Thursday, October 28, 2010

Christopher John Norton

  • Name: Christopher "John" Norton
  • Born: About 1718 England
  • Died: 1788 Virginia or Kentucky
  • Related through: Dan's grandfather Heber Langford

Christopher Norton was born in England about 1718 and was a former British Naval officer who settled in Norfolk, Virginia about 1751. Family tradition says his name is John, but from land records in Fluvanna we find his name was Christopher. His wife's name was Mary and they had eight children in all.

The family also called Christopher Norton "The Commodore" and from two other family sources we know he was a British officer on a warship. A commission as an officer in the Royal navy usually meant that the family had a history with the Royal Navy or was placed well enough to secure a commission. It was common for officers to begin their career at the age of 12 as Midshipmen, but advancement was often slow so we have no idea what rank he might have held. In 1750 England was between wars and had little need for officers. It's probable that Christopher would have been lucky to have any officer's position on a British war ship. He might have also worked as a private sailor.

We get a little more information about Christopher Norton from one of his great grandchildren, Eliza Benefiel Trimble. We call it the "Pirate Story". Eliza was 90 when she wrote this in 1906. She was 14 when Christopher Norton's wife, Mary died and possibly heard the story directly from her.

The Pirate Story
"John (Christopher) Norton was born in England in the time of trouble with sea pirates. He went to sea at the age of twelve and was 40 years on the sea. There was one noted pirate that did such havoc to the merchant vessels that England fitted out a vessel expressly to capture him. My grandfather Norton was on the English vessel that followed the pirate five years and finally came on it in a heavy fog in speaking distance. When spoken to they hoisted a black flag. The pirates had two vessels - one very small and tams - the idea was with the English that they would cripple the small vessel first. They shot into it and it sank like a lump of lead. They then attacked the other vessel and had a hard fight with them - finally overpowered them and took them to England. But most all the treasure was on the little vessel. Grandfather said that the money that was on the big vessel was divided among the men and there was a hat full to each man. All treasure was on the little vessel."

Although Christopher Norton arrived in Virginia at Norfolk, he didn't stay there long. It's most probable that he moved up the James River and settled just below Charlottesville. But there is a suggestion from the History of Marion County. that he may have gone up to Alexandria. The area of Fluvanna where the Nortons settled was quite well developed by 1750. All of the important roads had already been laid in and while the main connection was down the James River to Norfolk, the roads connecting to the Alexandria area were very well established.

Christopher Norton settled his family on the north side of the Rivanna River west of Mechunck Creek. The plantation bordered the Stage Road which was the principal route from Richmond to Charlottesvile and was less than 10 miles from Shadwell, the estate of Peter Jefferson where Thomas Jefferson was born in 1743. The principal cash crop of the area was tobacco and the bottom land of the Mechunck would have been an ideal location. The Rivanna River was opened for navigation in 1765 facilitating transport of the tobacco crop to Norfolk.

Christopher's grandfather, Robert Norton was a well know Baptist minister who was sent to Virginia in 1715. He is known for organizing the first Baptist church in Virginia. It is possible that Christopher came to Virginia to be near some of these American relatives.

The American Revolution
For Christopher Norton the War for Independence must have been a personal battle. As a former British naval officer with decades of service, he was trained for command and had already lived a life of action at sea. He knew what to expect from the British.

When the Declaration of Independence was signed Christopher was 58 years old. Thomas Jefferson lived just a few miles from the Norton plantation on the main Stage Road from Richmond to Charlottesville. Christopher was deeply involved with the patriot cause from the beginning.

His sons were among the first "Minute Men" of Virginia and were with Washington at the "Crossing of the Delaware" and Valley Forge. One son was an orderly for George Washington himself. Patrick Henry as Governor of Virginia later issued a land grant to Christopher Norton for his service as a patriot.

As fever for the Revolution grew, Sarah Norton, the oldest daughter married William Farney in November of 1775. William Farney (Farneyhough) came from a very wealthy family in the neighboring county of Ablemarle and was a Minute Man with Sarah's older brothers. At this same time Thomas Norton, the oldest son also married a girl named Elizabeth.

Thomas Norton and William Farney along with William Norton, the 2nd son probably joined with the 7th Virginia Regiment organized in Ablemarle County between February and May of 1776. Thomas Norton would have been 23 and William Norton 21. A third brother John was 19 at this time, but it appears he stayed at home to help manage the plantation for the time.

There is a strong family tradition that says that another son James Norton served as an orderly in George Washington's guard. James never mentioned this service in any of his War Pension applications, but I believe the family tradition is correct. I suggest that James joined his brothers at Valley Forge when he was 16 and served as an orderly at this time because he was too young to join the army.

The Norton family in 1778 consisted of Christopher and Mary about 60 years old, Thomas 26 (married to Elizabeth), William 24, John 22, Sarah 20 (married to William Farney) James 17, David 15 (our ancestor), Elizabeth 11 and Milly 4.

It appears that the Norton brother's enlistment was up in the early in the Spring of 1778. In May of 1778 Thomas Norton purchased 300 acres on a branch of the North Mill Creek commonly known as "Wolfs Place" in southeast Rockingham, Virginia. Close by is William Farney who was married to Thomas' sister Sarah. This land is only 40 miles from the family farm in Fluvanna County but just over the Blue Ridge Mountains and served as a "safe" place when the British moved through Albemarle and Fluvanna in 1781. It is apparent that the family of Christopher Norton located there for safety from the British from the war record of James Norton.

The Virginia Militia was sent to defend Charlestown along with the Continental army in July of 1780. The Americans were defeated by General Cornwallis and only 250 men out of an army of 5,000 escaped capture. The American prisoners were held on prison hulks in Charleston harbor.

Thomas Norton was a corporal in the Virginia line. William was there with Thomas and David Norton (our ancestor) had just joined the Virginia Militia in May of 1780 when he was 17. We know from our family history that Thomas Norton was captured and died on a British prison hulk in Charleston Harbor. Sarah Norton's husband William Farney is probably also either captured or killed at Charelston because court records show Sarah's family are left fatherless from that time. David's war record says he served until November 1782, the month the war officially ended. William and David must have made many friends while prisoners of the British. Both brothers settled in South Carolina after the War.

With three sons captured and the British in Virginia, the two remaining Norton sons (James and John) joined the the Virginia Militia for the final battle at Yorktown.

Sadly the end of 1781 brought the business of taking care of the families and estates of Thomas Norton and William Farney who died on a British prison hulk in Charleston Harbor. John Norton, the brother of Sarah was appointed executor of William Farney’s estate posting a bond for 30,000 pounds. He was also appointed guardian of their only son, John Farney. The children of Thomas Norton are also bound out to wards of the court.

James Norton set out to explore Kentucky soon after the fall of Yorktown and traveled through the Cumberland Gap into the area of Lexington and Boonsborough just in time to participate in the last battle of the Revolution at Salt Lick, Kentucky.

Ten months after Yorktown the British attacked at Lexington luring the frontiersmen into an ambush called the "Battle of Blue Licks". It took place near a salt spring along the Licking River in Central Kentucky north of Boonesborough and Bryan's Station. The Indians feigned an attack on Bryans Station knowing that the frontiersmen would pursue. Which is exactly what they did. The Indians lured a militia of 180 men into an ambush. It is well documented that James fought with Daniel Boone in this battle and he is mentioned in Boone’s history. Of the less than 200 that went in this battle 77 died. James Norton was called "Old Fighter Norton" in eastern Kentucky and fought in Indian wars until 1791.

The Family regroups
While James Norton was in Kentucky, the rest of the family regrouped. William and David are released in Charleston about November of 1782 and return to home to Virginia. After James returns from Kentucky the decision is made for the family to relocate there. Many Virginians from Fluvanna and Albemarle counties move to Kentucky at this time. We know that the neighbors of Christopher Norton move at this same time.

It seems they began moving out of Virginia from 1784 but the move was not completed until the plantation in Fluvanna is sold in November of 1788. Kentucky was still a dangerous place in 1784 with many Indian raids taking place. In fact it wouldn't really be safe for another six years and the Nortons stayed close to the Lexington area during this time.

In the meantime all the Norton sons will marry. John Norton married Sarah Spencer probably in Lexington, Kentucky. David Norton married Sophia Fancher possibly in Virginia or Kentucky about the same year.

All of these families, the Spencers, Bybee, Benefiel and Fancher families settled with the Norton family in Kentucky. It appears from the sale of the Fluvanna land that Christopher Norton, the father has died by 1788. The history given by Eliza Benefiel Trimble also says that he died in Virginia.

Thanks to Scott Norton for doing so much research and placing this history on his webstie. His info on Christopher Norton can be found here.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Stephen Chase and Orryanna Rowe

  • Stephen Chase 1799-1847
  • Orryanna Rowe 1784- ? (after 1851)
  • Related through: Dan's grandfather Lynn Crookston
Stephen, the son of Phebe and Barry Chase, began life April 11, 1779 in Frederickstown, Dutchess, New York. Orryanna, daughter of David Rowe and Mary Thomas, was also born in Dutchess County, about twenty-five miles further north. She was born on June 1, 1784 at Sharon, near the town of Amenia. It was an agricultural area settled by families of poor to modest means.

By 1790, the Barry Chase and David Rowe families had both taken up new land at Providence, Saratoga, New York. Stephen and Orryanna married May 12, 1799, probably in Providence.

Families of that time were often moving west in search of new opportunities. Stephen and Orryanna made their way to western New York where the new county of Jefferson had been created. They were among the earliest settlers of Ellisburg and stayed there for fifteen years. Seven of their twelve children were born in Ellisburg, located near the mouth of Sandy Creek and Lake Ontario.

When the United States declared war on England in 1812, Jefferson County became the scene of active military and naval operations. Sackets Harbor, an important shipbuilding center, became the headquarters for the army and navy on the northern frontier. Many volunteers were recruited to defend the area against British and Canadian forces. Stephen Chase became a private in the 11th Regiment, 715th Infantry. For his service in the War of 1812, he was later awarded a land grant in the newly opened military tract in Illinois. A document signed by President James Monroe in 1817 granted him 160 acres in what was then Pike County.

Stephen, Orryanna and eight of the children began a difficult and remarkable 2,000-mile boat journey to the Illinois frontier on September 10, 1820. Their daughter Asenath, who had recently married David Wallace, remained in Jefferson County. According to son Eli, the family entered the water at the mouth of Sandy Creek and crossed Lake Ontario to the Niagara River. They entered Lake Erie, crossed into Lake Chautauqua and entered the Allegheny River at the town of Warren in Pennsylvania. The journey took them many miles down the Allegheny to Pittsburgh and then down the Ohio River to Cincinnati where they spent the winter. Baby Stephen, who had been but a few weeks old when they left Ellisburg, died at Cincinnati and was buried there.

In the spring of 1821, the family resumed their travel down the Ohio until it met the Mississippi. From there, they went up the Mississippi and into the Illinois River. Two more children died along the way. The long river journey had cost them three children.

The Military Tract of Illinois included all of the land in the west central part of the state between the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers. Over three million acres were set aside as bounty lands for volunteer soldiers in the War of 1812. When Stephen Chase arrived to claim his 160 acres, he joined about twenty others who had come to the same immediate area for the same reason. Together they formed the settlement of Lewistown, which is now located in Fulton County. It was frontier wilderness area, covered with large trees and wigwams of friendly Indians. The family had to build a log house and then clear land, fence it and plant crops. It was plentiful country, abundantly filled with deer, game, fish, wild fruit and wild potatoes.

More settlers began to arrive and in 1823 the county of Fulton was formed from Pike. Stephen served as a judge in the first election held at Lewistown and was appointed by the Legislature to help select the location for the county seat. Stephen and Orryanna resided in Fulton County for ten years, during which time there were changes in the family. Two more children, Hiram and Mary Mariah, were born. Three of the children married (Orpha to Elijah Henry, Silas to Patsy Harris, and Orryanna to Ferdinand Van Dyke). Stephen and Orryanna were also converted to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and decided to make a move to Missouri where many members of the church were gathering. Leaving Orpha and Silas in Illinois, they set out on another difficult journey.

The Chases arrived in Jackson County, Missouri in the spring of 1832 and built a house in the Whitmer Settlement (located in present-day Kansas City). Shortly after, Stephen was ordained an Elder, serving under Bishop Edward Partridge. Many of the citizens of Missouri did not welcome the arrival of the Mormons and began to threaten their safety. Anti-Mormon violence in Jackson County began with an attack on the Whitmer Settlement on October 31, 1833. A mob tore off roofs and partially demolished ten houses, including that of Stephen Chase. Some of the men were beaten and women and children were pelted with rocks during the night of terror. Within a few weeks, most of the Whitmer settlers were driven out of the county. Many fled across the Missouri River into Clay County.

Stephen Chase took his family across the river into Clay County and set up emergency quarters for the winter. Other families joined them and the Chase Branch of the Church was established with Stephen directing the spiritual activities. In 1834, the refugees in Clay County petitioned the president of the United States for protection and for the return of their lands in Jackson County. Among the one hundred and fourteen signatures were those of Stephen Chase and his sons Eli and Darwin. When it became apparent that the Mormons would not regain their lands, citizens of Clay County asked them to move on to avoid conflict.

The legislature had just created a new county of Caldwell in an unsettled part of Missouri. The Church was able to obtain land there and established the city of Far West in 1836. A list of names of Far West residents on March 25, 1838 includes Stephen and Orryanna Chase and their children Eli, Darwin, Hiram and Mary. Stephen was ordained as president of the Far West Elder's Quorum on October 6, 1838. By then, Far West had a population of about 5,000 with another 5,000 throughout the county. Local Missourians feared the growing population and the influence it might have on slave issues and Indian relations. Members of the church were harassed and persecuted.

In order to protect families, homes and land, a Caldwell County Militia was formed. Ensign Stephen Chase and Sergeant Eli Chase were both listed in Captain Seymour Brunson's company. Conflicts eventually led to the Battle of Crooked River, a skirmish between the militias of Caldwell and Ray Counties. Two of Stephen's sons were involved in the battle in which four men died and a dozen were wounded. Eli was shot in the leg. His younger brother, twenty-two year-old-Darwin, was one of five men arrested and charged with murder for a death in the battle. He was released after spending five months in the dungeon of Richmond Jail. Shortly after that, Governor Boggs issued an Extermination Order and the Mormons were forced to abandon their homes and land and flee to Illinois.

In 1839, the refugees appealed to the federal government for compensation for their losses in Missouri. Over 600 individual affidavits were filed. Stephen Chase filed a sworn statement May 5, 1839 in Adams County, Illinois, asking for $1,500 in damages for loss of home, land, crops, animals, furniture and tools. Later, a 50-foot scroll petition was prepared and presented to Congress with over 3,000 signatures, including those of Stephen and Orryanna Chase. None of the appeals were successful.

Many members of the church gathered at Commerce, Illinois on the Mississippi River where they planned to create a city of peace. A conference was held there on 6 October 1839 for the purpose of organizing the people. After a stake and high council had been appointed for the new city of Nauvoo, it was voted to establish the Zarahemla Stake on the west side of the river in Iowa Territory. Elder John Smith was appointed President and Stephen Chase was appointed to the High Council along with eleven others. He later became a member of the Nauvoo 4th Ward. Records show that Stephen owned Lot 1 in Block 121 of Nauvoo. He also leased eight acres of farm land in Hancock County in partnership with Jeremiah Mackley. In addition to his farming and church work, Stephen served as a 1st Lieutenant in the Nauvoo Legion.

After a two-year mission to Canada and New York, Eli returned to Nauvoo bringing a new wife and child to join the family. Having lost most of their possessions in Missouri, life was a struggle in Nauvoo. But the family was blessed by the building of the temple and all of the family members were able to participate in ordinances there. In just a few years the Mormons had turned swamp land into one of the largest and most productive cities in Illinois. Hard work and sacrifice had provided a refuge, but it did not last. People from surrounding areas feared that the Mormons would soon dominate the county, even the state. They were suspicious of the friendly relations with local Indians and resented the solidarity of the group. Conflicts escalated until leader Joseph Smith was murdered by a mob in 1844.

Hoping to escape persecution and find peace in the Rocky Mountains, the Latter-day Saints began moving out of Nauvoo. The Stephen Chase family joined the exodus in March of 1846 and made their way across Iowa, arriving at Council Bluffs on June 17. Shortly after their arrival, the call went out for 500 volunteers to go to California, aiding the army in the war with Mexico. Hiram Chase, age twenty-three, joined the Mormon Battalion and was able to send some of his pay back to help support the family. The Chase family did not stay at Council Bluffs that winter. Many settlements were spread down the Missouri River. From a description given by Eli, it appears that they went south into what is now Fremont County, Iowa. Stephen did not make it through that difficult winter. He died February 11, 1847 at the age of 68.

In the spring of 1847, Orryanna, now 63 years old, had no choice but to move on. In the company of her children, Eli, Darwin, and Mary, she moved closer to Council Bluffs. As William Sperry was leaving to go west, he gave his cabin at Highland Grove to Orryanna. The Chases stayed there for two more years, planting crops and preparing for the trip west. They were finally ready by June of 1849.

After a difficult journey, the extended Chase family (a group of eight), reached the Great Salt Lake on August 25, 1849. Orryanna's son, Hiram, was still in California. Two months later, Darwin was called to go to California with the James Flake Company. She was left in the care of Eli, but within a year and a half, Eli died prematurely from consumption. The women were left on their own. In 1851, Mary Mariah married Henry Packard who had served with Hiram in the Mormon Battalion. When the census was finally taken that summer, Orryanna at age 67 was living in Salt Lake with Mary and Henry. From there, the picture fades. So far, no record of her death has been found. Several different dates have surfaced, but none have been verified. It is hoped that future research may bring suitable closure to the life of one who sacrificed so much for her family and religion.
Thank you to Colleen Helquist who provided this history on her RootsWeb page.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Martha Elmina Norton

  • Martha Elmina Norton
  • Born: September 12, 1846 Keosaugua, Iowa
  • Died: June 15, 1885 Mink Creek, Idaho
  • Related through: Dan's grandmother Elvira Wilde Langford

Martha Elmina Norton was born September 12, 1846 in Keosaugua, Iowa which is a small community in Van Buren County, located about 40 miles west of Nauvoo, Illinois on the banks of the Des Moines River.

Her parents Alanson Norton and Sally Freeman had left Nauvoo with others of the Saints to escape severe persecution. One can only imagine how Martha’s parents must have felt having to leave Nauvoo, knowing that they were soon to have a child born in the wilderness.

They continued on west across Iowa and Alanson established a temporary community called Little Pigeon about 130 miles east of Council Bluffs. Church leaders thought it necessary to create these communities between Nauvoo and Council Bluffs to raise crops and provide resting areas for other Saints that would follow. Thus, baby Martha Elmina remained there for a time with her parents before they headed on west, departing from Kanesville (present day Council Bluffs) in the spring of 1851. After spending the entire summer on the trail they arrived in the Salt Lake Valley September 17, 1851 with the John G. Smith Company.

Alanson Norton initially settled his family in Provo. It was here that Martha lost her mother January 22, 1852 at the age of 34 of childbed fever. Martha was only five years old at this time. Her father did not remarry until almost four years later on November 3, 1855. Her step-mother’s name was Julia Ann Williams. Martha would have then been nine years old. In 1856 Alanson moved his family to Sugar House just south of Salt Lake City, Utah. Martha Elmina Norton was baptized there in 1857.

Martha met Thomas Hewlett Wilde and they were married June 15, 1862 in Coalville, Summit, Utah. At the time of their marriage Martha was almost 16 years old and Thomas was 21.

Martha Elmina and Thomas Hewlett Wilde made their home in Coalville and were blessed with their first child June 4, 1863 whom they named Thomas Henry Wilde, Martha being 16 at the time. Two years later they had another son Albert Alanson Wilde. A third son Jacob Henry Wilde was also born in Coalville. Unfortunately, however, he died as an infant.

During that period of history in the church there were select members of the church who were called upon to take part in plural marriage. Thomas Hewlett Wilde was one of these men who was asked to do this, which he did. Thus, on July 5, 1870 in the Salt Lake Endowment House he married Louisa Jane Carter (age 17). On this day Martha also received her endowments in the Endowment House and she and Thomas were sealed for eternity, they previously being married civilly for eight years.

Martha was 23 at this time and Thomas was 29. On September 1, 1873, Thomas married his third wife Sarah Jensen (age 17) in the Endowment House. Martha was almost 28 years old when Sarah came into the family. Thomas held the family together well and they lived in great harmony.

Sometime between 1867 and 1874 the family moved to Brigham City, Box Elder, Utah. It was here that Martha’s other children were born: Lawrence Brown Wilde, Milton Leonard Wilde, Louise Elmina Wilde, Emma Marie Wilde, and Joseph Henry Wilde.

Martha and her family re-located to Mink Creek, Franklin, Idaho around 1883 and her husband helped set up a sawmill in the mountains. It was here at Mink Creek that Martha Elmina Norton Wilde passed away June 15, 1885 at the age of 38. We don’t know the reason for her passing at such a young age.

This story was compiled by Mary A., direct descendant of Thomas Hewlett Wilde’s uncle William Wilde. Thanks Mary for making this history available on her family history website.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Henry Moon

  • Name: Henry Moon
  • Born: March 29, 1819 Eccleston, Lancashire, England
  • Died: November 14, 1894 Farmington, Utah
  • Related through: Erin's grandmother Margaret Udy Hanni

On a spring day, March 29, 1819, Robert and Ann Walton Moon welcomed their second child and first born son, Henry Moon, into their family at Eccleston, Lancashire, England. The Robert Moon family lived in the Horse Stone estate. Henry’s father, Robert, had inherited it from his father, Henry, and the estate had passed down through the Moon family for years. It was later sold a few years after Henry left England.

The names on Henry Moon’s genealogical pedigree alternate between Henry Moon and Robert Moon from father to son for the eleven generations preceding him. These eleven generations were all born in Lancashire, England from the mid-1500s down to Henry Moon, born in 1819. (Henry had a son named Robert, but this Robert Henry Moon had no sons, so the chain was broken.) The small English village of Eccleston, Lancashire, England where Henry was born lies about seven miles south of Preston and about five miles west of Chorley. Lancashire shares common boundaries with other English counties on the north, east and south, but on the west the Irish Sea defines her boundary.

Eccleston Church
Henry would have had no memories of his mother, Ann, because she died just thirty-six days after Henry was born, May 5, 1819 in nearby Chorley. Ann Walton Moon’s family buried her at Eccleston in the family’s burial place near the pulpit of the north aisle in St. Mary’s, an English church which dates from the fourteenth century. Henry had only one sibling, an older sister named Hannah, born sixteen months before him on November 20, 1817. Nothing is recorded of Henry’s younger years in England.

After Ann’s death at the age of thirty-two, Henry’s father, Robert, age thirty-four, married a second time to a lady named Hannah. It is not known when the marriage took place nor if there were any children born to them. The family lived in Horse Stone House.

Horse Stone House
“On Sunday, 4 June, 1837 an event occurred in Kirtland, Ohio, which determined the fate of many English families. Latter-day Apostle Heber C. Kimball says in his autobiography, “. . . the Prophet Joseph came to me. . . in the Kirtland Temple and whispering to me said, Brother Heber, the Spirit of the Lord has whispered to me, ‘Let my servant Heber go to England and proclaim my Gospel and open the door of Salvation to that Nation’. The Prophet Joseph sent Heber C. Kimball, Orson Hyde, and other missionaries to England. Not quite two months later, the group landed in Liverpool, July 20, 1837.

Heber C. Kimball stayed at the house of Matthias Moon (first cousin to Henry’s grandfather and father of Lydia) One evening while in England, Heber C. Kimball and Amos Fielding, by request, stopped at the home of Matthias and Alice Plumb Moon in Penwortham, a few miles north of Eccleston. Matthias belonged to the Methodist religion, and, prior to that, the Church of England. They had nine adult children, five boys and four girls. The two Elders were kindly received by the Moon family and they had a considerable conversation on the subject of the great work of the Lord in the last days.

From the Autobiography of Heber C. Kimball, we gain the following insight into the conversion of the Moons who lived in that area: “Having an appointment to preach in the village of Wrightington, while on the way I stopped at the houses of Brothers Francis Moon and Amos Fielding, when I was informed that the family of Matthias Moon had sent a request for me to visit them, that they might have the privilege of conversing with me on the subject of the Gospel. Accordingly, Brother Amos Fielding and I paid them a visit that evening. We were kindly received by the family, and had considerable conversation on the subject of my mission to England, and the great work of the Lord in the Last Days. They listened with attention to my statements, but at the same time they appeared to be prejudiced against them. We remained in conversation until a late hour, and then returned home. On our way Brother Fielding observed that he thought our visit had been in vain, as the family seemed to have considerable prejudice. I answered, ‘be not faithless but believing; we shall yet see great effects from this visit, for I know that some of the family have received the testimony, and will shortly manifest the same; at which remark he seemed surprised…

“I returned by the way of Brother Fielding’s, with whom I again tarried for the night. The next morning I started for Preston, but when I got opposite the lane leading to Mr. Moon’s, I was forcibly led by the Spirit of the Lord to call and see them again. I therefore directed my steps to the house. On my arrival I knocked at the door. Mrs. Moon exclaimed, ‘Come in! You are welcome here! I and the lassies (meaning her daughters) have just been calling on the Lord, and praying that he would send you this way.’ She then informed me of her state of mind since I was there, and said she at first rejected my testimony, and endeavored to think lightly on the things I had advanced, but on trying to pray, the heavens seemed to be like brass over her head, and it was like iron under her feet. She did not know what was the matter, saying, ‘Certainly the man has not bewitched me has he?’ and upon inquiring she found it was the same with the lassies. They then began to reflect on the things I told them, and thinking it possible that I had told them the truth, they resolved to lay the case before the Lord, and beseech Him to give them a testimony concerning the things I had testified of. She then observed that as soon as they did so, light broke in upon their minds; they were convinced that I was a messenger of salvation; that it was the work of the Lord, and they had resolved to obey the Gospel. That evening I baptized Mr. Moon and his wife, and four of their daughters.

“The same night I went to Leyland, and stayed with Francis Moon, and the next morning I went to Preston where I stayed about three weeks with Brother Hyde. “I visited Mr. Moon again, and baptized the remainder of his family, consisting of thirteen souls, the youngest of whom was over twenty years of age. They received the Gospel as little children, and rejoiced exceedingly in its blessings. The sons were very good musicians, and the daughters excellent singers. When they united their instruments and voices in the songs of Zion, the effect was truly transporting. “Before I left England there were about thirty of that family and connection baptized, five of whom Hugh, John, Francis, William and Thomas Moon, were ordained to be fellow laborers with us in the vineyard, and I left them rejoicing in the truths they had embraced.”

Lydia Moon, the third daughter and sixth child of Matthias and Alice Moon married Henry not too long after they arrived in America. Lydia and Henry’s father, Robert, were second cousins, thus making Henry a second cousin once- removed to Lydia. Lydia’s two oldest sisters, Hannah and Dorothy, were later sealed to Heber C. Kimball in Nauvoo.

Lydia was born eight years before Henry on October 9, 1811 in the same village of Eccleston. Lydia grew up in a religious and musical family in Pentwortham. Her parents were careful in teaching their children from the Bible. Her father and mother had a custom of leaving their duties and praying to God in secret every day at noon. They called the family together night and morning for family prayer.

Henry first heard the gospel in 1838 from Heber C. Kimball, Orson Hyde, Willard Richards and Joseph Fielding. Amos Fielding baptized Henry and his sister Hannah at Chorley, England on Friday, October 12, 1838. Quite a few Moons from various families embraced this new religion. Lydia’s first-cousin, Ruth Moon Clayton, joined the church there in Penwortham prior to her husband, William, who soon became a prominent player in Mormon Church history and wrote the notable pioneer anthem “Come, Come Ye Saints”.

Lydia’s father wanted to go to America but died November 12, 1839, prior to their departure from England. The family sold all the belongings they could not take with them and made preparations to leave. Lydia’s immediate family made up the nucleus of the first emigrating Saints. Henry Moon traveled south with his cousins to Liverpool where they boarded the ship, Brittania on Saturday night, May 30, 1840. They spent Sunday aboard the ship, but went back out into the city on Monday to buy more provisions. Early Saints had to provide their own food for the trip. At Brigham Young and Heber C. Kimball’s requests, Henry purchased calico for their wives in Nauvoo. Henry’s sister, Hannah, who was married and had a young son less than one year old must have remained in England.

There were at least 13 Moons on that first boat including Lydia (28) her mother and siblings, Henry (21) and some uncles. Brigham Young admonished Lydia’s brother, Hugh Moon, to keep a record of their journey. Since Henry traveled with this group, we get a good account of what Henry and Lydia experienced from Hugh’s journal entries.

Tuesday, June 2, 1840. They bought Richard Moon, [Lydia’s oldest brother] 36 yards of linen for a tent. When they returned to the ship, they found Elders Brigham Young and Heber C. Kimball aboard. They had stretched a curtain across their cabin and commenced blessing the company. They bid them to walk in. They laid their hands on their heads and blessed them in the name of Jesus Christ. They showed them a map and gave them directions about the route they should take to Commerce [earlier name for Nauvoo]. Friday, June 5, 1840. They went out into the [Mersey] river about 2 o’clock.

Saturday, June 6, 1840. They were let loose in the river about 4 o’clock and set sail. The Brittania, a packet ship flying the American flag, sailed out of Liverpool harbor bound for New York. She was captained by Master Enoch Cook. Her hull was black with a white strake running the length of the vessel. Black squares were painted on this white band to denote gun turrets to any hostile crafts. The ship’s fore-topsail may have had a painted black ball, the emblem of the famous Black Ball Line. As a side note, two years later, she was lost at sea. The Britannia was very much like many other ships sailing at that time - except for one historic difference. Among her passengers, she was carrying the first organized emigrant company of Latter-day Saints. Captain/Elder John Moon (Lydia’s brother) presided over those forty-one British converts. Some accounts say forty passengers and others forty-one. The History of the Church records under Saturday, June 6, 1840, “Elder John Moon and a company of forty Saints, . . . sailed in the ship Britannia from Liverpool for New York, being the first Saints that have sailed from England for Zion.”

Sunday, June 7, 1840. Most of them were sick. Monday, June 8, 1840. They had strong and boisterous wind. Tuesday, June 9, 1840. Some of them began to be a little better. From about this time to [the following Thursday] the June 18, they had much sickness; sea sickness “flucks” – had a strong head wind. For forty-two days, the small craft pitched and rolled across the Atlantic Ocean. Travel on these ships was unpleasant and uncomfortable.

Most Saints could only afford to sleep in cheap, overcrowded spaces. Overcrowding added to the misery of seasickness, dysentery, cholera, and other diseases. Between decks, these men, women and children had no choice but to crowd together as the ship rocked back and forth day after day. These crowded conditions created a fertile environment for the spread of diseases. A ladder or steep stairs provided the only exit. During a storm, the quarters were “hatched down” to prevent water from flooding the hold. The poorly ventilated constantly rocking cabins soon filled with smoke from a few dimly lit lamps. The terrible smells from seasick passengers only added to the suffocating smoke. Buckets or chamber pots took care of personal needs if they could be reached in time. Groaning land-lovers, whining babies, crashing waves and howling winds added to the seemingly endless journey. Passengers remained hatched down until the storms ended. The 630-ton ship weathered three severe storms.

Thursday July 2, 1840. They got to the banks of Newfoundland, saw a fishing craft, and bought some fish etc. As they sailed by Long Island all covered with green trees and white houses, they were thrilled. John Moon wrote to William Clayton, “Such a beautiful sight I never saw. Yea, I thought it did pay for all the hardships which I had gone through.”

On Friday, July 17, 1840, they cast an anchor in sight of the city of New York. They stopped in the [Hudson] river two days then came to the City. These foreigners spent three additional days in quarantine before they landed, “safe and in a tolerable state of health,” in New York, according to the report that went to Brigham Young.” They stayed in New York for eight days. The group may have split up at this point and traveled a different route to Nauvoo because Hugh wrote the rest of the group started moving again on Wednesday, July 29. They took a steamboat for Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. They sailed two hours and fifteen minutes then took railway two hours and twenty-two minutes and then steam again. They reached Philadelphia at three o’clock and spent Wednesday evening. On Thursday, July 30, they left from Philadelphia for Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. After eight more days of travel, the group arrived on Thursday, August 6, about ten o’clock at night. The next day, they rented a house in Biras Town, Pittsburgh. They spent two weeks there and then, on Friday, August 21, they crossed the Allegheny River and rented a house in Allegheny City just across the river from Pittsburgh.

Six weeks later, on Friday, October 2, Thomas Moon (Lydia’s Uncle) died at twenty-five minutes past ten o’clock p.m. of bilious fever. To add disappointment to sorrow, a week after Uncle Thomas died the group was informed the waters were too low. They had to remain until spring so they went into the country to thresh grain. Their hopes of reaching Nauvoo that year were dashed. A week later on October 9, 1840 they moved out into the country about fifteen miles north of the city and rented a house in Pine Township.

Just after the New Year, Lydia lost another uncle, Henry Moon, who was seventy-one years old. He died on Tuesday, January 19. Eleven days following his death, Lydia’s brother Captain John Moon performed a marriage for Lydia and Henry on Saturday, January 30, 1841. Lydia didn’t have to change her name because both her maiden and married names were Moon.

The next spring after the weather warmed and water was in the river again, the group traveled back down into Pittsburgh. They put their things on a boat by the name of William Penn on Saturday, April 3, 1841, and started floating down the river on Sunday. They reached Wheeling, West Virginia at 6 o’clock. Three days later, on Wednesday, April 7, they touched down on the riverbanks of Cincinnati, Ohio. Five days later, on Monday, April 12, they landed at St. Louis, Missouri. From St. Louis, they took a river steamer up the Mississippi River and were thrilled to finally reach Nauvoo, Illinois on Friday, April 16, 1841 after two weeks of river travel. When Henry shook hands with the Prophet Joseph Smith, “he was convinced more than ever that Joseph was the Prophet.”

After exchanging greetings, the group probably heard the news about a new temple to be built in Nauvoo. A temple built where they could “be baptized for those who are dead.” The prophet received this revelation a few months prior to the Moons’ arrival. These words penned by Henry years later may have been some of his thoughts at that time. “I think of what I came here for. I came here to keep the commands of God, to learn His will and then do it to bless myself and my parents. Although my mother I never knew, yet I shall see to her interest. Mother died before she had a chance of obeying the gospel. She will have a chance and everyone else since the priesthood was taken from the earth. Saviors shall stand on mount Zion in the last days. The work of God will roll on. No power can stay His hand.”

The Moons went to Montrose across the Mississippi River from Nauvoo the same day they arrived. William Clayton helped them move their luggage to a log house a half-a-mile from the river. While John Moon’s company was the first to leave England, it was not the first to arrive at Nauvoo. They were actually the third group to arrive. William Clayton’s group left Liverpool on September 8, 1840 and landed in New York. They traveled up the Hudson River, crossed the Erie Canal, Lake Huron, and Lake Michigan, landed in Chicago and took a boat down the Rock and Mississippi Rivers to Nauvoo. William Clayton greeted Lydia Moon’s family, so John’s group would have been the third group to arrive. Church leaders found the southern route via New Orleans to be more direct and less expensive because they could travel the whole distance by water. It became the main route after 1840.

Four days after Henry and Lydia arrived in Iowa, Henry along with his brothers-in-law, Hugh and John, went to work ditching for a man by the name of Bosher. They didn’t work long before they all got sick with ague. Lydia’s mother, Alice, “did for those who were sick while she could possibly get around.” She too had a heavy chill. She finally “gave up and took to her bed. She had a short but severe illness. She died Saturday, August 14, 1841 in Montrose, Iowa. The extremely hot humid August air must have added to their affliction and sadness.

A year later Henry and Lydia’s first child, a daughter Alice Ann, likely named after her two grandmothers, was born in Montrose, Lee County, Iowa on September 17, 1842. Her parents possibly worried over her from the beginning because she was blessed by Bishop Dabrimple the same day she was born. Her life on this earth was short lived. She died the next day on Sunday, September 18. Two years after the birth of their first child, Henry and Lydia welcomed a little baby boy on September 13, 1844, just months after the prophet Joseph and brother Hyrum were martyred. John Thomas Moon was born in Des Moines Township, Lee County, Iowa Territory west of Montrose. He was blessed in Nauvoo in 1845.

In the latter part of 1845, Hannah, Henry’s sister, with her husband John Wane and their two children, James and Margaret, came to the United States. They visited Henry and his family in the Nauvoo area. Perhaps their intent was to remain in the United States, but for some reason, they decided to return to England. Henry was disappointed when Hannah did not stay. In a letter Henry wrote to Hannah in 1858, he indicates there might have been contention with John, her husband. Henry wrote, “I must say that I have ever been sorry that I let you go back. John never had a mind of his own two hours together . . . One thing I must explain to you, sister, I wish I had not let you go back to England, I mean if you could have stopped here and felt happy. I know that to be a Latter-day Saint and not have the spirit of it is a hard case, but if we live for it we shall have it. Some may imagine that we have forgot them what we have left behind. I very often let my mind loose to think about things at home (once my home).”

Mobs continued to threaten and torment the Saints after their prophet was killed, but the members wanted to finish their temple and receive their sacred ordinances before leaving. The workers placed the vane on the Nauvoo Temple on Friday, January 30, 1846. This was the same day Henry and Lydia, in the Third Company, partook of their own Washing, Anointing and Endowment.

Three years after Thomas’ birth, Henry and Lydia’s third child, another son, Joseph Henry was born yet further into Iowa in Van Buren County, on July 30, 1847. This was four days after the first Mormon pioneers entered the Great Salt Lake Valley and seven months after Iowa attained statehood. Little Joseph was blessed by Elders John and Henry Moon, October 6, 1847 in Van Buren County.

The Moons left their home in Van Buren County in southern Iowa and started for Utah on Tuesday, May 28, 1850. It was a day after a tornado blew down the remaining north wall of the burned-out Nauvoo Temple. They also would have been very aware of the thousands of Mormons passing through the county with their animals as they moved westward. Henry packed up their two little boys, ages six and two, and left their farm, two years after Lydia’s brother Hugh had gone.

Henry and family traveled as an independent company with Lydia’s brother, John Moon, as their captain once again. Very little is recorded about their journey except a few journal entries by Henry. They crossed the Missouri River on June 21. On July 12, ten miles east of Fort Kearny, Lydia’s brother John died of cholera. Henry wrote, “This was a sorrowful time.” They passed through Laramie, Wyoming on August 13 and finally “reached the Valley of the Great Salt Lake City, October 5, 1850.”

Henry and Lydia settled in the Salt Lake City 1st Ward near her brother, Hugh Moon. Hugh lived on 700 South on the corner of 800 East. Henry also lived on 700 South between 700 and 800 East. This area was fairly close to the city center and quite densely settled by 1850. The 1st Ward was one of the original nineteen wards organized by Brigham Young on February 22, 1849.

Map of Salt Lake Moon homes

This area was famous for its flowing wells and pure water. Some thought it was the best area of the city to feel the “invigorating canyon breezes” which felt so cool and refreshing on hot summer evenings. Only a lone pine tree stood in the Valley when the pioneers arrived, so many of the homes were made from adobe bricks. Settlers tramped mud with bare feet, molded bricks and left them in the sun to bake. Henry said when he entered the Valley in 1850, “the only thing that greeted the eye was a barren sage brush plain.” He later mused, “truly the desert has blossomed as a rose and truly we have much to be thankful for.” Being a farmer, Henry started breaking up farmland so he could grow crops as soon as possible. The family lived on roots or any wild foodstuff that was palatable the first year because there was very little to eat. Later, Henry grew wheat on a 160-acre farm in the Sugar House area.

Henry married his second wife, Temperance Westwood, six years after he arrived in Salt Lake City, on March 18, 1856. Henry Moon entered into plural marriage with Temperance in the Endowment House. Henry was thirty-seven years old and Temperance sixteen. To the union between Henry and Temperance were born thirteen children, seven sons and six daughters.

The same year Temperance and Henry were married, Henry was ordained to the office of High Priest and Bishop of the Salt Lake 1st Ward. This took place on October 21, 1856 at a Bishop’s Meeting held in the Council House. His counselors were Hugh Moon and James Houston. Henry was sustained by the Saints to his new position at General Conference, April 1857.

LDS Bishops had sole responsibility for the schools in their wards and almost every ward had one. School buildings were used for both church meetings and school classes. The 1st Ward adobe school house was built soon after Henry arrived and was located on 800 East between 700 and 800 South just around the corner from Henry’s home.

Henry Moon's shed in Farmington
Temperance lived in Salt Lake for a time and then moved to a log home located at 1428 North Main on the farm Henry owned in North Farmington. The home had one large room with a shed on the north side and one enclosed bedroom for the boys. It no longer stands, but the original cellar is still there. Henry’s great-granddaughter and husband live in a home on the site today (2006). An adobe home on the west of the highway at 1199 North Main housed Temperance and the family after they moved out of the log cabin.

Henry started keeping a journal on Sunday, January 1, 1860. Almost every Sunday thereafter had an entry stating he went “for Circle Meeting and thence to the Tabernacle” to hear one of the brethren speak. (The current Tabernacle wasn’t completed until October 6, 1867.) Some of the speakers were: Brothers John Taylor, Orson Hyde, Orson Pratt, Joseph Young, President Brigham Young, Wilford Woodruff, and Heber C. Kimball. On Sunday evenings, Henry attended a ward meeting held in the school house. He either taught on the subjects he had heard that day or had guest speakers. Some days he spent taking care of tithing. On the first Thursday of each month, he attended Ward fast meetings inaugurated in 1855. It looks like he attended Bishop’s meeting twice a month at night and about once a month on Saturdays he attended a Priesthood meeting. Henry also presided over the meeting organizing the first Relief Society in his ward.

He wrote that he “went north” almost weekly, meaning he traveled to his farm in Farmington where Temperance and the children lived. He took John Thomas, Lydia’s oldest son, back and forth possibly to help Temperance with the farm. A fifteen-year-old would have been a big help doing chores.

On Saturday, January 4, 1868, Henry married his third wife, Mary Ann Thayn(e) in the Salt Lake Endowment House. Mary Ann was nineteen years old and Henry forty-nine. She bore Henry nine children. Mary Ann, the firstborn of eleven children, was born in Ontario, Canada to John Johnson and Sidney Boyer Thayn(e). Mary Ann’s father, John, immigrated to Canada from Glasgow, Ayrshire, Scotland as a young man. Her mother, Sidney Boyer, was a Pennsylvania Dutch girl of German descent. Her father bought and ran a saw mill there in Iowa. After arriving in Salt Lake, he set up a saw mill in Thayne Canyon east of the city. Thayne Canyon extends south from Mill Creek Canyon not too far up from the mouth.

Henry married Mary Ann in January, welcomed Temperance’s son Henry Moroni into the world on March 22. He also bid farewell to his first wife, Lydia, who died of breast cancer on July 9 at 9:10 a.m. in Salt Lake City (age of fifty-six ) — all these events within the first seven months of 1868. Temperance helped nurse Lydia during her illness. Henry’s descendants said the three wives got along well and helped each other. Temperance told her daughter, Olive Moon Potter, that Lydia always treated her with love and kindness and was like a mother to her in teaching and helping her in many ways.

Map of Farmington Moon homes.

Henry moved from Salt Lake City to Farmington early in 1870, but his counselor Joseph Warburton wasn’t appointed Bishop until November 14 of that year. Henry owned a large fruit orchard in Farmington. Fruit trees were among the first things planted in that area. Lots of mulberry trees were planted in Farmington in 1870 west of Main Street and south of Shepherd Lane, which would have been next to Henry’s land. The LDS Church experimented with the silk making process for a number of years.

Henry was called and set apart to serve a mission to the United States, October 9, 1871. He was gone for four and one half months. During the cold winter months of 1871 and 1872, Henry served his mission in Iowa and Missouri. He returned home to Farmington, February 22, 1872. His journal records his travels during his mission.

In the Wednesday, April 10, 1872 edition of The Evening News, the fourth day of General Conference was reported. Henry Moon was the first speaker in the Tuesday afternoon session, and he said: “I was one of the missionaries who were called to go to the United States last fall. In my travels I met with Mr. David Whitmer, one of the witnesses of the Book of Mormon. What made me visit him was, I was reading the testimony of the witnesses to some people on Shoal Creek, in Caldwell County. One of them, Mr. John Lefler, was very anxious to see one of these witnesses, and to hear his testimony. I went down to Richmond with him. We got to Mr. David Whitmer’s a little after dark. I told Mr. Whitmer that I was from Utah. ‘From Utah?’ said he. ‘Yes Sir.’ ‘Well, you have a good deal of trouble, I suppose, in Utah?’ Oh, not very much, I told him. He got up from his supper and went out of the house, and I followed him. I told him I wanted to have a few moments’ talk with him. He said he had not time, he wanted to see after some horses, and his son was sick. But I hung to him, and followed him in the street, and told him that this gentlemen, Mr. Lefler, who was with me, had come from Caldwell County, to see if that which was written in the Book of Mormon — the testimony of the witnesses — was true. Mr. Whitmer turned round to the Gentleman and said: ‘God Almighty requires at my hands to bear record of the truth of the Book of Mormon. That book is a true record; it is the pure gospel of Jesus Christ, translated by the gift and power of God through Joseph Smith.’ He then talked to Mr. Lefler, who also asked him a few questions. Then Mr. Whitmer talked a little to me about Utah. I asked the gentleman if he wanted any more conversation with Mr. Whitmer? He said, ‘No,’ he was quite satisfied, and we got on to the cars and went back to Caldwell County the same evening; “I am glad that I, with my brethren, can also bear witness with regard to the truth of the Book of Mormon and the establishment of the kingdom of God upon the earth, and that this is the kingdom established through Joseph Smith and Brigham Young. I am as satisfied of it, and I know it as well as I know that I am talking to this large congregation. Amen.”

Moon Park in Farmington, Utah
The Primary was organized for the children of the church on August 25, 1878 right there in Farmington by Aurelia Spencer Rogers. Sister Rogers recorded the names of all 224 children who attended the first meeting. Temperance and Mary Ann both had children who attended this historic event. The names of Temperance’s children who attended are: Rowene, 13; Henry, 10; Edmund, 8; Philip, 6; and Mary Ann’s children: Orson, 9 and Amanda, 8.

Henry moved Mary Ann and her family to Woodland, Summit County, Utah in 1881. Henry’s second son, Joseph Henry purchased land there in Bench Creek in 1874. The family had another farm to start so the whole family — Lydia and Temperance’s children along with Mary Ann’s — worked together cutting brush and picking rocks to clear the land. Henry claimed a homestead in Woodland for the purpose of going into the stock business. His land lay along the Provo River in Summit County. It was the ideal place for cattle and sheep because of plenty of free range grass. Woodland proved to be better for ranching and timbering than farming because of its short growing season. The 6,580 foot elevation meant hard cold winters. It wasn’t rare to have the fences covered up with snow.

Getting back and forth from Farmington to Woodland was sometimes very difficult during the winter months. The first families in the area took up land claims on the south side of the Provo River called Bench Creek in Wasatch County. Before long, people lived on both sides of the river that ran down through the valley, which acted as a dividing line for the two counties of Wasatch and Summit. Woodland was a six-mile strip of farmsteads on the north side of the Provo River. The mile-wide valley provided fertile ground to raise feed for their animals. Mary Ann’s parents, John and Sidney Thayn(e), probably moved from Salt Lake to Woodland sometime during this time. Many of the same family names in the Salt Lake 1st Ward Records show up in the Woodland Ward Records. Woodland was near the forested mountains that supplied trees for John Thayn(e)’s steam saw mill and the lumber business.

When the time came for a ward to be organized in Woodland, Daniel H. Wells presided at a meeting held in a two-room cabin on Sunday, July 24, 1881. He created the new ward and suggested they name the ward “Woodland” because of all the cottonwood trees that covered the valley. Elder Wells ordained and set apart Henry to the office of Bishop. John Thomas Moon, Henry’s oldest son, and William R. Smith were sustained as his counselors.While Henry served as Bishop in Woodland, he organized the Sunday School, YMMIA, and Primary. The Relief Society was already functioning.

Moon Circle, Farmington, Utah
At one time Henry wanted to move Temperance and her family to Woodland so he could have the two families together, but Temperance was comfortable in her four room adobe home in Farmington. She loved her roses, trees and garden and couldn’t bear to leave. Even though Temperance chose to stay in Farmington, it is likely that Henry took the children back and forth from Woodland to Farmington on his various trips. Temperance’s son Phillip said in his later years, he would rather go to Woodland than Disneyland. He had very fond memories of his early adventures in Woodland.

Henry owned big orchards and lots of land in Farmington and Woodland so his children were all taught to work in their youth. There were no idle hands around the homes. Hours were never set for the children, but they worked early and late. In Woodland, the children attended school in one room log building with one teacher. Amanda said, “I think it is a wonder one did secure any education at all under the circumstances.

The Edmunds Act was passed in the U.S. Congress on March 14, 1882 aimed at trying to stop the Mormons from practicing polygamy. Polygamy was now officially against the law and U.S. Marshals were sent to arrest those breaking it. The fact that Temperance and Mary Ann lived in distant towns at that time was probably good.

Henry suffered a stroke in 1888, a year after his last baby, Nephi, was born and a year before the Manifesto was issued. The stroke rendered Henry an invalid for the last six years of his life. All Nephi remembered about his father was “he was quite feeble.” What a hardship this must have been for the two wives who still had young children in their care. No government aid such as Social Security was available to them. After Henry had the stroke, he remained in Farmington with his wife, Temperance, who nursed him. Henry Moon’s undaunted spirit finally gave up and passed from this world to the next on November 14, 1894 at the age of seventy-five. Henry was buried in the Farmington City Cemetery next to his son Franklin.

Henry told his daughter Amanda, “All my life has been spent in service for others and I am not sorry for it, for after all we get the most pleasure in doing good.” In Henry’s words, he says, “I am happy and I want you to be happy. I am for peace, rightness, happiness and every other principle that is for the happifying [sic] of the human family and to increase and grow in the knowledge of the truth and to rise until I attain to the perfect stature of a man in Christ. How can that be done? By being faithful obedient to those holding the holy priesthood, keeping the commandments of God in all things. We are only sent here on a mission. We ought to fulfill that mission aright. The old ship Zion will land us safe if we will keep on board, but a great many jump off and that is the reason they get lost. If I had jumped off when I came to New York, the captain could not have landed me safe. It is just so with those that obey the gospel.”

Written by: Maureen Moon LaPray December 1999. It can be found in the book The Family of Henry Moon: Mormon Pioneer 1819-1894.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Olive Hills

  • Name: Olive Hills
  • Born: August 12, 1815 Brookfield, New York
  • Died: August 28, 1897 Payson, Utah
  • Related through: Dan's grandfather Lynn Crookston

Olive Hills, the daughter of Eunice and Amasa Hills, was born August 12, 1815 in Brookfield, Madison, New York. Nothing is known of her youth, but at age twenty-five she married Eli Chase who had come to Madison County as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. They were married on July 25, 1840 in East Hamilton, Madison, New York. It was there that Olive gave birth to their first child, a daughter named Harriet Louisa.

When the baby was four months old, Olive accompanied her husband back to Illinois. Her sister, Lydia, had also been converted to the Mormon faith and went to Illinois as well. By the time they arrived in Nauvoo, thousands of converts had gathered in the blossoming new town and hundreds of log homes, shops and brick buildings had been constructed. Records show Eli and Olive as tenants on the lot of Eli's father. In spite of the poor economic conditions of many of the people, work had begun on the Nauvoo Temple and all were expected to contribute what they could. Eli contributed physical labor and minimal amounts of cash. The women were asked to donate a penny a week for glass and nails and Olive made her contribution. When the temple neared completion, the Chases were able to participate in the blessings. Olive became a member of the Female Relief Society of Nauvoo on April 28, 1842, just a month after it was organized. The women helped provide food and clothing to the temple workers and gave aid to families in need.

Little is known of Olive's home life in Nauvoo, but a brief account indicates that an infant child was buried in October of 1842. Eli had gone through years of persecution in Missouri, but Olive experienced it for the first time while in Nauvoo. The influx of Mormons posed a threat to others in the area and resulted in continual harassment and mob violence. Plans were made to move west in an effort to find peace. Olive stayed in Nauvoo while her husband was gone for a month and a half, helping to start the exodus. When he returned, she made the difficult two-month trip across Iowa while pregnant. A few weeks after their arrival at Council Bluffs she gave birth to a daughter, also named Olive.

Three winters were spent in Iowa, growing crops and making preparations for the journey to the Rocky Mountains. By the time they were ready to leave, Olive was expecting another child. During the three-month journey across the plains, she gave birth to daughter Helen along the Platte River, somewhere in western Nebraska or eastern Wyoming.

The Chase family arrived in the Salt Lake Valley August 25, 1849. The challenges were far from over. Only a year and a half later, Eli died of consumption. Olive, with little means, was left with three young children and another on the way. On July 5, 1851, she gave birth to a son, named after the father he would never know.

A year after the loss of her husband, Olive became a plural wife of James G. Browning of Ogden. Two daughters, Mary Ann and Eveline, resulted from that union. She lived in Ogden for about ten years but at some point her marriage to Browning ended. On July 1, 1865 Olive became the wife of George Garner who ran a freighting business and a hotel in Payson, Utah. She had two connections to George. He was her brother-in-law, having married Lydia Hills in Illinois in 1843. He was also the father-in-law of Olive's daughter Helen.

In 1877, Olive became widowed when George had a fatal accident with a run-away wagon. She lived for twenty more years in Payson, looked after by some of her children. She died on August 28, 1897. She is buried in an unmarked grave in the Payson City Cemetery.

Thank you to Colleen Helquist who provided this history on her RootsWeb page.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Frances Sarah Brown

  • Name: Frances Sarah Brown
  • Born: December 13, 1834 Pullham Market, Norfolk, England
  • Died: June 14, 1922  Salt Lake City, Utah
  • Related through: Dan's grandmother Melva Castleton

Frances Sarah Brown was born December 13, 1834 to Robert Brown and Mary Ann Booty in Pulham Market, Norfolk, England, in the parish of St. Mary Magdalene. She was the fourth of fourteen children and the oldest girl. She was known to her family as "Fanny." She worked hard helping with the large family in her home, but it became necessary for her to go out to work as a servant girl.

She left her home and went to Lowestoft, Suffolk, England, about twenty-two miles away. There she met and eventually married James Joseph Castleton. He had been seeing the Mormon missionaries and was anxious for her to hear the gospel also. Together they studied and became converted. James was baptized in January 1853, and she embraced the gospel and was baptized October 12, 1853.

January 2, 1854, they were married in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, England. Frances was busy keeping an orderly home and giving birth to four sons. They were very active in the church affairs, and found much joy and love in the gospel, but they weren't completely satisfied. The longing to be in Zion with the main body of the Saints continued to grow. On June 4, 1863 with the first company of Saints to leave the London docks, they started for Zion. The family sailed on the ship Amazon, directed by William Bramell with 891 Latter-day Saints aboard. Six weeks and three days at sea was a long trip for the young couple and four active little boys, Charles, Will, George and Frank.

July 18th, they were so happy to arrive in New York City, but a hard part of their journey was still ahead. In several days they made it to Florence, Nebraska by train, where Thomas E. Ricks met the company and became their leader. It was late in September and very cold when they arrived at Fort Bridger, Wyoming. They were cold and weary; the soldiers took them in to warm up and fed them buffalo stew for supper. Their little boy, Will said, "it was the best I ever ate."

Frances who was expecting her fifth baby in December walked every step of the long hard journey. Even the little boys walked except two year old Frank who was occasionally boosted upon a wagon or on his Father's broad shoulders. Times were hard, their bodies ached, and they longed for a fireplace or a warm soft bed. They were a cheerful happy people and I'm sure this and their love for music and their God helped make the journey easier.

"The whole company arrived in Salt Lake City, and encamped on the Union square on Saturday and Sunday October 3rd and 4th, at the time of General Conference of the church. They were in good health and fine spirits. After attending General Conference, they distributed themselves among the people of the territory, like the water of a river as it empties into the sea, and could now be found only by searching 25,000 square miles of country." (March 1980 Ensign)

Our grandmother walked across the plains, arrived in Salt Lake October 3, 1863, and on December 29, 1863 she gave birth to her fifth son, James Samuel. It was cold, Frances was living in a tent, and far from her cozy cottage and family she left across the ocean in England. Still, they knew it was true and were so happy to be in Zion with the Saints. Those that knew her said they never heard an utterance of regret or discontentment.

Soon they moved into a small house with a mud roof on Second and "D" Street. When it rained, an umbrella had to be placed over her and the new baby to keep the mud and rain off them. Everywhere they went they made things beautiful with lovely yards and gardens, and the gift of music, with which they were blessed. As soon as they were able James bought the corner of Second Ave and "L" Street. It was ten rods square, and they constructed a two room adobe house, which was afterwards the store warehouse for many years.

She later had a beautiful little girl, Martha Ann. They were able to have her for only a short time. When little Martha Ann was two years and five months, she was called back to our Father in Heaven. Grandmother said this was the hardest trial she ever had to bear.

After coming to this country her dear husband, James was a gardener for Brigham Young for many years. My grandfather, Arthur Robert, told how he delivered vegetables to the wives. He said, "They were dandy women." One day when he was about nine years old, Brigham Young ruffled his hair and asked whose little boy he was. Grandpa told him and Brigham Young said, "Oh you're Jimmy's boy, well he's a fine man." Grandpa was pleased and told us this many times.

James’ health began failing him and he became very ill. As always Frances pitched in and with her boys opened a store in her home. Her boys all played musical instruments; they organized a band and hired out for dances. They gleaned wheat from below Liberty Park which they threshed and had ground into flour. Coal was out of the question as it was so expensive. Their fuel consisted to a large extent of brushwood, which was gathered off the foothills by the boys.

They even cooked the bulbs of Sego Lilies to eat. In later years their mother often had the beautiful Sego Lily flowers in a vase on her table, she loved them so much and she felt they had helped them to sustain life.

After suffering for several years, her beloved James finally passed away on 26 November 1882. After 48 years of marriage, she was left with her six boys.

Frances was a widow for forty years, and was known for her goodness to everyone. She was first counselor in the Relief Society for many years. When she was over 60 years old, she was released but this didn't stop her. She was always there to help the sick or anyone she thought needed something. She went to the Temple often. On June 14, 1922 she finally joined her husband in death.

Thanks to Grandma Melva for writing and providing this history.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Elizabeth Carson

  • Elizabeth Carson
  • Born: July 7, 1822 Lewistown, Pennsylvania
  • Died: November 7, 1898 Star Valley, Wyoming
  • Related through: Dan's grandmother Elivra Wilde Langford

Elizabeth was born July 7, 1822 in Lewistown, Mifflin Co. Pennsylvania to Ann Hough and George Carson. She was the fourth child of a family of eight. Her parents joined the church when she was young and they suffered many persecutions of the early saints. One night the mobs came to burn the homes of their family. They ran to the woods with their blankets and covered their children to shelter them from the rain that was falling. Their home was spared while many were burned. She saw the falling stars spoken of in Church history. She described them as flakes of fire falling like flakes of snow in a snow storm, remaining light until a few feet from the ground. She married Patison Delos Griffeth at Nauvoo, Hancock, Illinois April 26, 1846.

Beginning on May 17, they crossed the plains from Nauvoo with the Garden Grove Company (also know as the Walton Co.) They were equipped with two wagons; one drawn by a yoke of oxen, the other by two milk cows to furnish them with milk and butter as they traveled. On September 19, 1851 she gave birth to Louisa Emily at Green River, Sweetwater, Wyoming. They arrived to the valley of the great Salt Lake October, 1851. After scouting to find a place to settle, they went with the Carson’s to Fairfield, or Cedar Fort, where Elizabeth's brothers, William, David, George, and Washington were located. Patison and Washington took up land outside the fort. They cleared the land, fenced and it and built two granaries and a small cabin.

On February 21, 1856, hostile Indians were a threat to their peace, killing George and destroying their machinery. Elizabeth, with her small family, watched the battle from the fort and saw her brother's white horse coming up the trail with his lifeless body thrown over the saddle. The Indians also returned and scalped Washington and a hired hand. Fortunately, Patison was gone to another settlement at the time, returning with grain from the mill. Elizabeth did not know for some time what had happened to her husband.

They had a hard time getting food and starting over after the Indian raids. Another threat to their peace came in 1857 when U.S. President Buchanan sent Johnston's army to Utah. The army camped near the Carson settlement known as Camp Floyd. Over 5,600 Calvary came to settle outside the Griffeth and Carson fort. John Carson had built a fine Inn (Stage Coach Inn) which housed General Johnston and other dignitaries.

It was 1860 when Brigham Young called the Patison Griffeth and Hyde families to settle Cache Valley. Elizabeth had six little children at this time, showing a new baby Uraina born that year. Taking a trip to the Logan area was challenging at best. To get new roots must have taken tremendous work and sacrifice for her and her young children.

On February 7, 1863 she gave her consent for Patison to marry a second wife, Sarah Elizabeth. Sarah was a young convert from England, only 17 years old. Again, the faith of Elizabeth was tested. The U.S. marshals were sent to imprison polygamists. Patison took Sarah to live at a new settlement of Fairview, Idaho. The settlement was 1 1/2 miles north from the Utah/Idaho line on the Bear River. She was the first white woman to settle there. She was a great nurse, student, weaver and knitter. She had nine children.

Elizabeth raised a large family of eight children and was a leader in the Relief Society. She was a tall, stately woman with auburn hair and rich brown eyes that looked like velvet. She was rather quiet and a real homebody. She was devoted to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She often wore checked waist aprons with cross-stitch trimming. She wore her hair combed neatly with a black lace cap and black drop earrings. Her house was one large log room, which served for bedroom and living room. She had two double beds that were always made with white spreads over them. The chairs had white crocheted throws over them. She kept a very orderly and clean house. While on a visit to her daughter's home in Star Valley Wyoming, she became ill. She died November 7, 1898. She was buried in Hyde Park, Cache, Utah. Her family loved her and honored the great legacy she left.

Thanks to John Pratt for providing this history on his family history website.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Johanna Charlotta Scherlin

  • Johanna Charlotta Scherlin
  • Born: February 22, 1832 Karlskrona Blekinge, Sweden
  • Died: August 15, 1915 Thatcher, Arizona
  • Related through: Dan's grandfather Heber Otto Langford
Johanna Charlotta Scherlin was born in Karlskrona Blekinge, Sweden, February 22, 1832. She was the daughter of Nils Magnus Scherlin and Ulrika Lovisa Wass. There were nine children in the Scherlin family. Nils Magnus and his wife were married in Karlskrona. All the children were born and grew up there.

Karlskrona is a seaport, and life there centered around the sea. The Scherlins were middle-class people, and Johanna’s childhood was considerably different than Hans’ childhood. Her father’s position as a civil servant did not require him to move about looking for work as did Han’s father, and judging from the homes they lived in, he brought in a good salary.

Nils Magnus- Scherlin was the Stads M├Ątaren, interpreted, that means he was the "city measurer." Apparently it was his duty to estimate the value of an incoming ship’s cargo to determine its value for duty purposes.

The children, including the daughters, received a good education. When the boys were old enough, they were placed as apprentices to learn trades. Johanna had a lovely soprano voice and could accompany herself on the guitar. When her father asked her what she would like to study, she told him she would like to learn how to weave. She may have become interested in weaving by watching the many weavers at work in the city. Even though her brothers teased her about wanting to learn such a "practical" trade, her father supported Johanna in her desire. The brothers probably expected Johanna to learn something more suitable to the social position of the family, such as music or painting. Her choice turned out to be an excellent one because when she immigrated to Utah, she earned her living by sewing and weaving until Hans finally joined her.

Johanna is described as being about five feet six inches in height, with lovely blue eyes and black hair. She was always slender, even in her older years, and her hair remained black almost all her life. Her granddaughter, Zina Charlotte Chlarson Langford, remembered her as being kindly and efficient. She always kept herself busy. She was firm, yet loving, with her children, and it was said that once she made up her mind, nothing could change it.

On December 20, 1854 her father, Nils Magnus Scherlin, died leaving her mother, Ulrica Lovisa, a widow. Johanna was 21 years of age at the time of her father’s death. There is no will for Nils Magnus Scherlin, so we do not know who supported her and her minor children. Perhaps the older brothers helped support the rest of the family. Most of the homes or apartments where the Scherlin family lived were within easy walking distance of the harbor, where Nils Maqnus did his work.

Charlotte Langford, granddaughter of Hans and Johanna, recalls some interesting traditions, which her grandmother had related to her. In the city as well as in the country, there was no running water in the homes. All water had to be carried from community wells. It seems the people would save up their laundry all winter, and when the spring thaws came, the washerwomen would collect it and wash it in the streams and lakes. Another was that because of the ground being frozen during the winter, they would collect the dead and keep them frozen during the winter to bury them in the spring when the ground thawed.

Johanna and her mother were receptive to the message of the restored Gospel brought to them by missionary Hans Nadrian (her future husband). However, the "Mormons" were not looked upon with any more favor in Karlskrona than other places where the missionaries served. When the Schelin brothers found that their mother and their sister wanted to join the Church, they absolutely forbade it. They threatened to send the women to an insane asylum if they persisted with their foolishness. Nevertheless, Johanna was baptized February 1, 1861 and her mother, Ulrika Lovisa Scherlin, was baptized January 22, 1862.

Johanna was 29 years of age; Hans was two years her junior. The young couple must have fallen in love while Hans was teaching the gospel to Johanna and her mother, because they were married on September 20, 1861.

Because the brothers were so against the Church, Johanna and Hans would probably have had to be married secretly. Every girl has dreams of what her wedding will be like, but, of necessity, all the formal traditions of a Swedish marriage would have had to be waived. The marriage record has not been found. It may have been too risky to have had banns published three weeks in a row — and it was common that these be read in the bride’s parish church. The couple was probably married by the local LDS Branch President.

The young couple and Johanna’s mother left Karlskrona and moved to Rbnneby, Blekinge. In the Rbnneby Lutheran birth registers is listed Heber Otto’s birth (that is the name he was known by on the church records in America) as noted by the excerpt from Hans’ journal.

Hans says in his personal history: I continued preaching until 1861 and on the 20th of Sept. I was married to Johanna Charlotta Scherlin from Carlskrona, Blekinge. For my living I worked as a photographer. In March 1862 I sent my wife’s mother, Louisa Ulrika Scherlin, to America. She arrived at Salt Lake City, Utah, where the Saints gathered the same year. On the 17th of November 1862 our firstborn Otto Hebor Andanius was born. In the month of March 1863, I sent my wife and new son to America. My business affairs prevented me from going with them. She arrived there the 29th of August, the same year; at this time I left the Fatherland for Denmark. In Feb. 1864 I went to Germany and back again in July of the same year. Soon after I left for America.

Johanna and Heber Otto left the Skane Conference in the spring of 1863 and sailed on the "John J. Boyd" from Liverpool on the evening of April 30 - The voyage lasted 29 days, and all arrived safely in New York harbor on Sunday, June 1.

On the evening of the same day the company boarded the train to Albany, and from there went on to Florence, Nebraska, arriving there June 11. One passenger wrote: "The journey by railroad was more pleasant that we had expected to find it, as the train stopped often and at some length at some of the principal cities we went through, giving us opportunities to straighten our legs and move about, see some of the country and satisfy our ever increasing appetite for sightseeing. An old conductor, who claimed to have been acquainted with Joseph, the Prophet, was clever enough to stop the train when we arrived at Palmyra, NY, where the Prophet first entered upon his remarkable career. He showed us the house in which the Prophet resided, the woods in which he received heavenly visions and the Hill Cumorah, where he obtained the Book of Mormon plates. This information went like wildfire from car to car and all who possibly could do so got out to have a view of these dear historic places, and to pluck a flower or blade of grass from the locality as a memento to carry away with them. A few moments later, after the whistle of the engine had signaled for ‘all aboard’ the train again glided onwards towards the object of our journey."

Hans says Johanna arrived in Utah on August 29 of the same year, which means she went in the company of Captain John R. Murdock who led the first team to cross the plains in 1863.

One of the stories to come from that trip across the plains is about Johanna. She had been told to get a sunbonnet to shield her face from the sun. When she went shopping, she fell in love with a frilly little bonnet and bought it instead. She must have received considerable teasing from the other members of the wagon train. She is reported to have received such a heavy tan crossing the plains that she never did lose it all.

It took Hans several years to join his wife in Utah. He had a series of adventures on his way west, including a shipwreck and fighting in the U.S. Civil War. During all this time, in Salt Lake City, Johanna was earning her living with her sewing and weaving. It had been a few years since she last saw Hans. He had planned to be with them as soon as possible. She had received no mail in all that time from Hans. What had happened? Was he still alive? In addition to her anxiety about his absence, she was being pressured to join families as a polygamous wife. She was not getting any younger. If she was to have other children, she needed to be having them. Family tradition says she took her problem to Brigham Young. He asked her if she thought her husband was still alive, and if so, did she think he would try to find her. She said, "Yes." Brigham Young advised her to follow her heart. What she didn’t know was that the local postmaster, who was in love with her had been withholding her mail. Hans had written, but she had not received one of his letters.

Hans was reunited with his family in October of 1866, when Heber was four years old. Later Hans entered into polygamy which both he and Johanna looked upon as a commandment of the Lord. When persecution against the practice of polygamy became acute in Utah, he moved his families to Thatcher, Arizona, where he owned a sawmill business and also built homes throughout the area. Hans died November 10, 1910, and Johanna Charlotta died August 15, 1915. They are buried in the Thatcher, Arizona cemetery.

This history was researched and written by Ida-Rose Langford Hall. Taken from her paper. THE VIKING IN US From Sweden to America (1832-1866): The Life Story of Hans Nadrian Chlason and Johanna Charlotta Scherlin. It was rather long so I abridged it, but you can read the whole thing here.