Esther Broadhurst Matkin Duce
(By Sadie Sorensen)

My grandmother, Esther Broadhurst Matkin Duce, accepted the gospel in Lancashire, England. In about 1849 she became the wife of Thomas Matkin, and in 1850 my father, Samuel Matkin, was born. When he was but two years old his father died.

Soon after this, Grandmother joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She was the only member of her family who did join the Church. Her family was so opposed to the gospel that they would have nothing to do with her.

Leaving her family in England, because they would not let her come home, and because she wanted to come to Zion, she sailed across the ocean with her two year old son, Samuel. On the way her second child, Joseph, was born. A few hours later he died and was buried in the ocean.

Imagine how she must have felt. Alone, far away from home, and burying a child in the ocean. But her love for the gospel was so great that she was willing to make great sacrifices for the sake of the gospel.

She died November 12, 1904 at the age of 79 years.

For many years this was all that was written and thus known about Esther. Recently through information made available to me from Dale Broadhurst I have learned that Esther did not have quite such a miserable passage to Zion. She travelled in company of her brother Samuel and members of his family. A research study detailing the voyage of the ship "The Voyage of the Ellen Maria" is available. Esther and Samuel are listed as passengers but there is no mention of a child being born to her who was subsequently burried at sea. A listing of the passengers who came to America on this ship is on this web site at We still don't have a lot of information on Esther, but at least we now know she was not completely abandoned by her family as previously thought. - Lyle Rawlins

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