BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF ERIE COUNTY CONVERTS
As Researched by
Cheryl Harmon Bean & Pamela Call Johnson
Jesse P. Harmon
Jesse's history tells of his conversion in Erie County. Jesse P. Harmon was born 11 Aug 1795 at Rupert, Bennington, Vermont to Martin Harmon and Tryphena Poole. Jesse is a brother of Alpheus Harmon; Sarah, Orilla, and Lucina Harmon (Mecham). He is on 1820 and 1830 Census of Erie County and 1840 of Sangamon Co., IL. Jesse fought in the War of 1812. He married Anna Barnes. The missionary journal of his son, Appleton, was quoted near the beginning of this article concerning their conversion to the gospel. Anna joined the Church in 1833 in Erie County and in 1837 the family moved to Conneaut, Ashtabula, Ohio, where Jesse was baptized on 28 Apr 1838 by Elder Elijah Cheney (who would later marry his sister),. Jesse P. Harmon signed the Kirtland Camp Constitution; a member of Zion's Camp; and the Nauvoo Legion. He left Ashtabula County, Ohio for Caldwell County, Missouri on 4 Nov 1838--to go to Zion--and got as far as Springfield, Sangamon, Illinois on Dec 12 and there settled as the Saints were being driven out of Missouri at the time. He arrived in Nauvoo on 4 Oct 1840 and was then ordained a Priest. On 2 Apr 1842 he was elected Major of the Second Battalion, 4th Regiment; 2nd Cohort of the Nauvoo Legion. On the 6 Apr 1842, Jesse was ordained an Elder by Lyman Wight. He was elected Colonel of the above regiment of the Nauvoo Legion on 15 Sep 1844. In Oct 1844, he was ordained a Seventy and was in the Eleventh quorum; presided as Senior President of said quorum. Had command of the police in Nauvoo while destroying the printing press that published the paper called the Nauvoo Expositor, which was declared a nuisance by the city council. He was taken with a writ of arrest at the same time the Prophet Joseph was taken to Carthage. They were allowed to give bail until the next term of court. Then the prophet was taken with another writ and placed in jail at Carthage where he was martyred. Jesse had charge of the finishing work on the temple at Nauvoo--was door keeper of the Carpenter shop. On 16 Dec 1845, Jesse and his wife, Anna, and two children, Appleton M. and Sophrona all received their endowments in the Nauvoo Temple. Another son, Amos W. received his endowments on 3 Feb 1846. Left Nauvoo in September 1846 and went to Winter Quarters where in January 1847, his wife and daughter died from exposure. In 1848, Jesse came to Utah and was elected first Alderman in Salt Lake City--which office he held until 1861. Was called on a mission to settle Southern Utah from 1861 to 1866; then he settled in Holden, Willard, Utah. Jesse Perce Harmon died 24 Dec 1877 at the age of 82. He was the father of Appleton Milo Harmon; Sophronia Melinda; Amos Washington; Ansil Perce--all born in Erie County. His son, Appleton M. Harmon, helped build the odometer that measured the miles traveled across the plains. William Clayton says in his journal on May 11, 1847: "Brother Appleton Harmon is working on the machinery for the wagon to tell the distance we travel and expects to have it in operation tomorrow, which will save me the trouble of counting, as I have done during the last four days." His daughter, Sophronia, married Heber C. Kimball in Nauvoo. Sophronia died along with her mother from exposure at Winter Quarters. (JPH; NAN; ZC: PKO: CEN; AF; WCJ; AMH; NTR)
Born 16 Mar 1822, to Oliver and Sarah Harmon (Sarah is daughter of Martin Harmon and Tryphena Poole). Baptized with siblings, Almira Carr, Emily Harmon, Orsey Harmon. The Oliver baptized is her father. Lucinda would have been a young girl when baptized. Lucinda married Levi Jackman and had a family. Lucinda Jackman is a member of Nauvoo 3rd ward in 1843. Lucinda received her endowments in the Nauvoo Temple on 28 Jan 1846. Levi Jackman was a member of the high council of Missouri Stake. Listed as a Mormon Land Owner in Missouri. Levi Jackman's mother was Elizabeth Carr. Does that make him a relative of Lucinda? (See Almira Carr) Lucinda died 25 Apr 1894, in Salem, UT. Pictures of Lucinda and Levi Jackman are in the National DUP museum in Salt Lake City. (NAV; NLM; AF; VAC; DUP; NJ; NTR)
Nehemiah was born 10 Dec 1781, the son of Nehemiah and Rhoda Sexton Harmon. He married Orilla (Aurilla) Harmon, his first cousin--the daughter of Martin--his father's brother. Both Nehemiah and his wife were baptized. They went to Kirtland, Missouri, and Nauvoo. He helped build the Kirtland and Nauvoo Temples. Went to Nauvoo in 1841 from Wolf Grove Branch. Listed in the Wolf Grove branch are Nehemiah and Aurelia Harmon, and Andrew Moore, an elder. Nehemiah and Aurilla are in Nauvoo 4th Ward with Sarah and Rhode. Their children were: Jesse Nehemiah (who married Emily Harmon--a convert on this list) and Lorenzo Frazier who was born in Elk Creek in 1828 and died in Joseph, Sevier, UT in 1906. Lorenzo married Rosina Theresa Brown and Harriet Frances Brown. Nehemiah was baptized in Nauvoo for his parents, Nehemiah and Rhoda. Nehemiah and his wife, listed as Aurelia, received their endowments on 7 Feb 1846. Oliver Harmon, who was baptized, is his brother. (PKO; HC 3:253; NAV; COR; NMR; VAC; AF; NJ; NTR)
Oliver was born 6 Apr 1786, to Nehemiah Harmon and Rhoda Sexton. He is also known on some records as Oliver Norton Harmon. Oliver and his brother, Nehemiah, both married sisters--first cousins--daughters of Martin Harmon. Sarah Harmon was Oliver's wife. Oliver and Sarah's whole family became active and involved in the drama of early Church history. Oliver and Sarah were about 47 when baptized. Their children who were baptized were: Almira Carr, Emily Harmon, Orsey Harmon, Lucinda Harmon. Their other children were too young. This family was well acquainted with grief. Two children died prior to their baptisms: Myron in 1829 and Orson as a 3 month old baby in 1815. In 1836, a 12 year old daughter, Naomi, died; in 1842, a son, Orsey, froze to death on his mission. Oliver, himself died in Nauvoo in Nauvoo. In 1847, another son, Levi Nehemiah, died soon after his arrival in Utah. Sarah lived until 1859 and died in Utah. Truly this family paid a heavy price for the gospel. They lived next door to Sarah's brother, Alpheus, in Erie County in 1830 and Sangamon Co., IL in 1840. They were also in Nauvoo 4th ward together. Oliver and Sarah's son, Orsey, accompanied his Uncle Alpheus on a and they died in the same snowstorm as they were returning home. Oliver and Sarah's son, Oliver Norton Harmon Jr., received his endowments the same day as his mother in Nauvoo on 28 Jan 1846 as did his sister, Lucinda. Oliver Norton Harmon Jr. was a private in Company E of the Mormon Battalion. In Nauvoo, Sarah was baptized for Sarah Grainger; relationship-- granddaughter. (PKO; NAV; NLM; CEN; NDB; NBD; VAC; AF; HMB; EFR; NTR)
Born 1791 to Martin and Tryphena Poole Harmon. Married her first cousin, Nehemiah Harmon, son of Nehemiah and Rhoda Sexton. Baptized in Nauvoo for her sister, Diantha Hanchett and for her Grandmother, Abigail Harmon, for Rebecca Harmon; relationship--mother-in-law; Esther Burlingham; relationship--niece. Esther is a sister of Martin. Orilla and Nehemiah had 14 children. On 28 Nov 1843, she signed the Scroll petition to the government concerning the outrageous treatment of the Saints in Missouri. In conjunction with her husband she received her endowments in Nauvoo on 7 Feb 1846. She died 1858 in Kingston Mines, Illinois. (PKO; NAV; COR; VAC; MRP; BAP; NBD; NTR)
Born 8 Jul 1819, son of Oliver Norton Harmon and Sarah Harmon. In Nauvoo, we find his name listed two ways, Orsa and Asa. It is the same person. Orsa Harmon was baptized for his brother, Myron Harmon, who died in the War of 1812. Accompanied his Uncle Alpheus Harmon on a mission. A cousin, Appleton Milo Harmon, recorded this in his journal concerning the deaths of his Uncle Alpheus and cousin, Orsey Harmon: "It appears that my cousin, Orsa, had fallen first, being of a tender constitution, the howling blast had overcome him as the snow was falling fast and the wind blew. My Uncle Alpheus had left his nephew and traveled some 12 or 14 miles toward Carthage, when being without chart or compass, as the snow fell so thick and fast that no landscape or mark on roads was visible; lost and bewildered, overcome with fatigue, hunger, and cold, he fell asleep lying on his face, where he was found some 5 or 6 days after, frozen stiff; leaving a widow and seven small children to mourn the loss. The news of this reached me about Christmas." He is buried in the Nauvoo Cemetery under the name, Asa Harmon. (NAV; NLM; CTP; NDB; VAC; AMH; HC)
Lucy's maiden name is Haynes. She is the daughter of Sanford and Hannah Gould Haynes of CT. Her mother died in Westfield NY before 1818. Her father came to Erie to be with other children. Other children are: James H. Haynes b. 4 Aug 1804 in Dutchess Co., NY md. Elizabeth Bently in 1825 in N. E. twp in Erie Co, PA; Mrs. Rachel Bentley, Mrs. Sophia Webb; Rebecca Ingersoll; Hyram, Huron (Is Huron a name or a location?) and Samuel Haynes. James Haynes is on the 1830 Census in North-East twp. A man age 50-60 (probably Sanford Haynes) is living with a 20-30 year old couple (James and Elizabeth) and two boys 15-20 (Hyrum, Samuel?) and 2 girls under 5. Lucy's brother, Hyram Haynes is probably the same person who married Betsy Vaun in Elk Creek. Betsy may be a daughter or relative of Charles Vaughn who was baptized. (VAC; HEC; CEN)
Brother Heart hosted Elders Carter, Stoddard, and Lyon at Springfield in Apr and May 1832. Joseph Heart is in Springfield next to Benjamin Pond in 1830. Benjamin (Pond/Bond) md. Philinda Harmon, daughter of Selah. Selah is brother of Martin and Nehemiah Harmon. Harts also married into the Harmon family. A Joseph Hart is in Trumbull Co., OH 1840. A Joseph Hart is mentioned in Highland Grove Branch in Iowa in 1848. Marvin Hart, son of Joseph and Clarissa Hart died 12 Apr 1851 at Savannah, MO of inflammation of the stomach. IGI shows a Sarah Tryphena Hart b. 27 Feb 1856 in Wright, Missouri to Isaac Leonard Hart and Tryphena Pool. Many Harts are buried in same cemetery as Martin Harmon in Girard, Erie, PA. (VAC; CEN; PHP; IGI; CEM).
Born 1813 in NY to Joseph and Geminah Hartshorn. Siblings are: Keziah who md. John Quincy of this list; Horatio who md. Elizabeth Polly Quincy; and Clarissa who md Nathaniel Tyler. (See John Quincy and Clarissa Tyler. In 1840, Alvin moved to Fallowfield, Crawford, Pennsylvania. In 1850-70, he is in Adams Co., IL. Alvin married Phebe Ann Holembeck, daughter of Hannah Quincy Holembeck who is a sister of John Quincy, Alvin's brother-in-law. (See Hannah Holembeck) (VAC; AF; JQ; CEN)
Joseph Hartshorn is on the 1820 Census of Springfield, Erie, PA. Missionaries visited Brother Hartshorn in 1835. The 1830 Census Erie Co., PA shows the following: Horatio Hartshorn, Joseph Hartshorn, Oran Hartshorn, all on same page in Springfield. Mormon Land Ownership in Hartshorn and wife, Fanny in Missouri. Joseph Hartshorn md Frances Walker 27 Dec 1842 at Nauvoo. In 1843, Joseph and Fanny were residents of the Nauvoo 3rd ward. Joseph marched in Zion's Camp. Joseph and Fanny Hartshorn signed the Scroll Petition at Nauvoo on 28 Nov 1843. James L. Bradley, author of Zion's Camp 1834; Prelude to the Civil War, indicates that Joseph Hartshorn died outside the membership of the LDS Church in Pennsylvania. I do not know who Oran is, but Horatio is a son of Joseph. Joseph's children include: Alvin, Keziah, (md. John Quincy), Horatio, William and Clarissa who md. Nathaniel Tyler. (See John Quincy, Clarissa Tyler). Levi Hancock's journal, talking of Isaac Morley's farm near Kirtland, Ohio, said: Held a meeting at a Brother Hartshorn's. He was a friend, but his wife was an enemy. His son found much fault. We held a meeting and found the people more tender. We went from neighborhood to neighborhood preaching. We were treated very well through the land all round about. Joseph Hartshorn was baptized in Nauvoo for Ebenezer and Mary Hartshorn--relationship Son; and for Abigail Conick -relationship-brother. Fanny Hartshorn was baptized for David Culberson-relationship- daughter; for Kelly Prichet -relationship- niece. (Joseph--PKO; NMR; CMN; MRP; VAC; LHJ; NJ; ZC; NBD)
Brother Hodges, a native of the county, preached with missionaries Boynton and Coltrin and baptized seven in Erie County in December 1832. Again on 16 Feb 1833, Amos Hodge and Wm. F. Cahoon visited missionaries John F. Boynton and Evan M. Greene who preached at the home of Mr. Matthews at Elk Creek and baptized Benjamin and Eunice Wells. Living in Nauvoo second ward were A. C. Hodges, E. C. Hodges, Stephen, Lucy and Luzette. In Kent county, Michigan in 1850, there is a family headed by Amos Hodges, 45 b. NY. His wife is Mary; children are: George, Mary E., Franklin A., Emma L., Amelia L., Julia A. and John A. (VAC; PCJ; NJ; CEN)
Born 1793 in NY to Benjamin Quincy and Sally Hammond. Sister of John Quincy. Md. Henry Clark Hollembeck. Henry is son of Abram Clark Hollembeck and Lovina Lord from Crawford Co., PA. One of her daughters, Phebe Ann Holembeck md. Alvin Hartshorn--another convert. Hannah and Henry are the parents of 11 children; namely, Anna Marie; Asa Hammond; Benjamin Q.; Sally Harriet; Lovinia Lord; Nancy Phebe; Phebe Ann; Abram Clark; Henry Clark; John William; and Robert George. Hannah died 4 Sep 1866, in Adams, IL. There is probably a connection to Lovisa Lord on this list. Hannah's husband, Henry Clark Hollembeak's mother is Lovina Lord, daughter of Joseph. They also named a daughter Lovina Lord. IGI says a Hannah Hollenbeck married Philo Luce 24 Apr 1841, in Trumball, OH. (VAC; HEC; MLO; AF; IGI)
Houghton is a surname seen on early church records in Missouri, Nauvoo, and Utah. I have not been able to connect Sophia. Deaths in Erie County include: Luke Houghton 1775-1860; Mary, his wife 1778-1853; Allie, their daughter 1806-1881; and John Houghton d. 6 Jan 1855 67y 4m; Samuel T. Houghton d. 1 Dec 1881, 91y 11mo 22da; and William O. d. 21 Dec 1889 12 y 2m 15 da. Luke and Mary are on the 1850 Census in Conneaut with a large family. Luke is 76 and Mary 73. Some of their married children and grandchildren are with them. An Osman (Ornan, Omon) Houghton marched in Zion's Camp as did his wife, Aurelia. They were recruited from Michigan. Osman was a signer of Missouri petitions. He was born 1 Oct 1806, at Vermont. He married Mary Curtis. Is Sophia a sister? Listed as land owners in Missouri are James, Ornan, Osmon, Eli, and Deborah Houghton. Eli and Deborah are in Nauvoo 3rd ward. Deborah was baptized in Nauvoo for her parents, Bartholomew and Rebecca Dwinel and sisters Phebe and Rebecca. Eli was baptized for Polly Houghton; relationship--son. Houghtons buried at Nauvoo include Aurelia (1819-1845), Emaline, Daniel, Deborah (1798-1844), Juliena, Emily, and Nancy. On the 1850 Census of Nauvoo, four Houghton children are living with Andrew Timmons. They are: Melissa 16; George W. 13; David 10; and Sarah 6. (VAC; CEM; PKO; NDB; MLO; CEN; NJ; NBD)
There is an Asa Jeffers in Wayne county, Indiana in 1840. Asa Jeffers was excommunicated in Erie Co., on 11 Dec 1833. No date is given of his baptism.
Mentioned in Jared Carter's journal as living in Pomfret, Chautauqua, New York. Carter said they had baptized 10 here. Seth is the son of Ezekiel Johnson and Julia Hills. He was born 14 Feb 1805 at Royalton, Windsor, Vt.; married Sophia Stone in 1824 and died in Kirtland, Ohio in 1835. Several of his family members were among the ten baptized; including his mother and brother Joel who were baptized 1 Jun 1831; sisters Delcena and Mary Ellen were baptized 19 Mar 1832 another sister, Almera was baptized in 1833. This sister married Joseph Smith Jr. in 1843. Two of his sisters married Almon W. Babbitt.
Clarissa might be the daughter of James and Nancy Joles. A Clarissa Joles married Munson Lamb 21 Dec 1854 in Lenawee, MI. In Somerset, Hillsdale, MI in 1850, Clarissa is the daughter of Thomas and Mary Joles. She is 10 years old at that time. If it is the same Clarissa Joles who married in 1854 at age 14 (not impossible at that time)--then it is NOT the Clarissa who was baptized in Erie County. However, Thomas Joles could have been in Erie county and had a sister/mother/aunt by the name of Clarissa for whom his daughter is named. There is a Robert Joules on 1830 Census in Elk Creek, Erie, PA living near the Segars, Clothiers, and Turners who were baptized. Robert and wife are 20-30 and have one child under 5--a son. His will is dated 6 Feb 1865. He named wife, Lydia; and one child--George Washington Joles. Other children are mentioned, but not named which could suggest that this is a second marriage. Clarissa is on the list as being baptized at a separate time than James and Nancy--who could also be her parents. It is appears from the 1850 Census that many of the Joles family went to Michigan instead of following the Saints. (See James and Nancy) It is possible that Clarissa is a daughter of Damaris Vaughn who md. first Joles (or Jewell) and married second, William Francis. Demaris' will proves that she is a daughter of Charles Vaughn whom we find living with her in 1850. (See Charles Vaun; Hulda Dimeras Vaughn Harmon) In 1820, living next door to Charles Vaughn is a Sylvester Jewell. In 1850, there is a Sylvester Joles (age 37) at Ransom, Hillsdale, MI. The Jewell and Jole name seems to be entwined and is spelled each way in various records. It is unlikely that the Sylvester Jewell in Erie County in 1820 is the husband of Demaris Francis; however, living with him is a young couple 16-25. Demaris would have been about 22 in 1820. Sylvester could be Demaris' father-in-law. There are five children under 10 on the census--at least some of which could be Demaris' children--and also be some of the Joles baptized in 1833--even Clarissa. Further research needs to be done to verify that Damaris is sister of Hulda Vaughn who md. Alpheus Harmon. It is believed that the Vauns who were baptized are of this family. A Truman Vaughn in Ohio named a daughter Clarissa. (VAC; IGI; CEN; WIL; PEN; AF)
James Joles is on the 1850 Census of Orleans, Ionia, MI age 47--with wife, Nancy and children--some of whom were born in PA. James and Nancy have the following children with them in 1850: Hiram H. 19; Eli 15; Almira 12; Albert 9; Alfred 9; Charles 6; Julia A. 1/12. This James is too old to be a son of Damaris Vaughn Joles. However the names of his children are very common names in the Vaughn family; and Eli suggests a connection to Eli Colton who was a neighbor of Charles Vaughn. The son named Hiram H. could be named for Hiram Haynes who married Betsy Vaun in Elk Creek. (see Lucy Harper). James Joles was born in NY. His occupation is farmer and he has $200 in real estate. A James Joles owned land in Missouri. James and Nancy would have been a young couple when baptized-- He would have been abt 30; she 26. However, not too young to have a daughter old enough for baptism, so it is possible that Clarissa is their daughter. In 1850 in Mercer Co, PA, I found a Gardner Vaughn age 42 whose wife is Almira. Living with his family is a Morris Jewel. There is also a Gardner Jole on Census index for earlier census'. Just another clue in a possible connection. (VAC; MLO; PEN;CEN)
According to the 1850 Census of Orleans, Ionia, MI, Nancy was 44 and born in NY. This would make her born about 1806 (IF this is the same Nancy.) Probably the wife of James as they were baptized together and if it is the same couple in MI in 1850, they are husband and wife. The names of her children (see James) indicate a Vaughn connection. (VAC; PEN; CEN; AF)
The 1830 Census Erie Co, PA for Springfield and for Fairview has entries for a Louisa Lord in both locations. (See Hannah Holembeck) There is a Lovina Lord, born 9 Nov 1766--daughter of Joseph. Lovina married Abram Clark Hollembeak. She died 6 Nov 1842, and is buried in Crawford Co., PA. Louisa Lord is a family name in the Hollembeak/Quincy families according to one descendant. A Louisa Lord, formerly of Erie County, bore a son in Mantorville, Minnesota in 1867. (VAC: JQF: CEN: HEC)
Lydia Low is wife of Isaac Low who was in Girard, Erie, PA in 1850. Isaac is age 73-- Shoemaker; Lydia 64 b. Mass- -also had a daughter, Lydia, 38 b. NY and a son, John, 24 b. PA. Either Mother or Daughter could be the convert. Her baptismal date and place are not given in the missionary journals. There is a land transaction of Lydia Low in Erie County in 1867. Early settlers (1822) of Erie County in Lowville -Venango township were Samuel Low and his brother-in-law, Dr. Wright, both from Genesee county, NY. A Lydia Low and an Eliza Wright were baptized--any connection to these men? (VAC; LAN; KK; ECP)