunton on 10 February 1767.

(9) Their son George married Grace Willie on 14 April 1795 in Churchstanton.

(10) Their son John, the 10th generation, married Grace Knight on 11 April 1822 in Yarcombe, Devonshire.

The church in Yarcombe. From Keltek Trust,
used as is with a non-commercial Creative Commons license.

In the 318 years from 1504 to 1822, ten generations of Glades lived and married near Wambrook and Yarcombe within a 10-mile circle. The 5th and last child of John and Grace was our James Glade. He was born 17 April 1831 and christened 5 June 1831 in the Church at Yarcombe. Yarcombe looked much the same in 1989 as it did when James was born. It is a beautiful green cropland, a farming and dairy country. The road is paved now but the cows still use it to get to their barns. A silver ribbon of a river, the Yarty, winds down through the green hills. Low rock walls or hedges separate the farms.

We do not know where the John Glade family lived. The gray schoolhouse of James’ day has been converted to a hotel. This is where James probably went to school because he could read and write. Across the road from the school is the Inn still serving food and ale. Next to the Inn is the same church James went to. It is in a prominent spot at the bend of the road.…In the cemetery Clarice [Glade Sloan] and her husband [Monte L. Bean] found the grave marker for John and Grace and their son John Glade. The marker reads: “In Memory of John Glade Son of John and Grace Glade. He died 16 Aug 1840 aged 15 years. Also of Grace Glade, who died Oct 30, 1840 aged 42 years. Also of John Glade, who died Dec 16, 1867 aged 70 years.” In 1840 James was nine years old when his older brother John died. Two and a half months later his mother died and was buried there.

As a teenager James left Yarcombe and his remaining family, his father John, two brothers William and Robert and his sister Betsey. It is my opinion that he had greater aspirations and ambitions than farming—so he traveled north, crossing the Bristol Channel, to Wales. He passed through more farming country and arrived at the busy port city of Cardiff. Then and now, Cardiff is a charming interesting city. An old castle is in the center of town. The shopping malls of our day are interspersed in the areas that James knew. Between the docks and town center there is a market area known as “The Hayes” where James lived and worked. He apprenticed and learned the baker-confectioner trade.

James met Mormon missionaries here and was baptized by Elder John Watts in February 1854. He was confirmed by Elder John Evans. He also met a pretty, dark-haired young girl named Mary Dyer, who was a member of the LDS church. She worked as a spinster (one who spins yarn). They were married on Christmas day in 1855. He was 24 and she was 19. What a handsome couple. He had dark piercing eyes and wavy dark hair. She was beautiful and small in stature. One can easily picture them walking and talking along the river Taff near the Hayes area.

Their first child, a boy named William Franklin, was born March 16, 1857 on Christina Street. He died in April one year later of pneumonia.

They moved frequently. All the addresses we have are replaced now with new buildings. Even the Bethany Chapel where they were married. James was very musical and sang in the fine Welsh choir, which he also conducted later. Mary Jane, their second child was born December 29, 1859. She was blessed in the branch in Cardiff January 22, 1860. This branch had 250 members. At this time members of the church were urged to gather together and build Zion in the Utah Territory. James and Mary heeded the council, saved their money and booked a passage on a ship. While packing their clothes, Mary also packed her mother’s sampler made in 1796. James brought his flute and silver watch.

On the 10th of May 1861, with 28 other Welsh church members, James, Mary, and 16 month old Mary Jane boarded a train for the 100 mile trip from Cardiff to Liverpool.

Liverpool was bigger and busier then Cardiff. They left Liverpool on May 16, 1861. They were well organized and bound together by a common faith. They sang, prayed, and had regular meetings together.

Their ship, the “Monarch of the Sea” was a clean, nearly new, three masted, three deck, fast, strong clipper ship. The Monarch was the largest sailing ship used by the saints up to this time. All 955 passengers were Mormon converts: 580 were Scandinavian, 193 from England, 31 from Wales, 53 Scots, and 88 Swiss.

The cooking, eating, and sleeping was all done below on three decks. There were 11 weddings, 9 deaths, and 4 births on ship in their 34 days at sea. According to one diary, they narrowly missed two icebergs off the coast of Nova Scotia. They dropped anchor on 19 June 1861 at the Castle Emigrant Depot in New York City Harbor.

After registering and paper work in the old Castle, several set apart missionaries transferred the sea weary travelers onto harbor barges for transport to the Jersey City railroad depot. The states were busy fighting a civil war at this time. Train travel was difficult, often in cattle cars. It took four train changes to get to Chicago.

They traveled northwest to Dunkirk, New York, west along Lake Erie to Chicago, southwest to the Mississippi River at Quincy, Illinois, (which was 55 miles south of nearly deserted Nauvoo.) Then they went by steamboat to Hannibal, Missouri. They took another train across the state of Missouri to St. Joseph.

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