Charles 'Barton' Mowrey (Mowry)

Is your surname Mowry?

Research the Mowry family

Charles 'Barton' Mowrey (Mowry)'s Geni Profile

Share your family tree and photos with the people you know and love

  • Build your family tree online
  • Share photos and videos
  • Smart Matching™ technology
  • Free!


Charles Barton Mowry (Mowrey)

Also Known As: "Mowrey"
Birthdate: (73)
Birthplace: Burrillville, Providence County, Rhode Island, United States
Death: Died in Burrillville, Providence County, Rhode Island, United States
Place of Burial: Fremont, Alameda County, California, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Uriah Mowry and Joannah Mowry
Husband of Ruth Mowrey
Father of Origin Mowrey; Rhanaldo Mowry; Harley Mowrey, Sr. and Sylvester Mowry

Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Charles 'Barton' Mowrey (Mowry)


In the town of Burrillville, Providence County, Rhode Island, the six child of Uriah and Joanna Bartlett Mowry arrived on 6 July 1798. They named him Barton and he grew up here but not much of his young life is known. The Mowry's are direct descendants of Roger Mowry, the first Mowry to come to America.

In the course of time he met and fell in love with Ruth Walkup and they married in March of 1820. Ruth was the youngest daughter of Henderson and his third wife, Susannah McNamarra Condon Walkup, being the widow of of David Condon. Ruth was born 13 July 1798 in Uxbridge, Worcester, Massachusetts. Barton and Ruth made their home in Burrillville, Providence, Rhode Island, were four sons were born to them: Sylvester, Harley, Origin and Rhanaldo.

Around the year 1843, the family met the missionaries from the Mormon Church and became interested in the faith. All the family joined this church but Sylvester.

Because of the persecution and mistreatment of the members of the church after it was organized in 1830, the leaders decided to encourage their people to gather together and go where they could practice their religion without persecution. Their Prophet, Joseph Smith, Jr., and his brother, Hyrum, had been martyred in Carthage, Illinois, on 27 June 1844. The people had been forced to leave Nauvoo, Illinois by a mob that could not be calmed or reasoned with and were especially brutal to the poor, sick and afflicted, who were doing all they could to leave Nauvoo.

The members of the Eastern states gathered for a conference in American Hall in New York City on November 8, 1845. Here Apostle Orson Pratt gave a message for the members to either go west with the overland group, or with Samuel Brannon on the the ship, Brooklyn. Barton, Ruth and their two younger sons, Origin and Rhanaldo, chose to go with Samuel Brannon. Sylvester evidently remained in Burrillville.

Harley was already in Nauvoo, having been the first of his family to join the church. Therefore, he left Nauvoo with the first group to leave, and went with them to Council Bluffs, Iowa. As these people gathered and were making plans to go west somewhere in the Rocky Mountains, the government of the United States asked for 500 volunteers to fight in the Mexican War. Harley was among the volunteers and thus left the vanguard company short of their young men.

While in the east, the Mowry's and the other members were busily preparing for the voyage to the west coast. Samuel Brannan leased the ship, "Brooklyn" and hired Captain Abel W. Richardson to help him prepare this vessel, an old whaler which had eleven years service behind it. It was only 125 feet long and about 28 feet across,a ndit weighed only 450 tons. It was still seaworthy but well patched and it had to be prepared for passengers. Working speedily, they installed thirty-two staterooms with bunks, lighting, and ventilation. Between they built a long table with backless benches for meetings, activities and meals.

Besides the captain, the crew was made up of a second mate, a steward, and twelve seamen all with average morals. The Captain was one of the best and his morals were above average. The passengers hired two black cooks. The hold was filled with 800 pounds of paying freight to be delivered to the Sandwich Islands, known as Hawai'i today. Besides these things they added equipment that the passengers were taking to set up a productinve settlement once they reached their destination.

Finally the time arrived for Barton and his family, and the Eastern Saints, to board the ship on the 6th of February 1846, the same day that the overland members left Nauvoo, and the Brooklyn headed out to sea. For four days all went well but then a fierce storm settled down on these voyagers. Captain Richardson felt that he had encountered the worst storm in his career, and he went to the hold to inform his passengers to prepare to die. To his amazement two women spoke up and one said that they had "set sail for California and they would arrive there." Another responded, "We have felt no fear and our safety is as sure as if on land." The passengers then continued their singing and the Captain didn't know what to think. It has been reported that one hymn sang during this storm was "God Moves In A Mysterious Way," as this was one of their favorite hymns. However, at the end of four days the storm passed.

Another experience the Mowry family and the others had when they arrived at the Equator was that the sailors feared most, to be caught in the doldrums, dead calms where the northeast and southeast winds meet and they produce what James Skinner described as if the air "seemed like it came from a blast furnance." Fortunately, they were only in this condition for two or three days, and when the proper winds began to blow, and the sails were set with the trade winds, they headed for Cape Horn. At this time, no women or children had ever been on a ship to go around the Cape because of the great dangers existing. The Cape was called the "graveyard of the oceans."

Captain Richardson didn't fight the winds and headed due south and fortunately he met the needed wind to turn west and north along the western side of South America, where they had planned to dock at Valparaiso to replenish their supplies. Here again a storm came upon them and they were unable to dock.

The passengers and the Mowry family were all getting weary as they had been on the sea for three months and food was getting scarce and in poor condition, with other problems:

"The drinking water grew thick and ropy with slime, so that it had to be strained between the teeth, and the taste was dreadful. One pint a day was the allowance to each person to carry to his stateroom ... Still worse grew the conditions of the ship ... Rats abounded in the vessel, cockroaches and smaller vermin infested the provisions, until eternal vigilance was the price imposed upon every mouthful."

Captain Richardson wasn't without another plan as to where they could go to obtain the needed supplies, so he turned the ship to the open sea to go to Juan Fernandez Island, (Robinscon Crusoe Island), 360 miles off the coast of Chili. No doubt some of the voyagers battled discouragement before they were able to dock and replenish their supplies and good water.

Oh, how happy the passengers were to have the opportunity to put their feet on land again! If it had not been for the very sorrowful experience they would have celebrated royally. However, Laura Goodwin, a mother of six children, and carrying another child, had slipped during the storm and was seriously hurt and died. Before she died she pleaded with her husband to not bury her at sea.

"Although the occasion was so sorrowful, the presence of the six little children sobbing in uncontrollable grief and the father in his loneliness trying to comfort them, still such was our weariness of the voyage at the sight of the tread of terra firma once more was such a relief and enjoyed it. The passengers bathed and washed their clothing in the fresh water, gathered fruit adn potatoes, caught fish, some eels, great spotted creatures that looked so much like snakes that some members of the company could not eat them whe cooked."

What a contrast the sea on the Pacific Ocean! One passenger remembered well the difference:

"What a dreamy delightful period of unbroken sea voyaging ... were those weeks that followed the short delay at Robinson Crusoe Island! Riding gayly along with all the sails set before a six or seven knot breeze, over a sea just sufficiently agitated to give greatful variety to a motion without retarding progress ... not a sail touched not a brace started until the peaks of Hawai'l shot up into sight. The remembrance of those cool days and nights in the Pacific "Trades" will be a joy forever."

Not all felt like this passenger, as Caroline Joyce reported that to her was "a voyage of incredible hardships." Years later at the end of her life, she would related again the story of the voyage to her daughter, and note: "Of all the unpleasant memories not one half so bitter as the dreary six month voyage in the Emigrant ship."

The voyagers also had the opportunity to study some of the 179 volumes of the Harper Family Library which a prominent New York attorney presented the emigrants just before they left New York.

As the Brooklyn entered the port at the Sandwich Islands, there must have been fears withing their breasts as they gazed upon the warship, "Congress". Samuel Brannon had been drilling the men on board the Brooklyn to be prepared to meet any possibility, until the Captain had him stop because it disturbed the sailors. Here he also was able to buy guns and powder.

While there the natives were captivated by the nine-month old twins, Sarah and Hannah Kittleman, and they even took the babies to Queen Kalama who showered them with gifts. In fact, the Brooklyn passengers were welcomed by all and it was a pleasant time for everyone. They replenished their supplies again but left with apprehension. What would they find when they arrived on the west coast?

As they sailed toward California the drills started up in earnest. Can you imagine what was in the hearts of Ruth and the other women whos husbands and sons were preparing for battle if necessary? It would be difficult to guess how they felt when they arrived on the 31st of July 1846 and saw the American flag flying over the barracks, as they had hoped to be in a land not a part of the United States after all their bad experiences. This was not the only disappointment as Augusta Joyce Crocheron described the scene:

"A long sand beach strewn with hides and skeletons of slaughtered cattle, a few scrubby oaks, farther back low sand hills rising behind each other as a background to a few old shanties that leaned away from the wind, and old adobe barracks, a few donkeys plodding dejectedly along beneath towering bundles of wood, a few loungers stretched lazily upon the beach as though nothing could astonish them."

After unloading the ship, Barton, Origin and Rhanaldo, with some of the other men, went a ways and cut and brought trees to help pay for the rest of the passage. Barton, Ruth, and their sons, along with the others had travelled 24,000 miles, 6,000 more than they had planned, having been on the ocean six months, and they were definately ready to build a settlement. They were successful in building a thriving settlement, but 60% of these people did not plan to make their stay permanent as they wanted to join the others who were in the Great Salt Lake Valley.

Barton and his son, Origin, liked what they saw with the rich soil and decided to stay in California. However, Ruth and Rhanaldo were among the 60% who joined the Saints in Utah and remained faithful members of the Church. Ruth later returned to California and took care of Barton in his last illness until her died 4 June 1872 and was buried in the Centerville-Irvington Cemetery in Alameda County. Ruth then returned to Utah and lived with her son, Rhanaldo, in Kaysville until her death, 20 August 1887.

view all

Charles 'Barton' Mowrey (Mowry)'s Timeline

July 6, 1798
Burrillville, Providence County, Rhode Island, United States
Age 22
Burrillville, Providence County, Rhode Island, United States
August 9, 1822
Age 24
Providence County, Rhode Island, United States
July 3, 1825
Age 26
Burrillville, Providence County, Rhode Island, United States
February 3, 1828
Age 29
Providence, Providence County, Rhode Island, United States
June 4, 1872
Age 73
Burrillville, Providence County, Rhode Island, United States
Fremont, Alameda County, California, United States