Lydia Ann Lightner

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Lydia Ann Lightner

Birthdate: (73)
Birthplace: Lancaster, Pennsylvania, United States
Death: August 11, 1873 (73)
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Adam Lightner, Sr. and Mary Pollly Lightner
Wife of John Cleminson
Mother of Laura Sandys Cleminson; Lydia Ann Cleminson; Mary Margaret Cleminson; James Cleminson; Diantha B. Cleminson and 1 other
Sister of Abia Taylor Lightner, Sr.; Samuel Lightner; Rachel Meeks; Isaac Newton Lightner; Adam Lightner, Jr. and 5 others

Managed by: Joseph Wilson
Last Updated:

About Lydia Ann Lightner

The following information about Lydia was found on the following website:

Lydia Lightner was born into a family that had been in Pennsylvania since 1683. The family origins are Germany and England. Lydia's father was Adam Lightner. In the 1820 census, the Adam Lightner family was located in Huntington County, Pennsylvania. Galena, Illinois, is 800 miles away, so at some point before 1822, the Lightner family migrated this distance from Pennsylvania to Illinois.

On December 28, 1822, when Lydia was 22, she married John Cleminson in Galena, Jo Daviess County, Illinois. Lydia always used this marriage date. In 1822, Galena was just a small Indian post, and they were probably married by an itinerant preacher who lost his records as there is no official record of this marriage date. A few days later, on January 5, 1823, in Lillard County, Missouri, they had their marriage legally certified, and there is a record of this in the Lafayette County archives. (Lillard was renamed Lafayette County in 1825).

Galena, Illinois to Lillard, Missouiri is a distance of 400 miles. How they could travel this distance between Dec. 28, 1822 to Jan. 5, 1823 is a mystery. In the 1830 Lafayette County census, John Cleminson's family was living close to Mary Lightner, who may be Mary Trout Lightner, widow of Adam.

John and Lydia were still living in Lafayette County in 1830, and by that time, had two girls, Laura and Mary. In the 1830's, the newly formed Church of Latter Day Saints (Mormons) was recruiting new members in Jackson County, Missouri. Joseph Smith was preaching in those days that Independence, Jackson County, Missouri was the location of the Garden of Eden, and thus the center of the Universe. Many converts were moving to this area.

John and Lydia Cleminson family moved to Independence, Jackson County, before 1833, as their son James was born there August 7, 1833. Sometime after 1833, John and Lydia joined the Mormon church and moved to Caldwell County. There is some family history that says John Cleminson was one of the "7 Lights" of Joseph Smith, the founder of the Mormons.

The result of the Missouri Mormon war was a mass migration of most of the Mormons from Missouri to Hancock County, Illinois, where they founded the city of Nauvoo. In 1840, the Cleminsons were still living in Caldwell County. At that time John was 42 and Lydia, 40. Their children were James, 7, Mary J, 16, Laura 15, Lydia, 4 and Diantha, 1.

Sometime, between 1840 and 1842, the Cleminson's moved with other Mormons to Hancock County, as their son John Cleminson, Jr, was born there on December 8, 1842.

The same problems between Mormons and non-Mormons occurred in Illinois resulting in the murder of Joseph Smith in 1844 and the eventual expulsion of all Mormons from the state and destruction of the Mormon city of Nauvoo. In 1847 most Mormons started leaving Illinois for Utah. However, the Cleminson family had other plans.

In 1850, John formed a Mormon wagon train, and traveled from Illinois to San Diego, California, a trip that took one year. They had two wagons for their family, hiring a driver for the second wagon, Samuel Sylvester Reeves. They arrived in San Diego in July of 1851. The following spring, Samuel and John's daughter Lydia married, April 5, 1852.

John and Lydia Cleminson moved from San Diego to San Bernardino in 1852 to join the new Mormon settlement there. After Brigham Young recalled the Mormons back to Utah in 1857, the Cleminson family moved to El Monte, in Los Angeles County and spent the rest of their lives farming there.

Lydia Lightner Cleminson passed away on August 11, 1873. She was 73 years old and they had been married 51 years. John Cleminson passed away in El Monte on November 28, 1879, at the age of 81.

John and Lydia were buried in the El Monte Cemetery at 9263 Valley Blvd., Rosemead, California. As of the year 2008 it is in danger of being bulldozed over by developers.

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Lydia Ann Lightner's Timeline

Lancaster, Pennsylvania, United States
October 4, 1825
Age 25
Clay, MO, United States
August 22, 1827
Age 27
MO, United States
Age 30
MO, United States
August 7, 1833
Age 33
Independence, Jackson, MO, United States
February 23, 1839
Age 39
MO, United States
December 8, 1842
Age 42
Hancock, IL, United States
August 11, 1873
Age 73