s/o William GILLIONS & Elizabeth SEXTAN
The Gillions family (William and his four children, John, Elizabeth, Sarah, and Mary) arrived in New Orleans on 2 May 1854 via the ship John M. Wood. William died in St. Louis prior to departure (noted in the PEF). Only John and Elizabeth survived to reach the Valley.
Though John and Elizabeth are not explicitly documented with the Empey company. Mary and Sarah are and it is very likely the four siblings were traveling together.
They set sail on Sunday, March 12, 1854, on the ship John M. Woods. The weather was very rough in the Channel for six days before they cleared.
The ship was divided into eight wards with a president over each. They had a good time on board ship. On April 6, it being the 24th anniversary of the organization of the Church, they held a Conference on board and the President of each ward reported on the condition of his ward. On the 22nd of April they had a tea party or dinner. About eighty sat down to a good meal.
In seating the Saints for this meal it was necessary to seat them two Wards at a table. Afterwards singing and a theatrical performance was enjoyed. They held two meetings on each Sabbath, one in the morning on deck and one in the afternoon in their respective wards.
Altogether they had a prosperous voyage. They arrived in New Orleans on May 2, 1854. They shifted their luggage on to the steamboat Josiah Lawrence. The trip up the Mississippi to St. Louis took twelve days and upon arrival the Ship’s Company was detained in quarantine five days.
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