ELIZABETH ANN BARTON
2nd Wife of John Bloomfield
by LaVon Gurr Hansen*
Barton was born June 3, 1839 in St. Helens, Lancashire,
England, to Josiah and Margaret Woods Barton. Josiah was
born July 17, 1809 in Winstanley, Lancashire, England.
Margaret was born January 1, 1819 in St. Helens, Lancashire,
England. Elizabeth Ann was the first of five children. She
had two sisters Eliza: born, July 25, 1844 and Margaret,
born February 22, 1847. And two brothers, William, born
September 9, 1849 and James, born June 3, 1853.
Ann's mother died when she was just in her early teen's.
The day her mother was buried her father gave her her
mother's ring. It was to big for her finger so she wore it
on a string around her neck until it fit her finger. She
loved it better than anything in the world, and she took
very good care of it.
mother's death Elizabeth Ann and Eliza had to take care of
the younger children, and do the cooking and house work for
their father. But the death of his wife, and his work and
the resposiblity of the children were too much for him. He
drank a lot and had a very bad temper. The children were
never allowed to leave home, and If they quarreled or were
noisy he would whip them very hard.
and Eliza decided between them that Eliza would tend the
children and Elizabeth Ann would do the house work and
cooking. By doing this they would be done by the time their
father came home from work.
very seldom attended church. Elizabeth Ann and a girl
friend would go and listen to the Mormon missionaries talk
when ever they got a chance. Elizabeth Ann was very certain
that the doctrine they preached was the truth. She asked to
be baptized. When her father found out that she had joined
the Mormon church he was very angry. He swore at her
terribly and ordered her out of the house . As she started
to leave he grabbed her and just about broke her fingers
while jerking her mother's ring from her finger. This about
broke her heart. It was the only thing she ever had that
had been her mother's. He then whipped her so hard that
she was sick for several days. After this she was never
allowed to leave the house only when here father sent her
for food. If she was gone longer than he thought she should
be, he would punish her severely. He wouldn't even allow
Eliza to go with her.
For a year
after this the father treated the children as prisoners. He
stayed home all the time to see that they never left the
house. He seemed to take delight in punishing them. After
Elizabeth Ann's mother died their home was never like a
Elizabeth Ann and
Eliza become so frightend of their father they made up their
minds to run away the first chance they got. Finally Elizabeth
Ann got her chance. With the help of some saints there and the
missionaries, she sailed from Liverpool England on the ship
"Monarch of the Sea" on May 16,1861, for America. She traveled
with some missionaries who were returning home. Her sister
Eliza was not able to go with them at this time. She stayed to
care for the younger children and work for a lady who was kind
to them, she gave them many things they badly needed. Eliza
wrote to Elizabeth Ann several times and in a few years she was
able to come to America also.
Ann got to America she found a job working for a good family.
Then she got the chance to go to Utah with a company of
saints. It was a hard long journey for her. She was a small
person and wasn't very strong. She walked every step of the way
across the plains. When she arrived in Utah her shoes were
completely worn out and her feet were calloused and bleeding.
She took some cedar chips and laced them with cow hide strings
and wore them for shoes. Her clothes were almost worn out too.
Through all the hardships she had suffered she thanked her
Heavenly Father that she had enough faith and courage to make
After being in
Utah for a while some of the sisters told her they thought she
would be better off if she married. She liked Henry Ashcroft
better than any of the men she had met. She married him October
26, 1861, and they made their home in Hyde Park, Utah. They
were the parents of three sons; James, Emer, and Walter. When
the boys were very young Henry Ashcroft died, leaving Elizabeth
Ann to care for them alone. She seemed to have one hardship
right after another.
Bloomfield, who had been the Ashcrofts ward teacher, lost his
wife at this same time leaving him with three small daughters
and a baby son. He asked Elizabeth Ann to marry him and they
would raise the children together. They were married January
11, 1869. Elizabeth Ann often said John Bloomfield was kinder
to her and treated her a lot better than Henry Ashcroft ever
marriage Elizabeth Ann and John had seven children: Joseph W.,
born November 17, 1869; Richard H. born, March 6, 1873; and
Harriet Martha, born July 31, 1875, all in Hyde Park; Margaret
Emma, born November 28, 1882; and Helena, born December 6,
1884, in Ramah, New Mexico; Alexander Finely, born August 4,
1887, in Colonia Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico.
They lived in
Hyde Park until 1875 when when they were called to help settle
Arizona. They first went to Obed now known as the Meadows. It
was so swampy that soon everyone in the settlement was sick with
chills and fever. It got so bad they all had to leave. Then
they were called to settle in Sabolla, New Mexico. There was
hardly anyone living there so they didn't stay. They settled in
a large valley a short distance away and established a colony
there, which they called Navajo. When President Brigham Young
came to visit the colony he changed the name to Ramah, the name
by which the Hill Cumorah was called in the Book of Mormon
helped shear the sheep. She would wash, dry, cord and spin the
wool into yarn from which she would knit all the stockings for
all the family. When the girls got old enough they helped her.
Her stepson, John was working in Blue Water. He come home to
Ramah one night and had to be back for work the next day. He
needed some socks. Elizabeth Ann went out caught a sheep and
sheared it washed dried corded and spun the wool into yarn then
knit John a pair of socks to wear to work the next day.
In 1888, they
moved to Sonora, Chihuahua, Mexico. They lived there for nine
years and then moved back to Ramah, New Mexico. They thought it
would be best for the children to be raised in the USA, where
they would meet suitable husbands and wives. After living in
Ramah a short while they moved to Kirtland, New Mexico. In 1894
some of their family needed help and they moved once more back
to Ramah. This was their last move. Here Elizabeth Ann died
September 15, 1913. John lived only two and a half years
longer, and died January 7,1916.
*NOTE: Material taken from an account by
George Bloomfield, a son.