Annie Elizabeth Grieve, later Baillie, of Swaziland




c. 1859, at ___, Sunderland, Durham county, England

John Baillie, on May 15, 1886 at ___, Durban, South Africa

August 7, 1932, at her home at ___, Pretoria, South Africa




Robert Grieve Jr., Emma Grieve née ___

Jane Grieve (half-sister), Emma Grieve, Samuel W. Grieve, Henry F. Grieve, Fanny C. Grieve

John Henry Baillie, Kathleen Mary Baillie, Frances Emma Baillie, Robert Grieve Baillie


(Click on thumbnail for full picture)






Annie Elizabeth Grieve was born in about 1857 or 1859, according to the Census, in Sunderland, Durham, England.

Annie Elizabeth Grieve is recorded by the British Census of 1881 as being a school teacher.

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Annie Elizabeth Grieve and John Baillie, just married

Annie Grieve left England in April 1886. She was married to John Baillie on May 15, 1886, in Durban, South Africa. She worked with John as a missionary for the South Africa General Mission in Swaziland from 1891 to 1922, when they retired to Pretoria. She died on August 7, 1932 at the age of 74.

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Annie Grieve’s visitors’ book.  Inside cover.

This is one of the family’s most prized heirlooms.  A book of 112 pages, it was given to Annie by her sister Fanny in April 1886 just before her departure for Natal.  There is an air of finality about the initial pages, where Fanny, Emma and Henry wrote long quotes of rousing religious poetry to mark the parting.  Annie kept it her life long, and friends – particularly missionary friends – from all over the world made contributions, typically poems, Bible verses and watercolors – until 1930.  The visitors’ book was, as of January 2001, in the possession of Beryl Maureen Moll née Webb.

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Ditto.  Another inside cover.

John Baillie was very “into” the new technology, which in 1890 was the camera, and received a grant of £4-0-0 from the South Africa General Mission (SAGM) to take pictures in preparation for his next furlough.  But these luxuries were inaccessible to most people, who resorted to drawing pictures themselves.  This is not a bad example of a watercolor by Annie’s sister Fannie.

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Ditto.  “Parting” from Annie’s brother Henry.

An elevated spiritual poem was considered the best way of expressing a greeting.  Longfellow was particularly well liked, and the Wesley brothers’ hymnody was another rich source.  Here Henry F. Grieve bids his little sister goodbye as she goes to be a helpmeet for his best boyhood friend.

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Ditto.  “Still with thee” from Arthur George Webb, Annie’s son-in-law.

Here Arthur Webb quotes a poem by Olive Beecher Stowe.  The greeting is not dated but is probably from the 1920s.

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"God bless Baillie and his little wife", Nov. 23, 1891

Annie and John's lives were swallowed up by the mission. Little of their personal lives comes through in the numerous accounts of their work in the South African Pioneer, the magazine of the South African General Mission (SAGM). And the women were eclipsed by their husbands. But occasionally something of Annie's personal life comes through, as in this diary entry (Nov. 23, 1891) by the mission's director, Spencer Walton, when she wept upon being left alone in her wattle-and-daub hut with her son John Henry, 23 months.

Source: George E. Weeks, 1907. W. Spencer Walton: "Approved of God to be intrusted with the Gospel". London: Marshall Brothers. Page 66. Book held by the South African Library in Cape Town.

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Annie Elizabeth Grieve, Durban beach, 1927

With John Baillie and Kathleen, her daughter. Note that the original has poor definition.


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page 2

page 3

page 4

 Obituary pamphlet “uSomusa” by her daughter Kathleen, c. 1933 

Annie’s nickname in Swaziland was “uSomusa”, meaning ___.  Kathleen was also a missionary, working first with her parents in Swaziland, and subsequently in Zululand.  Hence the pamphlet is written in Zulu, which is as close to Swazi as Spanish is to Portuguese.

This is the front page of the four-page document.  The quality of the picture leaves something to be desired – the original is composed of the newspaper-sized black-and-white dots.  As of January 2001, the original was in the possession of Beryl Maureen Moll née Webb.



(1) Birth, occupation: The 1881 British Census, in CD form, provided by the Family History Library of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Mowbray, Cape Town.

(2) Death, biography: Letter from Dr. Jim Kallam of Society for International Ministries (Charlotte, N.C.) to Peter G. Moll, April 24, 2000. Dr. Kallam's Ph.D. on the South Africa General Mission includes biographical and other information in a chapter on the founding of the mission in Swaziland.

(3) IGI mentions only her marriage in 1886 to John Baillie (electronic version of the IGI, and 1903555 FILM. Information submitted by an LDS member).

(5) Marriage: The family scrapbook of Annie Baillie née Grieve refers to her as "Annie E. Grieve" in 1885. Then a letter from Henry Grieve to John Baillie refers to the marriage in late 1886.

(6) Newly married photograph: The photograph is in the possession of Beryl Maureen Moll, as of March 2001.  Scanned by Peter G. Moll.  Enclosed in a leather frame with a metal back held with wire (which I didn't want to take apart so as not to damage it), and with a piece of string used for hanging on a wall.

(7) Mention of John Baillie’s camera and the SAGM grant: exchange of letters in early 1990s held by the Society for International Ministries at Charlotte, NC, USA.



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