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THISTLE (née GRIMES), Pleasance – emigrated 1873

Pleasance Thistle, née Grimes (1835-1908) was born at Dersingham, Norfolk, in 1835, the only daughter of Osborn Grimes, an agricultural labourer, and his wife, Phoebe (née Medler).  She was baptized at Dersingham on 2nd August 1835.  By the time of the 1841 census, they were living at Ingoldisthorpe.  The Grimes family was still in Ingoldisthorpe in 1851, Osborn now working as a gardener, Phoebe was a needlewoman and Pleasance was a dressmaker.

By 1860 the whole family had moved to Herefordshire.  On 24th September 1860, Pleasance married Francis Thistle, a blacksmith, at Upper Sapey, Herefordshire.  At the time of the 1861 census, Francis and Pleasance were living with Pleasance’s parents at Heighley, Whitbourne, where Osborn was a gardener.  Francis was from Norfolk, so Pleasance may well have met her future husband in her native Norfolk. 

Pleasance and Francis had two sons and three daughters:  William Medler (1862-1940), Emily (1865-?), Oswald (1871-1871), Myra (1872-1897) and Alice (c1878).  William was born at Whitbourne.  By the time of Emily’s birth, they were living at Ombersley.  Some time between 1865 and early 1871 the Thistle family moved from Ombersley to Badsey where they were living at the time of the 1871 census.  Both Pleasance’s mother, Phebe Grimes, and Francis’ mother, Elizabeth Thistle, were staying with them to help with the new-born baby (unnamed on the census, but later baptized Oswald).  Baby Oswald lived for only nine weeks and was buried at Badsey on 17th June 1871

In 1873, the family decided to seek their fortune in America.  Shipping records reveal that they arrived in the United States on 16th October 1873 on the ship Liberty, having boarded at Key West or Havana.  They settled in the state of Kansas.

Another daughter, Alice, was born in about 1877 in Louisiana, Kansas.  At the time of the 1880 census in America, they were living at Osage Township in the county of Allen, state of Kansas, Francis having recently bought 120 acres of land.  By the time of the 1885 Kansas State census, Francis and Patience and their three daughters were living in Rich, Anderson County, Kansas.

Pleasance died on 17th February 1908 at Cushing, Payne County, Oklahoma.  She was buried at New Zion Cemetery.  Her husband, Francis, died a year and a half later.A report of Pleasance’s death appeared in the Appeal to Reason magazine of 29th February 1908:

The Appeal Army will regret to learn the death of Mrs Pleasance Thistle of Cushing, Oklahoma.  Comrade Thistle was 72 years old and has for years been a faithful and persistent worker for Socialism.  She and her husband were truly the pioneers of the movement in that part of Oklahoma.  For four years she has belonged to the band that has made up the Appeal Agitation League and the Bundle Brigade, and no sacrifice was too great for her to make as long as it was helping the cause she loved so well.

Pleasance Thistle