Autobiographical Sketch of Pricilla Parrish Roundy
by Pricilla Parrish Roundy
with foreword by Etta berry Heap
and postscript by Sarah Roundy Berry
Samuel Parrish was born in Elizabeth, Leeds, Ontario, Canada, September 10, 1789. He courted and won the hand of a pretty Irish lass by the name of Fanny Dack. She had emigrated with her parents from Ireland February 3, 1820. They became the parents of six children: Sarah, Mary, Lydia, Jane, Joel, and Priscilla. We will now let Priscilla, my grandmother, tell the story in her own words.
~Etta Berry Heap
My parents on my father's side were Quakers. I am unable to tell what my parents were on my mother's side. Their names were William Dack and Jane Coad. It was cold in Canada, and the snow lay on the ground six months out of the year. They had to dig up trees to make room for farming land. My father became very dissatisfied with the country and moved to Stark County Illinois. Although he never met a “Mormon Elder,” he purchased a Book of Mormon when he left Canada.
Illinois proved to be a good place to make a living. We had a large farm and fine orchard. Grandfather Joel Parrish and grandmother Sara de Wolfe Parish were living with us at the time. It was while here that we first heard of a Mormon elder. My father, mother, and sisters joined the church in the winter, when they had to cut the ice in order to baptize them. Precious to this, my parents did not belong to any church. We did not have to raise hay in Illinois, we went out on the prairie and cut the hay.
After father joined the church he went to Nauvoo to see the Prophet Joseph Smith. My two eldest sisters were married here. Sarah married Egbert Elsworth; Mary married James Pollock soon after this. They joined the church in the spirit of gathering and we moved to Iowa across the river from Nauvoo. We all moved except Mary, there was a Branch of the Church there. I went to school for awhile, but after a short while we moved again, down on the bottom near Nauvoo. My sister Sarah stayed on the Bluff, she had a little girl. Mary moved to Iowa, we lived near her for awhile., then she moved out on the prairie, she lived near the timber. While we were living here my sister Sarah died and mother took the child. She was two and one half years old then. Soon after we had a big prairie fire and had to burn the grass around the house in order to save it. About this time we moved to Nauvoo and lived on the bands of the river in the Northeastern part of the County. Nearly all the family had chills and fever and then measles. My sister Mary died with measles and left a baby girl two and one half years old. After this we moved up into town and it was while here that I had chills and fever. At this time I was eleven years old.
The Prophet Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum were killed at Carthage Jail. I will never forget that sad time, everything seemed covered or shadowed with gloom. I saw the Prophets when they were in their coffins. I had the privilege of hearing the Prophet of the Lord give his last sermon, and this I say for the benefit of my children. The enemies were not satisfied with killing the Prophets, they burned the homes and grain all around. My father and brother Joel were working on the Temple at the time. I was baptized in the Missouri river at the time.
My sister Lydia married Joseph Coad. They lived in the house we had, but soon separated. My sister Jane married Ephriam Lindsay in the spring of 1846.
We had to leave our beautiful city and Temple. We crossed the river about six miles to my sister Lydia's place. It was while there that Lydia died in the night. She was sleeping in the wagon and complained of her head, and soon passed away. As there was no carpenter there, father had to make the coffin and bury her there. My grandfather, grandmother and three sisters lay side by side in the Montrose, Iowa graveyard. I was only two years old when my grandmother and grandfather Dack died, so I don't know much about them.
I will post more when I get more retyped.