THE NAY FAMILY IN UTAH AND THE WEST

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Nancy Wilson Nay

by Joan Nay
great great granddaughter

Nancy Wilson was born February 6, 1844, the first of nine children born to Thomas Wilson and Nancy Lindsey.  Her birth place is listed in various sources as Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi. Nancy’s family was reportedly living in Texas when they were converted to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  Some of her brothers “became antagonistic after their conversion. . . and when they and their family left Texas bound for Utah, the brothers scornfully told them to go to Hell.” (1) The Wilson family arrived in Utah in 1857 and settled for a time in Gunnison, Sanpete County, Utah.

Nancy married William Edwin Nay on June 9, 1861 in the Endowment House.  The family lived for a time in Gunnison, Sanpete County, Utah where their seven children were born. These children included: William Edwin Nay [Jr.], born February 29, 1862; John Thomas Nay born January 13, 1864; Morris Alonzo Nay born July 4, 1866; Nancy Angeline Nay born April 10, 1869; Ellen Amanda Nay born September 28, 1871; Ormas Morley Nay born September 10, 1873; and George Allen Nay born October 23, 1876.

Seven years after Nancy and William Edwin’s marriage, Nancy’s younger sister, Mary, married to William Edwin in a polygamous marriage on April 18, 1868.

Sometime in the early 1870s, Nancy and Mary’s mother, Nancy Lindsey Wilson, became ill.  The Wilsons were living in Washington County, Utah at the time, and Mary went to live with her.  The mother, Nancy Lindsey Wilson, died on April 26, 1875.

Two years later, Nancy herself died on March 25, 1877 and legend has it that she is buried somewhere on the banks of the Virgin River near Mountain Dell, Washington County, Utah.  She left her husband, William Edwin, and six living children-the youngest being only 6 months old.  It appears that William Edwin and his children then moved to the Washington County area, where Mary, the younger sister and second wife, raised her sister’s children.

(1) Early Church Index, Pioneer Biographies of the Historical Records Survey, WPA Project.  Brief Biography of Sarah Elizabeth Isom and Morris Wilson. FHL film #485340.

(2) Other information herein from BYU Library’s 3rd and 4th generation sheets, film #’s F57716, pt. 354; and #F510804.

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