Amy Britnell Loader gave birth to four sons and nine daughters at the estate of Sir Henry Lambert in England, where her husband, James, had worked as foreman and head gardener for 35 years. When the family joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, James was fired from his job as a consequence.
James and Amy brought six of their living children to Zion with them in the Martin Handcart Company. Another married daughter also traveled with this company and gave birth to her second child on the plains. Recorded dreams and heavenly visions sustained and comforted this family, but Amy’s great strength and cheerfulness, manifested again and again over the 1,300 miles, also brought them through, especially when James and one of the grandchildren died.
As the weather became colder and provisions as scarce as 4 ounces of flour per day, Amy made these scant rations into little biscuits to eat throughout the day, thus having a bite or two for the children when they were tired and faint. One day, a man lying by the roadside, when asked to get up, said he could not, but if he had a mouth full of bread he could. As her 10-year-old son, Robert, watched, Amy gave the man some food and he got up and went on. In Salt Lake some time later, this man stopped Amy and thanked her for saving his life.
Amy’s descendants wrote of her, “Amy Britnell Loader protected, sustained and cheered her children and others without complaining and manifested great faith in God…. She endured [the journey] bravely, although it made her a sorrowing widow. She has lived a life of usefulness to the present time, yet still a widow, for she could never believe there was a man left in the world equal to her husband.”