These records both record the deaths of Betsy's mother, and new born baby sister. "She lost her mother by death in child-birth near Florence, Nebraska. The infant also died and was buried with his mother." (DUP p 445) According to the Bell history, Sarah Barlow Ashton did passed away at Cutler's Park, one day past Florence Nebraska shortly after child-birth. However the baby lived for two weeks, before also passing away. John Jaques apparently does not document this passing. His own wife was also having a baby at this time. Bell inserts the writings of Patience Rosza, John Jaques' sister-in-law who mentions the passing of Sarah Ashton. "My sister got through her confinement quite well, but another poor Sister Ashton died there that night as soon as her child was born, leaving the new born babe and three children and her husband." (Bell p 129) This was August 26.
John Jaques does record in the official history the death of the new born baby Sarah Ann Ashton. "Thurs. [September] 11: Started in the morning and traveled about 9 miles on a dry creek, though so dry as not to be running. Here were the graves of two men and child, belonging to Col. A.W. Babbitt's wagons, killed on August 25th b the Cheyenne Indians.... Here we buried the infant of the late Sister Ashton who died of childbirth at Cutler's Park the night of August 26th." (Bell p 135) The summary of the deaths indicates the baby was "buried by Wilson baby and two teamsters of Colonel Babbitt, 9 miles west of Prairie Creek.
The DUP record says this about William Ashton dropping out of the company. "In a few days her father became discouraged and left Betsey, her sisters, Sarah and Mary with the company, and returned to New York, later to England." (DUP p 445)
The record of John Jaques does not document William Ashton leaving the company. However through the research of Donna Olsen, finding the enlistment records of William Ashton, we know he enlisted at Fort Laramie and served five years in the infantry.
The threee girls were left in the care of others of the handcart company. "The company was good to these three little girls. Betse with her sisters walked day after day. They suffered greatly from food shortage and lack of warm clothes as the had planned to reach Utah before the cold and storms came in the fall." (DUP p 445)
The diary of John Jaques does not record anything after the last crossing of the Platte, and therefore does not document Betsey's death. The DUP record documents it in this manner. "Betsey was never to see Utah as she became ill from lack of food and while the company was camped by the North Platte River on the plains of Wyoming, she froze to death." (DUP p 445) The handcart company was camped at Red Buttes, which was the last camp before leaving the North Platte River for over a week. It was there that the rescuers found them, and got them moving again, towards wagons waiting at Devil's Gate.
|Mary Ashton Wardle|
|Sarah Ashton Beckstead on left|