Loss of Faith

The depth and breadth of the ties to Mormonism in my mother’s family have remained a constant intrigue.  I’ve posted before on the connections to Joseph Smith in Ohio and the family’s migration patterns following splinter sects to different states after his death but always have wondered where and when the faith ended in my direct descendancy.  My mother certainly doesn’t remember her grandparents practicing and I can’t even find a LDS or similar church in their rural Minnesota community.   So it would have to be prior to their move from Iowa to Minnesota in 1913.

To me, the easiest thing to start with is looking at marriage records.  Was the couple married by a JP or someone of a particular faith.  Let’s start with the children of LaMay and Marian Syphers Fuller, residing in Otho, Webster County Iowa:

Fuller kids
Carrie, Irene, David, Alta and Fern Fuller ca. 1903?; author’s collection

Alta Alma Fuller (my ggrandma) was married 19 Feb 1904 to Oscar Lindstrom by Francis Fawkes, pastor of the Otho-Kalo Congregational church, with witnesses Helen Nor[d]strom (groom’s niece) and Guy Fuller (bride’s uncle).

Florence Fern Fuller was married 2 Nov 1909 to Clarence Kingsley by SM Magowan, JP in Ft Dodge.

David Harry Fuller was married 21 May 1907 to Elizabeth Heatherington by SM Magowan, JP in Ft Dodge.

Carrie Leona Fuller was married 6 Jan 1906 to Arthur Nims by James Martin, JP in Ft Dodge.

Irene Estelle Fuller married Alfred Kallstrom in 1914, in Hubbard County Minnesota – no marriage license found yet.

Alright, let’s go back to the previous Fuller generation – siblings of LaMay – to look for marriages made by a minister:.  They were the family that I suspect followed the Mormon/LDS schisms and moved quite a bit from New York to Ohio to Wisconsin to Illinois to Iowa.

Almira Fuller was married on 1 Jan 1857 to Adam Palm in Shabonna Illinois – no marriage license found yet.

Homer Fuller was married on 23 Jun 1874 to Luella Williams in Webster County Iowa – no marriage license found yet.

Frank Forcet Fuller was married on 15 Sep 1875 to Laura Wright in Webster County Iowa – no marriage license found yet.

Frances Fuller was married on 16 Jul 1874 to Frank Jacques in Webster County Iowa – no marriage license found yet.

La May Freemont Fuller was married on 23 Dec 1883 to Marian Syphers in Scranton Iowa – no marriage license found yet.

Lew Guy Fuller was married on 13 Mar 1913 to Adella May Parsons in Chickasaw County Iowa by Burton Marsh, New Hampton Congregational Church minister.

So far there are many marriages by JPs and 2 by Congregational ministers.  Nothing related to Mormon or LDS.  And a whole lot of no records. Sigh. Guess I will have to wait until I can find those Fuller marriage licenses to know for sure but I suspect that my Iowa sect of Fullers stopped practicing after they left Shabonna Illinois (there was a Mormon sect there that I’ve written about),  Perhaps I should search the LDS site for marriage records – that will have to be my challenge for next time!

This post is part of Amy Johnson Crow’s 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge, a year-long blogging project focusing on family history stories. This week’s prompt is “challenge.”

Cara Jensen is owner of Sherlock Homes historical consulting & genealogy, where she provides expert services on cultural preservation and ancestral discovery. 

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Loyalist to Mormon – Syphers continued

I’ve decided to really dig in to this branch of my family because it is so intriguing, has several plot twists, and is an international thriller (from New Brunswick to Maine, Ohio, Utah, Illinois, Michigan, Iowa, and Minnesota).  These Syphers relatives seem to have it all.

So in the last post, I found the Loyalist claim that Lodewyck Syphers had made in 1784 to the British Crown for compensation for his “losses to the Rebellion”.  They were settled around the Grand Lake/Gagetown/Jemseg area just downriver from Fredericton (sorry, just need to post another beautiful picture to remind me to plan a visit)

 

Grand Lake, NB via wikipedia commons
Grand Lake, NB via wikipedia commons

So Lodewyck Syphers’s eldest granddaughter, Sarah Ferndon Syphers, married a William Henry Earl in 1814ish and they became part of the Mormon Pioneers – William was baptized in 1843 as a member of the Ordained Seventy, ordained in the Nauvoo temple in 1846, and made the Mormon Trek to Utah.

William and Sarah were married in New Brunswick, where their first four children were born, then they moved to Scarborough, Ontario in 1823 (birth records are so useful for tracking migrations), where their next six children were born. I assume this is where they became familiar with the Mormon religion as they then picked up and moved to the Nauvoo Temple in Illinois where Sarah was baptized in 1841. They may have been baptized in Toronto as well?  From “The History of the Church in Canada”  –

“Parley P. Pratt’s 1836 mission to Toronto was equally impressive. One of the first people baptized in Toronto, Isabella Walton was the key to several important conversions. She introduced her brother, Isaac Russell and his friend Joseph Fielding to Elder Pratt, and before long, they joined the Church. Her friend John Taylor and Joseph Fielding’s sisters Mary and Mercy also joined. Branches were organized in Toronto, Scarborough, Churchville, and Markham.”

I happened to check the Cypher spelling in the LDS temple records index that I’m browsing and found a bunch of baptisms at the Nauvoo Temple in 1841!  They all were at the instance of Sarah Syphers Earl – William, her father, Lodavich, her grandfather, William, her great uncle, and Elizabeth, her great aunt.  Now I know these baptisms weren’t in person, as they all were not living.  It seems in 1841, Joseph Smith revealed the ‘baptism for the dead’ doctrine  – so Sarah was able to act as a proxy for her deceased family members.  Interesting who she chose or didn’t choose, isn’t it?

31122_all_054_04
members performing baptisms for the dead via lds.org

 

I don’t mean to spend too much time on an indirect line, but I find that information can be pieced together when every angle is approached.  So we have established that the elder sister of my 3rd great grandfather was heavily entrenched in the Mormon community.  Now let’s see if any other siblings followed… stay tuned for next time!