History: Georgina Ann Maria Barnett Roylance

Georgina Ann Maria Barnett Roylance (1854-1931)

A Women of Courage During Hard Times

I love to study and read about history. It is a hobby of mine. The thing that I love most about history is that it gives me confidence that I can do hard things. We all have trials and difficult times to endure, but when I read about the amazingly difficult things that our ancestors and predecessors went through I know I can handle mine too. After hearing Georgina’s story it put much of my current life in perspective. She was one amazing woman and so was her husband.

Georgina was born in England in 1854, the third of five children. When she was 8 years old her oldest sister died. Two years later her family left England and traveled to Utah. While on the journey her baby sister died at sea and her mother and grandmother died while crossing the plains. This gave her the responsibility of caring for the household even though she was a young girl. She married James Roylance when she was 17. After having her sixth child she became really sick with blood poisoning in her foot.

The doctors said she needed to have it amputated but one doctor felt she would not survive the surgery and refused to amputate. He said Georgina would die whether they removed her foot or not. James, her husband, decided to do it himself to try to save her life. He must have really loved her. What a hard thing to do. He used a sharpened butcher knife and cut as much as she could stand, and then seared it with a hot iron to keep her from bleeding out. The next day he got the saw from

the shed and cut through the bone! It took Georgina a year to fully recover from this hardship. She attended to her household duties by putting her stump on a rocking chair and scooting it along as a crutch. She went on to give birth to seven more children and later cared for her elderly husband after he lost his eyesight. Despite her many hardships, Georgina lived to be 77 years old. What an amazing woman!

By Melissa Spelts

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