Annabella Sinclair Macfarlane Haight, 1812-1888

By John A. Macfarlane, as reported at the Macfarlane Family Reunion October 21, 2005

Annabella was born in 1812 in Killin, the second child of Daniel Sinclair and Ann Campbell. Some of her early life was spent in Killin, and some in Doune, in the shadow of Doune Castle. Wayland Macfarlane shows in his book Yours Sincerely, John M. Macfarlane a picture of Doune Castle, which Wayland reports hung on the wall of Annabella Sinclair until the day she died. Annabella and her sisters may have worked in the cotton mill that is still standing up the road from Doune, but is now a distillery. More likely, Annabella worked at Stirling Castle. I have heard the story that she was a chambermaid for the duchess or baroness or whatever aristocrat held sway there, but that I put in the category of second hand information. If anyone has any knowledge about her life in Stirling before she married John Macfarlane, I would like to hear it. She married John Macfarlane, a postillion at the castle in 1833. The 1841 census shows her living with her husband and three children on King Street. King Street is the main street leading up the hill to Stirling Castle.

After her husband died in 1846, no doubt she was in severe financial straights. She moved to Glasgow in 1850 and lived near two of her sisters there. She probably survived by doing nurse midwifery. She was a faithful member of the LDS church. As evidence of this, she was able to leave for America with the first Perpetual Emigration Fund group to travel from Great Britain to America, and only those who were active participants in the church were favored with this opportunity. The group crossed the Atlantic under the leadership of Isaac Chauncey Haight. Annabella would have come with her sister Janet, but one of Janet's children was deathly ill, so Janet stayed home to care for him, and Annabella took Janet's other two children with her. They left Liverpool on the ship Ellen Marie, and landed in New Orleans, then traveled up the Mississippi by River Boat to St. Louis, and up the Missouri River to Kansas City, where they were outfitted for the trek across the plains. Isaac Haight returned to England to pick up another group, and Abraham O. Smoot took over the leadership of the company for the rest of the journey. Annabella and her family arrived in the Salt Lake valley in September 1852. Annabella and her family joined Annabella's mother and sister Ann in the Sessions settlement.

In 1853 Isaac Haight returned from his assignment in England, and was called by Brigham Young to take charge of the Iron Works in Cedar City. Before he left for Cedar City he married his third and fourth wives, the fourth being Annabella Sinclair Macfarlane. So Annabella is part of the early history of Cedar City. She was a Counselor in the Presidency of the Cedar City Relief Society. The Cedar City Relief Society minutes show her participation, bearing her testimony, and contributing to life in this frontier outpost. As one of Isaac Haight's other wives died, leaving an infant daughter, Annabella took over her care, and raised her as one of her own. This child was was Emmeline Haight. As a family, we should find out what happened to Emmeline, and see if some of her descendants, if she has any, would like to come to this reunion. Apparently Emmeline and her husband Joseph Coslett adopted a daughter who moved to California, as that is where Emmeline died.

What was life like for Annabella after Isaac Haight left Cedar City under the cloud of the unfortunate Mountain Meadows incident? This is a blank space in my mind. How did she survive? With whom did she live? How often did she hear from or see or visit her husband? If anyone knows, I would like to hear it. Annabella died in 1888 at age 74, almost 75, a year and a half after the death of her husband Isaac Haight.

I have in my possession a piece of china said by my father to have belonged to Annabella Sinclair. If any of you have a similar piece, do you have the same story about it-that it had belonged to Annabella Sinclair? Without my urging, our daughter Katie named her first child Annabella. So, Annabella Sinclair is a significant part of my life. I am proud of her for her devotion, determination and faithfulness.