There is no record of the exact date that John and Hannah, with their son Richard, left Missouri but we know in May, 1841 John bought land in Hancock County, Illinois. 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. This exact piece of land was then sold to John Carter on 26 May 1841 for $250. (Hancock County, Illinois, Deeds, Book I, p. 300 – 301 (FHL Film 954598). Transcription in Susan Eaton Black, et. al., Property Transactions in Nauvoo, Hancock County, Illinois and Surrounding Communities (1839 – 1859), Vol. II C-F, p. 749.)
One would think that this would place John and Hannah in Illinois at the beginning of the growing season. William had probably prepared the land the prior year so John would be able to plant a crop and harvest it that year. John most likely had sold his farm in Missouri when they left but the transaction was incomplete as it wasn’t until 15 May 1843 that John actually recorded the deed in Illinois following the receipt of $400 for the land. Now with the land in Missouri disposed of, John and Hannah were in Illinois for the long haul.
Hannah had to be thrilled to be living among most of her children. Besides Dominicus, William, Hannah, John Harrision, Eliza Ann, and Richard Harrison (who still lived at home) who were all LDS, Hannah was joined in Morleyville by Mary Jane and her husband Jacob Dooley. Almira and her husband Alvin B Tripp, though LDS, did not join the family until after the birth of her ninth child, Sarah, who was born in Newry on Christmas day in 1843. By then the only missing child was Philip Libby who had left Maine for Massachusetts where he married Martha Eames York in 1845. He was still there in 1850 as he was enumerated with his family in Lowell, Massachusetts. He and his family arrived in Walker Township, Hancock County, Illinois about May, 1851. ("Charles Carter (1846 - 1925)" in Biographical Review of Hancock County, Illinois (Chicago, Hobart Publishing Company, 1907), pp. 551 - 552.)
Surely John felt that Morleyville, or Yelrome as it was known then, was far enough away from Nauvoo that they would be safe there. Unfortunately that was not to be.