Tuesday, July 5, 2016


John has, in the past, been listed as traveling with his Mormon family to Missouri but that isn’t true in fact.  Yes, he traveled to Missouri; but no, he didn’t travel with the family.  His children in Ohio had already begun their journey to Missouri prior to John’s leaving Newry, Maine. Any reference to a John Carter in the travels of the Mormon part of the family have to be references to John Carter, Jr., his son and not the father.

Early in 1838 William and his family along with the newly married Eliza Ann Carter and her husband James Chauncey Snow left Kirtland for Missouri in a wagon with a yoke of oxen to pull it.[1]  A couple of months later, and as part of the Kirtland Company, Dominicus and his brother John (not his Father John) left Kirtland for the same destination.  Theirs would be an arduous trip ending some months later in Caldwell Co., Missouri where mobs were already forming to drive the Mormons out or kill them.[2]  This Kirtland Company in fact organized on July 5, 1838 (178 years ago today – as this is being written July 5, 2016).  “July 5, 1838 - Just over 500 Saints began to gather ‘about one hundred rods south of the House of the Lord’ in Kirtland, Ohio, to organize and prepare themselves for the journey to Missouri. They were the remaining faithful Saints in Kirtland who were the poor and destitute who would join together for the journey west in what was to be called the ‘Kirtland Camp.’ They would arrive in October, 1838, where the Prophet Joseph Smith settled them in Adam-ondi-Ahman just a couple weeks before the mob action against the Saints resulted in the Extermination Order. This journey of the poor, but faithful Saints, from Kirtland to Missouri, would become one of the great stories in Church History.[3]

            One would have to think that the family in Ohio had contacted their parents back in Maine and notified them of the impending move to Zion (Missouri.)  Since the last of the family left Kirtland in July, 1838 and John and Hannah probably received notice of this by mid-July, it wouldn’t be far-fetched to think that given couple of months to prepare that, John could be ready to move from Newry by mid-September.           

How John and his family traveled to Missouri is not known.  All is known is that John was in Newry, Maine on 10 September 1838 and had left some time prior to25 October 1838 when it was reported that he had vacated his office in Newry.  Even if he left Newry on 11 September 1838 he would have had to make great time as he signed a deed of purchase for land in Monroe Co., Missouri on 10 November 1838 – just two months later.

They had to make remarkable time.  Unfortunately, they left no record of how this trip was accomplished.  Whereas his kids the “poor and destitute” of Kirtland, John had adequate money and could have used it to affect a quick passage.  Because of the distance from Newry to Monroe Co., Missouri was about 1500 miles it would have taken a well-provisioned wagon just about two months to make this journey.  Possibly they traveled part of the way by river boat or steam boat.  Maybe they traveled by stage coach, but however they did it they were in Missouri in just two months.  What is interesting is that even giving his children a two-month head start and his having to travel all the way from Maine, John and Hannah almost arrived in Missouri at the same time as their children.

            John did not go to the center of Mormon settlement in Caldwell County but instead settled in the eastern part of Monroe County some 4 counties to the east of his children.  In fact, this location was only two counties south west of Adams County in Illinois on the other side of the Mississippi River.   Here is an abstract of this deed[4]:

            This Deed, made and concluded on this Tenth day of November in the year of our lord eighteen hundred and thirty eight by and between B. Robb & Catherine M B. his wife of the County of Monroe and the state of Missouri of the first part and John Carter of the County of Monroe and State aforesaid of the second part …in consideration of the sum of two hundred dollars current money of the United States… land lying and being included in the said county of Monroe in the state aforesaid vis – The North West one fourth of South East quarter of Section No. 25, Township 55 North of the Base line, range No. 9 of the fifth principal meridian containing forty acres….On this tenth day of November in the year of our Lord eighteen hundred and thirty eight.

            One might wonder if this is our John Carter.  The locating of this document began with the discovery online of marriage record of John’s youngest daughter, Mary Jane Carter to Jacob Dooley in Monroe Co., MO on 27 Aug 1840.  The text of this record reads[5]

Dooley to Carter
State of Missouri, County of Monroe: I do certify that I did on the 27th day of August, AD 1840, celebrate the rites of matrimony between Jacob Dooly and Mary Jane Carter daughter of John Carter by consent of parents, both of the county and state aforesaid. Henry Thomas, Preacher of the Gospel
Filed for Record on the 1st day of Augst 1840 - duly Recorded Theo S Miller, Recorder

Mary Jane Carter Marriage License
            This was an unexpected find and was doubly valuable as John had to give consent as Mary Jane was only 17 at the time.  With this document this is little doubt of the previously mentioned deed being executed by our John Carter.

            The stay would be short-lived in Missouri as our next episode will describe.

[1] Leora Carter Scharrer; Life of William F. Carter, (self-published, no date), FHL Call # 921.73 A1 #10, p. 2-3.
[2] Barton L Carter; Dominicus Carter, Latter-Day Pioneer, (self-published, no date), p. 16 – 19.
[3] Copyright 2016 LatterdayLight.com – entry for July 5, 2016
[4] Monroe County, Missouri, Deeds, Book E, p. 574(Family History Library Film 975063)
[5] Ancestry.com. Missouri Marriage Records, 1805-2002 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2007.  Original data: Missouri Marriage Records. Jefferson City, MO, USA: Missouri State Archives. Microfilm.

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