Charles Collins Thornton McNeil

Charles was born aboard the ship Thornton in the harbor at Liverpool, Lancashire, England.  His older sister Margaret, in her autobiography, wrote: "My mother was not well and was taken on board ship before the time of sailing . . . with only one woman on board the ship to attend to mother. When the Captain and the 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 for the privilege of naming him. Brother Willie, President of the Company, thought it best to let the Captain name him, as there were eight hundred passengers and nearly all of them were "Mormons." So he was named Charles Collins Thornton McNeil, after the boat, Thornton, and Captain Charles Collins.   The family arrived in New York on 14 June 1856.  As indicated in Margaret's autobiography, their intent was to travel across the plains with one of the handcart companies that year but their plans changed when they were advised to go to St. Louis and remain there until the next emigration season. They actually ended up not crossing the plains until 1859, after the birth of another son (Joseph Reid McNeil) at Genoa, Nebraska.  Further research is needed to identify the name of the company with which they traveled.

Some sources erroneously indicate that the family traveled with a handcart company in 1856.

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