James Ross Young

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James Ross Young

Birthplace: Lancaster, Glengarry, Ontario, Canada
Death: December 28, 1894 (90)
Mount Pleasant, Sanpete, Utah, USA
Place of Burial: Mt Pleasant, UT, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Thomas Young and Christiana Ross
Husband of Elizabeth Jane Young
Father of John Young; Mary Wilcox; Elizabeth Staker; Mehettable Young; Hannah Seely Moore and 4 others
Brother of Margaret Campbell; Anthony Young; Nancy Young; Hannah Young; Isabel (Isabella) Young and 2 others

Occupation: Lake Captain and Farmer
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About James Ross Young

James Ross Young and Elizabeth Seeley

A short history by Blanche Nielson

James Young was born 20th of September 1804 in Lancaster, Gray Co., Upper Canada, in the Ontario provinces. He was the son of Thomas Young and Christina Ross.

The parents, honest and up-right, were tillers of the soil, and could have earned a fairly good living, enjoying the comforts of normal living, had it not been they were subjects of the English rule, and must abide by the laws of England and attend the Church of England which then prevailed in that country.

All just acquire an elementary school education, so James attended the little district school some two miles distance from the Young farm house. Here, due to the scarcity of paper, little writing was taught, reading being the chief subject.

In Lancaster, the warm summer months were short, and the winters long and severe, with snow often reaching the depth of eight feet. The chilly blasts from the North often caused the temperature to reach 50 degrees below zero for weeks at a time. During these cold spells, woolen socks, high boots, fur-lined coats, pants, ear-muffs and caps were fashionable clothing, while sleighs were the most popular conveyance. 

When but eight years of age, the life of James became troubled and sad. The war of 1812 broke out between England and America. Father Young, living under the British form of Government, was called into service to help defend his country. It was nearing winter, when sorrowful goodbyes were said and Thomas Young left his family alone, yet unafraid, he went to fight life's battles.

The war rage around and near the Young home, and often seemed a part of the frigid blasts of a raging winter. The roar of cannons and bullets were brought by the winds and blizzards nearer the settlements, and could be distinctly heard by anxious mothers and their children. How welcome was the promise of peace, when the fury of war abated, and Thomas Young returned to loved ones, much broken in health, because of lack of food and clothing on the battle front. 

Thomas Young was of French Canadian descent, and a real Christian Character--kind and faithfully believing in the teachings of the Protestant religion.

Youthful days passed quickly and when James was able, he not only helped his father on the farm, but worked in the forests as a lumberman.

In 1825, when the Erie Canal was opened to transportation, James became a sailor on one of the canal boats. It was while thus engaged, that he met the Seeley Family, and became interested in young Elizabeth Seeley, who he married in 1828. This sacred event was performed by a Protestant Minister in the presence of family members.

Elizabeth spent much time visiting with her parents while James remained a sailor; later, the young couple went to Whitby, upper Canada, to make their home.

On the 21st of April, 1829, a son, John was born in this humble home. Two years later, a tiny daughter, Mary, made her appearance--on the 16 June, 1831. Elizabeth, alone so much of the time, enjoyed the love and companionship of the children. Fourteen months after Mary arrived, a second daughter, Anna was born one sultry day--the 24th August, 1832. Each baby added more joys to the young household. The father, now a farmer, was able to be at home with his family.

During the next four years, many changes took place. Two more little girls were added to the Young household. Sarah, or Sally as she was called, born 8 Oct. 1834; Elizabeth, or Betsy, born 29 March 1826. When Betsy was just two months old, Elder Parley P. Pratt came to Whitby, carrying the message of the everlasting Gospel, preaching with much success. One year later, the Young family accepted this glorious message and were baptized in the spring of 1837. Now, their greatest desire was to join with the Saints of Missouri.

James Young, while a sailor, had been able to put aside some money for future use. Among his savings, he had several gold pieces which he desired to keep, and he stowed them away in a small sack. They were among the treasured possessions of James, when the family made final preparations to leave Canada forever.

Traveling by water was much cheaper than by land; so the Young family boarded a Passenger Steamer, sailing across Lake Erie, down the Erie Canal to Ohio, traveling where they remained for a short time. Here, troublesome days with mob violence was experienced. Threatening clouds hung low over the Church members.

The enemies of the Church rapidly gained power. After much of this, James Young and his family were given four days to leave the State of Missouri. It was mid-winter, extremely cold, when the Young family began their journey toward Nauvoo, Illinois, in the year 1838. On crossing the Mississippi River, the flat boat, used in crossing, hit a snag, throwing all into the icy water. No one was drowned, but most all the luggage was lost, including the priceless sack of gold pieces belonging to James Young.

For awhile things were peaceful in the beautiful city of Nauvoo. James Young helped in the construction of the Mansion House and the Nauvoo Temple. After three years spent in Nauvoo, James moved his family to Des Moines, Iowa. The Young Family became close friends of the Prophet Joseph, and great was their sorrow, as they watched the mob take Joseph Smith and his brother, Hyrum toward Carthage.

While living at Des Moines, another little daughter, Hannah was born to the Youngs, arriving the 10th of May 1842.

After the martyrdom of the prophet, the 27th June 1844, mob activities were soon renewed. At a conference held in the fall of 1845, President Brigham Young decide it would be best to begin to journey westward. In the spring of 1846, the James Young family boarded their few belongings into the wagon and crossed the State of Iowa, settling for a year just below Winter Quarters in Nebraska. Here plans were hurriedly made to prepare them for the long trek across the plains. By the spring of 1847, all was in readiness. The Young family departed the 17th of June 1847. They were assigned to travel in the second hundred, with Captain Edward Hunter in charge. The first fifty with Joseph Horne, Captain, and the fourth ten with Daniel M. Thomas as Captain.

For three months, they journeyed day by day, in sultry weather as well as in rain and mud. James drove the oxen, while his family trudged at his side. Before the journey's end, food became scarce, but James and his son, John—both good marksmen, kept on hand plenty of buffalo meat and wild game.

It was late September when they reached the valley. James moved his family to the east bench, living in a wagon box until a log cabin could be built. The following spring, James helped to make adobes and brick.

In 1851, James Young, his wife and three daughters settled in Pleasant Grove, Utah. [She may have meant Mt. Pleasant]. Here, he took up land, and soon had some of the ground ready to reap a harvest.

When the first school was built, James helped to make the adobes, and did his share on its erection. With a real pioneer spirit, James braved the hardships of each passing year, never too discouraged after a crop failure to try again.

Many times, James and his good wife, Elizabeth, journeyed to Salt Lake to attend Conference with a covered wagon and a yoke of oxen. Later, a team of mules was the family's pride, which often furnished transportation for James and Elizabeth to spend the holidays with their married daughters and families living at Mt. Pleasant, Utah.

For sixty-seven years, this happy couple went on living, loving, working and enjoying life together. Hand in hand, they climbed the rugged hill-top of life, together; then , one winery day in December, just three days after Christmas, Grandpa Young waved a fond farewell to those so near and dear to him in Utah Valley, as he gently slipped from view, beyond the hill of Mortal Live, at the ripe old age of ninety. His passing came the 28th of December 1894, and today, a stone of sandstone marks his grave in the Mt. Pleasant Cemetery. Elizabeth died March 30th, 1900 in Mt. Pleasant, and was buried the next day.

  • We have his patriarchal blessing.
  • See more on Elizabeth in the Seeley History Book Volume II.
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James Ross Young's Timeline

September 20, 1804
Lancaster, Glengarry, Ontario, Canada
April 21, 1829
Age 24
Whitbay, Ontario, Ontario, Canada
June 6, 1831
Age 26
Witby, Ontario, Can
August 27, 1832
Age 27
Whitbay, Ontario, Ontario, Canada
October 8, 1834
Age 30
Whitby, Durham Regional Municipality, Ontario, Canada
February 15, 1837
Age 32
February 15, 1837
Age 32
March 29, 1837
Age 32
Pickering, York, Ontario, Canada
November 28, 1839
Age 35
Fort Madison, Lee, Iowa