John Mayberry

Born near Liberty, Bedford, Virginia on 05 Apr 1792

Married Mary Younger in Williamson County, Tennessee on 18 Jan 1817

Died in Cottonwood, Salt Lake County, Utah on 03 Dec 1857

Buried in the Mayberry Cemetery in South Cottonwood (renamed Murray), Utah


John Mayberry was the son of Henry and Mary (Carnes or Carnice) Mayberry. He was born April 5th, 1792 in Liberty, Bedford County, Virginia. He was the eleventh child in a family of fifteen. His brothers and sisters were: George, Job, Abram, Frederick, Betsy, Michael, Dorcia, Henry Jr., Barbara, Susan, then came John, Polly, Gabriel, and George Washington. The whole family of children were born in liberty which indicates that Father Henry and Mother Mary were well established in this part of the country. Bedford County is located in the center of the state of Virginia near Roanoke, and is a farming area. It is thought by the writer that Father Henry and Mother Mary would have plenty of help from their family to work on the farm.

It was known that John, during his early adult life, was a sick and crippled man; whether or not he was unhealthy in his childhood is not known.

When John was 25 years old he was in the area where Mary Younger was. Mary was one of the oldest children in a large family. She had learned all of the pioneer skills that the girls learned in those days. She was a good dress maker, hat maker, and a determined girl capable of taking care of herself. From her history we read, "At the age of twenty-four she had not given serious thought to marriage although she had offers of marriage. She was a proud and independent woman, and not having seen anyone she especially cared for, she felt capable of taking care of herself. At one time, when she was in a room by herself, she heard a voice, saying, "Will you marry John Mayberry?" The voice repeated the same question three times. Then she answered, "Yes, I will marry John Mayberry, though I may have to support us with my needle."" This made a great impression on her as she had not considered him as a future husband. Preparations were made for the wedding and they were married in the early part of 1817. John and Mary were now twenty-five years of age. Both were born in 1792.

They bought a farm in Hickman County, Tennessee, and six children were born to them while they lived there. Martha was born March 9, 1818; Mary Jane, November 7, 1819; Gabriel, September 19, 1821; Joseph Younger, September 7, 1823; David F., October 8, 1825; and Elisha was born April 4, 1827. Just before their seventh child was born, Thomas, on January 7, 1830, they moved to Murry (Maury) County, Tennessee.

When the missionaries for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints came to Tennessee, they were received by the Mayberrys and made their headquarters there. John and Mary and family became members of the Church. No record has been found to make sure of the date of their baptism, but family stories tell that they were among the first to receive the Gospel in Tennessee. Records do show that Mary's brother Joseph Younger was baptized in 1833.

The spirit of the gathering entered into this home and soon after baptism, the Mayberrys disposed of their property and started on the long journey to Jackson County, Missouri, which was the gathering place of the Saints at this time. They settled in Independence, Missouri, and began to make themselves a home. It was not long before the established settlers began to distrust the Mormon settlers in their midst and began to make life miserable for the Saints.

John was ill and much of the responsibility for raising and supporting the family as well as making a home run efficiently was left to the good wife. The children were growing and the boys learned while young to take a great share of the responsibility. John, through the persecutions of the mobs and haters of the Mormons, was sick and crippled in his body, but was strong in the faith of his adopted church. He was happy to be with his family and with the people of the Church. The Mayberry family moved with the body of the Saints each time the mobbing proved more than they could bear. They had their share of hardships to be sure.

They made a home in Nauvoo and helped to build the Temple there. Mary and others of the family were to receive their endowments on February 6, 1846. On this same day, Mary Jane was married to Robert Collins in the Nauvoo Temple. Martha married John Donaldson, a nonmember of the Church, March 16, 1877 and did not remain with the Saints through their trek across the plains.

Many times while the mobs were looking for the Prophet Joseph Smith, he sought out the Mayberry home to hide and find safety for a few hours, until the danger was past. It was wth great sadness that the Mayberry family mourned the death of their beloved Prophet and friend Joseph Smith. It was with implicit faith that they accepted the new leader and Prophet of the Church, Brigham Young, having seen the mantle of the Prophet Joseph bestowed upon him by the Lord. Their faith never wavered throughout all the persecutions. Joseph was sick and crippled and unable to be of much service to the Saints. Indeed he might have felt sometimes he was a burden to his sons and his faithful wife, but his spirits stayed strong, and his sons, as young as they were, gave service as much as any man could have given. They took their turns standing guard during the frightful nights of harrassments. Joseph and David were imprisoned for 18 months with others of the Saints and released on demand of President Brigham Young.

Another time, Joseph and David were called to find horses that had been driven off and to bring them back. They found the horses and were trying to get them back when they were seen by the mob. Joseph was forced to witness the hanging death of his brother David and was told to get out of the state under threat of death. What a sadness this must have been to the poor sick father who depended so much on every member of the family. The time had come that they could no longer stay in that part of the country.

All of the Saints were told to get out of Nauvoo. The Mayberrys had lost their horses, and many of their provisions had been given to the Saints who had preceeded them on the journey west. Just prior to their leaving, Joseph was standing guard and was taken by the mob to prison to be released six years later. His family had no knowledge of what had happened to him. Now there was only John and Mary and the youngest son, Thomas. No record shows what happened to daughter Elisha. Gabriel had gone west earlier to make a place for the rest of the family. Mary Jane and her husband Robert Collins made the trek across the plains, but Martha and her husband John Donaldson never did come west.

Mary, the faithful wife and hard working bread-winner, met the challenges of traveling across the plains with the same courage that she had lived the rest of her life. John's strength of spirit and the good care of his good wife kept him alive to see the great valley in the mountains.

A Gift of a Cow

From the diary of the Prophet Joseph Smith:

"Thursday, February 2, 1843. (shows date; entry not shown)"

"Friday, 3.-This morning, read German; at eleven, walked out in the city; returned at a quarter past twelve; read proof of "Doctrine and Covenants," which is now being stereotyped. Brother John Mayberry sent me a cow to assist in bearing my expenses at Springfield."

Joseph Smith, History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 7 vols., introduction and notes by B. H. Roberts [Salt Lake City: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1932-1951], 5:264