Bernard and Val, our friends from Malvern, just a few miles from Roy and Libby, invited us to lunch at the Singing Kettle restaurant in the Malvern Hills, overlooking Herefordshire. We had some time to take one last jaunt through the countryside and make a stop at the Mathon church where my ancestor Thomas Jenkins was christened.
We drove a short distance to the hamlet of Moorend Cross in the Mathon parish, where Thomas and his family lived. There are only about ten homes in this hamlet. Wilford Woodruff wrote about the many times he visited, taught and stayed at the home of Thomas Jenkins at Moorend Cross. At one point Wilford Woodruff and Brigham Young stayed there for almost a week, both with colds. At first we thought this home might be a possibility of Thomas’ home.
Bernard, Val and Gene were so patient with me getting out and exploring a little. A lady from the home across the intersection saw me snooping around and asked if we were lost. I explained what we were looking for and she said there had been two cottages where her present 1900-built home is. She mentioned that she had a drawing of it and went inside to bring it out to show us.
One clue might be the thatched roof. Thomas was a thatcher.
Bernard pulled up into their driveway and we all had a pleasant conversation with the lady and her husband and visiting niece and nephew. The man mentioned that there was a pile of stone in a spot closer to the road that he thinks might have been part of one of those cottages. Everyone might have thought I was a bit daft, but I got a photo of it anyway!
We enjoyed visiting with these kind people! We talked about Thomas Jenkins moving from here to America in 1840 and we mentioned that we are missionaries for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Leaning on the gate, the man asked, “What would have taken them from here so far away to America?” I blurted out, “The awesome church!” Bernard added that 1800 people from around this area joined the church and left for America at that time. In one village, 25% left their homes and joined the Mormons. (Bernard is writing a book about Wilford Woodruff and his travels in 1840, and about the converts.) There was a nice feeling as we shared for those few minutes. Kind people to take time with us!
I have some work to do to see if this is the spot where Thomas lived and hosted the apostles and left for America. If not here, it was very close! ‘Lovely way to spend our last moments in Herefordshire (until we return for a visit in 2018!). We appreciate so much the kind friendship of Bernard and Val. Dear friends! Cheerio!