John C Armstrong – 1847

John C Armstrong MonumentMary Kirkbride

John Christopher Armstrong, my 3rd great-grandfather, emigrated from England with his wife, Mary Kirkbride.  He had been a successful tailor in England.  They traveled in the Abraham O. Smoot/George B. Wallace company, which arrived in Salt Lake during Sept 1847.

-John was born on 27 Nov 1813 at Carlisle, Cumberland, England to John Armstrong and Eleanor Graham.

-Mary was born on 20 Jun 1815 at Low Crosby, Cumberland, England to John Kirkbride and Margaret Peel.

-John & Mary were married in September 1840 at Wetheral, Cumberland, England.

First child, William, was born on 10 Aug 1841 at Eccles, Lancashire, England… and died several days later.

-Both John & Mary were baptized members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on 21 Jul 1844 at Manchester, Lancashire, England.

-Second child, Joseph Hyrum, was born 0n 14 Oct 1846 at St. Louis, St. Louis, Missouri.

-The little family joined the Smoot/Wallace company (as mentioned above) and arrived in Salt Lake during September 1847.  During the journey, John participated in a fight with bears as recounted in the hilarious diary excerpt attached here.

MaryEArmstrong-Third child, my 2nd great-grandmother (at left) Mary Eleanor, was born on 22 Oct 1848 at Salt Lake.  She later married my 2nd great-grandfather, David Cook Adams, and they settled in Beaver near his father.  HERE is the page for David B Adams, the father of David Cook.

-Besides the tailor trade, John could play many instruments and knew how to dance well.  He was the ‘bugler’ in Parley P. Pratt’s Company of Fifty Men sent to explore Southern Utah (known as the Southern Expedition).  His name is still legible where he carved it on a rock wall in a canyon north of Cedar City.  (See picture of monument above.)  John was also called with a company of men to defend Fort Bridger, Wyoming against Indians.

-Fourth child, John Graham, was born on 7 Oct 1850 at Salt Lake.

-Listed in the 1850 US Fed Census were John & Mary and their three children in Salt Lake.

-John & Mary were sealed on 12 Nov 1851 in the Endowment House.  Both also received their endowments there on 31 Mar 1852.

-John was called on a mission to his homeland, England, leaving Salt Lake on 5 May 1852.  Although both of his parents were already dead, he did contact his brother William, who was a successful pawnbroker.  William tried to persuade  John to stay in England and reportedly wrote to Mary to beg her return.

-John returned home from his mission on the ‘Golconda‘ which arrived in New Orleans on 18 Mar 1854.  Subsequently, he died (possibly cholera) before he could return home.  The death date is in question because the family history gives the death as 7 Sep 1857; however, Mary remarried to Moses Wade on 20 Dec 1854.  So, it seems likely the death date is actually 7 Sep 1854 and the erroneous 1857 date now found in several sources is based on a typographical error in the family history, written by a granddaughter.

*NOTE: Many claim that this same John Christopher Armstrong feigned his death and changed his name to Drewer Iveson.  I’ll admit that there are a surprising number of similarities between the two men including: family names, some dates, and tailor trade.  However, the birthdates are 20-years discrepant and I wonder how many of the similarities are due to early confusion between the two men, which led to erroneous info being perpetuated through my John’s family history?  For now and until accurate early records are discovered, I choose to believe they were two separate individuals.

-Listed in the 1860 US Fed Census were Mary with her new husband (Moses Wade) and her three children from John as well as a new daughter she had with Moses.  The daughter, Maria Jane, was reportedly born on 15 Jan 1855 in Salt Lake.  (Either Mary was pregnant well before marrying Moses in Dec 1854 or the new daughter’s birthdate was actually 15 Jan 1856.)

-Mary died on 26 Nov 1895 and was buried at Teasdale, Wayne, Utah.

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Terry Carr
    Mar 29, 2014 @ 07:56:28

    Please check ancestry.com , the Tree is named John Christopher Armstrong Theories.

    Reply

  2. Marta
    Jul 13, 2014 @ 19:51:58

    Hello! I’m so glad I stumbled onto your blog. I believe we are cousins. John Christopher Armstrong and Mary Kirkbride are my 2nd great-grandparents.

    Reply

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