Summary of the Charles Negus Carroll Family History
The earliest known ancestor of Charles Negus Carroll is his grandfather, James O’Carroll who was born in County Armagh, Ulster, Ireland about 1768. Oral tradition suggests that he owned land in County Tyrone but that he was exiled to Newfoundland for reasons unknown and his property confiscated. It was here, probably St. Johns, that he was married to Margaret Pottle. The family record adds that James was contracted to marry Margaret by an English nobleman who was the biological father of her child, Terrence. James established a successful shipping business here where son, Patrick, father of Charles was born on April 25, 1789. James died in St. Johns in 1840.
Patrick married Nancy Negus in 1806. Nancy was born July 9, 1783. Another tradition suggests that Nancy was the daughter of Sarah Hawkins Negus who was compelled by her titled and wealthy father, Sir Henry Hawkins of London, to leave her children and return to London. It is supposed that because she was poor and alone she was persuaded to entrust her children’s care to the Lee family where Nancy was raised. She was called Anne to distinguish her from the Lee’s daughter ,Nancy, and was known by that name until her death. Charles related that there was a possibility of receiving property from Nancy’s estate but that the children never pursued it.
By the 1840s we find Patrick, Nancy and their sons, Charles, William and Patrick Jr. with their families in a place known as Carroll’s Ridge near Frederickton, New Brunswick. They cleared and established adjoining farms where, as Willard later recalled, they had a large log house with an upper loft and a porch facing the east, surrounded by a meadow with a spring house at the foot of a small hill not far from the main house.
William, Charles, Sarah, Patrick and their families joined the Mormon Church sometime prior to or during 1854 at Carroll’s Ridge. By May 8th, 1854 Charles was called as President of the South Hampton Branch, New Brunswick and led 46 saints, including brother, William, and sister, Sarah, to a new home in the territory of Deseret (Utah). They began the trek on May 11th when they boarded a steamer in frederickton bound for St. Johns, Newfoundland. From there they travelled to Boston, Massachusetts, where they boarded a train to Buffalo, New York. In Buffalo they boarded another steamer, crossing Lake Erie to arrive in Detroit, Michigan where they again boarded a train to Chicago, Illinois. From Chicago they travelled to Lowell where they boarded another steamer on the Illinois River bound for St. Louis, Missouri. From St. Louis they navigated the Missouri River to Kansas City then Fort Leavenworth, Kansas where the Church had established the “Camp of Israel”, the final debarkation point for the saints prior to outfitting wagon trains to complete the journey. It was here that tragedy struck and many of the saints lost their lives to a cholera epidemic in the camp, including Charles’ wife, Lucy and children, Fredrick and Emma. Charles’ son George succumbed on the trail a week later and was buried alongside the Sweet Water River. Charles and oldest son, Willard, although very ill, completed the journey and arrived in Salt Lake City on September 29, 1854 settling in Farmington that first winter.
The next year Charles and James Adams, his sister Sarah’s husband, purchased a large home from Jerome Benson in south Provo for the exchange of his team and wagon. The next two years he worked at Brigham Young’s saw mills in Big Cottonwood Canyon. It was during this time that Charles married Katherine Goddard, who had a grown daughter. However, she soon left with Johnston’s Army which had promised safe return to the States for any of the immigrants who had become disillusioned by the prospect of the hard-scrabble life in this remote and wild place. Afterward he married Kezia Giles, 24 years his junior, and found work that would keep him home, fishing in nearby Utah Lake.
In 1859 he moved his new family, including 3 week old Charles, to Heber Valley, an area he had earlier spotted after climbing to the summit of the range above the saw mills at Big Cottonwood Canyon. He viewed a lush and arable landscape, a choice place to build a home and raise a family. Charles was among the advance party of eleven men who travelled with teams and wagons filled with food supplies, farming and building implementations over the newly built road through Provo Canyon to the Heber Valley to begin construction of the new settlement. The journey which began in early spring would prove treacherous and daunting as the team had to tear down wagons and hand-carry them over snow pack that covered portions of the road. They settled near a spring located a mile north of present day Heber and called the place London as many of the men had originated in England. The initial town site was laid out and a fort was erected on the northwest corner as a protection from Indians. The fort consisted of small huts built close together in a rectangular formation facing one another providing a defense within the common area much like that of a wagon train circle. When the crops were planted and dwellings completed the men returned to Provo for their families and livestock.
As early as 1860 the community had a school and even a theater troupe that entertained the citizens through the cold, bleak winter months when they were cut off from the rest of the world. Charles was one of the leads. In the 70s Charles and Patrick were also members of the Social Hall Theater Committee which produced numerous plays. Charles and Willard also played lead roles in these productions. Charles served a city government position as an Assessor and Church position of High Priest Quorum councilor while residing in Heber. Kezia was a school teacher as well as a home maker. They built a home which had three rooms, a hall and summer kitchen in which he and Kezia lived for 20 years. Ten of their 12 children were born here.
In May of 1868 he moved his family to Orderville, a town in southeastern Utah. Orderville’s citizens followed the United Order, a communal life style where each individual worked for the benefit of the collective, a Church experiment in spiritual exaltation. These egalitarian communities were designed to achieve income equality, eliminate poverty and increase group self-sufficiency which was extremely important to the more solitary outlying settlements of the Utah Territory.
Charles and his family settled and farmed a section of land in this community which became known simply as “The Section”. I remember my grandparents, Edward Giles and Reta Chamberlain Carroll recount found memories of their upbringing at the turn of the nineteenth century in this close-knit community which seemed to retain some of the influence of the earlier practices. Amy Carroll Stark’s book, The Section, is a wonderful and personal depiction of the life of Charles, Kezia, their children and the pioneer heritage of the Carroll family.