Monday, June 19, 2017

CARTER REUNION - DAY 2 - June 17, 2017

Day two of the reunion dawned beautiful again with the temperature that never quite hit 80.

We started out at the Carterville Park - named for John H Carter who farmed to the south of the park on the Provo Bench.  This is a beautiful park and a most fitting place to meet.  At 10 AM we held our business meeting.  Val Dunn gave our financial report.  We then brought the group up to date on the Carterville Cemetery situation back in Iowa.  The group elected to not do anything at this time with regards to attempting to purchase this property.  We will discuss this further in future communications with the group.  We did discuss the possibility of placing a headstone or memorial in the Fletcher Cemetery in Tioga, IL for John Carter.  Robert Givens said he would talk to the cemetery people and find out if this is a feasible project.  The Charter for The John and Hannah Knight Libby Carter Family Organization was amended as proposed with two minor additions.  Next we elected the officers of the organization. The slate of previous officers, since they were willing to continue, were elected to serve for the next two years (with the two new positions added.)  The list is as follows:

Robert Givens - President
Cody Carter - Vice President
Val Dunn - Treasurer
Dr. Andree Swanson - Secretary
Charles Carter - Webmaster
Glenda Wright - Genealogist
Scott Allen - Publicist
Todd Robbins - Social Media Specialist

Our last item of business was to discuss where we want to meet in 2019.  Two years ago the group that met in Omaha chose San Diego to be our next reunion site so we could recognize Richard Carter, who died on the Mormon Battalion march.  There was a real division in this group between that site and Nauvoo.  We chose to table this decision for a short while and will get back to the group as a whole to find out who would be willing to attend our next reunion at either site.

We then adjourned to the Provo City Cemetery for the highlight of our reunion - the recreation of the 1941 dedication of Hannah Knight Libby Carter's headstone.  A little history is needed here for those who might not know the whole story.

Hannah died on October 20, 1867 in Provo probably at the home of Dominicus Carter, her son, since she appears to have lived with him.  She was shortly buried on a cold winter day in an old pioneer cemetery not far from Carterville Park.  This cemetery, Grandview Cemetery, was located at the point that three pioneer land grants met.  It was started about 1860 when one of the land owners needed to bury a child.  From that others asked to bury they family there too - including our Hannah.  About 1879 these farmers were unhappy that this little cemetery had grown to over 60 burials and decided to allow no new burials and requested that the families of those who were buried there remove their departed loved ones at the family's expense.  Hannah was then moved to the Provo City Cemetery.

About 1940 or so a former Carter family organization decided the headstone on Hannah's grave needed to be replaced and this was done in 1941 with a ceremony that we created last Saturday.  We were helped by finding a letter describing the event and obtaining a copy of a movie film of the actual event.

Hannah's stone with the children's roses
So on Saturday, June 17th, 2017 (150 years after her death and 74 years after the present headstone was dedicated) we again met as a family at her grave.   (I need help here and will edit this post as i am given the names I don't have.)  Robert Givens giving an abbreviated version of the life of Hannah.  Gary Carter, the grand son of  John F Carter who sang two songs at the original dedication, sang one of the songs - An Angel from on High   Children in the group were given roses to place on the headstone just a the children had 74 years ago.  ???? the oldest descendant in attendance also was given a rose to place on the stone.  ??? closed our simple ceremony with a touching prayer.   

Some of the group at Hannah's grave

We also recognized Charles Carter who was instrumental in forming this organization and has worked tirelessly on its behalf for over a decade.  He gave a short talk about the granite bench that the organization placed here a number of years ago.  It recognizes all the pioneer children of our family buried here and across the plains and nation who lie in unmarked graves.  It is shaped as a bench so family members may come here and sit and reflect on our family's history and the sacrifice of those who came before.

Grandview Cemetery Marker
Yummy Luncheon
After this ceremony the family adjourned back to Carterville Park for a luncheon provided by the organization.  We had chicken, potato salad, regular salad, rolls, and cookies with ice cold water to drink.  Many hung around for a couple of more hours to visit with their new and old friends.  Near the end of our afternoon meal those that wanted to took a short trip over to the Grandview Cemetery site to see where Hannah was originally interred. 

Again we want to thank Layne Carter and any others that took the time to prepare and put on this excellent reunion. Recognition needs to go to Michael Lambert for his outstanding photographs which were used to illustrate this blog entry.

CARTER REUNION - DAY 1 - June 16, 2017

Well it was time for the biannual John and Hannah Knight Libby Carter Reunion again.  This year we chose to meet in Provo.  For day one we were at the LDS Church Pavillion at 350 East 2950 North, in Provo.  It was a delightful setting and the weather was wonderful - the high was right around 80 degrees.

Part of the group at the pavilion
Our goal was to share and record lost stories of our ancestors - our attempt to fill out the family tree with people that recorded life stories.  Several people brought their stories for us to copy and I for one prepared PDF versions of this blogs life stories of John and Hannah.

Boards were provided that showed all of John and Hannah's children and each of their marriages with children.  Attendees were asked to record their line back to the child of John and Hannah on the chart. This helped us know who was represented.
Dr. Andree Brown Swanson recording her line

This is an example of out charts.
This allowed us to determine who descended from whom.  It was a great attention grabber and many people spent a pleasant time talking to their cousins (many whom they had never met.)

Many attendees  brought life stories and pictures to share.  This was just an enjoyable time getting to know one another.

We were excited to announce our announce our new effort - a YouTube Channel called The John and Hannah Knight Libby Family.   It can be found at

You can subscribe and be told when we add new videos. Currently we have two -

1) Carters of Maine Conversion Story - This tells the story of Hannah's conversion with some new twists.
2) Memorial for Hannah Knight Libby - This highlights the video of the 1941 dedication of the headstone that is on Hannah's grave - which ceremony we recreated today.

Thank you to Layne Carter and his son, Skyler for their efforts on doing these two short videos.

This final image is a chart Layne created to help show all the inner-connections between the Bean family and the Carters that surely led to Dominicus and later Hannah and several more of the kids being converted.  The missionaries what came to the door of Hannah's house on July 4, 1834 were not just missionaries but Daniel Bean was actually a relative on multiple levels.

Web of relationships leading to Hannah's conversion

Saturday, June 17, 2017


Our family organization is going to begin branching out in our efforts to educate the descendants of John and Hannah Knight Libby Carter in the history of our family.  In addition to our web page -, this blog and our family group on Facebook - we are proud to announce our own channel on YouTube.

Check us out at
You can subscribe and be told when we add new videos.  Currently we have two -
1)  Carters of Maine Conversion Story - This tells the story of Hannah's conversion with some new twists.
2)  Memorial for Hannah Knight Libby - This highlights the video of the 1941 dedication of the headstone that is on Hannah's grave - which ceremony we recreated today.

There will be many more to follow.

Sunday, June 11, 2017


When we meet on June 17th in our family organization business meeting the Board would like to propose the following changes to the John and Hannah Knight Libby Carter Family charter.

The changes pertain two to areas:
1)  Article II - We want to rename this Mission Statement where we more clearly state what we are about and to add a Vision Statement paragraph describing that the board will at least bi-annually develop a working plan of what we need to do (a vision statement) and publish this to the organization as a whole.
2)  To help facilitate this we want to formally add to the charter board member list two positions: Publicist and Media Specialist.  Their titles and duties along with a couple of edits to current positions are listed in the document.

The strikeouts in the document are those items to be removed - the red type face is the material proposed to be added.

Here is the document:


The name of this organization shall be the JOHN AND HANNAH KNIGHT LIBBY CARTER FAMILY. 
The purpose of this family organization is to promote awareness of and to strengthen the family bonds between the many descendants of John CARTER and Hannah Knight LIBBY. These members may be either direct descendants or related through marriage.

It is not our intention to exclude anyone who can trace their roots back to
our progenitor, Richard CATER I, born between 1598-1611 in Devon, England and died between 1677-1679 in the Colony of New Hampshire. In fact you are most welcome to join and highly encouraged to do so.

Members are encouraged to be involved in the following specific purposes of this organization.
a.  Continue to search out our ancestry back as far as it can be done by collaborating and sharing of our information.
b. To make available known accurate information about descendants of John and Hannah Knight Libby Carter.
c.  Foster a kinships between the descendants of John and Hannah Knight Libby Carter as we seek them out and provide a way for them to interact.
d. To educate family members and others of the history and family traditions within the genealogical lines of the membership.

The mission of the John and Hannah Knight Libby Carter Family is to provide a platform for all the descendants of John and Hannah Knight Libby Carter to be able to communicate with each other, develop stronger inter-generational ties, learn more about their family, and preserve their heritage for future generations.


To more fully accomplish the mission of this organization the officers shall, after being elected, create or rework the organization’s vision statement.  This organization’s vision statement shall include details of how the board intends to strengthen family bonds between the descendants of John & Hannah Knight Libby Carter, coordinate research efforts for the ancestry and descendants of John & Hannah Knight Libby Carter, and make available accurate information concerning John & Hannah Knight Libby Carter, their ancestors, and their descendants.

Membership shall be opened to the descendants of John and Hannah Knight Libby Carter their husbands and wives.  Membership shall be accepted in written or electronic form.  Individuals applying for membership shall provide their basic information such as full name and known ancestry, current address, and a way to contact them via phone, or email.  An associate membership (without voting rights) will be extended to others who descend from our ancestor Richard Cater I but don’t come through John and Hannah.  Both membership and associate membership shall have an account with

Officers shall consist of a President, Vice President, Treasurer, Webmaster, Family Genealogist and , Secretary, Publicist and Social Media Specialist.  Officers shall be nominated and voted upon by the members of this organization at the close of the biennial meeting.  Their terms shall begin at the close of the annual meeting and end upon the election of the next annual meeting. 

The property, business, and affairs of this organization shall be managed by the Board.  The officers elected shall make up the Board of Trustees with the President being the Chairman of the Board.  The officers shall meet at least yearly either in person or via phone, instant messaging, or email.  The Board shall appoint such ad hoc or standing committees as may be deemed necessary for the conduct of business and other activities of the organization.

Membership to this organization shall be free.  Financing shall be governed by the Treasurer.  All money asked for from the membership shall be through donations.  It is suggested that a ten dollar donation be made upon the request for membership and a minimum ten dollar donation be made at each biennial meeting.

Amendments to these articles or to the By-Laws shall be submitted to the active membership and will require for acceptance a majority vote of those attending the official meeting open to all the membership.  Any matters of organization business submitted to the active membership will require for passage a majority of all votes cast at the official meeting. Members not in attendance shall be able to cast their votes either by mail, or email.  Review of the Charter and By-Laws shall be done by the Board of Trustees at least every ten years.  Changes shall be voted on by the membership.


In addition to the meeting open to the membership, special meetings of the Board of Trustees may be called.  Adequate notice shall be given prior to the time the meeting is called.  All matters shall be determined by a majority vote of those attending either regular or special meetings, or if determined by email, then by a majority of those responding.

Requests for donations shall be established by the Board of Trustees. Donation monies shall be used to finance this organizations website, reunions, and other projects approved by the membership.

The duties of the Officers of the organization shall be:

(1)  The President shall preside at all meetings, shall have the authority to call special meetings, shall appoint ad hoc and standing committees as may be needed or approved by the Board, and generally supervise the activities of the organization.

(2)  The Vice President shall assist and counsel the President.  The Vice President will serve in the absence of the President.  If for any reason the latter cannot serve or if the office of President is vacated, the Vice President shall assume the President’s responsibilities with the help of the past president.

(3)  The Treasurer shall handle all finances of the organization, keeping careful records of all transactions, issuing proper receipts for all contributions, and making certain that all expenditures are duly authorized and recorded.  They will report to the Board annually with an audit of the year’s transactions. 

(4)  The Webmaster will be responsible for maintaining and updating the organization website.  The Webmaster shall also prepare notices and other communications which go to the membership, and will see that the Board of Trustees and the officers are duly notified of all meetings.

 (5)  The Family Genealogist will be responsible for gathering genealogical data on all of the descendants of John and Hannah Knight Libby Carter and sharing such data with the members of the organization through the web site. 

(6) The Secretary will be responsible for recording and documenting activities conducted by the organization. The Secretary shall help prepare notices and other communications which go to the membership, and will see that the Board of Trustees and the officers are duly notified of all meetings. The Secretary shall also keep minutes of all meetings and will be responsible for seeing that a mailing list is maintained.

(7) The Publicist will be responsible for maintaining the organization’s web page which will be part of the web site; correspond electronically or otherwise with the membership on a regular basis; promote reunions and other activities of the Association.

(8) The Social Media Specialist will be responsible for developing a social media presence in various mediums (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, etc.) that will reach out especially to our younger members and engage them in the activities of the organization. 

Saturday, May 27, 2017

John and Hannah's Life Stories

It has been my pleasure to compile on this blog the lives of John and Hannah Knight Libby Carter. These stories have been compiled into PDF documents and will be available to those that attend the family reunion next month.  Please bring your laptop or a flash drive so you can secure a copy.

So where shall we go from here?  What life stories would you - the reader - like to see?  Let me know and I can plan for the future.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Carter Family Reunion Coming UP

Specifics on our upcoming reunion:

June 16th Day of History Gathering at the LDS Church Pavillion at 350 East 2950 North, Provo UT? We will be doing an activity that involves sharing and recording of "lost" family histories and making a mural. Time will be from 1:00 to 4:00 pm.

"Evening of Food (BYO), Games and Stories" on June 16th at the LDS Church Pavillion at 350 East 2950 North, Provo UT. Time will be from 4:00 to 6:00 pm.

The Family Meeting on June 17th at Carterville Park in Orem at 10:00 am. The address is 2400 N Carterville Road, Provo.

The re-enactment of Hannah Knight Libby Carter's Memorial service. This was done exactly 50 years ago on Memorial Day. We will do this re-enactment at the Provo City Cemetery at her marker. Time will be from 11:00 am to 12:00 noon.

A family BBQ at Carterville Park in Orem from 1:00 pm to 3:00. The main dish will be provided by the family organization.

Please let us know if you can make it.  Hope to see you there!

Saturday, April 29, 2017

HANNAH KNIGHT LIBBY - Part 26 - Life in Utah and Death

At this point of Hannah’s life we truly reach a black hole as virtually nothing is known about her between her arrival in Utah in 1851 and her death in 1867.  Most references about her during this period of her life state that she lived with Dominicus in Provo.  This writer has found one reference to her that seems to disprove several things mentioned in this narrative. 

The Overland Travel site at states:  “Birth date is confirmed by Manti Ward records at the time of a rebaptism on 29 June 1851. She is listed in that record with the surname of "Morley." (Manti Ward, Record of Members. CR 375 8, Reel 3954.)  This roll of microfilm needs to be studied to see what else it might tell us about Hannah.  Was she in fact already in Utah in June 1851 and living in Manti? One warning about the family of Isaac Morley is that he did have a polygamous wife, Hannah Finch – which can also confuse people as you search for Hannah Morley.

We are left with basically no record of what Hannah’s life was in Utah.  With the exception of the Manti Ward record mentioned above, it is assumed that Hannah lived in the Dominicus’ big house in Provo.  In Chapter 9 of this narrative is found four firsthand descriptions of Hannah in her later years. Rather than reprint them here we will just quote from them.  Clara Melissa Carter, Dominicus Carters’ daughter, remembered Hannah as living in their home.  What specifically she did can only be guessed.  She surely helped the wives of Dominicus in household chores and with the dozens of children.  She was not young.  In 1851 she would have been 65 years old.  Francis Carter Knight, another granddaughter, stated, “…She did not look as old as she really was. Her hair was grey when I knew her. She wore a little lace cap. She had a good education and was always very industrious, keeping her knitting close by, and working when she was what might be considered too old to work.” Probably a later remembrance was from a great-granddaughter, Sarah York Tiffany, who remembered, “She sat in the chair or on the bed and pieced quilt blocks, and her sewing was neat. She was childish and would cry when left alone very long.”  That last comment would lead one to think that possibly in her later years she suffered some form of dementia.

Whatever the case, we are left only to guess what her life was like.  Did she hold Church callings?  Did her children travel to see her or did she ever travel and visit with them?  Over the years it appears that things that were known about her have been lost to our knowledge.  In a 1941 memorial to her entitled “Mother Hannah Knight Libby Carter” they recorded: 

“In June, 1852, Hannah Carter dictated the following message to her son, Dominicus, showing her deep interest in temple work for her kindred dead:

By request of your mother I am writing to you. She wishes to communicate to you some of her wishes with regard to her deceased relatives. She is well at present as common, but as life is uncertain, if it is not her privilege to live in this world to do the work for her parents and relatives that have gone the way of all the earth, she wants to leave this work so that it may be done and done right. She wishes to be ready to go when she is called. This is the way we all should leave.

Then followed a detailed list of relatives she remembered for whom temple work was to be done.

She remained at Provo during the time of the Echo Canyon War and when the body of the Saints moved south to Provo and adjoining towns. She lived in her later years at the home of Dominicus Carter.” 

One other letter of Dominicus opens a small window on Hannah’s last days.  On March 5, 1867 Dominicus wrote his brother, Philip Libby Carter of Illinois: “Mother is alive but very feeble.  I don’t think she can live long.  She is getting old rising eighty.  If you should want to see her before she should die you better come this spring and not wait til the railroad is finished.  Mother wants me to say to you that she does not expect to live long on this earth and she wants you to prepare to meet her in the world to come.  She says the path she has pursued for the last 30 years is the only path by which you can enjoy her society in the world to come and be accepted of the Lord.”   

Besides giving us a glimpse of the ravages of old age working on her body, this letter includes a strong final testimony of a longtime member of the church.  Thirty-three years had passed since her conversion but she still was strong in the Faith. 

Hannah Death Notice
Seven months after the letter to Philip was penned Hannah passed away.  For one hundred and fifty years we were in the dark as to when Hannah actually died. We have never known the exact date, only that on Nov. 2, 1867 a letter was written by Mary E. Whiting from Springville to a relative in Manti stating, "Mother Carter is dead."  And that is where things stood until February 2017.  At that time Virginia Bright (the wife of a descendant of Isaac Morley) contact the Carter family with a newspaper account of her death. The reason we had never found this document was that she was called “Hannah Libby Morley.”  The newspaper article is actually a letter from Apostle George A Smith.  At the time he had responsibility over the communities in Utah county and the news article was actually a letter he wrote detailing some of his activities.  The article reads: 

Provo City
Sunday, Oct. 19, 1867

Editor Daily Telegraph:
     Dear Sir:  This city was visited with a cold storm yesterday, the mountains being covered with snow.
     There is considerable sickness among children; the whooping cough is prevalent, several deaths of late have occurred.
     I delivered two addresses in the new meeting house today also visited the Sunday School, which is making satisfactory progress.
     We are also called to mourn the death of a Mother in Israel, Hannah Libby Morley, who died this morning, the widow of the late Patriarch Isaac Morley.  She was born in the State of Maine, October 9, 1786.
     When 17 years of age she married John Carter, with whom she lived 43 years, and to whom she bore seven sons and four daughters.  She has upwards of 100 grandchildren, and 30 great grandchildren.  She is the mother of Dominicus, W. F. and John H Carter, prominent citizens of this county.
     One of her sons, Richard Carter, died in the Mormon Battalion.
     She was baptized in Newry, Oxford county, Maine, in 1834.  Prior to her baptism, she was taken dangerously sick, and was given up to die; in the meantime a Mormon Elder called in, whom she desired to pray for her, which was complied with, and she straightway arose, walked one half of a mile, was baptized, and became strong in the faith from that hour.
     She passed through the persecutions in Missouri and Illinois.
     She kept the faith, and lately expressed to her children that she desired to depart this life and join a "sweet rest in Heaven,"
Geo. A. Smith

It is interesting that Smith called her Hannah Libby Morley.  He had known the family for many years and had many dealings with both Dominicus and William Furlsbury at least.  It is interesting that he used Morley instead of Carter in describing Hannah, but she had been sealed to Isaac, and as such she was considered one of his wives and would probably be known to many by the name of Morley.  This comes as a surprise to many of us in our generation but actually helps to point out how far removed from her day we are today.

We need to address the date of her death – as the article leaves us questioning the exact date of her death.  It is titled “Sunday, Oct. 19, 1867.”  The problem with that is that Oct 19th was actually Saturday and Sunday was on the 20th.  It seems logical that she died either on the 19th or 20th.  Since her death is mentioned as happening “this morning” right after he mentioned attending a Sunday school – it would seem most likely that her death date is 20 Oct 1867.

Sign at Provo City Cemetery
Shortly after her death, the body was originally buried at the Grandview Hill Cemetery. This was where three farms converged and is no longer in existence. She was moved along with her head stone to the Pioneer Cemetery in Provo, Utah.  On Memorial Day, May 30, 1941, 155 years after her birth, 90 years after she crossed the plains, and 74 years after her death, 90 members of her posterity held a memorial service in her honor, sang again the songs that were sung at her funeral, and listened to a sketch of her rich life story. Then once again they gathered at her graveside (in the Provo City Cemetery) and dedicated a bronze marker as a lasting memorial to her name and noble character. It bore this inscription (beside the motif of a covered wagon):
                Hannah Knight Libby Carter
                October 9, 1786-November, 1867.
                “Faithful in the day of Trial.”

Hannah's 1941 Marker
Bench to remember Carter children that have no headstones.

With this we end this account of her life.  May her ability to overcome trials and adversity be an example to us.  Also might each of us embrace truth with the strength that she demonstrated.  Hannah was a great example to her posterity of how to live an honorable life.