Susannah Susan Pettingill

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Susannah Susan Pettingill (Young)

Also Known As: "Susan"
Birthdate: (56)
Birthplace: Hopkinton,Middlesex,Massachusetts
Death: May 5, 1852 (56)
Salt Lake City,Salt Lake,Utah
Place of Burial: Salt Lake City, UT, USA
Immediate Family:

Daughter of John Hayden Young, Sr. and Abigail "Nabby" Howe Young
Wife of Richard Oliphant; William Bostwick Stilson; Alonzo or Alanson Pettingill and James Little
Mother of Charles Henry Oliphant; William Lacy Stilson; Cornelia Ann Stilson; Edwin Sobieski Little; Eliza Little and 2 others
Sister of Nancy Kent; Fanny Young; Rhoda Greene; John M. Young, Jr.; Abigail "Nabby" Young and 5 others
Half sister of Edward Young

Managed by: Richard Frank Henry
Last Updated:

About Susannah Susan Pettingill

SUSANNAH YOUNG: (1795–1852) and FAMILY, By Mavis Moore Smith

Husband No. 1: James Little married 1815 at Cayuga Co., New York

Husband No. 2: Richard Oliphant married Feb 1825 at Canandaigua, N. Y

Husband No. 3: William “B” Stilson married 1829 at Mendon, New York

Husband No. 4: Alonzo Pettingill married 1845 at Nauvoo, Illinois


Susannah’s life was somewhat unusual because she married four times and had children by three of her husbands. The unique thing about Susannah was that her father, mother and siblings were a very important part of her life from birth to death. In this light the Young family will be included throughout this history.

Children of John Young and Abigail (Nabby) Howe who married 31 Oct 1786:

Nancy Young born 6 Aug 1786 at Hopkinton, Mass. married Daniel Kent.

Fanny Young born 8 Nov 1787 at Hopkinton, Mass. married Robert Carr.

Rhoda Young born 10 Sep 1789 at Durham, New York married John P. Greene.

John Young born 22 May 1792 at Hopkinton, Mass. married Theodocia Kimball.

Nabby Young born 22 Apr 1793 at Hopkinton, Mass. died 1807 age 14.

SUSANNAH YOUNG born 17 Jun 1795 at Hopkinton, Mass. married 4 times.

Joseph Young born 7 Apr 1797 at Hopkinton, Mass. married Jane A. Bicknell.

Phinehas Howe Young born 16 Feb 1799 at Hopkinton, Mass. married Clarissa Hamilton.

Brigham Young born 1 Jun 1801 at Whitingham, Vermont married Miriam Works.

Louisa Young born 26 Sep 1804 at Sherburne, New York married Joel Sanford.

Lorenzo Dow Young born 17 Oct 1807 at Smyrna, New York married Persis Goodall.

Susannah’s father, John Young, was born 6 March 1763 at Hopkinton,Massachusetts. The father of John, Joseph Young, was born at Boston, Massachusetts,12 February 1729 and christened in the famous Old South Church there. Joseph’s parents were William and Susannah Cotton Young. William, whose birth was about 1695, is the earliest name on the Young pedigree. This family came to America very early.

William was married three times; Susannah Cotton was his second wife. She was born about 1713 at Portsmouth, New Hampshire. They had two children, Joseph being the second. Joseph Young, Susannah’s grandfather, was involved in the history of his time. He served in the French and Indian War as a surgeon and treated the injured. After the war he settled in Hopkinton, Massachusetts, where he combined his practice of medicine with farming. He married Elizabeth Hayden, a widow, 21 August 1759 after treating her father who had cancer. They were the parents of six children, all born in Hopkinton.

In 1769 Dr. Joseph Young died leaving Elizabeth, age 40, with six children ages 3 to 10. John was 6 years old at the time. During the next 4 years after her husband’s death, Elizabeth lost her possessions. She was forced to send her children out to work for their keep. John, age 10, and his brother, Joseph, age 8, were apprenticed or indentured to a Mr. Jones, probably about 1773.

In June 1780 both John and Joseph ran away and joined the Continental Revolutionary army. Mr. Jones collected John’s army pay for 6 months when John was discharged. John labored on the farm until about August 1781 when he enlisted in the Massachusetts militia for 6 months. John returned to finish his indenture with Mr. Jones and remained until age 21. During this time John lost contact with his brother, Joseph. Family information indicates that John did not know what happened to any of his siblings.

John Young married Abigail Howe 31 October 1785 at Hopkinton, Massachusetts. Abigail Howe (known as Nabby) was born 3 May 1766 at Hopkinton to Phinehas Howe and Susannah Goddard. The Howe genealogy line goes back 5 more generations and the Goddard line 4 more generations. There was a close bond between Nabby and her family. She is described with blue eyes and a yellow-brown hair which had natural waves and ringlets. She had a gentle and lovable disposition with a doll-like face. She was also very pious.

Two daughters were born to John and Abigail in Hopkinton. Nancy was born 6 August 1786 and Fanny in 1787. Whatever prompted John Young to move to Durham, New York, is not known; but in 1789 John was there clearing land and farming. On September the 10th that year a daughter, Rhoda, was born.

That winter Mr. Howe, Nabby’s father, came with a sleigh and moved them back to Hopkinton where they lived for another 10 years. During this time another 5 children were added to the family. John Jr. was born 22 May 1792; Nabby 22 April 1793 and Susannah 17 June 1795. Joseph followed on 7 April 1797 and Phinehas 16 February 1799.

John had a chance to buy a farm from his kinsman in Whitingham, Vermont, where they moved in 1800. Here their son, Brigham, was born 1 June 1801. While in Whitingham, the eldest daughter, Nancy, married Daniel Kent 13 June 1803. She was 17years old. There are many details we would like to know; but no one in the family kept a diary. Also they were not given to writing, so we do not know why or how they moved from place to place.

In 1804 John again moved his family. This time they moved to Sherburne, NewYork where a daughter, Louisa, was born 26 September 1804. Here the first death in the family occurred: in 1807 Nabby, age 14, died. The family then crossed the river to Smyrna Township in New York. Rhoda was 15 and the one to help with the little Susannah Young children. John now was 13 and a help to his father. On 5 May 1806 Fanny married Robert Carr at Hopkinton. This was where her Hayden grandparents lived.

From several of the children comes some information on the family. John Young was a stern man. He and Nabby were strict parents who didn’t tolerate any disobedience from their children. A son, Brigham, said he was brought up so strict that he considered “devil” a swear word. Because of the strict upbringing, the Young family was not allowed to play cards, dance or listen to music. Brigham said of his mother “no better woman ever lived in the world.” She helped to mellow her husband but agreed with his strict religious views.

The children were not permitted to wrong another, no matter what the reason. The outcome was a caring, bonded family that remained close all their lives. When Nabby was very ill, both Brigham and Lorenzo remember her giving them counsel and advice. In her last days she took every opportunity to guide and teach her children. One said “my parents were devoted to the Methodist religion and their precepts of morality were sustained by their good example…I was taught to live a strictly moral life.” Phinehas said, “I recollect being taught to pray and obey my father and mother.”

Lorenzo wrote of his father that he was at first an “Episcopal Methodist”, but later became a “Reformed Methodist.” There was affection but it was controlled; it was a home of Puritan influence, although these traits were modified by the more liberal Methodist faith. All the children put religion foremost in their life. They were industrious and resourceful, hard workers and loyal supporters of the family. It was a hard life in colonial American frontier. From another source, “The Young's were all gifted singers.”

The family labored hard for 9 years in this area and a son, Lorenzo Dow, was born 17 December 1807 at Smyrna. This completed the family. There was little opportunity for formal schooling for the Young children. They learned to read mostly from the Bible. Their parents taught them most of what they learned.

The next move for John Young and family was to Aurelius, Cayuga, New York in 1813. Aurelius was a township and so covered a fairly large area. They settled near Auburn. Rhoda married John P. Greene 11 February 1813 in Cayuga County. Also John Jr. married Theodocia Kimball in 1813 (no record of an exact date). John was a preacher in the Methodist faith.

For many years Abigail (Nabby) had suffered from tuberculosis. This, along with the many moves and giving birth to 11 children (all under primitive pioneer conditions), wore her body out. Around this period of time Fanny left her husband, Robert Carr, who was unfaithful to her. Thus, she came home to help care for her mother and the younger children during her mother’s last weeks and months of her life. “Nabby” Howe Young died 11 June 1815 at age 49. The children still left at home were: Joseph age 18, Phinehas age 16, Brigham age 14, Louisa age 11, and Lorenzo Dow age 8. (Susannah married about this time.)

John P. and Rhoda moved their family to Tyrone, New York. Later her father, John, and his boys moved to Tyrone, near Rhoda and family. Here they cleared land and made maple sugar in the spring. Where Fanny and Louisa went is not known; they possibly stayed with either Rhoda or Susannah. While in Tyrone, John married Hannah (Dennis) Brown, a widow living on a nearby farm. In one record their marriage date is given as 1815; another record gives 1817.

Brigham never made any reference to having lived with his father after John’s second marriage. It is interesting that in all the records of the family Hannah is never mentioned except as a member of the Mendon branch in 1832.

In late 1814 or early 1815 Susannah married James Little in Cayuga County, New York, before her mother’s death. No exact date has been located. Susannah and James made their home in Aurelius. James Little was born 2 May 1790 at Caven Kilgreen, Tyrone, Ireland. He immigrated to America when 10 or 12 years of age with his parents, William Little and Letitia Smith Little. James’ 3 siblings came with them: Moses born 1777, Malcolm born, 1788, and a younger sister, Nancy, born 1795. His three siblings, according to family records, were born at Terordan, Monagham, Ireland. This leaves a question as to accuracy. There may have been more children who didn’t live because there were gaps between births of the four children.

James’ brother, Moses, married in New York; but nine of his children were born in Glasgow, Scotland; London, England; and Glosbough, Monahan, Ireland. The last two were born in Ontario, Canada. Moses died July, 1848, in Ontario, Canada. His children may have remained there. James’ brother, Malcolm, married twice. Four of his children were born from the first marriage and three children from the second marriage. He spent his married life in Seneca County, New York.

James’ sister, Nancy, who married William McMillen, was the mother of eleven children. Eight were born in New York State and three in Ohio. James kept in contact with his family. His father died just one year before he did. Later on, James’ sons, Feramorz and James, also had contact with their two uncles, Moses and Malcolm, and their aunt Nancy McMillan.

Here is some information on James Little from friends and family who knew him. “He was a short well-knit man with great powers of endurance. He was never known to complain of being weary. He slept about four hours out of twenty-four and read or worked the remainder of the time. It is also said he was well read and an intelligent man who possessed quite a collection of books.”

On 22 January 1816 James and Susannah’s first child, a son, Edwin Sobieski, was born. In March of that year James bought 50 acres of land. James would raise vegetables and sell them in Auburn, 4 miles distant. He was the first man in New York to sell seeds in packages. Also he introduced tomatoes for table use. “Love Apples”, as tomatoes were called, were considered to be poisonous and grown for decoration only. In order for James to sell tomatoes, he had to get a permit from Governor Clinton of New York.

In 1816, after a year of hard work with his father at Tyrone, Brigham, age 15, with his brother, Lorenzo Dow, age 9, went to Aurelius to live with their sister, Susannah. Here in the area Brigham learned the trade of carpenter, painter and glazier. Whether Brigham lived with Susannah all the time he was in the area is not known. If he had been apprenticed out, he probably did not live with Susannah. We assume that Lorenzo remained with Susannah and her family until he was old enough to go out and work.

In 1818 a daughter, Eliza, was born to James and Susannah. We have no exact date, probably because she died 4 years later in 1822. In 1820 the James Little family was listed in the census with James and Susannah; 2 males under age 10 (Edwin and Feramorz); 1 male from 10-15 (Lorenzo Dow, age 13); and 2 males age 16-25 (Brigham age 19, the other person is unknown). The James Little family at this time was prospering and had quite a few household goods plus horses, wagons, a cow and hogs.

Their second son, Feramorz, was born 14 June 1820. Then on 14 September 1822, James Jr. was born. Then tragedy hit. James, the father, at age 32 was killed on the way home from Auburn where he was returning from getting supplies. It is supposed that it was dark and the wheels on one side of his wagon slipped into a pit at the side of the road, turning the wagon over and pinning James under his loaded wagon. He was found the next morning. The horse had worked loose and was feeding nearby.

Susannah was left a widow at age 27 with 3 boys: Edwin, age 6; Feramorz, age 2; and James age 2 months. With Brigham there or near-by and Lorenzo, now age 15, they were a big help and comfort to her. Susannah gave up the farm. Her brother, Lorenzo, probably left and went to work or live with some other member of the family. Where Susannah spent the next two years is not known. We do know that her family would be there for her as much as they could.

On 18 Jan 1818 Phinehas, Susannah’s brother, married Clarissa Hamilton at Syracuse, Onondaga, New York. About 1818 family records indicate that John Young, Susannah’s father, had a child born at Sugar Hill, Schuyler, New York, who died about 1818. Another child was born about 1821 also at Sugar Hill and died before 1827. Sometime before 1823 they moved to Wayne, Steuben, New York, where in 1823 on July 30 a son, Edward, was born to John and Hannah Young. He lived to adulthood, married and had a family.

In 1824 on October 6th Louisa, Susannah’s sister, married Joel Hubbard Sanford of Schuyler, New York. The on the 8th of October 1824 Brigham Young married Miriam Works at Cayuga County, New York and moved to Port Byron on the Erie Canal, not far from Auburn where he had employment.

At some time between 1822 and 1825 Susannah went to work for a Richard Oliphant at Canandaigua, Ontario, New York. She probably had her three boys with her. Edwin was 9 years old, Feramorz 5, and James 3 in 1825. On November 15 a son, Charles Henry, was born to Susannah. There seems to be some question in the family as to whether she married Richard. The descendants of Charles Henry claim to have found a marriage of Susannah and Richard Oliphant in February 1825. According to family records, she left him, as he was abusive.

By 1829 Susannah was in Mendon, New York, where her father and siblings with their families were living, all within a ten- mile radius of each other. The 1830 census taken at Mendon had Susannah with one male less than 5 years (which would be Charles Henry), and one male age 5-10 (which was James who was about 8 years old). Feramorz had been “bound out” to Solomon Chamberlain of Springwater, New York, at age 8. He worked on the farm in summer and attended school in the winter.

Edwin, who was not with his mother, was probably living elsewhere. He may have lived with an uncle. No record has been found of him with another family. Susannah’s brother, John Jr., had received his license as a Methodist preacher and zealously labored until he heard the Restored Gospel. Her brother, Joseph, became a preacher for the Reformed Methodist Church. Joseph eventually preached on a Methodist circuit in the Kingston, Canada, area. A brother, Lorenzo Young, married Persis Goodall on June 26, 1826, at Watertown, New York.

John and Rhoda Green and family were probably the first of the Young’s to move to Mendon where they were neighbors to the Heber C. Kimball family. By 1827 a sister, Fanny, a widow, was living with the Kimball family. John and Hannah Young with son, Edward, had moved there. Phinehas and his family moved to Victor just 6 miles from Mendon. Lorenzo and Persis also moved into the area. Brigham and his family didn’t move to Mendon until 1829 where great things were about to transpire.

Before Susannah married William B. Stilson, she placed her son, James, with a Mr. and Mrs. Bouton who had no children. They lived at Lysander, Onondaga, New York. James remembers his mother visiting him in 1834 or 1835. Also he remembers a few of his relatives visiting him at the Boutons. James was sent to school and received a good education for those times. He attended the Presbyterian Church, but he says that he received a good number of beatings from Mr. Bouton. He never had any love or affection from the couple.

In 1829 Susannah met and married William B. Stilson at Mendon, New York (no exact date was found). Just how long they lived in Mendon is not known as a daughter, Emiline, is claimed to have been born in 1830 in the state of Ohio. The area in Ohio was not very far from Mendon, New York. According to Brigham, Emiline died at age 2 at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Charles Henry Oliphant was still with his mother when she married William Stilson. He wrote that his stepfather was cruel to Susannah’s children. Charles was whipped for little childish indiscretions. Charles says that William was a whiskey drinker and a very sick man. They all suffered because they lacked for the necessities of life.

The family later moved to Rochester where Susannah placed Charles in the home of Ezekial and Lucretia Fox in 1831 or 1832. Charles never saw his mother again. Susannah had told them that Charles’ name was “Charles Little”. It was later when he learned differently from Feramorz or James who visited him. The Young family did keep in contact with Charles. Both Brigham and Joseph Young visited him and preached the gospel to him as a youth.

In the spring of 1830 Phinehas was on his way home from the town of Lima, New York, when he met Samuel H. Smith, who told him about the Book of Mormon and the miraculous circumstances of its origin. Phinehas purchased the book. He felt it his duty to read it and search out the errors and expose them. He could not find the errors and felt the book was true. His father then took the book home with him. Asking his father’s opinion, he was told, “It was the greatest work and the clearest of error of anything he had ever seen. Then Phinehas lent the book to his sister, Fanny, and to other members of the family, including Susannah, who had their turn to read it that summer.

Heber C. Kimball also read that copy of the Book of Mormon. The family had plenty of time to discuss the contents of the book. At this time Joseph Young was in Canada taking care of his Reformed Methodist circuit. In the summer of 1831 five young men from the newly organized Church of Jesus Christ came to the area and preached. All the questions that Brigham Young and Heber C. Kimball had were answered without their asking. They were impressed and were ready for more investigation.

In January 1832, Brigham, Phinehas and Heber made a journey to Columbia, Pennsylvania, to the branch of the church from which the five young men had come. They traveled in Heber Kimball’s sleigh. Six days were spent learning all they could. Upon their return to Mendon, Brigham wanted to share all these things with his brother, Joseph; so he set out by sleigh for Kingston, Canada. Here he convinced Joseph of the truths he had learned. They both returned to Mendon.

Joseph with Phinehas and their father, John, made the trip to Columbia, Pennsylvania, to visit the branch of the church there and learn more. Phinehas and his father were baptized there on 5 April 1832. Joseph was baptized the next day. On 14 April 1832 Brigham was baptized at Mendon. Joseph, Susannah’s brother, baptized her and her husband, William Stilson, and also baptized her brother, John, at the same time, April 1832. Rhoda was baptized 13 April 1832. In April 1832 Fanny, Louisa and Lorenzo were baptized. Nancy was baptized in 1833.

In April 1832, a branch of the church was organized in Mendon that included the following members of the Young family, plus Heber C. Kimball, Vilate Murray Kimball and 12 others: John and Hannah B. Young, Brigham and Miriam Works Young, Phinehas H. and Clarissa Young, Joseph Young Lorenzo D. and Persis Young, John P. and Rhoda Young Greene and children, Joel and Louisa Young Sanford, Fanny Young Carr (widow) The entire Young family with most of the in-laws had joined this new church.

Those of the family not in the Mendon branch were Nancy Young and husband, Daniel Kent; John Young Jr. and wife, Theodocia Kimball Young; and Susannah Young and William Stilson. Fanny Young was listed as a widow in the Mendon branch records. But there is a record that Fanny married Roswell Murray, age 62, on February 2, 1832. Roswell Murray was the father of Vilate Murray Kimball.

Before the fall of 1833, Fanny and Roswell moved to Kirtland, Ohio. Following their baptisms into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Young brothers, John, Joseph, Phinehas, Brigham and Lorenzo, and their father would preach wherever and whenever they felt impressed to go. They went on several missions with each other or with other members to New York State, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and even to Canada where Joseph had his Methodist ministry.

In the summer of 1832 Brigham and Joseph Young, along with Heber C. Kimball, made a trip to Kirtland, Ohio, to meet the Prophet Joseph Smith and learn all they could from him. In December of 1832 Joseph and his brother, Brigham, again went to Canada to preach. They converted many of Joseph’s congregations and others. Other members of the Young family traveled and preached in their local area.

In August 1833, Louisa Young Sanford died at Independence, Missouri, at age 29. She and Joel and family had gone to Missouri probably in 1832. She was the mother of four children.

In August or September Phinehas sold his farm and prepared to take his family to Jackson Co., Missouri. In late October they reached Pittsburgh and stopped with brother Lorenzo to preach the gospel till July 1833. At that time their father arrived and they all started for Zion. They went to East Liverpool, Ohio, and stopped there for a season where they raised up a large branch of the church.

They learned of the expulsion of the Saints from Jackson County, Missouri. Phinehas went back to Kirtland where Joseph Smith advised them to move to Kirtland and for Phinehas to assist in printing a paper. While in Kirtland, Phinehas went on a couple of missions. In 1833 Miriam, the wife of Brigham Young, died at Mendon. Vilate and Heber Kimball took Brigham’s two daughters into their home; later, Brigham moved in with them too. Brigham was busy traveling and preaching.

Earlier, John P. and Rhoda Greene had moved to Kirtland where her father and three brothers were living. In September 1833, Brigham and his two daughters moved with the Kimball family to Kirtland. Brigham Young married Mary Ann Angel February 18, 1834 at Kirtland. Brigham took advantage of every opportunity to listen to the Prophet Joseph Smith and learn all he could. This he did as long as the Prophet lived. After Brigham received a testimony and conviction that Joseph Smith was a true prophet of the Lord, he never doubted anything that Joseph ever said or did after that. Brigham was a faithful follower from that time on.

According to the births of their children, Susannah and William had moved to an area in Ohio not too far from the Mendon area. A second child, a son William Lacy, was born 20 September 1833 at Wellsville, Columbiana, Ohio. William had probably found work there. Then on 22 May 1836 a daughter, Cornelia Ann, was born at Little Beaver, Beaver, Pennsylvania. Wellsville and Little Beaver were both near the Pennsylvania-Ohio state line and a reasonable distance from Kirtland.

After Cornelia’s birth, William Stilson left Susannah and their children. William was restless and did not communicate with his wife for several years. Susannah followed her family to Kirtland, Ohio, to be with the Saints. Finally at age 37 Joseph Young married Jane Adeline Bicknell February 18, 1834, at Genesee, New York. They moved to Kirtland soon after.

Due to the death of his wife, Clarissa Young, Phinehas married Lucy Pearce Cowdery 28 September 1834 at Kirtland. In May of 1834 Joseph Smith asked for volunteers to go to Missouri and assist the Saints there. They were being driven from their homes by mobs. Both Brigham and Joseph Young volunteered and went with Zion’s Camp. This turned out to be a test of faith for all who went with the Prophet. Both Phinehas and Lorenzo helped Mary Ann while Brigham was gone.

On July 4th, Brigham and Joseph Young started to walk home from Missouri. Others of the brethren were with them. Early in 1835 Brigham was called to be one of the Twelve Apostles. Not long after that, Joseph Young was called as a President of Seventy.

Susannah’s brother, John, moved to Kirtland before 1836. John assisted in building the temple there. In 1841 he was ordained a High Priest and called to be a counselor to the Stake President. The Stake President apostatized and John was called as the Stake President of Kirtland, which calling he held until he went to Nauvoo when the Saints were being driven out. On 27 March 1836 the dedication of the Kirtland Temple took place there. Many of the Young family were in attendance and enjoyed that wonderful experience. Most, if not all the Young brothers, worked on the temple. Also they were going on missions from time to time. Their devotion to the work never faltered.

In December of 1837 Brigham had to leave Kirtland hastily due to the threats of the apostates on his life. On his way west he stayed at Dublin, Indiana, with his brother, Lorenzo, who was living there temporarily on his way to Missouri. Twenty days after Brigham left Kirtland, Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon had to flee for their lives on horseback. The apostates followed them for 200 miles.

Mary Ann Angel Young left Kirtland in the late spring of 1838 via flatboat. The flatboat traveled down the Ohio River to the Mississippi River and then up the Missouri River to Richmond, Missouri. She was so emaciated on arrival that Brigham did not know her when he saw her.

In June of 1838 Roswell Murray left Kirtland for Missouri with his daughter, Vilate, and Heber C. Kimball. His wife, Fanny, stayed behind to help her father. From this information it is assumed that John’s wife, Hannah, had either died or had left him. John’s son, Edward, who was age 15, is not mentioned. Fanny went with her father to Missouri; however, their stay there was brief. On arriving at Huntsville her father was threatened by a mob and forced to leave the state. He and Fanny traveled to Morgan County, Illinois. The Kimball family, except for Heber, went to Illinois with Brigham Young in February 1839. Roswell was evidently with this group and was then reunited with Fanny.

In the summer of 1838 the Presidents of Seventy, which included Joseph Young, organized their quorum and traveled to Far West, Missouri, together. They arrived at Hauns Mill on the 28th of October. Joseph remained until Tuesday the 30th and witnessed the horrid massacre from which catastrophe he was miraculously preserved. In the spring of 1838 Rhoda and her husband, John P. Greene, moved to Far West, Missouri, where they endured the persecutions of that season. In the fall they were driven out of the state by the mob. After her husband fled to Illinois, she gathered up her effects and family and moved to Quincy. On January 18, 1840, Rhoda Greene died at Commerce, Illinois, of inflammatory rheumatism at age 51. She was the mother of seven children.

Phinehas and Lorenzo were in Missouri. Phinehas arrived at Caldwell County, Missouri, August 1838. He bought a farm and worked on it till the fall of 1838. In the winter of 1838 in order to escape the mob, Phinehas and Lorenzo rode north with a group up the Grand River, got lost and nearly perished before reaching Commerce, Illinois. After Joseph Smith and other leaders were put in prison in the summer of 1838, Brigham Young and Heber C. Kimball were assigned to help the Saints leave Missouri. They had kept a low profile and were not being sought by the mob.

In January of 1839 Brigham was sent to Quincy, Illinois, to organize things there. He took a wagon with his family and the family of Heber C. Kimball along with some of the saints. Heber C. remained in Far West with the assignment to help the Saints leave the state as fast as they could. In April of 1839 the Twelve Apostles met at the temple site in Far West to begin their mission to England. At that same time, Joseph Smith and the others with him escaped and made their way to Illinois.

During June through September 1839, there was a great healing of the Saints who had become ill in the swampy Nauvoo area. It was September 1839, before the Twelve left Illinois for England, even though most of them were sick. On the way Brigham visited his father, John, age 76, and very weak, living at Quincy. Brigham knew he would not see his father again in this life. John Young died shortly after on October 12th.

As Brigham made his way East he visited his brother, Lorenzo Dow Young, in Scott County, Illinois. Then at Kirtland Brigham spent some time with his brother, John, and his sister, Nancy, and husband, Daniel Kent. Heber C. Kimball noted in his journal on his way to England: “Went to Mr. Roswell Murray’s, my father- in-law, who was living near Winchester in Scott County, Illinois…. Here we also found a few brethren in the Church, who had been smitten and robbed of their property in Missouri.” They were living two days journey from Nauvoo.

Roswell, the husband of Fanny, went with Heber C. east to visit his children in New York. While in the East, Roswell died at Victor, New York. A week after Roswell’s death John Young, Fanny’s father, died in Quincy. Fanny then stayed with her nephew, Evan M. Green, about a year in Morgan County. Her brother, Lorenzo, sent for her to come to Macedonia, Hancock County. She subsequently moved to Nauvoo.

In 1841 Brigham was released from his mission in England and returned to Nauvoo. Continuing with Susannah’s family: her son, James, age 17, in the spring of 1839, left the Boutons. He said that he had had enough. He visited his uncle, Malcolm Little, and then visited his brother, Feramorz. James then found lodging with a good family and spent the next two years teaching school. In the spring of 1841 James went to Rochester, New York, and there visited his half brother, Charles H. Oliphant. There is no mention of his brother, Edwin, at this time. James then traveled on to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where he worked all summer. Then in the fall his employer cheated him of all his earnings by taking out bankruptcy. He eventually decided to go to Nauvoo to see his relatives.

Susannah had moved from Kirtland to Nauvoo in 1840. At Nauvoo she probably stayed with her son, Edwin Sobieski Little. He was not there all the time as he was called on missions from time to time. We do not have a baptism date for Edwin, but it is obvious that he was active in the Church. Susannah was probably with him until his marriage. Edwin married Harriet Amelia Decker at Winchester, Scott, Illinois on 22 March 1842. Edwin’s uncle, Joseph Young, performed the ceremony. Two years later on the 6 August 1844 they had a son, George, born at Nauvoo.

Both William Lacy and Cornelia were with Susannah. They were enrolled in school the first months of 1842. The second session of school Cornelia attended, but not William Lacy. In the 1842 Priesthood Census William Lacy is not with his mother. By 1843 Susannah was probably living in very impoverished circumstances in Nauvoo because Brigham Young listed in his day book the clothes and items given to Susannah.

Probably late in 1842 Susannah’s son, James, arrived in Nauvoo. He had not seen his mother for several years. He was poorly clad, but found those in Nauvoo in a similar situation, including his mother. James found work doing day labor, then got a position as a teacher. He renewed his acquaintance with his Young relatives. He said that he only saw his brother, Edwin, once while in Nauvoo.

There was a lot of sickness in the families. While trying to bring in food and helpcare for the sick, James became ill. He was cared for by his mother at the home of his Aunt Fanny Murray, Susannah’s sister. Later he moved his mother to a location about 16 miles from Nauvoo by his Uncle Lorenzo. Here he built her a log cabin. About this time his mother heard from her husband, William Stilson, who was in the United States Army and stationed near St. Louis. Susannah, her daughter, Cornelia, and James, along with a cousin, went to St. Louis to be with him.

There is no mention of Susannah’s son, William Lacy, who would be only ten at the time. We assume he was in Nauvoo helping or working for one of his uncles. James joined the army when his stepfather re-enlisted Feramorz came to St Louis to find his family. He had not seen his brother, James, in about ten years. Feramorz went into the grocery business. He also farmed and taught school both in St. Louis and Nauvoo. William Stilson took ill at the time James’ regiment marched off from St. Louis. A few days later in the spring of 1843 William died of lung fever. Fortunately, Susannah’s son, Feramorz, was living in St. Louis and took her and Cornelia in and took care of them.

In 1844 Feramorz with his mother, Susannah, and Cornelia moved back to Nauvoo. James served in the Mexican War but never had to fight. On November 2, 1843, Fanny, Brigham and Joseph Smith were discussing exaltation and celestial marriage. As Brigham tells the story, Fanny gave her opinion on the subject as part of the discussion. Then Joseph Smith said to Brigham, “You seal this lady to me”, and they were married and sealed on the spot. This union linked the families of Brigham and Joseph. Fanny was age 56 and Joseph was age 38.

In May of 1844 Brigham Young with some members of the Twelve plus others went on a mission to the East. Joseph Smith was considering becoming a candidate for President of the United States. On his way east Brigham took time to visit his brother, John, and his sister, Nancy Kent, in Kirtland. While there he preached in the Kirtland Temple where he found the Saints unresponsive and the spirit dead.

While Brigham and the others were in the East, Joseph and Hyrum Smith were martyred at Carthage June 27, 1844. When the missionaries got word of the tragedy, they immediately started home. In August 1844, at Nauvoo following two meetings, the Twelve Apostles with Brigham at their head were sustained as the rightful authority to lead the Church. Nancy Young Kent and her husband and family moved to Nauvoo from Kirtland after 1844.

Before the exodus from Nauvoo, the Young family received their endowments along with most of the Saints in the Nauvoo Temple. Some sealings were also performed there. Following is a record of ordinances performed for the Young family: 1842 May 4: Brigham Young received his endowments at Nauvoo before the temple was complete (as did other apostles). 1845 December 11: Joseph Young was endowed. December 13: Phinehas was endowed. December 13: Lorenzo Dow was endowed. December 22: Nancy Young Kent was endowed. 1846 January 1: John Young Jr. was endowed. January 7: Fanny Young Murray was endowed. January 16: Joseph Young was sealed to his wife, Jane, and to 2 other wives. January 22 & 28: Phinehas was married and sealed to 2 more wives. January 23: Susannah was endowed. January 26: Lorenzo Dow was sealed to his wife, Harriet, and another wife. January 28: Edwin Little, son of Susannah, and wife Harriet were endowed. February 6: Susannah was sealed to Alonzo Pettingill. February 6: John Young Jr. was married and sealed to Mary Ann Gurnsey. June 28: Phinehas was sealed to his wife, Lucy, and another wife. Brigham Young was sealed to Miriam and Mary Ann and at least 14 polygamist wives in the Nauvoo Temple. Louisa Young Sanford and Rhoda Young Green had died earlier.

In Nauvoo on 6 February 1846 Susannah and Alonzo Pettingill (on some records “Alanson”) were married and sealed in the Nauvoo Temple. Both Alonzo and Susannah had been endowed 23 January. Not much is known of the life of Alonzo Pettingill. The best information comes from the Land and Records office at Nauvoo, Illinois. Alonzo was born 16 March 1801 at Butternuts, Otsego, New York. His father was Elihu Pettingill, and his mother, Sannah Wolworth. He was at Kirtland, Ohio, when Joseph Smith called him to be a member of Zion’s Camp where Brigham and Joseph Young knew him. He was a high priest in Nauvoo. James Little says he was a very quiet, unobtrusive man. Alonzo was a faithful member of the LDS Church. Susannah’s marriage to Brother Pettingill was probably a happier time for her as he was a good man.

Feramorz moved from St. Louis to Nauvoo where he married Fannie Maria Decker on 12 February 1846. They were not married in the temple as Feramorz was not yet a member of the church. Fannie was a sister to Harriet Amelia Decker, wife of Edwin, Feramorz’ brother. (Two other Decker sisters were married to Brigham Young). Feramorz and Fannie went to St. Louis, possibly with Susannah and Alonzo Pettingill.

In 1846 when Brigham left Nauvoo, Joseph Young was appointed to preside over the Saints who remained behind. Elder Joseph Young dedicated the Nauvoo Temple privately April 30. Apostle Orson Hyde publicly dedicated the Nauvoo Temple on May 1 (taken from Gathering to Nauvoo by Fred E. Woods).

The Saints were driven out of Nauvoo, so in March of 1846 Alonzo and Susannah went to St. Louis, as they could not afford to go west. They went with the poor Saints to work for money to pay for wagons and supplies. Alonzo was a shoemaker and he worked in the store that Feramorz had there. Alonzo had a great influence on James Little, especially regarding James’ conversion and eventual baptism in March 1849.

In 1848 when James Little returned from his military service in the Mexican War, Feramorz and James went into the grocery business together. Cornelia Stilson was baptized August 1848. Alonzo was probably an influence in her conversion, too. Alonzo Pettingill died February 1849, of lung fever. James was baptized just one month after his stepfather’s death. Some dates do not agree here as Alonzo died in 1849 but records of emigration to Utah show that Susannah, James and Cornelia made the trip to Utah in 1848.

NOTE: Edward Young, son of John Young and Hannah Brown Young, has very little information concerning his father’s life, as even the records of Edward and his mother are scarce. Edward married Dicedoma Vanderwerken on January 1, 1847, at Mud Creek in Savona, Steuben County, New York. Edward is the father of 7 children, one born in New York State, four born in Pennsylvania and two born in Wisconsin. At some time he came west to Idaho. It is believed that someone in the Young family may have kept in touch with him. He never joined the LDS church as his temple ordinances were done after his death. Edward died at Little Wood River, Cary, Blaine, Idaho, on 15 February 1894.


As head of the Church, Brigham Young had the responsibility of directing the exodus of the Saints from Nauvoo. His first problem was getting them across Iowa where he created camps to prepare for the trip across the plains. He could go no farther as the Saints were not prepared for a long journey. It was not until the spring of 1847 that Brigham took the first company across the plains to the Salt Lake Valley and started a settlement there. He arrived in Salt Lake July 24, 1847. Another company of Saints left later than Brigham Young’s company in 1847. This was a very large group consisting of several companies (1500 persons and 570 wagons). They arrived in the Salt Lake Valley in October.

Emigration of the John Young Family:

NANCY YOUNG KENT did go to Salt Lake, but we do not know when. Nancy and her family had remained in Kirtland where her brother, John, was Stake President. Nancy’s husband, Daniel Kent, died in Ohio in 1853. Nancy died in Salt Lake in September of 1860. Nancy’s daughter, Susan Kent, married Evan M. Greene, son of Rhoda Young Greene. Susan died in 1888 at Oakley, Idaho.

FANNY YOUNG MURRAY dropped out of historical record for a year and a half after the death of Joseph Smith. Fanny remained in Nauvoo after the main body of Saints left. Apparently Fanny left Nauvoo in September with William Kimball, son of Heber C. Kimball. She evidently spent four cold winters at Winter Quarters. In May of 1849 Fanny sent letters to her brothers, John and Lorenzo, in Salt Lake.

In the summer of 1850 Fanny set out for Utah in Captain Edward Hunter’s company. Also in that company was Lorenzo’s wife, Persis, and daughter, Harriet. About 140 miles from Salt Lake Brigham Young sent a carriage for Fanny and Persis (probably Harriet went with them). Fanny became ill on the way and never regained her health. Fanny lived with her niece, Nancy Greene; but in July 1852, Nancy died at age 23. In 1856 when the Lion House was completed, Brigham offered Fanny a room there. She was then age 69 and had cancer. She eventually moved out of the Lion House into the home of her niece, Cornelia McKnight, daughter of Susannah. Fannie died 11 June 1859.

RHODA YOUNG GREENE died in Nauvoo in 1841. Her husband, John P. Greene, died in 1844 at Nauvoo. However, three of their children immigrated to Salt Lake. Their son, Evan M. Greene, with his wife, Susan Kent, went west. Evan died in 1882 in Iron County, Utah. Susan died in 1888 at Oakley, Idaho. A son, John Young Greene, and wife, Mary Ann Amelia Randal Pike, emigrated in 1848 in the 1st division of Brigham Young’s company. A daughter, Nancy Greene, emigrated in 1848 in Captain Richard Ballantyne’s 4th company. In Salt Lake her Aunt Fanny lived with her until Nancy’s death July 1852.

JOHN YOUNG, age 56, with second wife, Mary Ann Gurnsey Young, emigrated in 1847 in Jedediah M. Grant’s company. Also in Jedediah M. Grant’s hundred was Eliza Snow. In Eliza’s diary she tells of the events of their trip. She also tells of her relationship and socializing with John and Mary Ann. These companies arrived in Salt Lake on October 2nd. John was active in church positions throughout the rest of his life. He died 27 April 1870 in Salt Lake. A daughter, Louisa Young, married Lyman Omer Littlefield in 1851. She died at Smithfield, Utah, in 1907. A daughter, Caroline Young, married Martin Harris. In 1888 Caroline died at Lewisville, Idaho.

JOSEPH YOUNG moved his family to Winter Quarters in 1846 where they lived for 18 months in a log house and dugout. With his wife, Jane Adeline Bicknell Young, they emigrated to Salt Lake in 1847 with Jedediah M. Grant’s company. When Joseph returned to Winter Quarters in 1850, he was Captain of the 6th hundred of emigrating Saints in William Snow’s company. Joseph with his son, Seymour, went on a mission to England in 1870. He was active in church leadership for the rest of his life. Joseph died 16 July 1881. His sons, Joseph and LeGrande, emigrated with their parents to Salt Lake.

PHINEHAS HOWE YOUNG accompanied his brother, Brigham, to Salt Lake in the 1st company. He was captain of the 3rd ten. He returned to Winter Quarters that fall with Brigham. Phinehas assisted in bringing Saints to Utah. He was also very active in church leadership, serving as a bishop of the Second Ward. Phinehas died 10 October 1879 in Salt Lake. His son, Brigham Hamilton Young, came to Salt Lake.

BRIGHAM YOUNG led the first company to Salt Lake in early 1847, arriving July 24th. He organized the work that needed to be done, such as, building canals to get water on the land and planting crops. Houses needed to be built. Brigham then returned to Winter Quarters to bring another company in 1848. He was a great leader who loved his people. His history is well known.

LOUISA YOUNG SANFORD died at Independence, Missouri, in 1833. Her husband, Joel Sanford, died in Connecticut in 1847. Their daughter, Jane Watson Sanford, and husband, Samuel Milton Howe, emigrated to Salt Lake where Jane died in 1863 at Provo, Utah.

LORENZO DOW YOUNG and his wife, Harriet Page Wheeler Young, emigrated to Salt Lake in 1847 in Captain Jedediah M. Grant’s company. The children who came with him at this time were: William Goodall Young who died in 1894 in Salt Lake. Joseph Watson Young who died in 1873 at Harrisburg, Utah. John Ray Young emigrated to Salt Lake, but was at Winter Quarters by 1850. He returned to Salt Lake in a carriage with Captain Edward Hunter’s company. In 1863 John had gone back to Winter Quarters again and drove a team to Omaha where he took charge of an independent company going west. Two more sons, Franklin Wheeler Young and Lorenzo Sobieski Young Harriet Maria Young came to Salt Lake with her mother, Persis, in 1850 in Edward Hunter’s company. Lorenzo’s first wife, Persis Goodall, died in 1894 at Salt Lake.

The three sisters of Brigham Young who lived to emigrate to Salt Lake died within 8 years of each other because of poor health. Nancy died in 1860, Fanny in 1859, and Susannah in 1852. All five brothers of Susannah, John, Joseph, Phinehas, Brigham and Lorenzo, lived the law of polygamy. They all went on many missions, especially before coming to Salt Lake. They were all faithful Latter-day Saints and served in many positions in Salt Lake.

SUSANNAH YOUNG PETTINGILL came to Salt Lake with her son, James, and her daughter, Cornelia. There is a controversy on the year they left. From the record of Mormon Pioneer Companies Crossing the Plains and Journal History the year given is 1848 in Brigham Young’s company. The family records give the date as 1849. When they arrived in Salt Lake, James provided a home for Susannah, Cornelia and himself. Due to years of hardship, Susannah survived only a few years in Salt Lake. She was there for James’ marriage to Mary Jane Lytle in December of 1849. She also received a letter from her son, Charles Henry Oliphant, informing her that he was coming to Utah. Susannah died 5 May 1852.

EDWIN SOBIESKI LITTLE, the eldest of Susannah’s children, apparently was not bound out to another family. He may have lived with and worked for one of his uncles. Thus he would have been baptized early and gone to Nauvoo with the Young family. Edwin at age 26 married Harriet Amelia Decker, age 16, on 22 March 1842. His Uncle Joseph Young performed the ceremony. In 1843 he went on a mission to Cattaraugus County, New York. Edwin was endowed 28 January 1846 with his wife, Harriet. They were sealed the same day. A son, George Edwin, was born to Edwin and Harriet in 1844. Edwin with his wife and son left Nauvoo with the first group of Saints. Edwin was helping his uncle, Brigham Young, cross the river in a wagon when the ice broke through, throwing Edwin into the icy water. He gained the shore chilled and wet. They went on to Richardson’s Point, 55 miles from Nauvoo where they remained for a few days. Edwin became ill with lung fever. He died 18 March 1846 in a house 2 miles from camp. Harriet and her son, George, went on with the Saints. In 1847 they went west to Salt Lake with the Jedediah M. Grant Company, arriving in October. Their first home was in the wagon. About a year later in September 1848, Harriet married Ephraim Hanks.

FERAMORZ LITTLE, the 3rd child and 2nd son of Susannah, married Fannie Maria Decker 12 February 1846 at Nauvoo. Fannie was a sister to Harriet, Edwin’s wife. Feramorz was not a member of the Church. Their first child, James Tyler, was born in St. Louis, Missouri. In 1851 Feramorz contracted with non-Mormon merchants to freight goods to Utah. In the Journal History Feramorz crossed the plains in the Livingston and Kincade freight train. We assume his wife and son were with him. It is recorded that Feramorz intended to go to California but he decided to stay in Salt Lake with family and friends. His mother was still alive. He joined the church and was baptized 29 March 1853. He lived the law of polygamy, giving him a large posterity.

Feramorz became an influential businessman, a banker and a capitalist. According to Porter Rockwell, Feramorz Little and William Jennings were considered the richest men in the territory next to Brigham Young. In October 1875, Feramorz went on a mission to the Eastern States with his brother, James. They visited their home in Aurelius, New York, where they found an unfinished tombstone for their sister who had died there. They contacted and visited their Little relatives. Feramorz was in the bishopric of the Thirteenth Ward. He became Mayor of Salt Lake City for 3 terms (1876-1882). He died August 1887.

JAMES AMASA LITTLE added his middle name about 1850. James came to Utah in 1848 in Brigham Young’s company, according to Journal History. He brought his mother, Susannah, and sister, Cornelia. James was able to locate an adobe one-room house for them. Then on 16 December 1848 James married Mary Jane Lytle, whom he had met while crossing the plains. His mother gave a little party and his Uncle Brigham married them and attended the party. James then found a home with 2 rooms, one for him and Mary Jane, and a room for Susannah and Cornelia.

James was called to go to Parowan in 1851. In 1852 he moved to Cedar City where he was sheriff of Iron County. In 1854 he was called to fill a mission to England. He returned in February 1857. On 21 December 1858 James married his second wife, Hannah Matilda Baldwin, from Birmingham, England. In 1862 he was called to settle St. George. On 19 November 1864 James married Mary Elizabeth Tullege, his third wife. In 1867 James was called to go to the Muddy Mission at Eagle Valley, Nevada, where his two brothers, Charles Henry Oliphant and William Lacy Stilson, and their families joined him. A cousin, John R. Young, was also in the Muddy settlement with three other Young cousins. The Muddy being in Nevada, the Nevada Tax Assessor came and required the people to pay back-taxes for the five years they had been there. Brigham Young advised them to leave the settlement.

Then in 1871 James was called to go to Kanab. His two brothers were called to go, too. In October 1875, James was called on a mission with his brother, Feramorz, to the Eastern States. In April 1876, he was called to preside over the Northwestern States Mission and was released August, 1877. Through all this time his families lived in near poverty. Another calling from Brigham Young was for James to write for the Church. At that time being an author was looked down on. He wrote several books and an extensive biography of Brigham Young. This biography was never published. It is located in the Church Historian’s Office and has been used by other authors writing books about Brigham Young. When Brigham died in August of 1877, James returned to Kanab to care for his families. President John Taylor then called him to come to Salt Lake and again write for the Church.

In 1890 when the Manifesto was signed, James took his second wife, Hannah, with her two youngest sons to Mexico. A daughter was already living in Mexico, and later a daughter, Harriet, came. James and Hannah lived in Colonia Diaz for 15 years. James farmed, read, wrote, lectured, etc. In December 1895, James was made a Patriarch. His wife, Hannah, died in May 1906. James then returned to Kanab where he died September 1908. There are several histories of James Amasa Little with more detail.

CHARLES HENRY OLIPHANT did not go west to Nauvoo. He remained in Rochester, New York, where he married Agnes Briton June 11, 1846. Early in 1852 Charles wrote his mother telling her he would like to come to Salt Lake in the spring of 1853. His letter arrived just 4 days before her death. This made her very happy that he was gathering with the church.

Charles, Agnes and their remaining child crossed the plains to Salt Lake in the spring of 1853, their two oldest having died in St. Louis. Charles and Agnes were baptized 28 May 1855, then endowed 25 September 1855. They were the parents of seven children, four born in Salt Lake. This family was found in the 1856 and 1860 censuses of Salt Lake. Agnes, Charles’ first wife, divorced Charles and went back to New York where she died August 1868, at Syracuse. In 1862 Charles married Sabina Augusta Dollinger. They did not have any children.

In Salt Lake in April 1870, Charles married Lucinda Abigail Judd of Parowan. Charles was called to Iron County (where his brother, James A., lived) and also to Eagle Valley, Nevada. Charles is found in the 1870 census twice: first in June in Iron County, Utah, with Sabina and a Charles, age 21. In the Eagle Valley, Lincoln, Nevada census in August Charles, Sabina and his five children appeared.

Charles was later called to go to Kanab along with James. In 1880 he is found in the Kanab census with Sabina and Lucinda with Lucinda’s five children, all born in Kanab. After the census five more children were born in Kanab to Lucinda. In 1890 Charles moved his family to Orangeville in Emery County, Utah. Here three more children were born. Charles’ occupation was Nurseryman. At Orangeville the family was found in the 1900 census. Charles died 15 October 1902 at age 77. NOTE: Five of Charles’ children by Agnes died in North Dakota or in Wisconsin. They probably left the Church.

WILLIAM LACY STILSON came to Utah at age 15, driving a wagon and 2 yoke of oxen for his Uncle Brigham in 1848. For the next 11 years he probably worked for Brigham Young, maybe his other uncles and his half-brother, Feramorz. In May, 1859, William married Cyrena Martha Lytle in Salt Lake. Neither were members of the Church. It’s unusual that William spent so many years with his Young relatives without being baptized. The day after his marriage, William went to Omaha with his half-brother, Feramorz, to help bring back supplies. His first child was born in Salt Lake and his second in Draper. In 1865 a child was born in Manti. In 1868 William Lacy was living in Eagle Valley where his brothers, James A. Little and Charles H. Oliphant, were. The next three children of William and Cyrena were born at Eagle Valley, Nevada. In the 1870 census William and family are found in Iron County, Utah, and again in the Eagle Valley, Nevada, census. The family moved to Kanab in 1875 with James A. Little and Charles H. Oliphant according to the 1880 census there.

On the 2nd of January 1882, both William Lacy Stilson and his wife, Cyrena Martha Lytle, were baptized. They were then endowed and sealed to each other 11 January 1882 in the St. George Temple. William’s family moved to Orangeville, Emery County, with the Charles H. Oliphant family. A total of 12 children were born to William and Cyrena. By 1900 all the children had left home and only William and Cyrena were listed on that census. Both William and Cyrena died in 1913 at Orangeville.

CORNELIA ANN STILSON crossed the plains with her mother, Susannah, and brother, James Little. She was age 13 at the time. She and her mother lived with James until 1851 when he was called to go to Parowan. When her mother died in 1852, Cornelia was age 16. She probably worked for a family, maybe her Uncle Brigham or her brother, Feramorz. Two years after her mother’s death Cornelia married James McKnight the 17th of March, 1854, at Salt Lake. She was endowed April 1, 1854, in the Endowment House.

She and James were listed in the 1856 census with their first 2 children, James L. and Cynthia E. Cornelia’s Aunt Fanny lived with her and probably died there in 1859. The 1860 census lists James, who was a printer, Cornelia, and children, James L. age 6, Fanny W. age 4, Willard H. age 1. A Christopher Beecroft, a common laborer, and Ann Little, age 21 of England, were listed with the family. Since Hannah M. Little, James’ wife, doesn’t appear on the census with her husband, it is believed that she was staying with Cornelia. Since Cynthia E. is not in the 1860 census, but was in 1856, she may have died before 1860. On the Ancestral File family group is a child, Susan Rebecca, born 29 March 1861 and died 4 October 1863, which makes a total of 5 children.

James McKnight was born 11 December 1829. Family records have him born in Ireland; the 1860 census gives the place as Ohio. James married wife # 2, Alvina Mackley, the 5th of March, 1857; wife #3, Harriet Painter, the 20th of December 1862; and wife #4 Mary Ann Fielding, the 18th of July, 1863. The only wife that remained with him was Mary Ann Fielding. From Stilson records this quote: “Cornelia grew to womanhood a spirited lady, fair to look upon and capable but unhappily married. In order to free herself from a smooth tongued tyrannical husband she went away to California where she died.” Cornelia died 28 June 1865 at Kingston, San Bernardino, California, at age 29. At this time her living children were James L., 11; Fanny W., 9; and Willard H., 7. The big question is: Did she take them to California? There are no records of these children after Cornelia’s death.

Brigham Young said of his sister, Susannah, that “she had suffered much, had been through many hardships and trials and with all this had stayed faithful and true to her family and church. She has left her descendants a great legacy, a heritage of faith, courage and endurance in adversity. We are indebted to her for that and for her life. She was truly a pioneer.” Susannah had: 8 children, 83 grandchildren.


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Susannah Susan Pettingill's Timeline

June 17, 1795
January 22, 1816
Age 20
Aurelius, Cayuga, NY, USA
January 1818
Age 22
June 14, 1820
Age 24
Aurelius,Cayuga,New York , USA
September 14, 1822
Age 27
Aurelius, Cayuga, NY, USA
November 15, 1825
Age 30
Canandaigua, Ontario, NY, USA
September 20, 1833
Age 38
Wellsville, Columbiana County, Ohio, United States