By Susa Young Gates.
The Utah Genealogical and Historical Magazine, vol. 11, no. 4(Oct. 1920), pp. 180–87
[excerpt, pp. 180–83]
The following extract was prepared by Brigham Young, and is taken from the Deseret News, of 1852, Vol. 3:
“My grandfather, Joseph Young, was a physician and surgeon in the French and Indian wars. He was killed by the fall of a pole from a fence, in 1769.
“My father, John Young, was born March 7, 1763, in Hopkinton, Midd. Co. Mass. He was from his boyhood very circumspect, exemplary and religious, and was from an early period of his life, a member of the Methodist Church. At the age of 16 he enlisted in the American Revolutionary War, and served under General Washington. He was in three campaigns in his own state native and in New Jersey. In the year 1785 he married Nabby Howe, daughter of Phineas and Susanna, whose maiden name was Goddard. Nabby was born May 3rd, 1766, died June 11th, 1815, in Genoa, Cayuga Co., N.Y. He moved from Hopkinton in January, 1801, to Whitingham, Windham Country, Vermont, taking his family with him where he remained for three years, opening new farms. My mother died June 11, 1815, and father soon moved again.”
Note by Franklin W. Young: “His children used to relate an anecdote about him. He was a small, nimble man, and one [p 181] Sunday was walking in the woods with one of his very few neighbors, when his faithful dogs began barking not far distant, and on going toward the sound they found the dogs had “treed” a very large black bear. He tried in vain to get his neighbor to stay and keep the bear up the tree, whilst he, being more active than his neighbor, would run home for his gun. Neighbor did not care to stay with the bear, but would go for the gun. Accordingly, Mr. Young remained. Though of what he should do if Mr. Bruin should take a notion to come down occurred to him; so he cut a hickory sapling and sharpened one end to probe bruin with should he attempt a descent before the arrival of the gun. And sure enough, down came the bear. All the probing with the hickory stick was of no avail. Bruin let all holds loose, and down he fell to the ground; he lit upon his feet, but broke down, and the dog caught him by the end of the nose, causing him to open his mouth, when Mr. Young pushed his sharp stick down his throat, killing him almost instantly. The neighbor went leisurely home, ate his dinner, and then returned with a gun. To his great surprise he found the bear nicely dressed and ready for roasting.
“In 1827, he moved to Mendon, Monroe County, continuing to farm. In 1831 he heard Elders Eleazer Miller and Elial Strong preach the principals revealed through the Prophet Joseph Smith. In 1817 he moved to Tyrone, Steuben Co., New York, in which year he married widow Hannah Brown, who bore him one son, Edward, born 30 July, 1823. She long survived her husband, but remained in New York State. In the month of April, 1832, he went with his sons, Joseph and Phineas H., to Columbia, Pa., to investigate the principles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and to see the Saints and their method of administration. Here he was baptized on the 5th of April, 1832, by Elder Ezra Landon.
“He removed with his family to Kirtland, Ohio, in the fall of 1832; and in 1834 he was ordained a patriarch by the Prophet Joseph Smith, being one of the first to hold that office in the Church, and blessed his family.”
The story of this ordination as told by Brigham Young in a sermon was that Grandfather Young was very sick and about to die. He sent for his children to give him a blessing before he died. Brigham, who was there, suggested that some of them should go to the Prophet and ask him about the matter. This was done, Brigham being one of those who visited the Prophet on this mission; the Prophet said at once that Grandfather Young’s request and desire was within his prerogative, and that he would go over and ordain him as a patriarch when he would be empowered by that especial calling to fulfill the desire of his heart.
“September 19th, 1838, in the company with his daughter Fanny and his grandson Evan M. Greene and family he left Kirtland for Missouri. On arriving in Fayette, in that state, he found himself [p. 182] in the midst of General Clarke’s command of militia, amounting to about one thousand men, who left that night for Far West. The next day they proceeded to Old Chariton, and found the general had left a guard at the ferry, so he had to return to Illinois. They where frequently met by companies said to be militia, who declared that if they knew they were ‘Mormons’ they would kill them. When they returned to Columbia, General Gaines was there, raising a company to go to the assistance of Gen. Clarke to exterminate the ‘Mormons.’ Evan M Greene made application to General Gaines for a pass to go out of the state with the company, representing that his grandfather, who was with him, was a revolutionary soldier. The general replied that if he would change his wagon, which was a very good eastern wagon, for a Virginia wagon, or would go on horseback, they could go without molestation; otherwise he would give him no pass that would benefit them. Thus they were compelled to change their good, new wagon, and could get nothing but an old Virginia Dearborn. Getting into this they traveled without even being hailed by the companies they met, which were not few.
“John Young went to Morgan County, Illinois; from thence he went to Quincy, in 1839, on a visit to his children, where he died on the 12th of October, 1839.”
“During his travels through Missouri he suffered very many hardships, being compelled not only to change wagons, but bedclothes, warm blankets for scant old quilts, etc., in consequence of which exposure he died a martyr to the great Latter-day work, as will be seen from the following obituary notice from the history of the Prophet Joseph Smith:
“This day President Young’s father, John Young, Sen., died at Quincy, Adams Co., Illinois. He was in his seventy-seventh year, and was a solder of the revolution. He was also a firm believer in the everlasting Gospel of Jesus Christ, and fell asleep under the influence of that faith. He was driven from Missouri with the Saints in the latter part of that year. He died a martyr to the religion of Jesus, for his death was caused by his sufferings in that cruel persecution.” (Desert News, Vol. 7, No. 47. See Juvenile Instructor, Vol. 16, page 119, for the year 1881.)
Nabby, or Abigail Howe, wife of John Young, was one of five sisters, all of whom were pretty, some of them more than that, while Abigail was said to be the most beautiful woman in the whole country. Aunt Theodocia Kimball Young, wife of Uncle John Young, and Mrs. Maria Haven Burton, mother of Charles S. Burton, are authority for this statement. “Nabby” had blue eyes, yellowish drown hair, which waved gracefully across her brow. She and her sisters were all singers, and many social affairs were brightened by these girls singing old English madigrals with their sweet natural voices. Abigail is said to have died of consumption. Few, if any, of her descendants have showed [p 183] any traces of this complaint. She was greatly beloved of all her friends and associates, and was said to be—by Sister Maria Burton—quite a neighborhood reformer. She was an invalid for some years; but she would be taken to visit her friends, especially young couples just starting out in life, and would spend the day in instructing and advising them how to avoid the pitfalls of daily married life. There is no doubt that the large frame, the portly and extremely dignified appearance of both Uncle John Young and of Brigham Young, was inherited from the Howes. The Youngs, so far as we have learned, were small men, generally, or rather, they were not of that large build natural to the Howes and Goddards. None of them were under five feet five, that we know of, but they were not tall and portly like the Howes. The Howes were lively, amiable, witty and musical.
It might be interesting to give some account of my grandmother Nabby or Abigail Howe Young. She was the third child and daughter of Phineas Howe (or How) and Susannah Goddard, of Hopkinton (m. Ap. 23, 1761), and Grd. Dau. of Peter H. of Hopk. (d. Nov. 21,1756) by his wife Thankful Howe (b. Dec. 15, 1703, m. April 9, 1723, d. Jan. 25, 1766) Dau. of David Howe of Marlboro’ (b. Nov. 2, 1674) by his wife Hepzibah Death (m. Dec. 25, 1700) and grd. dau. of Col. Samuel Howe of Sudbury (b. Oct. 20, 1642) by his wife Martha Bent (m. June 5, 1663, the dau. of John Bent of Sudbury); and gr. Dau. of John Howe, sen. By his wife Mary ——— of Sudbury and Marlboro’. Peter Howe, the grandfather of Mrs. Rhoda (Howe) Richards, is supposed, from these circumstances, to have been the grandson of John Howe, Jr., of Marlboro’, (Killed by Indians at Sudbury, Apr. 20, 1676), by wife Elizabeth ———; and gr. grandson of the same John, sen., and Mary Howe. His father was not improbably Peter, for John 3rd, son of John Jr., named a son Peter, who m. Dec. 24, 1718, Grace Bush, and had Rhoda, b. Mar. 11, 1733, which indicates relationship. But as John, sen., had 10 sons, it is uncertain through which the first named Peter descended.
[More Howe genealogy follows]