Just who were Nicol Hood and Angelina O'Neil, anyway?
Click here to see 2 generations of their descendents.
If your parent or grandparent is among them, we're cousins!

        The story below  is a composite story of five, different,  brief written accounts of their lives which have come down to us from different branches of their family. The number in square brackets indicates which account the subsequent portion of the story  is taken from. For those interested, a  description of each separate account follows the composite story.

        Keep in mind when reading the account, that the "first-person" changes, as you move from segment to segment.  This summary should help you keep things straight:

        In accounts [1] and [2], James Hood, son of Nicol and Angelina, is writing.
        In account   [4],  Clarence Smith is writing, as he heard it from his mother, Margaret Hood who was an  older sister to James.
        In account   [5],  Mary Bannister Russell is writing, as she heard it from her Mother-in Law, Jean Hood who was a  younger sister to James. Margaret, James, and Jean lived through many of the events described and heard the other events described by immediate family members and friends who were closely involved.
        In account   [3],  the writer and sources are not identified. It is simply titled "The Nicol & Angelina O'Neil Hood Family Project"

        The amazing and touching story of our ancestors: 

Nicol Hood (30Nov1828)


Angelina O'Neil (19Jan1833)

and their awesome family

[1] Nicol Hood was the son of James Hood and Elizabeth Smith Hood. He was born November 30, 1828, at Claybarns, Edinburgshire, Scotland. He married Angelina O'Neil, daughter of Andrew O'Neil (a claim is made that his name was Graham) and Agnes Baird O'Neil, who was born January 19, 1833 at Calder, Lanarkshire, Scotland. [4] Little has been written about them and my only source of information is what my mother [Margaret] told me. Nicol's father was a Collier (Coal Miner) and Angelina's father was a soldier. The wages paid colliers was very meager, so Nicol knew no luxuries. Nothing is known about Angelina until Nicol met and married her.

These photos of Nicol Hood and Angelina O'Neil Hood are all that I have. They are clearly enlargements, and/or copies of copies.  If any family member has better photos please contact me. They deserve better remembrance for all they wrought.
I would also like to obtain photos of all of their children.

[1] There is little known of father [Nicol]  up until he, at the age of sixteen years, had accepted and secretly embraced the Gospel [2] of Jesus Christ.. [1]  His parents, upon learning of this, were very much surprised, and his father was indignant. Out of this incident, his father required him to renounce his new-found religion - or leave home.  He chose to leave and traveled westward in search of employment [2] settling in Lanarkshire.

[4] Nicol first heard the Gospel from the first missionaries sent to Scotland at the age of 15. He told his Father about the wonderful message and that he was going to be baptized. His father was very indignant and told him that if he joined that church of the Devil, he would have to leave. Nicol was baptized 1843 and of course left home. It was quite a decision for a boy of 15. Little is known about him except that he wandered from place to place to earn enough to live on. Where he met Angelina is not known but perhaps at some church gathering. She had been baptized 30 October 1849 Her Father was baptized 6 March 1850. Her mother baptized 14 Dec 1849. Nicol and Angelina were married 15 July 1850. They were parents of eleven children.

[3] When he was 16, Nicol heard the Mormon missionaries and, convinced of the truth of their message, was baptized. He did not tell his parents of this, but sometime later they found out about it. They were indignant, especially his father, who, in anger, gave Nicol the choice of renouncing his new religion or leaving home. Nicol left home and sought work elsewhere. Later, he met Angelina O'Neil, and five years after leaving home they were married. Angelina was the daughter of Andrew and Agnes Baird O'Neil. She was born in Old Monkland, Lanark, Scotland, January 19, 1833. Eleven children were born to this couple: Agnes, Elizabeth, Mary, Nicol, Margaret (who married Nicholas Smith), Andrew, James, Jane (Jean), John, William and Angelina. All of them were born in Scotland, most of them in Calderbank, Lanark, Scotland.

These photos of Nicol Hood and Angelina O'Neil Hood are all that I have. They are clearly enlargements, and/or copies of copies.  If any family member has better photos please contact me. They deserve better remembrance for all they wrought.
I would also like to obtain photos of all of their children.

[2] Five years or so after my father’s dismissal from home, he had decided on a change in his life, and [1] On July 15, 1850, father and mother were married by Elder Joseph Claimants, [2] President of the Glasgow Conference. [1] To them were born the following children: Agnes, Elizabeth, Mary, Nicol, Margaret [3] (who married Nicholas Smith), [1] Andrew, James, [3] Jane (Jean) [1] Jean, John, William and Angelina. [4] All baptized except William who died in infancy.

[3]Nicol was a coal miner. [4] The wages were very small and they had a very meager existence.. [3] Several years after his marriage, he met with a terrible accident while working in the mine. Most of his left arm was blown off, necessitating an amputation at the shoulder. Part of his right hand was blown off, leaving only two fingers and the thumb, [4] and nearly every bone was broken in his body. [3] Infection set in and his life hung in the balance. The doctors concluded that Nicol had only a few hours to live and Angelina overheard their comments. They left some medicine for Nicol to take, but Angelina was suspicious. After they left she tested the medicine by putting a small amount on Nicol's lips and tongue. They immediately turned black. Her pent up emotions were no longer controlled and she broke into tears. Nicol told her: "Oh, dry your tears, Ainie , for I'm no gang to dee". He then requested a Priesthood blessing. The blessing was given by the Elders and in a remarkably short time Nicol was well.

[1] A few years after their marriage, father met with a serious accident in a coal pit, by which he was blown almost to pieces. A most remarkable case of healing came to him at this time. His life was despaired, he was so bruised and mangled physicians held no hope. Blood poisoning had already set in. He asked for the Elders; they came and administered to him. The Testimony to the writer of this sketch by living witnesses is: as the Elders removed their hands from his head, the mortified flesh fell from his left shoulder, - - and during the sealing of the Ordinance, it has been testified to by those taking part in the administration that they heard his bones grind into their places.

[5] While talking to my mother-in-law, Mrs. David Johnston Russell (born Jeannie Hood, 5 July 1865) she related the following incident which is worthy of preservation. Her father, Nicol Hood (born 30 November 1828) was the victim, while a young married man of an accident which necessitated the amputation of one arm at the shoulder, and part of the other arm also was removed. His wife’s mother (Agnes Baird) knew by intuition that something had happened and she rose in the middle of the night saying "Something has happened to Nicol, I’m going over to see." In a short time gangrene set in the shoulder wound, which in those days meant sure death, so when a consultation of doctors was called, Agnes Baird hid herself where she could hear what was said. She heard that the doctors considered that there was no hope, the only thing left being to put Nicol Hood to sleep and make the passing as easy as possible, for which purpose Dr. Clarke (the physician in charge) left some medicine with instructions to give it to the sick man.

Agnes Baird told her daughter "If you give him that medicine he will never wake again. Do not give him the medicine, but let us send for the Elders to administer to him." This was in a day when the Elders in Scotland were very few, sometimes once a year would be all the visits received, but a search was organized, and two Elders were found and the faith of Agnes Baird was justified. Almost before the Elders had finished sealing the ordinance, the gangrenous flesh fell away from the shoulder joint and left the wound clean. When the doctor arrived again he was astonished and set to work to sterilize and care for the healthy wound.

Dr. Clark and Nicol Hood met again in their old age, in another part of Scotland, and Dr. Clarke referred to the above incident, asking why the old lady had not given her son the medicine which he, the doctor had left, and what had happened to heal the wound. It is supposed that Nicol Hood explained the faith of the Gospel, which was so big in results as to have mystified Dr. Clarke through many years of his life.

[1] Six weeks from the day of this accident, he, in company with mother, walked into the street and was greeted by his attending physician, D. R. ["Dr." ?] Clark.

Father was a man of exceeding faith in the Gospel and always had a reverence for the Priesthood. In his testimony of the Gospel, he was never known to waver. In a crippled condition, the loss of the left arm and with only two fingers and the thumb on the right hand, he reared his family in the midst of poverty.

Father was given, as an indemnity from the Monkland Iron and Steel Company, a life's position as watchman at night around the peep-o-day pits at eleven shillings [4] [two shillings] per week [2] (in 1960 this is $1.50), [1] with free house and coal. [3] But the income was insufficient to take care of the family needs. So Angelina went to work in the fields and the older children found jobs in various places--some away from their home area. The younger children were given the responsibility of caring for the very young children.

[1] During these days of poverty, he was approached by a committee from the Presbyterian Church of Calderbank, where most of his children were born and raised, and offered the Presentorship (Chorister) of the Church, with free house and garden. This was some inducement to a man in his condition and circumstance, for it was a better salary offer with improved surroundings and better house in which to live. Father was gifted with an excellent baritone voice, was something of a musician and poet [2] [was a good musician, and a fair poet], [1] and could have filled the position most capably. [2] His heart lifted, thinking of what this change would mean to his children, until he heard the committee say that in order to qualify for the position it would be necessary for him to renounce Mormonism, and become a member of the Presbyterian church. His emphatic answer "Never" came with a suddenness that surprised and shocked the pious gentlemen.

[3]Nicol and Angelina had a deep and abiding faith in the message of the gospel as taught by the Elders and they taught their children those precepts. At that time it was the policy of the Church to have the members "gather" to the headquarters of the Church, then in Salt Lake City and environs. The Elders often stayed with the Hoods and one of those Elders, David McKensie, seeing the industry and experience of Elizabeth, offered to pay the fare for her emigration to Utah if she would work for his wife. Sometime in 1874, Elizabeth accepted the offer and went to Salt Lake.

[4] Sorrow came to the family March 1, 1874 when wife and mother passed away. This was a terrible shock to all. Margaret at the age of sixteen acted as mother, as the older ones were able to work and help sustain the family. They were all kind and considerate with Margaret and her Father especially. [1] Father's greatest sorrow came on March 1, 1874 when mother passed this life to her reward. She had always been by him - by him during and subsequent to the trials that followed, his companion in life, his counselor in trial, the mother of his children; she, who stood by him as only a wife and mother can, was snatched from him by the hand of death. Agnes, the oldest, a woman grown; Angelina, the youngest and only a few weeks old.

No one of the family will every forget that day. It was truly a house of mourning. Mother, too, had an unwavering faith in her Redeemer and an abiding testimony of the Gospel. Firm in her conviction of duty, bore her trials without a murmur. Her first impulse was to care for her children with a love that was divine. Her outstanding characteristics were patience, kindness and devotion. They drew her closer and closer year by year to her friends. She possessed a high sense of morality which enabled her to imbue her children with a legacy of eternal values.

No tongue has ever told all the trials they endured while pressing on to the goal of their cherished faith, i.e., to rear their children in the fear and admonition of God. They knew little of life's pleasures other than the joy that comes from a consistent life. They had known to an extreme degree the keenness of hunger, for many times they went without food that the "bairnies" might be supplied. They were ever ready and capable in defense of truth; they were of firm character and high morals.

Our parents taught chastity by being chaste, fidelity by being true to every trust reposed in them. Consistent as Latter-day Saints, constant in their devotion to it's requirements and believed all it's laws to be the Plan of Redemption.

Soon after Mother's death, Father moved the family to Benhar, Linlithgoshire. Here a branch of the Church was organized and Father became it's president. As the few remaining months of his life passed, they brought grief and sickness. A strike of the miners forced him to move to Newmains, Lanarkshire, where he, too, was taken from our midst on November 18, 1875, to join his companion. [4] Margaret still took care of the home and the younger ones - the youngest child less than three years of age.

[3] Before Nicol's death, another missionary who boarded at the Hood home told Nicol that he would set up an emigration fare for one of the family after he was released from his mission. This was with the understanding that the one who used that fare would help other members of the family to emigrate to Utah. Early in 1876, the family received notice that such a fare had been set up. After a short consideration by the family, it was decided that Margaret should use the fare. She left Scotland and arrived in Salt Lake October 25, 1876, where she was met by Elizabeth. [4] Early in 1876 the family were advised that passage for one was available from the Church Emigration Fund. Although one brother and three sisters were older than Margaret, she was chosen to go at the tender age of 18. She arrived in Salt Lake City in September where a household job awaited her. The next one to arrive in Utah was Elizabeth, and by 1880 all had come save one.

[1] To fulfill her pledge, Margaret worked and saved enough for a fare for Andrew. He saved enough to send for James. Andrew and James then sent for Jean. By the combined efforts of all the family, Nicol and John emigrated to Utah. Then the four brothers sent for their widowed sister, Mary, and her three children, along with their baby sister, Angelina. Agnes elected to stay in Scotland. William had died in infancy. Thus, nine of the ten living children emigrated to Utah. The pledge had been fulfilled--a truly remarkable accomplishment. [4] All came to Utah except Agnes, the eldest, whose husband refused to come. Margaret being the first at the age of 18. [3] These were poor people who had to work for every cent they obtained. It was no easy task but there was unity in purpose and a commitment by all the family. All of us can be justly proud of what they did and the heritage they gave us.

[1]  The work of their Endowments has been finished, also the sealing of all members of the family (except one) has been accomplished. There are many memories sacred and dear to us, clustering around Calderbank, the Monkland Wool, and Auld Forge Row, the Brae and the Burn. Dear as the memories abound, there are the forms of those that life made double-dear. They are part of us. We live now in the fond hope that they will be ours still throughout Eternity.

No one of us need let his head droop in shame for being a descendant of such parents; each one of us can lift his head in pride for such parents. We are happy in this assurance the Gospel gives, they are ours, we are theirs, forever.

The older members of the family will recall many of the virtues of these dearest dead. They, too, will recall many incidents and trials that the younger members cannot know, yet we can all recall the songs that were often sung, the admonitions given, the prayers offered, all of which have helped us become what we are. Were our children, or our children's children, to return to our native land, they would learn that Father and Mother came from honorable people and whose names are held in sacred respect. Therefore, the Hood Family Organization can point with a high sense of pride to it's progenitors, and live in the hope and keen anticipation that sometime, somewhere, in the providence of God we shall meet with them and live with them in peace and eternal progress.

[4] (NOTE: Had I known the value of these histories at the time my Mother was alive, I would have enquired more and written things down. I think Uncle Nicol had more but his records went to a son who died in California and so far have not been found. I trust this little bit will be of interest. — Clarence Elmer. Smith)

[5] Mrs. Russell also told me that when she was a little girl she attended a meeting where one of the ladies spoke in tongues and her own father, Nicol Hood mentioned above, arose and gave the interpretation. This made a deep impression on the child’s mind and was never forgotten. Mary Bannister Russell

[3] ADDENDUM: A review of Nicholas Smith's journal shows that, although the various members of that family scattered in various places in Utah and Wyoming, they kept in contact by letters and personal visits quite frequently – Newsletter editor..

----- This is the end of the Composite Story of Nicol and Angelina -----


The 5 Accounts

These five separate brief, written, accounts of the lives of NICOL HOOD and ANGELINA O’NEIL have come into my possession over the past 40 years. So that members of the extended family might recognize any of these five ‘original’ accounts which might be in their possession, and be able to identify them with the accounts from which this composite account is constructed, I have given here a description of each "original" document.  If family members have any additional accounts, or information, or photos about the Nicol Hood and Angelina O'Neil Hood family, I would appreciate receiving copies. Thank you. ... Editor, Clyde B. Russell

Account #1: Bessie Russell (Ollerton) Duke [R622] writes that she found a typewritten copy of this sketch among the possessions of her father, David Johnston Russell, Jr.  following his death. It was written by James Hood, brother of Jean Hood, David's wife. Nicol and Angelina were the parents of Jean and James. The portions of the composite account that are taken from this account are preceded by the number [1] The title of this account, on the Xerox copy that I received is written like this:



written by


and read aloud at a HOOD FAMILY REUNION

- - - - August 15, 1924, Salt Lake City, Utah - - - -

Account #2: This account is very similar to Account #1. It was typed by my mother, Mary B. Russell around 1960 or shortly thereafter, and copies were made by the purple ‘gelatine’ (messy) process of the time. It is clear that it was typed from a slightly different original version of James’ story, than [1], yet one that still claimed authorship by James Hood since it is written in his words. In many places the two accounts are word-for-word. In other places a thought is phrased differently, or omitted, or added in one account or the other – but it still seems clear that Mary was attempting to make a faithful typescript copy of an earlier document that she had in front of her. The only spot where an interpolation might well be ascribed to Mary Russell, herself,, is where Nicol’s pension of eleven shillings is explained:  "(in 1960 this is $1.50)". This comment also dates the typescript. The portions of the composite account that are taken from this story are preceded by the number [2]. This document is titled: "Biographical Sketch of my father and mother, by James Hood. Read at the Hood family re-union 15 Aug 1924".

Account #3: I found this account in the newsletter "John Smith – Nicol Hood Family Organization News, June 1985", pages 2 and 3. No author or date (other than the date of the Newsletter) is listed. The sole title of the article is "The Nicol & Angeline O’Neil Hood Family Project". Naida S. Myers was the organization President at the time of the newsletter. The portions of the current, composite, account that are taken from this "newsletter" account are preceded by the number [3].

Account #4: This account was written by Clarence Elmer Smith, from information supplied by his mother Margaret Hood Smith, daughter of Nicol and Angelina. He wrote the account after his Mother had passed away. The title of this account is "Brief Sketch of the Lives of Nicol Hood and Angelina O’Neil". The portions of the composite account that are taken from this account are preceded by [4].

Account #5: This brief account was written by Mary Bannister Russell, as she received it verbally from her mother-in-law, Jean Hood Russell – a daughter of Nicol and Angelina and sister to Margaret and James. The title of this account is "Family Experience on the Russell Line". The portions of the composite account that are taken from this account are preceded by [5]. The following diagram shows the ’genealogies’ of  the 5 accounts:…Clyde B. Russell [R644], Editor, 20 February, 2001.


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