Thursday, May 9, 2019

Life of Hannah Parker Carter Part 2

Hannah Parker Carter Life Story (conclusion)

      In our last newsletter we published the first half of the life story of Hannah Parker, wife of Richard Harrison Carter, John and Hannah’s son who died on the march of the Mormon Battalion. Much of the family lore that has been passed down over the generations relating to Hannah is just not true or only partly true. This account of her life is written in the hope of correcting the inaccuracies in her history that been accepted as truth. The first part of this story can be found at:

The Life of Hannah Parker 
(Wife of Richard Harrison Carter) 
By Robert Givens (September, 2017) 
(Part 2) 

The Mr. York Period of Hannah’s Life 

       Without the DNA results of Keith Carter, this chapter in the story of Hannah Parker would never have been written. This chapter of the life of Hannah Parker Carter is as much the story of Franklin Fitzfield Carter as it is about Hannah. There are two facts and two facts only that are known about this phase of Hannah’s life. The first is that on 4 Feb 1848 Hannah gave birth to a son named Franklin Fitzfield Carter (Franklin’s death certificate – see: The second was that, based on the Y-DNA of Franklin’s last male descendant, Keith Carter, Franklin’s father was a member of the York family.

      The one part of the much-reported story of Hannah that can be disproved at this point is that the Mr. Enslow of family tradition was not the birth father of Franklin. There is no known record of Hannah being married at this point of her life. Elza (Elzy) Enslow, if he is the Mr. Enslow, could not have been the father as he was still in the Nauvoo area at the time Franklin would have been conceived, about May of 1847. The widow Hannah Carter had been widowed for about six months in May, 1847. Her situation was difficult at best, she was probably distraught at having lost her husband and for whatever reason ended up pregnant.

       There might be other options but at this point the only logical person to be Franklin Fitzfield Carter’s father is Aaron Mereon Carter. He was Hannah’s brother-in-law and knew Hannah well. We don’t know if Hannah lived on her own or with family but it is probable that she was housed with family members at this point. There is some collateral evidence that she did not live in the Council Bluffs area. If we assume Aaron M. York was Franklin’s father it makes sense as Franklin was supposed to be born in Stringtown, Iowa. Stringtown is about 85 or 90 miles south and east of Council Bluffs. Why would Hannah Parker Carter move her family back that far towards Nauvoo? The logical answer is so she could live with or near her sister-in-law Hannah Carter York. Aaron and his wife lived at this time in Mt. Pisgah which today is located some 10 or so miles to the east of Stringtown, but in the pioneer days these communities could have been one in the same. In any case this would have put Hannah Parker Carter close to the Yorks and lends credence to the supposition that Aaron M. York was in fact Franklin Fitzfield Carter’s father.

       In any case Hannah was pregnant and she surely knew who the father was. It is interesting that within all the records of the Carter family the only explanation of the paternity of Franklin was the reference by Franklin’s sister Mary Trueworthy Carter that Hannah married a Mr. Enslow and had her brother. Mary would have been seven years old when her brother was conceived so she may or may not have known exactly what transpired around the time of his conception and birth. It is also possible that she knew the whole story but had no intention to say anything that would compromise the position of the man she later married as his polygamous wife. As far as Aaron is concerned it is hard to believe that he was unaware that the child Hannah bore was his.

       It has been suggested that possibly Aaron, if he is in fact Franklin’s father, might have taken Hannah as a polygamous wife. Aaron’s brothers-in-law, Dominicus and William Furlsbury Carter, were both in polygamous marriages by this time so there would have been no stigma for Aaron to publicly announce that he had entered polygamy with is widowed sister-in-law. Because the family is totally silent on this point we have to assume there was no marriage involved in this relationship. 

       Thus by early February, 1848 Hannah is living in Stringtown, Iowa with either three or four children. The mysterious Angelia Carter, that we know so little about was supposed to have died sometime between 1845 and 1848.

 Elsa (Elzy) Enslow and Hannah Parker Carter

       There is some truth in most family traditions though traditions often have false sides as well. Family tradition says that Hannah Parker Carter married a Mr. Enslow after the death of Richard and Elsa (or Elzy) Enslow appears to be the most likely candidate. To place him in this narrative, it would be helpful to tell his story as it is told by various sources in FamilySearch.

        Elza Enslow (as he will be called) was born on 17 Aug 1821 in Wheelersburg, Scioto, Ohio to David and Rachel “Delila” (Virgin) Enslow. Elza appears to have joined the LDS Church in 1840 though no known date exists. In 1846 in Ohio Elza married Charlotte Eldredge who was born 20 Dec 1818. According to family tradition they had two children. Elza eventually felt the need to gather with the rest of the Church in Nauvoo, and because his wife wasn’t a member and didn’t want to move, he left her and traveled to be with the Church. While in Nauvoo, Elza married a widow, Mary Harding Fielding. Family tradition says this marriage was about March 1848 but that is doubtful as most Mormons had long left Nauvoo by that time. March 1846 would be more likely for the date. According to this same tradition in the spring of 1847 Elza and Mary joined some Saints and started west. They stopped in Burlington, Iowa, just across the Mississippi River, to pick up a daughter of Mary, who had been living with a Mrs. Holdridge for about 3 years. It was lastly said that in Burlington Elza contracted cholera and died in September, 1849.

        The Carter family had its tradition too that a Mr. Enslow had married Hannah Parker Carter and fathered Franklin Fitzfield Carter (the paternity disproved by DNA.) So which tradition do we believe or is the truth somewhere in between the stories. There are two pieces of evidence that can be brought forth to show what happened to Elza and his family. The first is the 1850 United States Census Mortality Schedule. In the Pottawatomie County, Iowa register is found Elski Endslow age 30, born in Illinois and died Nov 1849. He was listed as a farmer. Due to the handwriting and transcription issues his name has been garbled a little but this is surely Elza. So with this knowledge we know Elza wasn’t in Burlington when he died and it is possible that he and Hannah Parker Carter had some kind of relationship.

        The problem with this theory is the fact that Elza’s wife Mary Enslow and her family are also listed in the 1850 US Census in Pottawatomie County. On the census in dwelling 333 were found Mary Endslow 4 (surely 44) Enland, James Field 19 Eng, Kaziah Field 16 Eng, Wm Field 14 Eng, Mary Field 12 Eng, Sarah Field 10 Eng, Joseph Field 4 Illinois, and Lucy Endslow 9/12 Iowa. So Elza and his family came out to the Council Bluffs area together. They were obviously on their way west to Utah when tragedy struck Elza. With this census record the theory that Elza married Hannah Parker Carter can largely discounted. Maybe as some have suggested Elza Enslow was just a convenient name used to give Franklin Fitzfield Carter a father. Unless Elza had come out at some earlier date, there is little likelihood that Elza and Hannah ever married.

 Hannah and Cornelius Brown 

        The final act in the life of Hannah Parker Carter begins with her marriage on 13 Dec 1849 in Kanesville, Pottawattamie, IA to Cornelius Brown. There is little question that Hannah needed a husband and in Cornelius Brown she would finally find someone to provide and protect her.
        Cornelius Brown was born 21 May 1801 in Milford, Otsego, New York the second of six children of Frederick Brown and Catherine Huyck. Somewhere along the way Cornelius joined the Church and found his way to Council Bluffs in 1849. At 48 he may have been married previously but there is no information about him between his birth and his appearance in Iowa in 1849.

        His marriage to Hannah was short as after two years and four months Hannah died of smallpox on 12 Apr 1852. We have only one glimpse of this family and it comes from an interesting source. Four months following Hannah’s death Cornelius again married a widow, Sarah Hamer Worsley and in a life story of her at FamilySearch is found a letter to her deceased husband’s family England where she mentions she married “…Cornelious Brown in whom I have a good husband and a kind indulgent father to my children. He buried his wife and two children in this place.” Now if this report is accurate who are the two deceased children. Earlier it was mentioned that there was a child Angelia Carter who was born to Richard Harrison Carter and Hannah according to the family record kept by Franklin Fitzfield Carter. Angelia was buried at Mt. Pisgah as her name is found on a common monument the pioneer cemetery there. No dates of birth or death are found. Could she be one of the children of Hannah that were buried. The other possibility was that there were two children born to Cornelius and Hannah in their two-year marriage and both died. This is yet another mystery in the story of Hannah Parker Carter.

        Following the death of Hannah and his marriage to Sarah Hamer Worsley, Sarah and Cornelius had a child. They were still in Council Bluffs and Church had been instructing the members that were left in Iowa that it was time for them to leave and come to Utah. Sarah wanted to follow the direction of the Brethren and move to Utah. Cornelius wanted to move too but he wanted them to go to New York and be with his family where they could have a less primitive life. It appears, according to the life story of Sarah, that Cornelius had apostatized and wanted nothing to do with Utah. To his credit he did help provision his family and allowed them to leave for Utah on 8 Jun 1853. After they left Cornelius did indeed return to New York where he died in 1866 and was buried in the family plot in Riverside Cemetery, Oneonta, Otsego, New York.


 It is not known where Hannah was buried following her death in 1852. Her supposed child Angelina was buried in Mt. Pisgah but there is no record of Hannah being buried there. If she was living in the Council Bluffs (Kanesville) area at death it is possible that the Carter family had her buried in the Carterville Cemetery. There are no known records of this cemetery so will probably never know where she was buried. It isn’t known if Hannah’s children stayed with Cornelius after Hannah’s death or if he gave them to the Carter family. The latter option is the logical solution. Cornelius’ future wife, Sarah, made no mention of them when she wrote to England and described being married to Cornelius. We do know that not long after Hannah died on 12 April 1852 the children left Iowa for Utah in the James C Snow Company in July of that year. Mary Trueworthy Carter, in her life story dictated to her granddaughter Madge York Thorpe, stated she crossed the plains with her uncle, Aaron Mereon York, Sr. That can’t be completely correct as she was listed in the James C. Snow company. What is probably more correct is to say she traveled with the Snows to Utah and was then given to the Yorks in Provo to raise. Samuel Parker Carter was apparently taken by the Yorks and raised in Provo. As was shown at the beginning of this narrative, Franklin Fitzfield Carter, was given over to the Martindale family. Knowing his background now makes this action more understandable. In closing, Brad York pinned the following in reference Franklin’s birth but it applies to all those involved in the story of Hannah Parker Carter: IF, Aaron M. York did father Franklin with Hannah, then there is no doubt why the family "adopted out" Franklin to another family, the Martindales. This is one of those areas of Family History, where we cannot judge the morality of history, we simply must let the facts be facts, and "Facts are stubborn things". May none of us judge Hannah either – the hardships and heartaches she suffered through can’t possibly be imagined through our eyes.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

New Edition of Newsletter

Here is a link to the newest edition of our newsletter. It contains pictures of John Carter's headstone, information on the reunion and the second installment of Hannah Parker Carter's life story.

Saturday, March 16, 2019

August 2-3, 2019 Family Reunion Is Coming

Yes, there is a reunion this year in Nauvoo, Illinois and the surrounding area. These are the main activities:
Friday - August 2
1. Tour of the lands owned by the Carter family - we will actually be within site of most of their properties. Following our tour we will go to the Fletcher Cemetery and have an unveiling of John Carter's tombstone.
2. Our family meeting will (hopefully - still need to firm up the site) be held in Tioga (Morleyville) with lunch provided (again hopefully - still need to work on that.)
3. Dinner (no host) at the Nauvoo Hotel Buffet (opens at 4:30)
3. Nauvoo Pageant that evening (British Pageant - British converts coming to Nauvoo.)
Saturday - August 3
1. Tour the sites at Nauvoo proper (Visitor's center, Land Office, Smith Property, Temple, etc.) - We will probably let you do this on your own.
Optional - on Saturday
Lunch at Grandpa John's in Nauvoo
Optional - on Saturday
Nauvoo Pageant - The traditional version
We will be sending out an email newsletter to all people on our mail list in the near future. If we don't have your email please message me (Robert Givens) so I can get you added to our mailing list.
It will be important that we know how many of you will be joining us on August 2-3 this summer. Please use the survey monkey only once.  Thanks.

Create your own user feedback survey

Monday, July 30, 2018

Life of Hannah Parker (wife of Richard Harrison Carter) part 1

The Life of Hannah Parker
(Wife of Richard Harrison Carter)
By Robert Givens (September, 2017)


Willis Keith Carter and the author
                    Since February 2016, when I first met Willis Keith Carter and heard the story of his grandfather, Franklin Fitzfield Carter, I have felt the story of the life of Franklin’s mother, Hannah Parker and her family needed to be told.  Family tradition, oral or written, especially that dating back over 150 years needed to be verified.  The family of Richard Harrison Carter and Hannah Parker has always included some interesting twists and presented us with many loose ends.  Then in 2016 I became aware of a new development in the story – Keith Carter’s DNA test results.
                Keith has an interesting place in the family as he is the last male “Carter” surnamed descendant of Franklin Fitzfield Carter (the last known child of Hannah Parker.)  The striking thing about the results of Keith’s autosomal DNA test was that instead of linking him to the Carter family he was linked by DNA to the York family.  At the insistence of others, he took a Y-DNA test (which explores a man’s direct male ancestry) in 2016.  The results of this test confirmed and strengthened the prior test’s results as he had a perfect 100% match with Brad York, a descendant of Franklin’s sister Mary Trueworthy Carter who had married Aaron M. York.

                Franklin Fitzfield Carter’s story is interesting in its own right, and as it a part of Hannah Parker’s story, it needs to be told.  Ironically Franklin appears, as a young man at least, to have not known who his father was or his actual birth date.  As an orphan in 1852 he was taken across the plains from Kanesville to Utah by a Martindale family.  Mrs. Martindale was abusive and treated Franklin more like a hired hand than a child, causing Franklin to run away seeking his Carter family.  He did this as a result of a chance meeting with Brigham Young where he asked the Prophet what he should call himself (Martindale or Carter).  Brigham asked him what he had always gone by and Franklin said Carter so Brigham said to keep Carter as his name.

                So with this back story and a further tradition from early family members that his father was a Mr. Enslow, now questioned thanks to Keith Carter’s DNA tests, it has come a time to attempt to tell the story of Hannah Parker’s life.  With what is known today there is no way to give absolute definitive answers to all the questions of Hannah’s life but, this writer, will attempt to provide all the known evidence and try to provide alternative scenarios regarding Hannah’s life and relationships.  Hopefully, if further sources can be found the story will become clearer but for now we look through the glass somewhat darkly.

                One last thought is that this is a very sensitive story.  As Keith knows the thoughts that will be expressed here will upset some people.  This writer will attempt to be careful in what is said but it has been over 150 years since the events occurred and, if the real truth is ever going to be known, we do need to address the issues and not turn our backs. 

                With this as a background, we will turn to her life and especially her connections with Richard Harrison Carter, Mr. York, Elzie Enslow and Cornelius Brown.

Hannah Parker’s Early Life and First Marriage

                Hannah Parker was born in York County, Maine on 24 June 1822 to Samuel Parker and his second wife, Molly (Mary) Bracey Trueworthy.  Samuel Parker was an early convert to the LDS Church in Maine.  Hannah’s mother died in Quincy, Illinois in 1839.  Her father would live to die in Council Bluffs, Iowa in 1846.  Unfortunately, nothing else is known about her life prior to 1840.

                On 29 Nov 1840 in Lima, Adams, Illinois, Hannah Parker married Richard Harrison Carter, the youngest surviving son of John Carter and Hannah Knight Libby.  The Carters had left Maine in two groups.  The main group was the older children who had joined the Church in 1834 and left Maine for Kirtland and later to Far West, Missiouri.  John Carter, who never joined the Church, Hannah and their two children who remained at home, Richard and Mary Jane, moved to central Missouri in 1839 and in 1840 to Morleyville, Illinois. 

At this point, little is known about this young couple.  Since there are no property transactions in Hancock County or Adams County for a Richard Carter, it must be assumed that they probably lived with family.  They might have lived with Hannah’s father or possibly John Carter.  John and Hannah Carter were at about the age of 60 at this time and Richard was the last of their children to live at home.  It would be logical that Richard would live with them to help run the farm.

If the place of birth for their children is accurate they were possibly in Hancock County when their first child, Mary Trueworthy Carter was born 23 Sep 1841.   There is some discrepancy with the births of Mary Trueworthy Carter and the next sibling, Samuel Parker Carter, as family tradition and his death certificate give his birth as 10 Feb 1842 which is too soon after Mary’s birth to be accurate.  Family tradition gives Samuel’s birth place as Lima, Adams, Illinois which is the home of Alvira Carter Tripp, Richard’s sister.  It is possible that they had moved down there to live with her family.  Richard’s last know child was supposed to be born in Lima – Angelia Carter who was born about 1845.  The only evidence for this child is in the writing of Franklin Fitzfield Carter’s family record book.  She supposedly died between 1846 and 1848 in Mount Pisgah, Union, Iowa.  More will be mentioned about her later.

The Richard Harrison Carter and his wife Hannah Parker Carter were the last of the Carter clan to take out their endowments in the Nauvoo Temple.  The attended the temple to receive their endowments on 7 Feb 1846.  The evacuation of Nauvoo was in process having actually begun 3 days before Richard and Hannah attended the temple. Since there is no record of their being sealed together in the Nauvoo Temple after 7 Feb 1846 it must be assumed that they left Nauvoo shortly after that date.

There are no definitive records of Richard and Hannah’s crossing of Iowa in 1846.  Regardless of when they left – early February or later – the journey was arduous at best.  Early companies had to deal with the winter snow and later groups fought the mud as the snow melted.  This journey for poorly provisioned people made the trip much harder than it had to be but the option of staying in Nauvoo to face the mobs wasn’t really an option.

Mormons Crossing the Frozen Mississippi
The following is a description of the vanguard company’s crossing of Iowa.  The first to cross the Mississippi River was Charles Shumway who ferried across on February 4.  For three weeks the temperatures dropped causing the Saints to dodge ice chunks as they crossed the river.  On February 25 Charles C. Rich actually crossed the river on foot and so for a time the wagons were driven directly over the frozen river.  The travelers camped along Sugar Creek some 7 miles west of the Mississippi. Here Brigham organized the people into groups and developed camp rules.  Following a path blazed by a vanguard company, the main body of the “Camp of Israel” left Sugar Creek on March 1, 1846.  For this first group the trip had to be difficult.  It was winter, and they had to travel over snow covered ground.  They took a southerly route at first – skirting the border with Missouri where there were more settlers that they could obtain need for themselves and their animals.  They stopped near Richarson’s Point for 11 days so the men could work for money and provisions.  They initially wanted to cross the Missouri River above St. Joseph, Missouri and join the Oregon Trail to the west of there.  This was a time of great suffering by all.  March snow, cold, rain, and awful mud made the trek miserable and exhausting.  When they left Chariton Camp on April 1st, they exited Iowa’s last organized county and moved into what could be called wilderness but still followed rudimentary roads. They made slow progress, being hampered by rain and mud.  It was during this time that William Clayton penned the song “All is Well” following the birth of his son.  Shortly after April 15, the leaders changed the route to the northwest and headed across this wilderness part of Iowa for Kanesville (known today as Council Bluffs.)  Along the way groups were left to form small communities with farms that would feed those that followed.  Garden Grove and Mount Pisgah are good examples of these way points along the trail. On June 14, the camp reached the Council Bluffs area on the Missouri River, and the first portion of the march was nearly over. The vanguard party had taken 130 days, over 4 months, to cross some 265 miles of southern Iowa, averaging only about 2 miles per day. Here on both sides of the Missouri River, especially in present Nebraska at Winter Quarters, the Mormons spent the winter of 1846-47.  (The Pioneer Trek from Nauvoo to Winter Quarters by William G. Hartley (Ensign Magazine,  June, 1997) See:

We know for a fact that Richard and Hannah had reached Council Bluffs by July 1 and were living in the Grand Encampment, where all the newly arrived Saints were first settled as they arrived at the Missouri River.  As the Saints had been crossing Iowa other events were beginning to envelop the United States in a war.  Following the 1845 annexation of Texas by the United States, tensions with Mexico grew until on April 26, 1846 fighting broke out between the U.S. and Mexico.  On May 13th war was officially declared. At this time the Mormon refugees were in the midst of crossing Iowa.  While crossing Iowa Brigham Young and the rest of the Quorum of the Twelve had petitioned President Polk seeking assistance from the Federal Government.  On June 2nd President Polk authorized Col. Stephen W. Kearney to recruit a few hundred Mormons to help in the war but to also “to conciliate them, attach them to our country, and prevent them from taking part against us.” (Polk, James K. (1929), Nevins, Allan, ed., Polk: The Diary of a President, 1845–1849, London and New York: Longmans, Green & Co., p. 109) This was a symbiotic relationship as Church benefitted greatly from the financial benefits they received from this arrangement.  Young and the other leaders saw nothing but good coming from this arrangement.  Their enlistment would be a public relations victory for the church, demonstrating additional evidence of its loyalty to the United States. (McLynn, Frank. Wagons West: The Epic Story of America's Overland Trails. Grove Press. pp. 386–7.) As the men were given a uniform allowance at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., of US $42 each, paid in advance, for their one-year enlistment and as they were allowed to wear their civilian clothing for the march, the bulk of those funds were immediately donated to a general Church fund. These funds were used to purchase wagons, teams, and other necessities for the American exodus (Actual wages paid over the next year to the Mormon Battalion totaled nearly $30,000). ("The Pioneer Story: Pioneer Trail Map",, archived from the original on March 5, 2012.)

The Mormon Battalion Ball (by C. C. Christensen)
  The stage is now set for the defining moment in the story of the family of Richard and Hannah Carter.  They were in the area when Captain James Allen met with Brigham and the other Church leaders and put forth his proposal for 5 companies of 100 men.  Though Brigham was thrilled with this prospect as noted above, the general populace of the Grand Encampment was not.  Richard Carter was one of the early volunteers as he was enrolled in Company B (the second 100).  Brigham was assured by Captain Allen that the Battalion would see no battle action but would instead fill a supporting role.  Thus, Richard would not face many more dangers than the Saints as a whole endured in their travels.  As the day of mustering (July 16th) approached they held a farewell dance in the Bowery at the west end of the Grand Encampment.  The Carter family probably attended with heavy hearts.  On the 16th Richard said his good-byes and marched off to his destiny.
Twenty members of the Mormon Battalion died during the march.  All died from diseases or accidents -  as the Battalion never had to engage in any military actions.  The 2000-mile trek from Council Bluffs to San Diego was arduous and three different sick detachments were sent back to Pueblo, Colorado and then back to Council Bluffs.  Richard was a member of Lieutenant Willis's Pueblo detachment. He died 25 Nov 1846 as the detachment was traveling north along the Rio Grande.  No grave marker memorializes his last resting space though it is reported he was buried at Puerbelo, four miles south of Socorro, New Mexico along the Rio Grande River.  (A fuller account of this time period can be found at:

Hannah was now in a precarious position.  She was living on the very edge of civilization with no husband to care for her and her children. In fact, life for the Mormons on the banks of the Missouri River in 1846 was difficult at best.  The whole community was in survival mode.  Most had come with next to nothing in the way of supplies.  They had to build a society that had to function self-sufficiently from scratch.  Few today can really appreciate the difficulties they had to live with on a daily basis.  Under these circumstances it would be one thing to be cared for by the community while your husband was gone with the Mormon Battalion, but being a widow with no one ever coming home to care for you made Hannah’s situation more daunting.  When her father, Samuel Parker, died only a month later on 29 Dec 1846 in Council Bluffs, relief for her would not be coming from her family.  This left the Carter family to tend to her needs. 

The time period from Richard’s death until Hannah’s in 1852 is largely a blank to those of us in the 21st century.  The total of our knowledge about her life from this point on using the traditions that have been passed on could be written in one paragraph.  The tradition was that after Richard died Hannah married a Mr. Enslow and had a child, Franklin Fitzfield Carter.  She then died in either 1848 or 1852 in Council Bluffs.  That was all that has been passed down to the present day.  With more information available to us today it is now time to try to fill in the blanks of Hannah’s life.

(To be continued)

Monday, July 9, 2018

Who was John M Horner?

Ever heard of John M Horner? Well the history of William Furlsbury Carter is wrapped around this man. 

From the Journal History of The Church - 22 January 1853, Family History Library Microfilm 1,259,739: Missionaries were sent out from Salt Lake to labor in British Guiana, The Sandwich Islands, Australia, Hindustan (William F Carter, etc.), Siam, and China. Arriving in San Francisco they had no funds with which to purchase passage to their various destinations. They met with John M. Horner and told them to call upon the inhabitants of the area and ask for funds. They were not able to raise enough cash for even one passage, so called again on Brother Horner. Brother Horner realizing that the money was not available gave the missionaries $6,000.00 to pay their passage.

So who exactly was John M Horner? Here is his life story - he was one of the wealthier people in California in 1853 when William needed him the most:

Thursday, July 5, 2018

John Carter Tombstone Project Complete

This is a red letter day - Today we reached our goal of raising $2619.69 to pay for a tombstone for our ancestor, John Carter.  It will be ordered soon and placed in the Fletcher Cemetery in Rocky Run Township in Hancock County, Illinois just down the road from where he had lived. We will dedicate it next summer when we hold our family reunion there.

Thank you, thank you, thank you to all those who helped us in donating to this cause.

Friday, May 11, 2018

William Furlsbury Carter Mission to India Part 12 (the conclusion)

Source: Life of William F. Carter Sr. by Leora Carter Scharrer (a great granddaughter of William) Family History Library Q921.73 A1 #10 FHL Film 1036767 item 2 p. 17 - 18 The missionary journal ends in Lima Hancock County, Illinois on December 20, 1853. He visited his Brother Phillip and sister Mary Jane Dewley. It was here he learned of his father’s death over a year before. He also learned that Roxena had given birth to a son and named him Edward M. after her father. This was a surprise to him as he did not know this baby was on the way when he left home. He rejoiced at this first and good news he had received from his family in over fourteen months. William F. was a very sick man in poor health. It was winter, thus being low in health, and winter upon him it was impossible for him to continue his missionary work. The brother and sister and friends in Lima, realizing the condition William F. was in, put him to bed and cared for him during the winter months. By spring of 1854, he had gained most of his strength back and was ready to resume his missionary work. On 1 April he was called by Church Official in St. Louis, to act as an agent of the Church. He was assigned the responsibility of arranging transportation, equipment and provisions for the large handcart companies of immigrants waiting to start the overland trek to Utah. All was handled with dispatch, wisdom, and skill. By 10 April he had the first company of English and Welsh Saints ready which he took to Kansas. The 16th of June, Elder Empey writes from Kansas to S. W. Richards at Salt Lake City as follows: “The Danish Company comprising of seventy wagons under the presidency of Elder H. P. Olsen have received their outfits, and they rolled out on the plains yesterday. “I have organized three other companies of English, Welsh, and Scotch. Two of these are P. E. Fund Companies and one is independent. The Independent company consists of about 30 wagons each. I have appointed William F. Carter president of one, and Dr. Darwin Richardson president of the other. The health of the saints is good. On account of the immense emigration to California-Salt Lake this season, oxen range from $75 to $110 per yoke, and cows $25 to $40 per head. The price of wagons in St. Louis is $67. The variation of freight prices is the result of the different stages of the river.” In making these arrangements for his trip back home, William F. was not anxiously accepted by the Captain. The captain of the wagon train had objected at first to his joining them, thinking no doubt that his recent illness (causing much loss of weight and a poor physical appearance) and his age, 43, would cause him to be a burden. Possibly it was the intercession of a 27-year-old English convert, Elizabeth Howard, that gained him a place in the company. She is reported to have asked, “Why can’t we take that old man along with us?” Elizabeth was from a well-to-do family. When asked why she always wore silk dresses on the trail, she replied that they were the only kind she had. A friendship developed between these two saints. William F. was able to repair wagons and shoe horses on the journey to the satisfaction of all involved. At Echo Canyon, Captain Kearns divided the company taking part and leaving William to bring the rest by another route, which proved to be a shorter road. Captain Kearnes, on arriving at Salt Lake asked Miss Howard for an extra $200 for her transportation to Utah. William F. knowing that this was wrong interceded. He went to his old friend President Brigham Young on this matter. The solution was soon seen. William F. and Elizabeth were married and sealed on October 9, 1854 at 4:30 p.m. by George A. Smith. Then they proceeded to Provo. The church records show that William F. after this long and tedious plains trip of three months reached Salt Lake City 30 Sep 1854. The records show that his was the day he was released from his mission. He was away from home 23 months and 10 days. He was the second Elder who had circumnavigated the globe as an L.D.S. missionary and the first missionary to carry the Book of Mormon the full distance around. On returning home he testified as follows: “I have suffered ill health, change in climate, and rough weather in crossing the ocean. I have bore my testimony to every person that I possibly could meet, both by sea and land, and I verily believe that I sowed seed in good ground that will grow, and I shall see the fruits thereof. I baptized a man and his wife in Kansas, who will be shortly in the valley. I have only one regret that my health was such that it prevented my staying to finish my mission, but my conscience fully acquits me of having done my best duty as far as I was able and knew how, and that the Lord has blessed me for I am convinced of his special care over me in permitting me to return to my home and family. That simple faith endeavors me to be abundantly blessed in drawing out the honest in heart to join the Gospel that I have bore testimony to around the world, is my prayer, in the name of Christ – Amen.” Though she doesn’t cite it – one would think that the author of the above Leora Scharrer must have consulted the following source. It should be noted that in the early days of the Church there weren’t all that many missionaries that went out on missions and it was customary for those who resided in the Utah area upon their return to report directly to President Brigham Young about their mission. The following is where that report was recorded. In The Journal History of the Church – Entry for 30 Sep 1854 is the report of William F Carter’s mission to India. The report begins with: “Elder Wm. F. Carter the second Latter-day Elder who had circumnavigated the Globe as a missionary arrived in Salt Lake City. The following report of his mission was published in the Deseret News:” What follows is an extensive report of his mission – the beginning and end from copies of the original paper and the rest from a transcription. The bulk of this report is taken directly from his journal. His summary is interesting: “I arrived in Great Salt Lake City, Sept. 30, 1854. On the 2nd of Oct. I arrived in Provo City, having been absent 23 months, 10 days. It took 86 days to sail from San Francisco to Calcutta, and 126 from Calcutta to Boston; the distance I traveled round the world being 38,000 miles.” (Deseret News Nov. 9, 1854 p. 2)

William Furlsbury Carter probably following his mission to India

This ends this abbreviated account of William’s mission to India. The photo attached to this post is, I believe, a photo of William not long after his mission based on the fact that, compared with the other two pictures we have of him, he doesn't look well.