One thing I have learned the most from my ancestors is how they have risen from the ashes like a Phoenix and learned and grown from their trials. My family has been through our own fair share of trials, but I also can’t even compare them even close to those of my ancestors.

One of these ancestors Rachel Hunter Davis has recently stood out to me. I am just learning her story and piecing things together. I don’t know as much about my dad’s line, but that has been one of my goals this year is to find more stories that I didn’t know. 

Rachel was married very young, at fifteen, to the love of her life Henry Davis. Together they made home in Tennessee, but learned of a new religion and after learning more about it they were baptized October 21, 1839. They moved their family to Nauvoo, Illinois in 1841. Life seemed good—they were happy. Only one year later their oldest son Larkin drowned. They were devastated. A family of eleven down to ten. Just when they were picking up the pieces one year later their youngest child at the time Julius died. The cause of his death was just to illness. Again the family was saddened by the loss. 

Henry and Rachel added two more children to their family making a total of twelve children, ten boys and two girls. Unfortunately, when their last child Henry was only one years old in 1847 the Patriarch of the family Henry died, leaving Rachel to care for her ten children alone. The family was already planning on leaving with the church to find a new home and Rachel knew that she had to continue the journey. After a very difficult year in the Fall of 1848 Rachel and her children made it to Salt Lake City, Utah.

Tragedy did not want to leave the Davis family for only a year and a half after arriving in the Salt Lake Valley she lost another son William at the age of sixteen. Rachel lost two more sons before she passed away on August 5, 1882. Levi (1860) was killed by gunshot as he was assisting another police officer in trying to arrest a man. Joseph (1866) was also killed by gunshot, accused of giving ammunition to Indians. He was an Indian interpreter and men believed Joseph was trying to help the Indians and accused Joseph without listening to him and a posse of men killed him by gunfire.

"We cannot detract from their accomplishments. 
We cannot add to their glory. 
We can only look back with reverence, 
appreciation, respect, and resolution
to build on what they have done. 
~Gordan B. Hinckley

Even with so much pain and suffering Rachel lived a wonderful life with unwavering faith. Her family had stated that through all her trials her “testimony never faltered.”

I am so thankful for this woman, Rachel-my 4th Great Grandmother, a woman of faith, a mother of zion. She is an example in my life and I will try to live up to the stepping stones that she put out for her descendants to follow.