Tuesday, July 12, 2016


           We will never know for sure when John moved to Illinois though we can approximate the date from records at our disposal.  John was in Missouri at least until August 1840 when he signed for Mary Jane to marry Jacob Dooley.[1]  We can place him in Hancock County in Illinois by 26 May 1841.  His children had already left Missouri and moved to Illinois.  Eliza Ann and Dominicus left Missouri in the early spring of 1839.  It wasn’t recorded when William actually left Missouri.  If he left at the same time as Eliza Ann and Dominicus isn’t known.  William was in Illinois by 26 May 1839 when he was in Quincy and appointed as one of the seventy messengers to the nations by Joseph Young, chairman of the Council of seventy.[2] 

            John was probably now between a rock and a hard spot.  He had avoided the persecutions in Ohio and Missouri and would have probably preferred to stay in Missouri.  Unfortunately, being a Northerner he probably felt uncomfortable staying in Missouri.  Add to this that the rest of the family was moving to Illinois and there were then several good reasons to move.  With these developments happening Hannah probably put pressure on him to move to Illinois and be with the family.  The fact that the family had settled in the far southern part of Hancock County may have encouraged John to move in hopes that the family was far enough from Nauvoo that any persecution would be less likely there.

            The Carters had moved to an area in Walker Township that was to become Yelrome. Today we know Yelrome or Morleyville as Tioga, Illinois.  Early Yelrome was described as follows:

Morley Settlement Sign (north east of original settlement)
Yelrome (Morleyville) Today
            “Yelrome, or Morley’s Settlement, was located twenty-five miles south of Nauvoo and approximately three miles north of Lima.  Although Lima is technically in Adams County, it was so close to the Hancock County settlements that for all intents and purposes it can be included with them.  Indeed, Lima, when combined with the minor colonies of Yelrome and Bear Creek, was one of the two major LDS colonies in Hancock County.  It was also referred to by Joseph Smith as one of the ‘spokes on the wheel.’

          Isaac Morley was the first member of the Church to settle in the area that was later to be called Yelrome.  Seeking refuge in Illinois after being driven from Missouri in 1839, the Morleys purchased a partially completed cabin, which they furnished and made suitable for a home.  A few other Saints joined them, and Yelrome began to grow.
…The small town where Yelrome once was located is called Tioga, a name that may also have LDS origins, since one of the early Latter-day Saints who lived there was Alpheus Cutler from Tioga County, Pennsylvania.”[3]

            John’s life in Hancock County is poorly documented other than in the government records he left behind.  John first obtained land from his son, William.  This land was first purchased by William (of Hancock County) from William C Wilson and his wife Rosana (of Adams County) on 27 October 1840 for $179.37.  The land was described as Part East/2 Northeast Section 31 Township 3 North Range 8 West.  The legal Description was:  Beginning Southeast corner Joshua Vance line on East/2 of the Northeast/4 Section 31; running East 71 ¾ Rods; North 50 Rods; West 71 ¾ Rods; South 50 Rods to beginning, being 22.765 acres.[4]   This exact piece of land was then sold to John Carter on 26 May 1841 for $250.[5]

Walker Township Sections 31 - 32
Red shape is approximately John's first land purchase
This land in was the eastern half of the northeast quarter in Section 31 of Township 3 (Walker Township) in Hancock County.  That placed the land adjoining Section 32 of the same Township 3.  Section 32 was known as Yelrome.  The actual community was located to the east of John’s property not much further than a stone’s throw.  Finally after some five years, the Carter family was getting reunited.  It is reported that John’s granddaughter, Mrs. Dora Bolt had copies of John’s tax receipts for 1842 and 1843 in Hancock County.  This would be in agreement with the fact that John did have land in Hancock County during that time. It is interesting that it was then on 15 May 1843 that John finally recorded the Missouri deed of sale as previously noted. His 40 acres of Missouri land had brought him $400 ($10 per acre).  His $250 purchase of 22.765 acres in Hancock County cost him about $10.98 per acre – basically a wash in cost.

 It is assumed that John was still actively farming in spite of his advanced age of 59 or so when he purchased his 22+ acres from his son, William.  The last child to marry, Richard Harrison Carter, may have still been living with John and Hannah but after his marriage, 29 Nov 1840, to Hannah Parker, he probably moved out as his children were born over the county line in Lima beginning in 1841.[6]  Even though Richard had been baptized for several years he appears to have stayed with his father and mother until he got married.  It is possible in part that it was for him that John and Hannah had moved to Illinois.

[1] 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.  Marriage date – 27 Aug 1840 – Monroe Co., Missouri.  (NOTE:  John had to give permission for her to marry.)
[2] Leora Carter Scharrer; Life of William F. Carter, op. cit.
[3] Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Nauvoo Family History and Property Identification Department; Reference Book for Nauvoo Family History and Property Identification Department, published by Nauvoo Restoration Incorporated May 1, 1990, p. 21-22 (FHL – 977.343/N1/K2r).
[4] Hancock County, Illinois Deeds, Book I, p. 227 – 228 (FHL Film 954,598). Transcription found in Susan Eaton Black, et. al., Property Transactions in Nauvoo, Hancock County, Illinois and Surrounding Communities (1839 – 1859), Vol. II C-F, p. 749.)
[5] Hancock County, Illinois, Deeds, Book I, p. 300 – 301 (FHL Film 954598). Transcription in Susan Eaton Black op. cit.
[6] Jordan Dodd, Liahona Research, comp. Illinois Marriages, 1790-1860 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2004. (Family History Library Film #0954117).

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