had traced, and then lost, John VERRY and his wife and child after the
1861 census. And, failing to find any record of them in England
thereafter, suspected they had emigrated. But to where? The problem was
put aside for many years except for occasional doodling on the internet
searching various passenger lists to the British Colonies - Australia,
Canada etc. I was aware of the Mormon mission to Herefordshire
that many converts eventually made that heroic migration to the USA,
first to Nauvoo and then to what is now Utah. My Verry's didn't seem to
fit that mould. But I was wrong. One wet Sunday I decided to dig
deeper, changed tack and explored the US Gen Web searching for all
references to "Verry". Eventually there it was in the Utah Gen Web
led to an Elizabeth VERRY's death notice and the fact that she was born
in Monmouth. It had to be her. It could be no other.
Regrettably I have failed to discover the fate of her husband having
exhausted what I believe are all the likely sources. The problem seems
unsolvable but I remain hopeful. Late in 2008 I placed a message on
Rootsweb's Utah Mailing List seeking information of any descendants of
John and Emily HELM. Christine replied and forwaded a copy of
Elizabeth's Will etc. I am indebted for her very kind helip.
it may seem unusual that emigrants would wish to move to America during
the Civil War period, many were no doubt influenced by the calming
words of the Mormon newspaper published in Britain. The "Millennial
Star", May 11, 1861 published in an article headed "Civil War in
America - Its importance as a warning
to the Saints",. After recounting
the war's commencement in South Carolina the article pointed to the
event as the fulfilment of Joseph Smith's prophecy given three decades
earlier, that a war beginning in South Carolina would "pound out upon
all nations". The article stressed that those gathering out west
"Zion" "shall be the only people not
at war". Thus it was that in 1862
more Mormon converts moved to America than in any previous year. It has
been estimated that in total some 90,000 crossed the plains to what is
pushing and pulling hand-carts in the early period, then on foot and
wagon and in the later period by rail (often in cattle wagons). In 1864
nearly 3,000 crossed the plains to Deseret (Utah Territory - now
father died in 1842 of apoplexy. Although he was living in a rented
cottage on Aconbury Hill he owned a small plot of land and a cottage in
neighbouring Little Birch. His widow Alice may have suffered dementia.
In 1851 she was living with a son Thomas Verry on Aconbury Hill. Sjhe
died 1853 in the lunatic asylum, Abergavenny, Monmouthshire. Possibly
she was sent to be close to her other son James Verry, my great great
grandfather who was living at Llantillio, Pertholey near Abergavenny
when he married in 1852.
his mother's death John Verry filed a claim in the Consistory Court at
Hereford alleging his father had died leaving no lawful Will. This was
despite the fact that John Senior did indeed leave a Will and it was
properly probated. Nevertheless John was granted administration in 1853
and the action, it may be supposed, was to wind up his mother's estate.
Or were there matters in dispute arising from his father's will such as
the bequest from aunt Jones to her nephew John Verry junior which was
used by his father to help purchase the cottage and land in Little
when John and Elizabeth began taking an interest in the Mormon Church
cannot be known. But as Elizabeth's obituary states she joined the
church in 1861, we may guess John did too. The church likely came to
their notice some years earlier however. A man John must have known
well, Henry WALKER of Upper
recorded as presiding over the "Akenbury" banch for several years prior
to his departure to the US in 1853. This may have been a short-lived
branch as the LDS church hold no specific records of an Aconbury
only child of John and Elizabeth was
christened Aconbury 16 May 1845. No other children are recorded in
the 1851 and 1861 census or in the parish and civil registers. The
last known reference to John and Elizabeth in England is the 1861
census, in which John is recorded as a master shoemaker, Aconbury Hill,
wife Elizabeth and daughter Emla (sic) and Richard TAYLOR his
journeyman (and boarder) aged 42.
"Where others saw only
sage, a great desert, the Momons saw the 'Lovely Deseret'"
VERRY 55 years, "wife" and Emily 19 years arrived at Castle Garden
Immigration Centre, New York 19 July 1864 on the "General McClellan" which left Liverpool 2
June 1864 with 802 Mormon immigrants. They split into two parties of
400 and proceeded to Utah (then named Deseret) via Nebraska to avoid
the Civil War. Their leader was Captain Joseph S RAWLINS ("Deseret News
" 17 August 1864). John VERRY was not on board the General McClellan.
The passenger list has "Elizb VERRY, 55, wife and Emily VERRY 19
spinster". Travelling with them was
Richard TAYLOR 45, a shoemaker. It
clear from his age and place of birth (Credenhill) that he was the same
Richard TAYLOR a journeyman shoemaker who was employed by and living
with John VERRY on Aconbury Hill (1851 and 1861 census). Richard
according to other's research went on to marry Jane MANWEARING (25
January 1865?) Salt Lake City and died in Chicago. Jane was
born at Peterchurch, Herefordshire 1816. According to other's research
Taylor joined the church in 1851. I think this should be 1861 (the same
year Elizabeth Verry joined).
Reference to Elizabeth and Emily VERRY and the "General
McClellan" roster is in the "Deseret News" 17 August
1864. The Pioneer Register makes no reference to John Verry and a
soundex search of various immigrant records yielded
nothing. Richard Taylor was also with the Rawlins' train. In 1880
(Census) Richard and Jane Taylor were residing at Union, Salt Lake Cty,
his occupation labourer. His brother, George Bernard TAYLOR emigrated
to Utah in 1864 and died at Mill Creek in 1910 - "a faithful
extensive searches it has never been proved beyond doubt that
John Verry emigrated. But his wife and daughter certainly did and
John did not die in
England and his wife is listed as such on the ship's manifest, the
conclusion must be that he probably preceded them as so many
Not all Morman rosters have survived. (A number of the 1862 rosters for
instance, one "missing").
TAYLOR 45 Shoemaker
Elizb. VERRY 55 Wife
Emily VERRY 19 Daughter
is clear from this order of listing that they embarked and travelled
together. The "Deseret News" also
reports their arrival together.
RECORDS - UTAH
"Died Union 25 February 1868 John Abraham son of John HELM; (and Emilyh (sic) VERRY from Hereford, England) 6 months 26 days."
South Cottonwood 26 May 1869 Joseph Richard son of John and Emily
HELM, his wife late of Hereford, England 22 days." "Millerinial
Star - please copy"
7 May 1878 Elizabeth VERRY" (12 May Issue).
"Deseret Evening News" 6 May 1878 -
Union Fort, Salt Lake County April 12, 1878 of heart disease and
dropsy, Elizabeth Verry. Deceased was born December 10, 1805 at
Monmouth, England. Joined the LDS church Feb 1861, emigrated to this
valley in 1864".
Census, Union, Salt Lake County
HELM, 32, Carpenter. Both parents born PA.
Emily HELM 25 Keeps House Both parents born England
Elizabeth VERRY 64 At Home Born England
records the marriage of Emily
VERRY/John HELM 21 April 1866 Salt Lake County (extracted from the
Census, Union, Salt Lake County
HELM 45 Blacksmith Both parents born PA
Emily HELM 35 Wife Keeps House Both parents born England
William HELM 9 Son, at School Born Utah
that no specific birth places were recorded for these USA Census).
HELM, 16 years, parents and siblings
arrived from Pennsylvania in Moses THURSTON's Company in 1855., He was
born 16 September 1858 Jackson Township, Sandusky, Ohio. John Helm died
8 March 1911 Salt Lake City.)
1880 Census, Union, Salt Lake County
Richard TAYLOR 61 Born England, Labourer
Jane TAYLOR 64 Born England
Malanda TAYLOR Niece Born Utah
Resource File (LDS Church) and IGI -
Entries (source not available) There
are several, all clearly researching the HELM family
VERRES (sic) died 1882 Salt Lake, father John VERY
(sic) and Elizabeth" (possible
transcription error). There are several similar entries including some
incorrectly identifying her birthplace as Avenbury in Herefordshire,
identifies the spouse of John Helm as both Emily Verres and Verry. Helm
family research notes state that a bio sketch of Abraham Helm (her
father-in-law) identifies her name as Emily VERY
BIRTH DATE - Elizabeth VERRY
"Deseret Evening News"
states that she was
born at Monmouth 10 December 1805. Thee is
no way of confirming a birth date at this period. The Monmouth parish
register records christenings. Christenings usually took place within
a few weeks of birth. But some families delayed. A clue to the birth
year being later than 1805 is her marriage entry, February 1829 - "with
consent of parents" indicating one party at least was under 21
It was not John Verry - he was 22 years. Joseph and Elizaeth VERRY of
Monmouth seemed determined to have a child Elizabeth. The Monmouth
30 August 1807 Elizabeth daughter of
Joseph and Elizabeth VERRY
Buried 4 December 1808 Elizabeth daughter of Joseph and Elizabeth VERRY
Christened 21 July 1809 Elizabeth daugher of Joseph and Elizabeth VERRY
and an entry which might have caused some confusion -
15 August 1813 Eliza daughter of
Joseph and Elizabeth VERRY - but for
the fact that this girl Eliza can be accounted for. She married John
DOWDING, Shoemaker and their child Elizabeth DOWDING "Niece" to
John Verry, head of household aged 9 was living with or visiting John
and Elizabeth Verry on Aconbury Hill, 1851 census. This census confirms
John's wife Elizabeth born in Monmouth in the calculated year 1808.
have therefore concluded that Elizabeth Verry who married her cousin
John Verry was tjhe one christened at Monmouth 21 July 1809 and that
was born late in 1808 or in 1809. Her obituary recording a birth date
of 10 December is probably correct but the year was almost certainly
PROBATE - Elizabeth VERRY, died 1878
of the estate, Elizabeth Very (sic) dated 9 December 1893. It described
location of nearly 7 acres of land in Union Fort, Salt Lake County
valued at 640.00 dollars. The purpose of the late administration was - "that
all the heirs of the deceased, John HELM and William A HELM have sold
all interest in the land to the petitioner William BOGGESS who is now
the owner"...... and that "the
last owner was her daughter Emily Verry
HELM who has since died leaving her only heirs, her surviving husand
John HELM and her only cnild William A HELM". William Helm was
living at West Jordan, Salt Lake.
grave marker has been located for William Helm in Ogden City cemetery .
is a small
granite stone with carved inscription - "William Helm aged 49 years.
Died September 25, 1923". There is a photo on the Find A Grave website. No markers
have been found for Elizabeth or
is likely they were influenced by friends and relations who
preceded them. The Verry's were
living at Ridge
Hill, Upper Bullingham from 1806 to ca 1808-10. The
WALKER family from Upper
Bullingham joined the church in 1851, emigrated to Salt Lake via New
Orleans in 1853 with some of
their PREECE kin including James PREECE who died during the voyage.
Henry WALKER of Little Holm
Farm, Ridge Hill (born 1806, died 1879,
Utah) and a contemporary of John Verry was a son
of Thomas WALKER and Mary Ann nee WOAKES. His plural spouses
included Ann PREECE of
Callow (died 1859), Maria NOTT, Susanna
PRITCHARD, Susan PREECE and Elizabeth PHILLIPS. An LDS biography of
Henry Walker states he presided over the "Akenbury" branch for several
years before he emigrated.
are two PREECE families to consider, though they may be related.
Firstly Thomas PREECE. He
farmed Brook Farm in Callow and married Ann ARNOLD there in 1795. He
was a son of Robert PREECE and Elizabeth nee BIGG. This PREECE
family were related by marriage to the WALKER's who later acquired the
This farm, then part of Guys Hospital's Herefordshire Estates. has been
identified by another PREECE researcher as being occupied by
William VERRY (John's ancestor) at the time of his death,1743, but I
found nothing in Guys Hospital records, now at Hereford Record Office,
to substantiate this. William certainly tenanted a cottage and land in
Callow which may have been Guy's Hospital property.as they owned much
of the parish after ca.1743.
and Ann PREECE emigrated to Nauvoo in the 1840's. Their son Richard,
a blacksmith, married Susanna PRITCHARD in 1832. He died in 1851 at
the staging post, Winter Quarters, Iowa (also called Kanesville).
His wife and children proceeded to Salt Lake and Susanna later
became one of the wives of Henry WALKER.
of John H WALKER of Brooke Farm, Callow March1895 /April 1897 with
Christenings and Burials of the PREECE family" (LDS
mentions several of our VERRY's but some birth years are wrong. It now
that the VERRY references were made retrospectively - "late of Brooke
Farm" being more appropriate. John Henry WALKER was born in 1843, died
Union, Salt Lake
and had married Mary Ann PHILLIPS at South Cottonwood, Salt Lake in
He was a son of the aforementioned Henry WALKER and emigrated in 1853
when he was about 11 years old. He is well documented in LDS
biographies. As noted John HELM and Emily (VERRY) were also in
South Cottonwood at this period. South Cottonwood was a rural district.
In 1860 it had only some twenty families. It is now Murray City. Much
of the following biographical data on Henry and John Walker and the
Helm family was extracted from the Utah Newspapapers Digital Archive.
Biographical Note - HELM Family
Abraham HELM, father of John was
born 1813, Leesburg, Cumberland Co. PA and joined the Church in 1854.
Died 1894, Holliday, Salt Lake City. Married Mary RICHERT (also known
as RICHARDS) from Germany and settled at Sandusky Co. Ohio where eleven
children were born. Arrived in Salt Lake with Captain Moses THURSTON
company, 1855. His sons John, Bartram and Joseph were involved in the
Black Hawke Utah War. Bertram became Second Counsellor to the Bishop in
Idaho and another son Levi became High Priest and President 61st and
Member of 91st Quorum and member Utah State Legislature. He died
intestate but the probate documents reveal him as owner of a large
farm, and have a detailed inventory of livestock and implements.
John HELM (who married Emily VERRY), carpenter and blacksmith was one of the two farriers in Lot SMITH's volunteer cavalry unit. "Salt Lake Herald" 12 December 1909 - "Lot Smith's Heroes to be pensioned" ... "The Lot Smith company was raised by Brigham Young at the request of Presient Lincoln and performed valiant services in the protection of the telegraph and overland mail in and about Independence Rock in 1862 at a time when the situation in Indian warfare was most hazardous and critical." (The famous Ben Holliday was proprietor of the overland mail). This unit of irregular cavalry was comprised mainly of farmer volunteers who provded their own horses and arms; and who were known as "scouts", ":rangers" or "bandits and scoundrels", depending on one's point of view. The unit was belatedly awarded pensions long after most had died - "Salt Lake Herald" 17 December 1909 - "Among the other veterans of the company who are probably still alive Mr Young says ...... John Helm now living in Idaho". His name was subsequently found in a list of Civil War pensioners - "John Helm, Canyon Co. Idaho; Utah Independent Cavalry".
his wife Emily (Verry) died in 1882 he may have moved to the Helm
family farm at Mill Creek. The 1900 census -
Mary HELM, Head, Widow born 1812
Germany 87 years
John HELM, son, Widowed born 1833, 61 years, Famer
After his mother's death he moved to Idaho and died 8 March 1911.
Helm, only suriving child of John Helm and Emily (Verry) was living at
Toano, near Cobre, Nebraska in 1920, working as a plumber. He was still
living at Cobre 1923 when he died in Ogden, Utah that year, possibly
while visiting relatives. Buried in Ogden City Cemetery. His death
registration states he was "single". Perhaps he married, then divorced.
No children are known or recorded.
data on HELM family may be found on Rootsweb's World Connect Site.)
P.S. Lot SMITH later moved to Arizona where he became prominent in church and civil affairs. He was killed by Indians at Tula, Arizona in 1892. His daring service in the Utah War is celebrated.
Biographical Note - WALKER Family
Henry WALKER, born Upper Bullingham
1806. He farmed Little Holm (10 acres) in Upper Bullingham but had
earlier learned the trade of a cooper and ship carpenter. Obituary
"Deseret News Weekly" 9 April
"At Union Ward, Salt Lake Country
of pneumonia and old age, Henry Walker, Deceased was born 9 November
1806 at Upper Bullingham, Herefordshire; emigrated to the valley in the
year 1853; was a member of the High Priest Quorum, ordained 7 May 1866.
Died in full faith of the Gospel. Millenial Star plese copy".
Walker first settled at Nauvoo, IL on property one and a half miles
south of Pontoasuc but moved to Salt Lake when the Mormons were drvien
out of Nauvoo. When the government set out to destroy the Mormons in
1857/58 Walker was one of the volunteers who opposed them. He had
settled at South Cottonwod, Salt Lake County by April 1855 - "Deseret
News" - "Taken up. Came into
enclosure of the subscriber about the
first of January last, a white cow ...... the owner can have her by
proving property and paying charges. Heny Walker, South Cottonwood."
had converted to the faith in 1841 during the Woodruff mission in South
Herefordshire. A biographical note on the British Mormons web site
states that "he presided of the
Akenbury (sic) branch for several
is some genealogical data on WALKER, Rootsweb's World Connect
John Henry WALKER, son of Henry
WALKER and Ann (PREECE) was born at Upper Bullingham 1843. With John
HELM he enlisted with Lot Smith's Volunteer Cavalry Company and
was a veteran of the Washakie Indian War, 1862. He was ordained in 1869
and between March 1895 and May 1897 was on mission in Norwich, England.
Also served as a JP and Constable. Died of Erysipelas 18 November 1915
at Union, Salt Lake County. A journal of his mission yeas is in the LDS
Library, Salt Lake City. It mentions some of the VERRY family of
Herefordshire though ages and dates are often incorrect and there is
reference to a Nellie Cook Verry who has not been identified.
William PREECE married Alice COLE 6 September 1842
Hereford. Children -:
PREECE christened Little Dewchurch 29 September 1745
married JONES.She died 1828. Her will confirms some of the family
structure below. Possibly married John JONES at Sellack 5 May 1768.
PREECE christened Upper Bullingham 16 September 1753.
married Ann JONES, 7 February 1780 Callow. Children -
(i) Richard PREECE
Little Dewchurch 21 October 1806 or christened Callow 26 October1808
(of Council Point,
Pottawatamie, Iowa. Died young.
Issue Salt Lake
C. Elizabeth PREECE christened
Callow (unconfimed) 1752.
Her child was Alice Ann PREECE christened Aconbury 1781
PRITCHARD of Skenfrith at Callow 7 March 1804. Elizabeth married 1.
Richard MINTON, farm labourer of Kilpeck at Callow 1790 (Issue) and 2.
Thomas GWILLIM 1811, Kilpeck. (1781-1832).
D. Thomas PREECE christened Upper Bullingham 1756. Believed by some Preece descendants to have emigrated to Nauvoo and later refused to go to Salt Lake because of polygamy. Joined the Mormon Reformed Church and settled at Lamoni, Iowa.
E. Mary PREECE
married Davies, known
only from will of Alice Jones 1828. Possibly Thomas DAVIES married 2
March 1772 All Saints Hereford.
had the pleasure
of clearing the ship General M'Clellan (Captain Trask) for the
of New York, on Saturday, the 21st ultimo. This ship was chartered
to sail on the 20th ultimo, but, owing to the rain which set in, the
upper deck could not be used for the purpose of examination of
passengers, who had, consequently, to undergo inspection between
decks. This put them to some inconvenience and discomfort, but,
nothwithstanding this, we did not hear one unkind word or one ill
natured remark from the Saints during the proceedings, which occupied
some little time. In consequence of unavoidable delays, the vessel
could not be cleared until next day (21st). On
the morning of the
21st President Cannon , with a number of elders, proceeded on board
the vessel for the purpose of organizing the company. Appropriate
instructions were given to the Saints, and Elder Thomas E. Jeremy was
appointed to preside over the company, with Elders Joseph Bull and
George G. Bywater to assist him as counsellors. Elder John C. Graham
was chosen clerk of the company. The ship was divided off into
wards, over each of which an elder was placed to preside. On the
evening of the 21st the vessel proceeded to sea, laden with her
freight of precious souls, and accompanied by the best wishes and
prayers of all true Saints. She had 802 souls on board, nearly all
of whom have paid their fares through to Wyoming (Nebraska). Four
elders who had come from Zion on missions, sailed in this vessel. Their
names are Thomas E Jeremy, Joseph Bull, George G Tywater and M F
trail excerpts can be found on the Mormon Pioneer Overland Travel