Before we discuss in detail the day that changed the course of our family’s history, July 4, 1834 – the day the Gospel of Jesus Christ was accepted by Hannah Knight Libby Carter, I would like to describe the setting, both the geographical setting and the family setting.
Newry was a small, rural community of somewhere around 400 residents in 1834. The population in 1830 was 345 and by 1840 it would rise 34% to 463. This 400 person collection of people was spread out along the Bear and Sunday rivers that ran through the town on farms that were connected by trails. This was not a modern community by any means. Communication would be by foot or maybe horseback – if the family owned a horse.
The Carter family had matured over the years and some of the children had already married and begun to establish their own families. Of the eleven known children of John and Hannah nine were living in 1834. John Harrison had been born in Newry on 13 Jan 1815 and died not quite three months later on 11 Apr 1815. The couple’s last child Rufus, was born 9 Oct 1825 and died according to family tradition on his second birthday, 9 Oct 1827. The other nine children would live to adulthood, marry and have families of their own. Their various situations on 4 July 1834 is as follows:
- Dominicus Carter – the oldest born in Scarborough in 1806, had already married Lydia Smith in Newry on 21 May 1828 and had three children. In fact on the momentous day Lydia was great with child as she would deliver their 4 child, Sidney Rigdon Carter on 30 August of that same year. We will have more to say about Dominicus later.
- Almira Carter – the second child was born in Scarborough in 1808. On 15 Jan 1829 she had married Alvin Baron Tripp in Newry. In July 1834 Almira and Alvin had 4 children and were expecting their 5th child that following December.
- Hannah Carter – the last child born in Scarborough in 1809, had married Aaron Mareon York in Bethel on 2 Dec 1829. They lived in the Bethel-Newry area but it appears their actual home was in Bethel by 1834. At this point they had two children.
- William (Furlsbury) Carter – had been born in Newry on 1 May 1811. On 1 Mar 1832 he had married at Bethel to Sarah York. Their first child, Peter York Carter, was born on 5 Jul 1832. In July 1834 Sarah as about to deliver their second child – who would be born in August of 1834.
- Philip Libby Carter – Philip had been born in Newry in 1813. So at this point he was 21 years old. I believe he was still living in Newry but would soon strike out for Massachusetts to make a life for himself.
- John “Harrison” Carter – the 7th child and 6th living was born 6 Oct 1816 in Newry. At this point was 17 years old and living at home.
- Eliza Ann Carter – the 8th child and 7th living was born 28 Sep 1818 in Newry. In July 1834 she was 15 and living at home.
- Richard Harrison Carter – the 9th child and 8th living was born 8 August 1820 so he was 13 years old and living a t home.
- Mary Jane Carter – the last surviving child had been born 13mar 1823 so she was 11 years old and living at home.
|Dominicus Carter, William Furlsbury Carter,and Philip Libby Carter|
|John Harrison Carter, Eliza Ann Carter Snow, and Mary Jane Carter Dooley|
So on the day that Hannah joined the Church it was likely that the household probably consisted of 7 people: John, Hannah and their children – Philip Libby, John “Harrison”, Eliza Ann, Richard Harrison and Mary Jane. It will be my contention that the married kids were probably not present. There is no evidence that any of the married children joined the Church at the time of their mother’s baptism, though three of the four married children did join the Church.
Next up will be a look at the arrival of Mormon missionaries in the Newry area.