Is your surname Murdock?

Research the Murdock family

John Murdock'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!


John Murdock

Birthplace: Kortright, Delaware, New York, United States
Death: Died in Beaver, UT, USA
Place of Burial: Beaver, Beaver County, Utah, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of John Murdock, Sr and Eleanor Riggs
Husband of Electa Murdock and Julia Murdock
Father of Gideon Allen Murdock; Rachel Murdock; Hyrum Smith Murdock; Orrice Clapp Murdock; John Riggs Murdock and 4 others

Managed by: Kaylene Groll
Last Updated:

About John Murdock

Pioneers and Prominent Men of Utah, page 1050

Biographical Summary:

MURDOCK, JOHN (son of John Murdock of Delaware county, N. Y., and Elleanor Riggs of New York, N. Y.). Born July 15, 1792, Kortright, Delaware county, N. Y. Pioneers Sept. 24, 1847, Captain Wallace company.

Married Julia Clapp. Their children: Orrice C., m. Margret Molen 1850; John R., m. Almira H. Lott 1849. Family home Lehi, Utah.

Married Electa Allen (daughter of Gideon Allen and Rachell Hand, pioneers 1848). She was born Dec. 6, 1806, Litchfleld, Conn. Only child: Gideon A. Murdock, m. Lucinda E. Howd March 1, 1866.

Married Sarah Zufelt. Their children: George (adopted); Brigham.

First bishop of 14th ward, Sail Lake City. First missionary to Australia in 1851; patriarch. Member of the first legislature in Utah 1849. Died Dec. 23, 1871, Beaver, Utah.

SOURCE: Esshom, Frank Elwood; Pioneers and Prominent Men of Utah; Utah Pioneer Book Publishing Company; Salt Lake City, Utah; 1913.

Biographical Summary #2:

"...Murdock, John, the first Bishop of the 14th Ward, Salt Lake City, Utah, was born July 15, 1792, at Kortright, Delaware county, New York, being the third son of John and Eleanor Murdock. His father was the son of Samuel who with his father and two brothers (Wm. and Eliphalet) emigrated from Scotland to America about the middle of the 18th century.

John Murdock came west when 27 years old and settled in Orange township, Cuyahoga county, Ohio, married Julia Clapp when 31 years old, was baptized by Parley P. Pratt Nov 5, 1830, at Kirtland, Geauga county. Ohio, and was confirmed and ordained an Elder the Sunday evening following by Oliver Cowdery at Mayfield, Cuyahoga co. He preached and organized a branch of the Church of some seventy or eighty members at Orange and Warrensville in about three or four months. His wife Julia was baptized Nov. 14, 1830, and died in Warrensville April 30, 1831, leaving him with five small children, two of them but six hours old.

The Prophet Joseph and wife received the two infant twins to raise in their family. Bro. Murdock was ordained a High Priest at Kirtland, June 6, 1831, by Joseph the Prophet. In company with Hyrum Smith he filled a mission to Missouri, where he was sick for five months and returned to Kirtland in June, 1832, in company with Elder Parley P. Pratt. In 1832 he sent his three oldest children to Bishop Partridge in Missouri with some means for their support. Joseph kept Julia, whose twin brother (Joseph) died in the Hiram persecutions in March, 1832. Bro. Murdock sold his property, and sent some of the money obtained thereby to Bishop Partridge in Missouri for the support of his children, and he also gave some to Brother Joseph. Thus he was prepared to preach the gospel.

He preached, baptized, and built up a branch of the Church that fall and winter in the east part of Geauga county, received instructions and the washing of feet in Kirtland, and beheld the face of the Lord, according to the promise and prayer of the Prophet. In April, 1833, he started into the Eastern country on a preaching mission, on which he built up a small branch of the Church in Delaware county, N. Y., the place of his birth; he returned west in December, 1833, and after visiting Livingston county, N. Y., he arrived at Kirtland early in 1834.

He went to Missouri as a member of Zions Camp in 1834, suffered with sickness, saw his children and returned to Ohio in February, 1835. He started on another mission March 5, 1835, to the East, visiting New York and Vermont, and returned to Ohio early in 1836. He married Amoranda Turner Feb. 4, 1836, and went on foot to Kirtland, where he arrived Feb. 24th... His wife arrived at Kirtland May 28, 1836, and they soon afterwards started for Missouri, where they passed through the persecutions at De Witt, Far West, etc. Bro Murdock was the oldest member of the High Council at Far West.

His wife Amoranda died of fever Aug. 16, 1837, and Bro. Murdock left Missouri in 1839. After stopping temporarily at Quincy he settled at Nauvoo, Ill. Here he was ordained and set apart as Bishop Aug. 21, 1842, and he presided over the Fifth Ward at Nauvoo till Nov. 29, 1844, when he was called to travel, visit and set in order branches of the Church abroad. He continued in this calling till March, 1845.

In October, 1845, his wife Electa Allen, whom he had married May 3, 1838, died. She left one son, Gideon, A. Murdock, who acted for many years as Bishop at Joseph, Sevier co., Utah, and is now (1914) a resident of Minersville, Beaver county, Utah.

He married the fourth time March 13, 1846; this time he took Sarah Zufelt to wife and left Nauvoo soon afterwards for the West; two of his sons, Orice and John, were called into the Mormon Battalion.

He emigrated to Salt Lake Valley in 1847, arriving on the site of Salt Lake City Sept. 24, 1847. Here he acted as a High Councilor and he was set apart as Bishop of the 14th Ward Feb. 14, 1849. In December, 1849, he took his seat in the legislative body for the State of Deseret and acted as such and as Bishop til Feb. 6, 1851, when he resigned to go on a mission to the Pacific Islands. He traveled with Parley P. Pratt to the Pacific coast, starting on this mission from Salt Lake City March 12, 1851, with others and traveled to San Francisco; he was then called by Apostle Parley P. Pratt to open up a mission in Australia.

Together with Charles W. Wandell he landed at Sydney, Australia Oct. 30, 1851, as the first Latter-day Saint missionaries to that land and Bro. Murdock labored in Australia till June 2, 1852, when he left for home, leaving Elder Wandell to preside. On his return to Utah he found his family at Lehi, Utah county, and at the April conference, 1854, the Saints voted for his ordination to the office a Patriarch. At Lehi he presided over the High Priests and filled other important positions. In his last days he was feeble and lived with his children. [He] died Dec. 23, 1871, at Beaver, Utah..."

SOURCE: Latter-day Saint Biographical Encyclopedia. Volume 2. Retrieved from:

Wikipedia Biographical Summary:

"..John Murdock (July 15, 1792 – December 23, 1871) was an early convert to the Latter Day Saint movement and was a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). He is mentioned twice in the Doctrine and Covenants. He was also the first mission president for the LDS Church in Australia..."

"...Murdock was baptized a member of the Church of Christ in November 1830. At this time he lived in Geauga County, Ohio.

In 1831 Murdock accompanied Hyrum Smith on a mission to Pontiac, Michigan. They had been commanded to take this general route in Doctrine and Covenants 52:8.

He served several missions for the church in the early years. After his first wife (Julia Clapp Murdock) died, Joseph Smith, Jr. and his wife Emma adopted Murdock's newborn twins, Joseph and Julia.

In Doctrine and Covenants 99:1 John Murdock is commanded to go to the Eastern United States and declare the gospel "from house to house, from village to village and from city to city."..." SOURCE: Wikipedia contributors, 'John Murdock (Mormon)', Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 22 November 2010, 14:36 UTC, <> [accessed 11 January 2011]

FROM HIS JOURNAL Being thirty years old. In my travelling I came to this place this year where I abode nine years; and now I took an active part in carrying on meetings with the Baptists for awhile. But some misunderstanding taking place between me and some of the members, and finding they held so strongly to Calvinistic Doctrine which I did not believe, and finding their walk not to agree with their profession, I withdrew myself from them and stood about two years aloof from all religious sects and my wife in company with me; (for I had married my wife Julia being the eldest daughter of Orice and Phebe Clapp of Mentor of Geauga County, Ohio. She was born February 23rd, A.D. 1796. We were married December 14th, 1823, I being 31 years old and she being 27 years old; she bore me six children as follows - Orrice C., December 24th, 1824. John R., September 13th, 1825. Phebe, March 10th, 1828. An infant we buried September 1829. Joseph S. and Julia, April 30th A.D. 1831 and my wife died six hours after their birth, and Joseph Smith, the Prophet, took my two infants to bring up)

view all 14

John Murdock's Timeline

July 15, 1792
Kortright, Delaware, New York, United States
December 24, 1824
Age 32
Orange, Cuyahoga County, Ohio, United States
September 13, 1826
Age 34
Orange, Cuyahoga, Ohio, United States
March 10, 1828
Age 35
September 1829
Age 37
May 1, 1831
Age 38
Near Kirtland,Geuaga,Ohio
May 1, 1831
Age 38
Near Kirtland, Geuaga, Ohio
August 1, 1840
Age 48
Lima, Adams, Illinois, United States