Elizabeth Abigail Heath

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Elizabeth Abigail Heath (Olmstead)

Birthplace: Eldridge, Huron, OH
Death: Died in Salina, Sevier, UT
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Harvey Olmstead and Margaret Anna Olmstead
Wife of Eli Joshua Weed; James Harvey Heath, Sr. and Wiley Himes Holden
Mother of Joshua Weed; Mary Ann Weed; Harvey Olmstead Heath; William Riley Heath; John Wiley Holden and 5 others
Sister of Hyrum Olmstead; Joshua Olmstead; Mary Ann Olmstead; Margaret Olmstead and Hieronimus Olmstead

Managed by: Gwyneth McNeil
Last Updated:

About Elizabeth Abigail Heath

Abigail Olmstead was born February 25, 1818 in Eldgidge, Huron County, Ohio. Those years were before the Indian Wars but the area was definitely frontier. She had a memory of her father being a teen when captured along with a friend by the British in the War of 1812. The boy was held until he escaped to take word back to the Americans.

She married Joshua Weed before 1846 and had two children by him. He died at a young age. It seems that in those frontier days a woman with children could not survive without a father for the family and she married again to a man named Williams. It is not known what happened to him.

She married third to a Wiley Holden and they had four children. She declared that she really loved him. It was with him that the couple became Mormons. They were probably evangelized by one of the many missionaries traveling around the Northwest Territories in those years.

The family moved to Nauvoo, Illinois and spent five or six peaceful years there until like other Mormon Families in the area they were driven out. This was around the time of the death of Joseph and Hyrum Smith. This family were certainly like others in that they were polygamous. I believe tha Holden may have been sealed to Abigails sister.

They crossed the plains and headed for Missouri where they lived in Independence for a while but faced persecution and went out to Winter Quarters (Council Bluffs). As the Brigham Young group passed they were all ready to leave for Utah however there was a small pox epidemic and Abigails husband died.

Left alone with a wagon, cows, gear and small children Abigail threw in with a man named Reynolds who had just lost his wife to the same small pox outbreak. They combined animals and wagons and gear and joined a few others to head west. This was a hard trip however, Abigail was a midwife and did see to the needs of others for some compensation. She was resourceful and cheerful and they did make it out to Utah.

In 1854 after arriving at Salt Lake she married James Harvey Heath. James was the brother of our John Republican Heath. He had been in Nauvoo and Winter Quarters and was now living in the area of the Weber River. They had two children and the family was polygamous wit one other wife. In some source it says that this was not a happy marriage for Abigail and because there were Police out looking for polygamists, Abigail moved in with children.

She spent her years being a grandmother and a mother. She was well known for her basket work and hand work. She died in July 26 of 1891. Again it was declared she was always cheerful and helpful.

One thought was how difficult it was after the era of outlawing of Polygamy in Utah. It was tragic for many older second and third wives. Many men refused to give up wives but those that were given up lived hard and wanting lives. Abigail was one who saw all of that and more.

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Elizabeth Abigail Heath's Timeline

February 23, 1818
Eldridge, Huron, OH
Age 23
Eldridge, Huron, Ohio
Age 23
Age 26
Kanesville, Pottwattamie, Iowa
February 25, 1847
Age 29
Kanesville, Iowa
July 27, 1848
Age 30
Kanesville, Iowa
August 27, 1848
Age 30
Kanesville, Iowa
Age 29
Age 33
Kanesville, Iowa
April 15, 1855
Age 37
Weber Valley, Utah