Martha Allen Harris

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Martha Harris (Allen)

Also Known As: "Patty", "Orser", "Markham", "Richards", "Smith"
Birthdate: (57)
Birthplace: Pompey, Onondaga County, New York, United States
Death: April 1860 (57)
Provo, Utah County, Utah Territory, United States
Place of Burial: Provo, Utah County, Utah, United States
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Josiah Allen and Olive Negus
Wife of Hawley Decker Smith; David Henry Orser; Phineas Howe Richards and Emer Harris
Mother of Alonzo Havington Smith; Olive Amanda Fullmer; Heber Evert Orser; Charlotte Celia Cynthia Orser; Lucy Orser and 4 others
Sister of Lucy Hoar; Phebe Parker and Robert Allen
Half sister of David Allen and James Allen

Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Martha Allen Harris

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; she died at the age of 57 in April 1860 at Provo, Utah County, Utah Territory, and was buried at Provo City Cemetery. She had four husbands and eight children.

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. Also known as Hawley Decker Markham.
    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); accompanied Martha to Utah in 1853
    2. Albert Orser (1834 – ); died in infancy
    3. Martha Orser (1835 – ); died in infancy
    4. Lucy Orser (1836 – 1843); died in infancy
    5. Charlotte Celia Orser (1837 – 1872); accompanied Martha to Utah in 1853
    6. Hiram Orser (1841 – ); died in infancy
  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

Biographical Sketch

Martha married 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 two children before Smith's death at New York in 1826.

Martha Allen, her mother, sisters Lucy and Phebe, and many cousins seem to have been members of Baptist churches in Onondaga County, New York. Church records and land deeds show that Martha's mother, Olive Allen, moved to Sodus, Ontario County, New York some years after Josiah Allen's death. Martha probably moved with 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 married Hawley Smith about this time, but it is unclear where Martha and Hawley met and married. Hawley's stepbrother, Oliver, and half-brother, Asa Markham, Jr., both lived in Chautauqua County.

Martha Smith (referred to as "Patty", a common nickname for Martha) is named as heir of Josiah Allen in an 1828 land deed. Martha appears to have moved to Washtenaw County, Michigan at the same time as the Markhams in the early 1830s.

Five years later, Martha married David Henry Orser on 28 January 1832 at Ypsilanti, Washtenaw County, Michigan. They had six children, four of whom died in infancy. Soon their marriage, they moved to Battle Creek, Calhoun County, Michigan. 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 various land transactions in Hancock County, ending with Martha's sale of land to pay debts after David's death in 1843.

She then purchased a lot in Nauvoo, Hancock County, Illinois, and is listed in Latter-day Saint records from late 1843. In the spring of 1844 Martha went to the uncompleted temple of Nauvoo and did baptisms on behalf of her deceased father, Josiah Allen, his cousin, Ethan, and her cousins Jesse and Dillus Negus. Martha joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on 6 February, 1846 in the Nauvoo LDS Temple. She became the third plural wife of Phineas Howe Richards on 26 November 1847 at Winter Quarters, Nebraska. They had no children, and were divorced prior to 1855.

The 1850 census for Pottowattamie County, Iowa lists Martha Orser and daughter Charlot. She emigrated to Utah in 1853. After arriving in Utah Territory, she became the plural wife of Emer Harris (1781 - 1869) at Salt Lake City on 10 September 1855. They were enumerated in the 1856 Territorial Census for Utah. 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.


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Martha Allen Harris's Timeline

March 15, 1803
Onondaga County, 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 30
Ypsilanti, Washtenaw, Michigan, USA
Age 31
Ypsilanti, Washtenaw, Michigan, USA
July 12, 1837
Age 34
Battle Creek, MI, United States
Age 36
Ypsilanti, Washtenaw, Michigan, USA