Ancestors discussed in this article are:

Jemima Easy (3rd-great-grandmother, 1797).

William Goates (1st cousin 4 times removed, 1817).

Daniel Jacklin (1st cousin 4 times removed, 1838).

George Jacklin (great-grandfather, 1842).

John Jacklin (2nd-great-grandfather, 1819).

William Jacklin (3rd-great-grandfather, 1797).

George Jacklin (great-grandfather, 1842). Top of Page

  George Jacklin.

Deaths in The Family.

      George was the first child of John Jacklin and Sarah Goates. Hannah, George Jacklin's sister, became seriously ill when she was just two. She died in 1846 on December 20th, just five days before Christmas. George was only four. A couple of months later his mother, Sarah Goates, was baptized into the Mormon Church in February 1847. Less than a year after Sarah's baptism, Sarah died in January 1848. George was just six. About this same time Simeon and Emma Noble Chapman, neighbors of the Jacklins, experienced the death of Emma's husband Simeon, leaving Emma a widow with a small son. In July of 1848, Emma and John Jacklin married in Whaddon.

Herding "Black Birds."

      According to biographical sketches, when George was six, he hired himself out to herd crows. They collected together in flocks and did damage to the young crops on the farms. George was armed with a pair of clappers, which consisted of two small boards tied as a leather thong. This thong fit over the wrist with the boards in the palms of the hands. By shaking the boards just right, the boards made a clapping sound which would frighten the birds. It was young George's work to keep the crows from destroying the crops in the daytime, and to drive them to their roost, a clump of trees called a "rookery" at night. When the two little boards were knocked together in different ways, they produced different sounds and would act according to the signals given by the herder. George learned the skill of herding the crows from his father, John Jacklin. From the biographical sketches, it isn't clear whether George was scaring away rooks, crows, or both.

      The crow's flesh was highly prized meat. "Rook pie was also eaten, a dish that was said to be tasty and a way of preventing hair from turning gray (Page 52)." The wealthy landowners hunted and shot crows, just as the nursery rhyme goes, "Sing a song of six pence, a pocket full of rye, four and 20 black birds baked in a pie."

      Page refers to rooks as familiar birds in England. They are in the area during all seasons. In the spring they caw and clamor in the rookery during daylight. They defend their nests, incubate eggs, and feed their young birds. Their rookeries are in the trees, especially Elms. The hedgerows are important for their habitat (Page 50). An old English proverb was, "Four seeds you have to sow. One for the rook and one for the crow, one to die and one to grow (Page 52)."

Agricultural Laborer.

      George was an agricultural laborer before emigrating to Utah alone in 1862 at the age of 20. His father, John, may have sent him ahead of the rest of the family because he couldn't afford to send more family members.

John Jacklin (2nd-great-grandfather, 1819). Top of Page

      John Jacklin, the father of George, was a leader in the Church in the area near the village of Whaddon where he lived. Virtually everything that we know about John is connected with the Mormon Church.

Agricultural Laborer and Coprolite Miner.

      We do know that he was an agricultural laborer except for several years near 1870 when he mined coprolite, a mineral used to make fertilizer. Most of the Jacklins were agricultural laborers.

His Cousin: Daniel Jacklin. Top of Page

      Daniel Jacklin (1838), a cousin of John (2nd-great-grandfather, 1819), appears to be the Jacklin who achieved the most financial success. He is listed as a publican, a person who owns or manages an inn or tavern, on the 1881 and 1891 censuses. There are two publicans in Whaddon (except 1881 when there are three). His fourteen-year-old daughter, Elizabeth (1867), is listed as a barmaid on the 1881 census. There were two classes of public alehouses. The village inn was for the farmer, local tradesmen, and skilled craftsmen. The beer shops catered to the laborer ( Mingay 176). The later were smoke-blackened, dirty, had spilled beer, ashes from pipes, and spilled grease from tallow candles. However, the owner lived well, frequently getting supplies from those who stopped ( Mingay 177).

Early Convert in Area.

      In 1837 Willard Richards, an Elder of the LDS Church, baptized two men and four women at Bassingbourn, just south of Whaddon. They are the first recorded persons baptized into the Church in Cambridge County. By the early 1840s the first branch in the region was started in Whaddon ( Reed 5). The exact year when this branch began is not known, however it was in existence by 1842. In that year, Lorenzo Snow, the President of the London Conference and later President of the Church, visited Whaddon and issued a certificate to John Bright, a resident of the village, certifying him as an ordained priest in the Church ( Reed 6). John Jacklin was an early convert to the LDS Church. He was baptized into the Church in June 1846. Family histories indicated that he was the first to be baptized in the district where he lived. This is not correct. He was an early convert but not the first one. As far as we can determine, he was the first Jacklin to join the Church.

William Goates Converts Ancestor of Sister Hinckley. Top of Page

      It seems quite likely that John Jacklin first heard of the LDS Church from William Goates of Wimpole. John Jacklin's first wife, Sarah Goates, is from Wimpole. John and Sarah were married at the Wimpole Parish Church July 1840. William Goates is Sarah's first cousin. William was baptized in December 1840. He was one of the first members in the area. At the time, John and Sarah were living with John�s father, William, at a cottage near Wimpole. William moved to Cambridge in 1841 and became branch president there in 1848 ( Reed Unpublished).

      Although William may not have converted John and Sarah, he did convert the 2nd-great-grandmother of Marjorie Hinckley, the wife of President Gordon B. Hinckley. Marjorie relates, "A Mr. Goates called regularly at her home with butter, eggs, and bakery products, and on occasions she would chat with him on current topics, including religion. She became so intrigued with his explanations of the Bible that she asked to what church he belonged. When he told her he belonged to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, her curiosity was aroused. He brought her literature to read. This she studied diligently, searching the scriptures to verify the truths she was seeking. At first her children disapproved of their mother's association with the baker, whom they thought of inferior class. They were humiliated when she took them to the town hall to hear the Mormon missionaries. As time passed, however, her daughters became interested and decided to join the Church with their mother ( Hinckley, 10-11).�

Branch President.

      In May 1847, Whaddon had 39 members, 2 elders, 3 priests and 1 teacher, who "were generally speaking in good standing and felt determined to go on in the way of the truth" ( Millennial Star 249). John Jacklin and his wife, Sarah Goates, were two of these members.

      John Jacklin was the Branch President in Whaddon or Bassingbourn(a neighboring village) for many years, perhaps from near the time he was baptized until he emigrated to Utah in 1875. John Jacklin was the branch president of the Bassingbourn Branch of the Church in 1857 ( Reed 30). John Jacklin was rebaptized in 1857 as part of a church wide emphasis on rebaptism and renewal. George Teasdale, who became an apostle in 1882, rebaptized John Jacklin ( Reed 29). John Jacklin was the president of the Whaddon Branch in 1869, which was the only branch in Cambridgeshire at the time (Clemons).

      When John Jacklin was Branch President, many new members of the church were baptized because of his teachings. He performed a large number of the baptisms, confirmations, and priesthood ordinations in the Bassingbourn and Whaddon branches (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Bassingbourn Branch, Whaddon Branch). He often walked many miles to attend church, preach and then walk home. These meetings were held in the homes of the church members.

Elijah Larkins' Journal.

      When John Jacklin was Branch President, there was a member of the Mormon Church in Cambridge City called Elijah Larkins. Elijah was a policeman who became a Mormon in Cambridge in the mid-1840s. He kept a detailed diary, which mentions both the Jacklin and the Wagstaff families. He visited John Jacklin many times. John and Elijah preached the Mormon religion together. The full Elijah Larkin diaries are at BYU (Special Collections, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah). The Larkin's diary is an original account written at the time it happened. Because it is such a valuable historical record that gives us better insight into the religion that John Jacklin practiced, we will quote the sections of the diary in which John Jacklin is mentioned and comment on them.

Mormons Met at The Home of John's Aunt, Ann East.

      William East, referred to in the following entry, is the Uncle of John Jacklin. He lived across the street from John in Whaddon. Jane and Hannah East, his daughters, are twin sisters and cousins of John Jacklin. Elder Gad is Samuel Gadd, the Elder who baptized John Jacklin in 1846.

      "Sunday 16 July 1854. Went to Whaddon and dined at Elder Jacklin''s. - Returned to Whaddon at 9 p.m. Went to the house of W. East, who had been in the Church. He was ill. Taught him the first principles of the everlasting Gospel, and baptised him in Whaddon at 11 p.m. His family are in the Church, most all of them, and he had always had meetings at his house and lodged the elders. Monday 17 July. Visited the saints in Whaddon and Bassingbourn. - Returned to Whaddon at 9 p.m. and at 11 p.m. re-baptised Sisters Jane and Hannah East, also Ann Oliver and Mary Bright, and with the assistance of Elders Gad and Jacklin re-confirmed them by the water's side. 12:00 a.m. - re-confirmed Brother East at his house, assisted by Elder Jacklin. Went to bed at 1:00 a.m. Also blessed Sister Jane."

      It is interesting that the Mormons met in the home of William East. This home still exists in Whaddon. It is Wisteria Cottage. Samuel Gadd emigrated in 1856 but died, along with some of his children, in the Willey Handcart Company.

Mormons Met at The Wilderness.

      �28 July [1855]. Started with my wife and oldest boy at 6:00 a.m. to visit the saints at Whaddon. Arrived there at 8 a.m. Made our home at Brother Jacklin's in the evening. My chest was much worse so that I was obliged to go to bed. 29 July. Sunday. My chest much better. Breakfasted at 8 a.m. and then visited the saints at Whaddon. Found them rejoicing in the truth. Went to Meldreth and preached in the afternoon. Very few people came out to hear. I told them to take care they did not let the harvest go by and the summer end and they find themselves outside of the Kingdom of God, for I believed the servants of God had rid their garments of their blood. I then, in company with Brothers Jacklin and Waymen, for Royston. Preached there at 6 p.m. About 100 came out to hear, and paid good attention. There was a good spirit manifested, and one man informed us the people had been talking about getting a room if they could. I pray God that a good work may be done at Royston, in the name of Jesus Christ, even so, Amen. Returned home at 8:00 p.m. and had a first rate meeting of the saints at Brother Jacklin's. The Spirit of the Lord was poured out copiously and we all felt well. I addressed the saints about an hour upon the necessity of preparing ourselves for the revelations and blessings that are made known to us from time to time. Went to bed at 11:00 p.m."

      John Jacklin's home, called "The Wilderness" today (see Whaddon for details), was also used as a meeting place for the Mormons in Whaddon. Since John Jacklin traveled to Royston, it is clear he walked many miles to preach his religion.

      George East, referred to in the following passage, is a cousin of John Jacklin and son of William East. George Teasdale, whom he preaches with, later became an apostle. There is also a Webb family referenced in Litlington. Elizabeth Webb, who became a plural wife of George Jacklin in Utah, is related to the Webbs mentioned in Litlington. It may have been her family. Thomas Webb is probably her Uncle.

John's Wife, Emma, Still Isn't Converted.

      �Sunday 19 July [1857]. Went by counsel of our beloved President G. Teasdale with him to Litlington and held meeting at Bro. Weeb's [Webb] house and spoke upon the duties and privileges of the saints and the necessity of paying tithing if we wanted the smiles and approbation of our God to rest upon us, and exhorted all the saints to pay it if they wanted to have confidence in the Lord, live their religion and be gathered to Zion. Saints that had been re-baptised and covenanted to do so were re-confirmed and blessed under the hands of President Teasdale, Elder Jacklin and myself. I was mouthpiece over Jeremiah White, Ann White, George East and Hannah Weeb [Webb]. Had a first rate time in the afternoon. President Teasdale addressed the meeting. The Spirit and power of Israel's God truly rested upon him, and the saints took tea at Bro. Thos. Weebs [Webb's]. The brethren went to Orwell to hold meeting there where they had a first rate time. On their way others were re-baptised and confirmed. ""Monday 20 July. Returned with George to Whaddon, and visited the saints. Found them going on well. Talked with Bro. Jacklin's wife [Emma Noble] and told her true position and what her future prospects were if she would be baptised and hold faithful to the end - Went to Orwell according to appointment. On our way Bro. Teasdale re-baptised 5 others and 2 joined the Church, namely Sister Clark's daughter, aged 10 years, and Sister Wilkin's daughter, aged [no age mentioned] years. They were confirmed by the water side by Bro. Teasdale, Jacklin and myself."

Meets Samuel Wagstaff.

      Hannah East, referred to in the following diary entry, is John Jacklin's cousin in Whaddon who lived across the street from him. The Wayments also lived in Whaddon. Samuel Wagstaff (2nd-great-grandfather, 1820), most likely the Wagstaff referred to in this diary entry, was from Caldecote and the Branch President there.

      �Sunday 18 July [1858]. I went in company with my oldest son, Sisters A. and P. L. Watts, to Orwell to the house of Bro. Mums [Munns]. Bros. Jeffrey, Sutherland and Wagstaff and several of the saints from Bedford and Caldecot were there. Sisters M. Larkins, Sarah and Emma Porcher came in, but not many that belonged to the branch were there as it rained. Bro. Jeffrey addressed the morning meeting and all present felt first rate. In the afternoon several of the saints came in. Bros. Jeffrey, Sutherland, Wagstaff and myself addressed the meeting and had a good time. After meeting several of the saints put their names down to pay �1 and others according to their means to clear off the old conference and book department� Tuesday 20 July. Bro. Jeffrey and Kemp, with some of the Cambridge saints, returned home by train. We then went to Sister Hannah East's [house] to breakfast, and then to Sister Wayment�s [house] and had a first rate time until 11 a.m. when Bro. Sutherland, the Caldecot and Bedford saints left for home"

      It appears as though Samuel Wagstaff traveled through Whaddon in July 1858 and most likely would have met John Jacklin at this time. Their children, Ruth Wagstaff and George Jacklin, met crossing the plains to Utah and later married in Utah.

Mormons Traveled More.

      Jane East, referred to in the following diary entry, is John Jacklin's cousin. Her mother is his Aunt.

      �7 March 1861. Having obtained my annual leave I went to Whaddon and Shingay to visit the saints and had a first rate time. Sister Jane East accompanied me to Shingay to bid the saints and her friends goodbye. 8 March. We returned to Whaddon and I packed Sister Jane�s things at her mother�s house, and visited the saints. 9 March. I saw Sister Jane off by the first train to Liverpool on her way to Great Salt Lake City, the home of the saints in Zion, and returned home to Cambridge by the 10 a.m. train, and went on duty the remainder of the day.�

      It is interesting that Jane East knew Mormons living in Shingay. It shows that not only the leaders began to know Mormons in other villages, but also the members had more contact with other villages than would be typical.

Became Literate While Branch President.

      �Saturday 18 October 1861. �wrote to Brother Jacklin of Whaddon informing him that Brother Bull had written to me informing me he should be in Cambridge with the first presidency in these lands to hold a district meeting very shortly, and requested me to hire a room and prepare a tea meeting for the Cambridge and Bassingbourn Branches as they were so situated that the saints could not attend conference, and suggested my plans and asking him for his hearty co-operation in the affair, and his ideas as to the best course to be pursued, and to let all the saints know in his branch��

      John couldn�t sign his own name when Sarah, his wife, died in 1848. He also signed with an �X� on his marriage certificate in 1840. Although John Jacklin was illiterate as a child, it appears as though his position of leadership in the LDS church strengthened not only his spiritual self but also his education. From the last entry of Elijah Larkin, we know John can read. It appears as though he needed to respond to Elijah by writing a letter too. From a letter he wrote to his son George in Utah, we also know he could write. It is also clear from Elijah�s diary that John preached sermons on many occasions.

Contact with Sons in Utah.

      It wasn�t possible for John Jacklin and his three sons living in Utah to communicate with each other often. It was probably very difficult for John and Emma to not know if their sons were alive or doing well in their new country. Perhaps they received some messages via LDS missionaries. Whatever mail they received must have been limited. Perhaps their expectations were not as high as ours are today with telephone, cell phones, and the Internet making communication inexpensive and instantaneous all over the world.

      John Jacklin did send George at least one letter. It contained the seed of a honey locust tree. The seed was planted and grew to a mature tree.

  The seed that grew into this tree was mailed by John Jacklin to his son, George (great-grandfather).

      Mail was very expensive before 1840. The mailman billed the recipient by the mile for the mail before delivering it. A second sheet of notepaper (any enclosure) was billed extra. One trick was to write a letter and then continue writing over the previous writing at a 90-degree angle. It was possible to decipher such a letter. In 1840, it became possible to send a letter anywhere in England for one penny. Letters didn�t have envelopes until the 1840s. The paper was folded and a wax stamp (colored coded) was used to seal the letter ( Pool 150-2).

His Second Wife, Emma Noble Chapman, and Their Children.

      In 1848, John Jacklin and Emma Noble Chapman married. They had six children; five lived to be adults. According to family history, Emma was the financial head of the family. She wisely saved and handled the money John earned. Emma was not baptized until July 1860, twelve years after their marriage (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Bassingbourn Branch).

      Amos Jacklin, their eldest son, was baptized into the Church in 1860 (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Bassingbourn Branch) along with his mother (Emma) and sister (Hannah) but he never emigrated to Utah. Amos is not listed in the Whaddon Branch between 1866 and 1881. He and his wife had their last child in Whaddon in 1888. Apparently, he stopped attending church services. Amos and his family are listed on the (1881 and 1891 Whaddon censuses and then they moved to Abbots Ripton in Huntingdonshire about 25 miles north of Whaddon (1901 Census).

      Enos and Moses, younger sons, emigrated in July 1873 (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Whaddon Branch).

      Hannah, his eldest daughter, married Charles Oliver in 1872. Although Hannah was baptized in 1860, we couldn�t find a record of Charles Oliver being baptized a Mormon. When they were married, a cottage near Dyer�s Green was vacant and they moved into it. She never emigrated to Utah.

William Jacklin (3rd-great-grandfather, 1797). Top of Page

Agricultural Laborer; Not a Gardener.

      We don�t know much about William Jacklin, the father of John Jacklin (2nd-great-father, 1819). A biographical sketch written by Ellen Tracy of John Jacklin states, �His father [William Jacklin] spent the greater portion of his life working for the parson of the Whaddon Parish of the Episcopal Church. He did gardening, cleaning, and assisting the parson with his church duties.�

      This statement is inconsistent with the Whaddon census data from 1841 though 1871. On the 1841, 1851, and 1861 censuses, William Jacklin is listed as an agricultural laborer. On the 1871 census he is listed as a former agricultural laborer. If he worked for the parson (rector or vicar) with the duties stated, he would be listed as a servant or gardener. William's younger brother, John Jacklin, is listed as a gardener and church clerk on the 1851 through 1881 censuses. It appears as though comments about William's brother, John, have been confused with him.

      When William was a young man, the war with Napoleon was just ending. There was a depression in England after the Napoleonic Wars. It was particularly bad in 1816 for farmers and their laborers ( Mingay 49).


      On the 1881census, William Jacklin is listed as a pauper, a person who is receiving financial support from the Church of England. Being a pauper was viewed as a disgrace, both by the person and society. This diary excerpt of Kilvert illustrates how much of a disgrace at least this one poor man considered it. "1870 18 December. I could not get out of my head a horrible story Wall was telling me this evening of a suicide committed by an old man named William Jones in the old barn, now pulled down, which stood close by Chapel Dingle cottage. The old man used to work for Dyke at Llwyn Gwillim, but becoming helpless and infirm he was put upon the parish. It is supposed that this preyed upon his mind. He was a very good faithful servant and a man of a sturdy independent character who could not bear the idea of not being able any longer to maintain himself and hated to be supported by the parish� And he went into the barn and cut his throat from ear to ear � �Heaven send that I never see such a sight again� said Wall.� �The Parish� means applying to the Board of the local Poor Law Union for help. Note that William Jacklin is listed as a pauper on the 1881 census. This means that the whole village knew it too. It tore very deeply at a man's pride at the time ( Le Quesne 220).

Long Life.

      Most rural poor just walked to get around. This undoubtedly helped William Jacklin stay healthy. He died just four days before his 87th birthday. Considering the prevalent diseases in rural England, the lack of sanitation, the lack of modern medicine, and how poor he was this is an amazingly long life. To put it in perspective, in 1839, the average age at death was 26.5 years in rural communities and just 19 years in cities ( Pool 234).

      In the fall of 1884, the bell at St Mary�s Church in Whaddon would have rung a lot when William died. They rang a passing bell at the parish church after the person died. The bell was rung six times for a women at death and nine times for a man. Then there was a �peal� for each year of their life. At a funeral, everyone wore black (except at the funeral for children or young unmarried girls where they wore white) ( Pool 252). A man wore a black armband after the death for a mourning period. A woman wore black for two years after the death. Some women would remain in their mourning clothes for the rest of their lives ( Pool 254).

Jemima Easy (3rd-great-grandmother, 1797). Top of Page

      We know very little about Jemima Easy, the mother of John Jacklin. Tracy states, �Jemima Easy � was very small of statue and was blind a great portion of her life, but she had a very kind disposition and would catch her grand-children by the sleeve, draw them into her arms and tell them stories. All who knew her loved her because of her cheery smile and kind words.�

Agricultural Laborer; Not Blind.

      On the 1851 census Jemima Easy is listed as an agricultural laborer (women were agricultural workers occasionally). It doesn�t seem likely that Jemima was blind when she was an agricultural laborer. If Jemima were blind, it should have been listed on the 1851 and later censuses. It isn�t. Perhaps she had poor eyesight or the census records are wrong. It is more likely that the biographical sketch is not correct. She died at 76 in Whaddon.

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