Forward, William - Biography



By His Daughter Ellen F. Wheat

My father was born in Abersychan, South Wales on Jan. 15, 1859. His parents were Charles Forward and Elizabeth Morgan, and his name was William; his wife was Naomi Biggs Forward, who was born at Blaenavon, South Wales on Sept. 7, 1865. They were married at Trevethin Church on April 30, 1883. They lived most of their early married life in a small village called Cwmavon and there most of their children were born. They were the parents of eleven children. He had little or no schooling, and father was a quiet man—his life was devoted mostly to caring for his family—he was a coal-miner, and his meager wage was barely enough to take care of the needs of his family, but he always planted a garden and the potatoes and vegetables he raised, was a great help in feeding his hungry children. We also raised a few chickens, ducks and geese with the help of mother—who loved to feed and take care of baby chickens and young ducks and goslings. I remember well the many delicious meals they provided for us in our growing years. Father’s life seemed rather uneventful to me as I look back over the years, his main interest was his home and family, and he spent his days walking to the coal-mine, and home again when his work was done. In those days there wasn’t much in the way of recreation or relaxation, except for an evening out with his friends at the local beer tavern. I think mother used to feel that the money spent on such occasions could have been put to better use in the home or for the children, but after a hard days work in the wet, damp coal-mine, the men felt that they had earned a little fun and relaxation, and that was their way of getting it. In his later years I saw him content to sit by the open fire and enjoy his “pipe”. He was not a religious man and belonged to no church—so when the Gospel came into our lives—mother readily accepted it, but father did not—and at first was rather prejudiced and hostile to the missionaries. However, as time went on he became more tolerant and would allow the missionaries to visit his home. Several of his daughters became members and one by one left home to come to America and live in Utah—all of which led father to say at one time—“Mother! your religion is taking my children away from me.” As he grew in years he became more interested in the Church and read much of the Book of Mormon—as he could understand with his meager education. He never did join the Church—he loved his “cup of tea” and his “pipe of tobacco”—although I think he believed the Word of Wisdom, but felt he couldn’t obey that law. He was kind to his family and when his grandchildren arrived he loved them and played often with them. He died in 1933, and in 1935 I returned to the land of my birth, and brought my mother back with me. In due time mother went to the Temple for her own endowments and at the same time my husband was proxy for my father, and his work was done. They now are sealed together with all their children except one daughter who is still living in Wales. [handwritten note: Since Aunt Ellen wrote this History Aunt Harriet, the only one left in Wales has passed on and has been sealed to them.]

Such are the blessings the Gospel brings—if we live it faithfully.




Biggs, Naomi

Forward, Ellen

Forward, William


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