Margaret Ann Anderson
November 27, 1823 - May 9, 1893
 
 



According to the book JAMES MILLER FAMILY HISTORY (1967), compiled and edited by Nell Creer Frame: "Margaret Ann Anderson Miller, wife of James Miller, was born in Glasgow, Scotland, 28 Nov 1823. Her parents were William Anderson born in Catrine, Ayrshire, Scotland and Elizabeth Gourley born in Plymouth, Devonshire, England.

"She received a good education in Glasgow and also worked in the woolen mills there. She was an excellent weaver. She attended church in the old Barony Parish near the waterfront -- It is still standing, used now for a neighborhood house to care for the children of working mothers. My mother had told me of the certain pew the Anderson family had there and how Grandmother Margaret Anderson loved to go each Sunday. It was quaint and beautiful inside and out, but too small for the big and bustling Glasgow of today.

"At twenty-four Margaret Anderson met the Mormon missionaries, received their message and was baptized a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Levrickshire, Scotland, by Andrew Cahoon, 14 April 1847. In 1848 she came with other saints from Scotland to America --landing in New Orleans and then by river to St. Louis. When she arrived in St. Louis, she was asked to stay there to teach the American girls how to work the weaving looms in the knitting factory (with her previous experience in Scotland, she could run four looms at a time). She stayed in St. Louis for four years and was all the time employed in the weaving factory. While there, her family arrived in St. Louis. Margaret joined her father and they crossed the plains in the Hunting(ton) Johnson Company, arriving in Salt Lake in 1852.

"Six weeks after arriving in Salt Lake City, Margaret had met and married James Miller on 24 Nov. 1852. They stayed in Salt Lake City for nearly five years. Their first child was born there on 15 Sept. 1853. The baby was Mary Elizabeth Miller -- at this time Great Grandmother Elizabeth Gourley and the rest of Margaret Ann Anderson's brothers and sisters came to Utah.

"On 25 Jan. 1856 another girl was born to James and Margaret. They named her Margaret Ann after her mother. When she was eight months old, they moved to Spanish Fork. Here they built an adobe home and reared their family of six; 3 girls and 3 boys: Mary Elizabeth (b. 15 Sep 1853), Margaret Ann (b. 25 Jan 1856), William Charles (b. 11 Sep 1859), James David (b. 28 Apr 1861), Agness Ellen (b. 10 May 1863), and John Archibald (b. 1 Jan 1866).

"In Spanish Fork, Grandmother Miller was active in the church. She loved to go to meetings and take part in doing good wherever and whenever she could. She became a counselor in Relief Society. When they wanted to build a Relief Society house, she was put in as chairman of the building committee. The membership all worked hard and sacrificed much and soon the building was finished. She made a fine chairman as she was accustomed to organizing women in work groups.

"My mother Agness Ellen Creer told me much about Grandmother Margaret Ann Miller. I wished I could have known both her and Grandfather James Miller. Mother spoke of her as being a very patient, soft-spoken and cultured woman, very well-trained in the art of being a good mother and wife. She taught her children many Scotch Songs and readings -- my Mother could remember many. My brother Will gave us some, at our first Miller reunion, Mother had taught them to him. Grandmother was a fine seamstress and did beautiful hand work -- I still have some of her woven wool flowers, my mother gave to me.

"Jane Boyack her eldest granddaughter wrote: 'I remember as a child how I liked to go to Grandma's. She always had a smile and a friendly greeting for us. She would often tell us of her leaving her home and family, coming in the ship to America, and how it took six weeks to cross the ocean in the sailing ship; how the Lord had blessed her; how she loved the Gospel and wanted to do all she could in living for others. She would say to me, "We must love one another, if we do this the Lord will love us for he is the giver of all". How I used to love to go with her as she went around her Relief Society beat. She would sometimes let me take the things she had gathered to the President. I thought it was nice to do something for Grandma in Relief Society. She would take me to meeting with her sometimes. I always like to hear her and other good sisters bear their Testimony. Grandmother used the paper called the 'Exponent.' It was the paper they used in those days as we use the Magazine in our Relief Society now. She would read to me from the paper and tell me how the Prophet Joseph Smith organized the Relief Society in Nauvoo on March 17th, 1842 so that the women of the church could help the poor and needy. How the women in Nauvoo gave their jewelry and other good things to help the Prophet and keep the church going. She would say, "Sacrifice brings the blessings of Heaven."

"Her home was always clean and everyone was welcome to come. They always had pretty flowers in the garden and climbing roses around the porch. In memory I can see the good things my Grandmother taught me. I love Relief Society work and I reverence the teachings of my Grandmother. This poem well befits her:

MORE THAN QUEEN
"More than queen and more than goddess
Oft she ruled and loved and taught
While the honor that they gave her,
Men have often vainly sought.

Hers was always wondrous beauty,
Viewed through eyes that saw with love,
Hers was wisdom of the ages,
Equaled just by God above.

More than queen and more than goddess,
Though her life was filled with care,
Yet the little brood about her
Saw an angel standing there."

Husband James Miller

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This page last updated on December 23, 2009 .