The exodus from Newry for the Carter is poorly documented. There are few contemporary records that spell out when specific people left Newry. The basic story has traditionally been that the family left Newry together for Kirtland but that just isn’t true as the facts will witness.
Brigham Young first came to the Newry area, preaching in Bethel on 15 Aug 1835. At that time he preached the wisdom of the local Saints moving to Missouri where the main body of the Church was moving. Most likely the exodus probably began sometime between this 1835 meeting and the time of the August conference in 1836 cited previously. William and Dominicus both paid taxes in Newry in 1836 but both were missing from the tax rolls the following year.
The only independent evidences we have of the departure / arrival times for the individual members come from specific dates we can glean from their family records. If the records can be believed – Dominicus’ daughter Sarah Emily was born in Kirtland on 11 May 1836 so they must have gone west before the 1836 conference. William stated he was ordained an Elder in Kirtland in 1836. After the conference of August 1836 two more of the family left: “As was usual in those days, the spirit of gathering rested upon the converts, and agreeable to the counsel given, all who would do so gathered to the body of the Church then located in Kirtland, Ohio. My mother prepared to take the journey with the little company that was going with the returning elders. These were John Carter with his sister, Eliza, of Newry, Maine; Alphia Woodman and Phoebe Carter from Scarboro, Maine; and others that I do not call to mind at this time. Eliza Carter became the wife of James C. Snow, and Phoebe Carter was the wife of Apostle Wilford Woodruff.” It is interesting that John 20 and Eliza Ann 18 would be allowed to travel to Kirtland without their immediate family but they were in good hands and had older brothers already there. As noted Eliza would marry in Kirtland on 10 Feb 1838 to James Chauncey Snow and John Jr. would marry Elizabeth Runnels Sweat near there on 11 Apr 1838. John Jr. is the only John Carter from our family that went to Kirtland as further facts will show.
What of the other children of John and Hannah? Almira Carter Tripp and her husband, Alvin Baron Tripp, remained in Newry past the birth of her last child, Sarah, on Christmas Day, 1843. They were the last of the family to leave Newry. Hannah Carter York had married Aaron Mareon York back in 1829 in Bethel and remained in the Bethel/Newry area until sometime between the birth of her James Chauncey Snow York on 16 July 1837 in Newry and John William York’s birth on 2 Sep 1841 in Lima, Illinois. Hannah is stated as joining the Church in 1844 and Aaron’s church membership states he joined on 1 Jan 1846. In either case this would make them late converts of the Church in our family. Philip Libby Carter left Newry and was in Lowell, Massachusetts at some point before 17 Jul 1841 (based on a purchase receipt dated that day in Lowell, Mass. that was in possession of his daughter Dora Carter Bolt). He married Martha Eames York on 26 Nov 1845 in Lowell and was still there in 1850 when his family was enumerated on the census there. He would become the last of the family to arrive in the Nauvoo area.
In the next installment we will discuss why John Carter Sr. was never in Kirtland.