This story begins in 1842 and culminates in 2017, 175 years later, when I participated in the blessing of my great-granddaughter, Daisy.
My great-great-grandmother, Mary Ann Vance, was born Dec. 14, 1815, in Jackson, Tennessee. In 1837 she married Alexander Barton McNichol. Born to this couple were four daughters: Ann, Siddie, Margaret and Rhoda. Mary Ann divorced Alexander in 1843 and took her four young daughters to live with her father, Lewis Reno Vance. Mary Ann was baptized in 1843.
Lewis Vance sold his property and, gathering his family together, began the long journey from Tennessee to Salt Lake City in 1851. At that time he was accompanied by Mary Ann and her four little daughters; his daughter, Margaret, and her husband, T.J. McCullough; and his son, John Wesley Vance.
The Vance family joined the wagon train led by Captain John Tidwell. Distressingly, at Loupe Fork, Nebraska, Lewis Vance and his daughter Mary Ann, died of cholera in 1852.
Mary Ann’s four little daughters, then 10, 8, 6 and 4, proceeded west to the Great Salt Lake Valley in the care of their Aunt and Uncle McCullough. Ultimately, the family settled in Mountainville, now Alpine, Utah.
After the usual pioneer struggles, Mary Ann’s four daughters ultimately married, and they have numerous descendants. My great-grandmother Rhoda Young McNichol, married Ephraim Nash in 1863. While economically and socially successful, this couple suffered great tragedy — losing four daughters to diphtheria in just six weeks. A last daughter was born in 1879; Violet Deseret Nash Johnson is my grandmother.
Now here is the heart of the story: Rhoda Young McNichol Nash was born in 1842. She died in 1930. I personally knew her. She held me in her arms when I was a young child. My grandmother, born in 1879, held me. My mother, Celestia Johnson Taylor, born in 1903, held me in her arms. I held my son, Thomas Henry Taylor, born 1959, in my arms. I held his daughter, Allison Celestia, born 1993.
I held her daughter, Daisy Marie Litchfield, born July 12, 2017, in my arms. Thus, I am the living link between seven generations, stretching from 1842 to 2017, a period of 175 years. The 175 years representing seven generations is about 9 percent of the traditional 2,000 years back to the birth of Jesus. — John Arthur Taylor, Oak Hills 9th Ward, Provo Utah Oak Hills Stake