Abigail M. Brown-Abbott (Smith)

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Abigail M. Brown-Abbott (Smith)'s Geni Profile

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Abigail Melvina Abbott (Smith)

Also Known As: "Brown"
Birthdate: (82)
Birthplace: Williamson, Ontario County, New York, United States
Death: July 23, 1889 (82)
Willard, Box Elder County, Utah Territory, United States
Place of Burial: Willard, Box Elder, Utah
Immediate Family:

Daughter of James Smith and Lydia Lucinda Smith
Wife of Stephen Joseph Abbott
Ex-wife of Captain James Brown, Jr.
Mother of Emily Bunker; Charilla Lucinda Browning; Phoebe A. Brown (Abbott); Lydia Lucina Squires; Abiel Abbott and 3 others

Managed by: Ed Ekins
Last Updated:

About Abigail M. Brown-Abbott (Smith)

Abigail Smith, daughter of James Smith (1777 - 1857), a veteran of the War of 1812, and Lydia Lucinda Harding (1781 - 1806), was born on 11 September 1806 at Williamson, near Palmyra, Ontario County, New York; and died at the age of 83 on 23 July 1889 at Willard, Box Elder County, Utah. She married (1) Stephen Joseph Abbott (1804 - 1843) on 11 December 1825 at Dansville, Steuben County, New York; and (2) Captain James Brown (1801 - 1863), on 8 February 1846 at Nauvoo, Hancock County, Illinois; divorced circa 1850.

Marriages and Children

  1. Stephen Joseph Abbott, son of James Abbott (1753 - 1830) and Phoebe Howe Coray (1763 - 1842), was born 16 August 1804 at Providence, Lackawanna County, Pennsylvania and died 19 October 1843/1844 at Nauvoo, Hancock County, Illinois. Their children were:
    1. Emily Abbott (1827 - 1913)
    2. Charilla Abbott (4 July 1829 - 10 April 1914)
    3. Phoebe Abigail Abbott (18 May 1831 Hornellsville, Steuben County, New York - 9 January 1914 Thatcher, Graham County, Arizona)
    4. Lydia Lucinda Abbott (25 February 1833 - 18 September 1919)
    5. Abiel Abbott (10 July 1835 - 2 December 1913)
    6. Myron Abbott (1 December 1837 - 3 September 1907)
    7. Cynthia Abbott (28 December 1839 - 14 November 1910)
    8. Abigail Abbott (23 February 1842 - 25 October 1934)
  2. James Brown (30 September 1801 Lick Creek, Yadkin River, Rowan County, North Carolina - 30 September 1863 Odgen, Weber County, Utah Territory), married on 8 February 1846 at Nauvoo, Hancock County, Illinois; divorced circa 1850. No children from this union.

Biographical Summary

Abigail Smith was the youngest of several children, all of whom died young. Her mother died when she was six weeks old and she was raised by her aunt, Polly Harding, and later by her stepmother, Mehetable Adams. At the age of fifteen years she was so sick spell for so many months that her life was despaired of. Her father was a farmer and a teacher of music. Letters written by James Smith reveal a beautiful hand and excellent grammar, showing that he was a man of education and refinement.

At the age of sixteen, Abigail Smith went to Homellsville, New York, to visit relatives of her mother. Here she lived in the family of James Abbott for some time and she fell in love with his son, Stephen Joseph Abbott. Her father came to take her home but instead, by mutual consent of both families, the young couple were married on 11 December 1825. About 1836 her father moved to Michigan. Although she corresponded with him, she never again met any of her family.


Stephen was six feet tall and strongly built, with black hair and brown eyes. He learned the trade of furniture making and painting. He was rather indifferent to religion until after his marriage, when he and his wife joined a sect called Universalists, who had much broader views than the Methodists or Presbyterians. Besides his cabinet-making business, he and his nephew (a son of his half-brother, Elijah) owned and operated a cording and fulling machine at Arkport, Steuben County, New York.

About 1838 there were a lot of settlers pouring into the Mississippi Valley. Stephen decided to go to the Mississippi Valley and make a permanent home for his family. He sailed down the Allegheny River and in five weeks arrived in Pike County, Illinois. He bought a quarter section of farmland and forty acres of timber land. He then went to Michigan to visit his brothers, the last time they ever met. Returning to New York, he was warmly greeted by many friends all anxious to learn something of the new country in the Great Valley. He settled up his business affairs, and after visiting with his wife’s family at Palmyra, New York, he took his wife and children by boat down the Allegheny River, leaving on 14 April 1837.

An Omen of Promise

They landed at Naples on the Illinois River in Pike County, Illinois, in late May 1837. Abigail Smith Abbott, writing of this period says, "On the first day of December of that year our son Myron Abbott (1837-1907) was born, a promising child. My daughters went out in the garden and found a beautiful rose, although the season for that flower was long past, I took it as an omen of promise and rejoiced."

In 1838 Stephen’s elder brother James Abbott (1799-1846) brought his family and their mother, Phoebe Howe Coray Abbott, to Illinois and settled near them. In March 1839, Stephen and Abigail joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.


Following the death of Phoebe Abbott in 1840, they moved to Nauvoo and bought a home and some land. Stephen served a mission to Wisconsin. When he returned, he began to haul cordwood down the Mississippi, which entailed much wet and exposure. On 16 October 1843 he was taken ill, and he died three days later, only 38 years old.

At her husband’s death Abigail was left with a home, some land, cows and a few sheep. Determined to be independent, she taught a private school in her home to obtain food and clothing. She says, "I trusted in God and improved every opportunity to help myself, but the necessity of becoming servants to our fellow men was almost more than I could bear". Some of her older children did hire out to neighbors.

I Gathered My Children Together

In February 1846, Abigail married James Brown. She and her children traveled to Utah with the George A. Smith/Dan Jones Company of 1849.

"...On the sixth day of July 1849, I gathered my children together, eight in all, and one son-in-law, and started for the valley of the mountains in George A. Smith's company. As we had to walk across the plains, I made moccasins for my children to wear, as I did not know when I would get shoes for them again. We came in contact with many Indians, but were never harmed by them, for instead of fighting them every one gave them food. Just four months to the day we arrived in Salt Lake..."

After Captain Brown married her daughter, Phoebe Abigail Abbott, on 17 October 1850, Abigail Smith divorced him.


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Abigail M. Brown-Abbott (Smith)'s Timeline

September 11, 1806
Williamson, Ontario County, New York, United States
September 19, 1827
Age 21
Dansville, Livingston, New York, United States
July 4, 1829
Age 22
Hornellsville, Steuben County, New York, United States
May 18, 1831
Age 24
Hornellsville, Steuben, New York
February 25, 1833
Age 26
Hornelsville, Steuben, New York
July 10, 1835
Age 28
Hornelsville, Steuben, New York
December 1, 1837
Age 31
Perry, Pike, Illinois, USA
December 28, 1839
Age 33
Perry, Pike, Illinois
February 3, 1842
Age 35
Perry, Pike, Illinois