On April 27th, 1856, we left Liverpool for America. There was a large company leaving. My mother was not well and was taken on board the ship before the time of sailing, while the sailors were still disinfecting and renovating the ship. Here my brother Charles was born with only one woman on board the ship to attend my mother. When the captain and doctor came on board the ship and found that a baby had been born they were delighted and thought it would bring good luck to the company. They asked the privilege of naming him. So the captain named him Charles Thornton McNeil after the boat, Thornton, McNeil after the boat Thornton and [SIC], and Captain Charles Collins.
During this time we had many hardships to endure but through it all we were greatly blessed.
After landing we planned to go west, to Utah, with the handcart company but President Franklin D. Richards counseled my father not to go in that company, for which we were afterwards very thankful because of the great suffering and privations and the cold weather which these people were subjected to. There were many of the company who were frozen that year on their journey.
My father was then advised to go to St. Louis and spend the winter there and prepare to go through to Utah the next year. But instead of staying at St. Louis he was called on a mission [p.2] to help make a settlement one hundred miles west of civilization. The place was to be called Genoa. We left St. Louis on the steamboat and came up the Mississippi River. The measles broke out while we were on the boat and all of my mother's children took them and were very sick with the exception of myself. When we landed we camped on the bank of the river until our teams and wagons came. . . . [p.3]
. . . We arrived in Ogden on the 4th day of October 1859 after a journey of hardships, and hunger with thankfulness to our Heavenly Father for his protecting care. I walked every step of the way across the plains and drove my cow, a large part of the way carried my little brother, Jameson, on my back. We arrived in Logan, October 17th, 1859. . . . [p.4]
BIB: Ballard, Margaret McNeil, [Autobiography], (Mss A - 1- 074), pp. 2-4 (Utah State Historical Society) (source abbreviations)