Martha Harris (Allen) (1803 - 1860)

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Nicknames: "Patty", "Orser", "Harris", "Markham", "Richards", "Smith"
Place of Burial: Provo, Utah County, Utah, United States
Birthplace: Pompey, Onondaga, New York, United States
Death: Died in Provo, Utah, Utah Territory, United States
Managed by: Denise Unander
Last Updated:

About Martha Harris (Allen)

Martha Allen, the only child of Josiah Allen (1775 – 1810) and Olive Negus (1785 – 1846), was born 15 March 1803 at Pompey, Onondaga, New York, United States. Martha married (1) Hawley Decker Smith, son of Sally Smith [widowed when Hawley was young; Sally's second husband, Jarmath Asa Markham, adopted Hawley] in 1823 at Fabius, Onondaga County, New York. They had a son, Alonzo Havington Smith, and a daughter, Olive Amanda Smith before Markham's death at New York in 1826.

Five years later, Martha married (2) David Henry Orser on 28 January 1832 at Washtenaw County, New York. They had six children, four of whom died in infancy. Orser died in 1843 at Pittstown, New York. Martha joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on 6 February, 1846 in the Nauvoo LDS Temple. She married (3) a polygamist, Phineas Howe Richards on 26 November 1847 at Winter Quarters, Iowa. They had no children.

That marriage may not have gone well, as Richards left for the Salt Lake Valley with the Willard Richards wagon train and Martha is not on the roster. Phineas bought a house for his wives that stayed behind - perhaps that was the end of this marriage. Phineas lived until 1874 and was buried at Salt Lake City Cemetery, Salt Lake, Utah.

Martha Richards traveled to Utah in 1853 with another company of Saints. She married (4) Emer Harris (1781 - 1869) at Salt Lake City on 10 September 1855. They lived at Provo, Utah County, Utah until her death in April 1860 at age 57. Martha is buried at Provo City Cemetery, Provo, Utah County, Utah, United States, although she has no headstone. Emer Harris lived until 1869 and is buried at Logan City Cemetery, Cache County, Utah.

Marriages and Children

  1. Hawley Decker Smith (1803 – 1826), son of Jarmath Asa Markham and Sally Smith, married in 1823 at Fabius, Onondaga County, New York
    1. Alonzo Havington Smith (1824 – 1904)
    2. Olive Amanda Smith (1825 – 1885)
  2. David Henry Orser (1784 – 1843) married 28 January 1832 Washtenaw County, New York
    1. Heber Evert Orser (1832 – 1888)
    2. Albert Orser (1834 – )
    3. Martha Orser (1835 – )
    4. Lucy Orser (1836 – 1843)
    5. Charlotte Celia Orser (1837 – 1872)
    6. Hiram Orser (1841 – )
  3. Phineas Howe Richards (1788 – 1874) married 26 November 1847 Winter Quarters, Iowa; no children
  4. Emer Harris (1781 – 1869) married 10 September 1855 Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah Territory; no children


Martha has no gravestone.


Added by Karen Olinger

Martha Allen, her mother, sisters Lucy and Phebe and many cousins seem to be members of Baptist Churches in Pompey and Fabius area of Onondaga County, New York where they lived. Martha's mother, Olive Allen, removed to Sodus, Ontario County, New York as seen in her church records and land deeds some years after Husband Josiah Allen's death. It is very probable that Martha would have moved as a young woman with her mother. Her mother Olive Allen returned to Fabius, Onondaga County, New York around 1823 where she joined the Baptist congregation and soon after married a widower, Johnathan Babcock. Martha would have married Hawley Smith about this time as their child Alonzo was born later in the year 1823. This makes it unclear where Martha and Hawley met and married. Hawley's stepbrother, Oliver and half brother, Asa Markham, Jr. both lived in Chautauqua County and Asa Sr. household were most likely in Fabius.

    Martha is mentioned as heir of Josiah Allen in about 1828 land deed by name of Patty Smith.  Patty is a common nickname used for Martha.  Her spouse is not mentioned so it is evident that she was a widow by that time.  Martha seemed to move to Washtenaw County, Michigan at the time the Markhams did in early 1830's.   Mistress Martha Smith married David H. Orser in Ipsilanti, Michigan, 1832 and moved to Battle Creek, Calhoun, Michigan soon after their marriage.  Orsers' daughters from his first marriage are in marriage records for both locations. The Orsers lived in Calhoun County until about 1837 when they bought land in Hancock County, Illinois.  They had land transactions in Hancock County until early 1840's when Martha had to sale off land to pay debts about the time David probably died around 1843.  She then purchased a lot in Nauvoo, Illinois, and began to associate with the Mormon population and is listed in Latter-day Saint records from late 1843.  In Spring of 1844 Martha went to the uncompleted temple of Nauvoo and did baptisms in behalf of her deceased father, Josiah Allen, his cousin, Ethan, and her cousins Jesse and Dillus Negus.  She followed the Mormon migration to Utah.  It is uncertain yet her actual arrival there.  1850 census  Powtowattomee County, Iowa lists Martha Orser  and daughter Charlot.  After arriving in  Utah Territory, she married in polygamy to Emer Harris.  They are together in the 1856 Territorial Census for Utah.  In 1860 census Martha Harris is in the home of Charlot McCarl, her daughter in Provo, Utah.  
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Martha Allen Harris's Timeline

March 15, 1803
Onondaga, New York, United States
Age 19
Fabius, Onondaga, New York, United States
July 3, 1824
Age 21
Pomfet, Onondago, New York, USA
September 18, 1825
Age 22
West Fabius, Onondago, NY, United States
December 16, 1832
Age 29
Ypsilanti, Washtenaw, Michigan, USA
Age 28
Washtenaw, Michigan, United states
Age 30
Ypsilanti, Washtenaw, Michigan, USA
Age 31
Ypsilanti, Washtenaw, Michigan, USA
July 12, 1837
Age 34
Battle Creek, MI, USA
Age 36
Ypsilanti, Washtenaw, Michigan, USA