Petersen Family History

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  • ID: I2545
  • Name: James Welker
  • Surname: Welker
  • Given Name: James
  • Sex: M
  • Birth: 19 Aug 1803 in , Rowan, North Carolina, United States
  • Death: 5 Sep 1844 in , Hancock, Illinois, United States
  • _UID: CCA630322C4DB0438C706E234E66F9AF29FC
  • Note:
    RESEARCH_NOTES:
    1. 6 Apr 2002 website "Ancestry.com" database of Vena Rae Worrell; email . Parents also listed as either James Willburn Welker, Sr. or Adam Welker b. 19 Feb 1771 at Surry Co., NC and Sarah Fletcher, b. 1769 of Rowan Co., NC.

    2. 6 Jun 2002 Ancestry.com database ":1797194" lists the following children:
    David, b. 2 Jul 1823 in Henry, Henry, Indiana, d. bef. 1830.
    James Wilburn, b. 17 Jan 1825 in Jackson, Box Elder, Ohio, d. in Bloomington, Bear Lake, Idaho 4 May 1912. [This is the same individual in the following: FHL book 977.343-V2m "Marriage Index of Hancock County, IL, 1829-1849," by Tri-county Genealogical Society, 1983, vol. 1, p. 48, marriage license no. 932: "James W. Welker and Ann Pugh, 23 Feb 1845, by John Stoker, MG." Appears the officiator may have been Jame's uncle. Also shows up in 1851 Iowa State Pottawattamie County census as age 27 with wife Ann age 29 and 3 children.]
    John, b. 16 Mar 1826 in Madison, Jackson, Ohio, d. 1 Jun 1913 in Safford, Graham, Arizona.
    Jacob Stocker, b. 8 Jan 1829 Bloomfield, Jackson, Ohio, d. 28 Apr 1911 in Bloomington, Bear Lake, Idaho.
    Mary Catherine, b. 12 Jan 1832 in Madison, Jackson, Ohio, d. 8 Dec 1920 in Thatcher,Graham, Arizona.
    Sarah, b. 1834 in Jackson Co., Ohio, d. abt 1836.
    Susie, b. Dec 1834 in Madison, Jackson, Ohio, d. 8 Dec 1834 in Madison, Jackson, Ohio.
    Rebecca, b. 21 Jul 1835 Jackson, Cape Gerardeau, Missouri, d. 1860 in Willard, Box Elder, Utah.
    Sarah, b. 1837 in Jackson Co., Ohio, d. 2 Apr 1926.
    Adam, b. 19 Feb 1841 near Columbus, Adams, Illinois, d. 2 Apr 1926 Safford, Graham, Arizona.

    3. Censuses:
    1810 US: Ashe County, North Carolina; I include several related families in my database for this time and place. Some notes:
    a. One of the two William Penningtons is married to an Eller - I assume it is the one with a younger wife.
    b. One of the two Christian Burketts is probably the parent of Barbara and Mary who married Graybeal brothers.
    c. James Lewis married Christina Graybill.
    d. The older Peter Graybill would be John Peter and Christina Wampler Graybill. The other Peter and Henry would be their sons.
    e. Adam Wilker could be Adam Welker, father of James Welker who later marries Elizabeth Stoker.
    f. Surprisingly there is no Michael Stoker who should be there unless in adjoining county.
    g. One of the two George Koons should be the George Koons of this database.
    h. Not sure why two J. Ellers unless the transcriber inadvertently named the "J." as both Jacob when in fact the older one is John. Peter Eller would be a brother.
    i. The older Peter Graybill would be John Peter Graybill, father of the other two Graybills: Henry and Peter [Jr.].
    Head of Family Males Females Slaves
    0 10 16 26 45 0 10 16 26 45
    10 16 26 45 + 10 16 26 45 +
    Pennington, W. (William) 1 0 1 0 0 2 0 1 0 0
    Bourket C. (Christian) 2 2 2 0 1 5 1 1 1 0
    Wilker, A. (Adam) 0 1 2 0 1 0 1 0 0 1
    Graybill, H. (Henry) 3 0 0 1 0 2 0 1 0 0
    Lewis, J. (James) 1 0 1 0 0 1 0 1 0 0
    Graybill, P. (Peter) 0 1 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 1
    Graybeal, P. (Peter) 1 0 1 0 0 1 0 1 0 0
    Graybill, H. 2 0 1 0 0 3 0 0 1 0
    Koons, G. (George) 2 0 0 1 0 2 0 0 1 0
    Pennington, W. (Wm) 2 0 1 0 0 2 0 0 0 1
    Eller, P. (Peter) 3 0 0 1 0 2 0 0 1 0
    Eller, J. (Jacob) 2 3 1 0 0 2 0 0 1 0
    Burket, C. (Christian) 4 1 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 1
    Koontz, G. (George) 1 0 0 1 0 2 0 1 0 1 3
    Eller, J. (Jacob[John?]) 2 0 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 0

    1830 US: Bloomfield Township, Jackson, Ohio, pg. 109-112, note whole township had 527 people living in it, related families include Michael Stoker, Michael Stoker Jr., Alexander Lackey, James Welker, Michael Graybill, and John Stoker:
    James Welker. Males 0-5: 3; 20-30:1. Females 20-30: 1.
    [Note there is two Adam Welkers in Madison Township in the same county.]

    1840 US: Quincy, Adams, Illinois, the following related families living in near proximity to each other (with exception of John McDaniel and his wife Christina Stoker, all of David Stoker's siblings, children, and mother are accounted for and it confirms his father Michael was dead by 1840):
    P. 43a:
    David Stoker, males 5-10:1; 40-50:1//females 5-10:1; 10-15:1; 40-50:1. [David, his wife Barbara, and their children Sarah (13), Catherine (11?), and Michael (6). Note daughter Nancy not in census which means she was probably deceased by then.]
    Simeon P. Grabell [Graybill], males 0-5:1; 20-30:1//females 0-5:1; 20-30:1. [David's nephew: Simeon and his wife Amanda Hill and their two oldest children.]
    Jacob Stoker, males 20-30:1//females 0-5:1; 20-30:1. [Younger brother to David: Jacob and his wife Catherine and their oldest child.]
    P. 44a:
    Eller Stoker, males 20-30:1//females 0-5:1; 15-20:1; 60-70:1. [Youngest brother to David: Eller with his wife Margaret and their oldest child and probably their mother Catherine Eller.]
    James Walker [Welker], males 10-15:1; 15-20:1; 30-40:1//females 5-10:2; 40-50:1. [Living next door to Eller and ages work perfectly that this is James Welker and Elizabeth Stoker, who is David's sister.]
    John W. Stoker, males 0-5:2; 10-15:1; 30-40:1//females 0-5:1; 5-10:2; 30-40:1. [John and his wife Electa Sarah and their six oldest children.]
    John Stoker, males 0-5:1; 20-30:1//females 0-5:1; 5-10:2; 20-30:1. [David's son: John and his wife Jane and their children.]
    P. 52a:
    William Stoker, males 0-5:1; 20-30:1//females 20-30:1 (father-in-law Samuel Winegar is next door). [David's son William and his wife Almira with their child.]
    P. 55a:
    Michael Stoker, males 0-5:2; 5-10:2; 10-15:1; 30-40:1// females 30-40:1. [Michael, his wife Martha, and their five oldest children.]

    4. FHL Book 929.273EL54h "George Michael Eller and Descendants of His in America," compiled by James W. Hook, 1957, also on FHL film 896571, item 2, pp. 17-31, clarifies early North Carolina counties and land grant practices:
    "Land grants in North Carolina originated with an entry application which was filed in the county where the land was situated and if not lost are now on file there. This was followed, sometimes soon and sometimes years later by an order from the land office for the tract to be surveyed. Sometimes soon and sometimes years later the survey was made and a surveyor's plat filed with the Secretary of State in Raleigh. Then came the grant which may have been issued reasonably near the date of the survey or sometimes several years later. These grants, orders to survey and the survey itself are on file now in the Secretary of State's office at Raleigh...
    Many counties were formed from what originally was Rowan County, namely Surry and Guilford in 1770, Burke and Wilkes in 1777, Randolph in 1779, Iridell in 1788, Stokes in 1789, Buncomb in 1791, Ashe in1799, Davidson in 1822, Yancey in 1833, Davie in 1836 and Yadkin in 1850. Some of these counties were grandchildren of Rowan County; for instance Wilkes was taken partly from Burke and partly from Surry, Randolph from Guilford, Buncomb and Yancy form Burke, Ashe from Wilkes and Stokes and Yadkin from Surry. These facts must be kept in mind when tracing early Rowan County families."

    5. From the book "Our Stoker Family Histories 1731-1881," Vol. II, comp. and ed. by Elyane Stoker, 2004, printed by Stevenson's Genealogy Center, Provo, UT. The following is a partial excerpt from the longer article entitled "David Stoker and Barbara Graybill," which is quoted in its entirety in the notes of David Stoker:
    "By August of 1815 David and Barbara had settled into family life in Bloomfield, Jackson County, Ohio. It was on the 24 August 1815 that their first child was born: Christine Stoker. By the spring of 1816, David's parents had also joined them on the new frontier of the Ohio River Valley. David and his father, Michael, are listed on the Jackson County, Ohio, voting registry for an election that was held on 1 April 1816. Also, David's youngest brother, Eller, was born in Bloomfield, Ohio...
    David and his family are not listed on the 1830 census records for Ohio or Indiana. (The family of John Stoker listed on the 1830 census in Ohio is that of David's brother, John W. Stoker.)...
    Between the years of 1830 to 1836 David and Barbara Stoker along with some of the extended family received missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Some of these missionaries were: Seymour Brunson, John A. Fisher, and Luke Johnson. All baptized members of the Stoker family into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. John Stoker (David's son) was baptized by Seymour Brunson and Luke Johnson in 1834. David's younger brother, Michael Jr., baptized Barbara in 1836. ('LDS Biographical Encyclopedia.' Andrew Johnson Vol 2 pg. 252. Luke Johnson, Autobiography in 'Millennial Star' 1864, Lewis p 92)
    Some members of the Graybill family also joined the church as their baptismal dates and offices they held within the church are listed in the records of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
    An article in the local paper records that there was strong religious persecution against members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Vega area. This fighting lead to some families leaving Vega. ('Jackson Herald,' Friday, February 27, 1959 and cited in Jim Stoker's Stoker history 1993)
    It was in the fall and winter of 1836 that David Stoker, his father, Michael, with their families and some of the Graybill families left the Ohio valley traveling west. On the 15 August 1838, David bought 52+ acres of land in Harrison County, Indiana. His brother, William, bought 120 acres in Madison County, Indiana. (Bureau of Land Management- Eastern States- General land Office, records of the Ohio River Valley Survey)
    Other members of the extended Stoker family were already living in Indiana. David's sister, Elizabeth and her husband, James Welker, were married in Henry County, Indiana in 1828, and it's possible that their first son was born there. Albert Koons, a relative of Catherine Eller (David's mother), lived in Henry County, Indiana along with other Eller families. (The Indiana connections need to be fully researched to understand the detail of the different families movements.)...
    The census records and genealogical family groups sheets illustrate some of David and Barbara's journeys. The history of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints records members of the Graybill, McDaniel, and Welker families migrated west staying with the main body of the church to settle in Caldwell County, Missouri, near the town of Far West.
    [PICTURE pg. 61: "Caldwell County, Missouri. Township 55 North of the base line. Range 28 west of the 5th principal meridian.
    Section 8 NW 1/4 of the SE 1/4 John W. Stoker's land -1837.
    Section 8 SW 1/4 of the NE 1/4 James Welker's land -1837.
    Section 9 SW 1/4 of the NW 1/4 Eller Stoker's land -1837.
    (From the map archives of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints)")...
    During July of 1837 three families of the Stoker clan filed forty acre land deeds in Missouri. They were located seven to eight miles southeast of Far West, Missouri in the Grant Township near Log Creek. They were: James Welker (brother-in-law to David), Eller, and John W. Stoker (David's brothers). (Vital statistics indicate other family members were in this area, but no land records have been located at this time.)...
    The next notable record of David and his family are found in the 'Redress Petition' to the United States government on behalf of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This petition listed all those who lost property and effects due to the "Mormon Expulsion" order given by the governor of Missouri. This order simply stated that all of the Mormon church people had to immediately leave or die. Groups of raiding parties against the church members ensured the order was carried out to the extreme. The Stokers and their relatives reported that these 'mobs' had stolen their plow, wagons, tools, mill wheel, beehives, pigs, and horses. Their furniture was damaged, guns and rifles taken, and crops and homes were burned. There are 36 family members listed on the petition. ('History of the Church,' Vol 4)
    The following is one journal recounts how volatile the Log Creek area became: "A sketch that I was an eye witness to in the State of Missourie Charles C. Rich on the 24th of October 1838 Messengers Come into Farwest stating that the mob was on Log Creek burning houses and Loaded waggons and threatening the lives of the people those was a few men Sent out to ascertain the movements of the mob these men returned a bout eleven O clock at night Stating that thare had been considerable Damage Done and also that they had taken three of the Brethern prisoners and intended to kill them..." (Stoker 1993).
    David's nephew and the son of Polly Stoker Graybill, recorded this time also: "I went with my father's family and others, to Caldwell County, Missouri, in the autumn of 1837, and was with the Saints there in their time of terrible trials. We planted a crop which we were never allowed to harvest. I was a member of the State Militia under Colonel Hinkle. The mob came upon us near Farr West, in October, 1838... for weeks they had been stealing and driving off our stock, taking a team of horses from my father, and all the horses I owned" (ibid).
    By 1840 the Missouri Governor's expulsion order had forced every member of the church to leave their homes, many fled into Illinois for safety. David's father, Michael, died during this event. One family tradition is that he was buried in the "Saint's Cemetery" in Far West. (There have been no records found as to when and where he died or is buried.)...
    Other church members fled into Adams County, Illinois as the local citizens promised them safety. David, his brothers, and brother in law found work on farms south of Columbus, Illinois.
    The 1840 census records for Adams County, list David, his son John, and their extended families. After taking time to restock and restore, the Stoker families moved further west as did the body of their church; into the state of Illinois. Their prophet and leader, Joseph Smith sent word to all church members to gather in and around the town of Commerce, Hancock County, Illinois where they could homestead new land and start over. It was a piece of swamp land on the bend of the Mississippi River heavily infested with disease carrying insects. The people drained the swamp land and built a city that housed thousands of church members. The name of Commerce was changed to Nauvoo. Tax and historical records of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints show that some of the Stoker families settled a few miles south of the city of Nauvoo...
    David's brother, Eller Stoker, owned land along the "Carthage road" between the cities of Nauvoo and Carthage. Most of the family members settled in the Bear Creek Township twenty miles south of Nauvoo. (Historical Records, Nauvoo, Illinois)
    County historical records list "Bear Creek" as the name of a city, township, and river but all names encompass the same area. Bear Creek was used as a timber and corn producing area.
    Today corn and soybean farms still cover all of the prairie flats with old trees growing along the water ways. Bear Creek is itself a slow moving creek; with steep banks in places giving indications of the water power the creek can have in flood stages. Residents of the farm town of Basco, Hancock County, Illinois still refer to this area as Bear Creek.
    Basco's official records begin in 1876. Today Bear Creek city and towns are only a remnant of it's former size as the settler's descendants are forced to move out to the larger towns to earn a living.
    Early Church references to Bear Creek are:
    1. Missionary town where the Saints lived among non-Mormons included Carthage, Bear Creek, La Harpe, and Fountain Green. ('Historical Atlas of Mormonism,' p.56)
    2. Went to Bear creek, visited the Saints, held meeting, and preached on the subject of the building of the Nauvoo House and temple;... (Watson p.131)
    3. Went to Knowlton Settlement on Bear Creek... (Watson p.160)
    [PICTURE pg. 67: "Log Creek Today. This is the general area of what would have been some of the Stoker families holdings. Located south of Kingston, Missouri."]
    [PICTURE pg. 67: "Trees in the background line Log Creek today. Except for the creek all is farm land."]
    The Final Expulsion Order
    Religious persecutions again plagued the fledgling church. During the winter of 1846, the members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints were again asked to leave. Peaceably at first, but eventually they were driven out in the same fashion as from Missouri. Members were forced to leave their newly built homes and anything they could not put in the wagons or carry. This time they fled across the Mississippi River into the unknown Iowa territory. Mormon journals from the residents living in Bear Creek record the trials they went through. Mobs were again burning homes to force the Saints to leave even though they were not fully prepared for a journey.
    The Bear Creek region is close to the town of Warsaw, Illinois, a place where these mobs could gather and/or flee for safety. Listed below are journal entries from people who lived in the Bear Creek area. I have included this information to give the reader a sense of what the Stoker families endured.
    1. "...On reaching a point midway (between Warsaw and Carthage) they were informed of new depredation by the mob. The sheriff then sent his family to Nauvoo under a small guard and proceeded to the scene of the mobbers. The mobbers saw them coming and took a flight, the posse pursuing with orders to arrest them if possible, if not to fire upon them. After pursuing them for some distance the posses fired upon them and killed two, and wounded it is believed others. This was on Bear Creek about two o'clock this afternoon." (Hosea Stout p39, 40)
    2. "On Saturday, the 5th inst., as Pres. Joseph Smith was on his return from Quincy, to which place he had accompanied Pres. Hyrum Smith and William Law, on their mission to the East, he was arrested, at the Bear Creek Hotel,..." (Times and Seasons, Vol 2., p447)
    3. "...I made ginger beer to sell this summer and I tended the Nauvoo House meat market, good guard, etc. until the 1st of September [1845] and then there began to be trouble in the regions of Bear Creek, Carthage and Warsaw, so that we had to fly to arms again to protect ourselves against the mob..." (Allen Stout p.23)
    4. "July harvested my wheat, which was on ground rented of Mr. Ezra Chase. It was very heavy, but owing to the heavy rains all summer, there was not so good a yield as was expected. During the fall and shortly after harvest, there were a great many buildings burned in the southern part of the county, belonging to the brethren on Bear Creek and Morely settlements. I went on one or two expeditions to repel the burners. To go through a thickly settled portion of country and see where had stood houses, barns, stacks, but now burned to the ground and some tragedies enacted amongst a nation claiming to have attained to the height of civilization. I was not surprised nor grieved to hear that the mob had said that we must, as a people, leave the ensuing spring, as soon as grass grew and water runs and that the authorities of our church had assented to these proposals." (Lorenzo Brown Journal BYU-S p.10)
    5. "This is the number as usually stated, Gregg says: "For a week the burning continued until the whole of Morley-Town was in ashes, with many other residences in the Bear Creek region and that of Green Plains. In all it is stated that as Many as 100 or 125 houses were burned and their occupants driven off." (History of Hancock County p.340)
    6. "In a very few days afterwards, bands of organized mobbers commenced the work of burning our houses in Yelrom, Green Plains and Bear Creek settlements, and throughout the country." (George Albert Smith p.22)
    7. "Governor Ford puts the number at 175, houses and hovel that were burnt the inmates having to flee for their lives." (History of Illinois p.407)
    Between 1847 and 1857 there were at least twelve family members that passed away. Included were: David Stoker who died on the 27 May 1852, his brother: John W. Stoker and his wife Electa Sarah McDaniel, David's brother, Eller Stoker, Michael Graybill (Mary's (Polly) husband), three children of Jacob Stoker and Catherine Burcham, two of John W. Stoker and Electa Sarah McDaniel, and two children of Michael Jr. and Martha McDaniel. It is believed that they with many others are buried in the family cemetery on the east edge of Council Bluffs...
    William and his wife, Almira Winger, settled in Spanish Fork, Utah."

    6. From an article entitled "The Family" from the book "Our Stoker Family Histories 1731-1881," Vol. II, comp. and ed. by Elyane Stoker, 2004, printed by Stevenson's Genealogy Center, Provo, UT. For the full transcriptional listing of the descendants of Michael Stoker and Catherine Stoker, see the notes of Michael Stoker - the following only pertains to this immediate family. Generation "1" is Michael Stoker and Catherine Eller:
    "The Michael Stoker Family as existed at the time of his death. Those names that are [bracketed] probably were involved in the Missouri experience...
    2. [Elizabeth STOKER], born Feb 28, 1800 in Ashe Co., NC. She moved to Ohio with parents. Married [James WELKER] who was also born in Rowan Co., NC. They lived in Indiana, back to Jackson Co., Ohio, Missouri, Illinois and to Utah.
    3. David WELKER, born Jul 2, 1823 in Henry Co., Indiana.
    3. [James Wilburn WELKER], born Jan 17, 1825 in Jackson Co., married Anna PUGH on Feb 17, 1845. Had lived in Missouri, Illinois, Utah and Idaho. Died May 3, 1912 in Bloomington, Bear Lake Co., ID.
    3. [John WELKER], born Mar 16, 1826 in Jackson Co., OH, married Roxanna Mahala DUSTIN on Apr 2, 1850. He died Jun 1, 1913 in Safford, Graham Co., AZ.
    3. [Jacob Stoker WELKER], born Jan 8, 1829 in Jackson Co., OH, married Harriet Angeline LISH in Feb 1855. He died Apr 28, 1911 in Bloomington, Bear Lake Co., ID.
    3. [Mary Catherine WELKER], born Jan 12, 1832 in Jackson Co., OH, married Thomas Billington NELSON. She died Dec 8, 1920 in Franklin, Greenlee Co., AZ.
    3. Sarah WELKER, born 1834 in Jackson Co., OH. Died in infancy.
    3. [Rebecca WELKER], born Jul 21, 1835 in Jackson Co., OH, married Alexander Roswell STEvenS. She died in 1863 at Willard, Box Elder Co., UT."

    BIOGRAPHY:
    1. The book "Pioneer Women of Faith and Fortitude" by the daughters of Utah Pioneers (photo accompanies article) for his wife Elizabeth Stoker Welker, "m. James Welker, 2 Jul 1822 at Jackson Co., Ohio (he died Sep 1844 at Hancock Co., Illinois), children:
    David, 2 Jul 1823 (died as an infant)
    James Willburn, 17 Jan 1825
    John, 16 May 1826
    Jacob Stoker, 8 Jan 1829
    Mary Catherine, 12 Jan 1832
    Sarah, 1834
    Rebecca, 21 Jul 1835
    Adam, 19 Feb 1841
    Elizabeth was born in Ashe County, NC in 1800. The Welker family came from Germany to North Carolina in 1800. The two families became friends and both moved to Jackson County, Ohio. Elizabeth and James were married July 2, 1822. Their first child was born in Indiana and died shortly after. They moved back to Ohio and had six more children in ten years. They heard the message of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and joined the Church. Persecution became so bad, they moved to Far West, Missouri in 1836 to be with other Saints. They began farming on 20 acres of land. James went to Pike County to help with the harvesting. While he was there, he came down with intermitent fever and died in September, 1844. Their youngest child was just three years old. The Welkers were not touched by persecution while living in Illinois because they were living ten miles away..."

    2. The book "Mormon Redress Petitions, Documents of the 1833-1838 Missouri Conflict," edited by Clark V. Johnson, contains a copy of the "Scroll Petition" dated 28 Nov 1843 at Nauvoo, IL addressed to the U.S. Congress by members of the LDS Church who had property destroyed by Missouri mobs in the 1830's. Included with over a couple thousand signatures are those of James and Elizabeth "Walker" [typo for Welker] and their sons James W. and John [both noted as "Walker"].

    3. Entries for sons in the book "Latter-Day Saint Biographical Encyclopedia":
    P. 199 (photo accompanies entry): "Adam Welker, a High Councilor in the St. Joseph Stake of Zion, Arizona, was born Feb. 19, 1841, in Adams county, Ill., the son of James Welker and Elizabeth Welker. In 1852 he emigrated to Utah and located in Willard, Box Elder county. His father having died when he was very small, and he being the youngest child of the family, he was constantly engaged in making a living for himself and mother. He was baptized in June, 1855, ordained a Deacon in 1847, and ordained a Seventy in the 59th quorum, Feb. 8, 1859. In 1864, responding to call, he went back to the Missouri river as a Church teamster in an ox-train, to bring emigrants to Utah. In 1865 (Feb. 22nd) he married Agnes Dock and in the same year moved to Bloomington, Bear Lake county, Idaho, where he resided until 1883, passing through many trials and hardships in helping to subdue that cold and inshospitable country. His health failing in the high altitude, he concluded to move south, which he did in November, 1883, and located at Safford, Graham County, Arizona, on the Gila River, where he purchased a good farm, on which he still resides. By the foregoing it will be seen that Elder Welker has always been energetically engaged in helping to convert desert lands into farms and beautiful homes. In 1898 (Dec. 5th) he was ordained a High Priest and set apart as a High Councilor in the St. Joseph Stake, in which calling he still labors faithfully. Elder Welker has twelve living Children, seven sons and five daughters, all of whom are members of the Church and some of them occupying prominent oostiions."
    P. 604: "John Welker, Bishop of the Layton Ward, St. Joseph Stake, Arizona, [last line missing from bad photocopy] 1826, in Maddison Township, Jackson Co., Ohio, a son of James Welker and Elizabeth Stoker. He came to the Valley in 1852, was ordained a High Priest Aug. 26, 1877, by John Taylor, and a Bishop Nov. 4, 1884, by Brigham Young, jun. He died June 1, 1913."

    4. FHL Book 929.273EL54h "George Michael Eller and Descendants of His in America," compiled by James W. Hook, 1957, also on FHL film 896571, item 2, pp. 101-115:
    "Elizabeth Stoker4, b. 28 Feb. 1800 in Ashe co., N.C.; d. about jan. 1868, at Bloomington, Bear Lake co., Idaho. She m. James Welker, b., 19 Aug 1803, in Rowan co., N.C. A genealogy of the Welker family is now in course of preparation by the descendants of James Robert Welker which accounts for the following abbreviated record of the descendants of this family. The children of Elizabeth Stoker4 and her husband, James Welker, were five sons and three daughters as follows:
    David Welker, b. 2 Jul 1823 in Henry Co., Ind.; d. young.
    James Wilburn Welker, b. 17 Jan 1825 in Jackson Co., Ohio; d. 3 May 1912 at Bloomington, Bear Lake, Idaho. He married (1) 17 Feb 1845, Anna Pugh, b. 31 Jan 1820 at Knoxville, Knox, TN, dau. of Daniel Pugh and Martha Harris. He married (2) Susan Caroline Stevenson, b. 29 June 1833 in Knox Co., TN; d. 22 Sep 1907 at Magrath, Alberta, Canada. She was the daughter of Issac Henderson Stevenson and his wife Mary Pugh. He was the father of nine sons and eight daughters by his two wives [short biographies of each child follow in the book].
    John Welker, b. 16 Mar 1826 in Jackson Co., Ohio; d 1 Jun 1913 at Safford, Graham, AZ. He married Roxanna/Roxana Mahala Dustin, 2 Apr 1850. She was born 3 Jul 1833(?) probably at Le Roy, Genesee, NY; d. 11 Mar 1904 at Safford, Graham, AZ, a dau. of Bechias Dustin and his wife Asenath Hurlburt or Herlbert. [Short biographies of their two children follow in the book.]
    Jacob Stoker Welker, b. 8 Jan 1829, in Jackson Co., Ohio, d. 28 Apr 1911 at Bloomington, Bear Lake, Idaho. He m. Feb 1855 Harriet Angeline Lish, b. 25 Jul 1839 at Greenwood, Steuben, NY; d. 6/7 Oct 1914 at Bloomington, Bear Lake, Idaho. She was the dau. of Joseph Lyons Lish and his wife Harriet Ann Tripp. [Biographies of their 13 children follow in the book.]
    Mary Catherine Welker, b. 12 Jan 1832 in Jackson Co., Ohio; d. 8 Dec 1920 at Franklin, Greenlee, AZ. She m. Thomas Billington Nelson, b. 9 May 1835 in Jefferson Co., IL; d. 19 Feb 1918 at Thatcher, Graham, AZ, a son of Edmond Nelson and Jane Taylor. [Biographies of their 11 children follow in the book.]
    Sarah Welker, b. 1834 in Jackson Co., OH; d. in infancy.
    Rebecca Welker, b. 21 Jul 1835 in Jackson Co., OH; d. 1863, in Willard, Box Elder, UT. She m. Alexander Roswell Stevens, b. 28 Nov 1832/3 at Mt. Pleasant, Canada; d. 17 Jan 1915 at Springfield, Lane, OR. He was the son of Roswell Stevens and his wife Mariah Doyle/Dayle. [Biographies of their 5 children follow in the book.]
    Adam Welker, b. 19 Feb 1841, near Columbus, Adams, IL; d. 2 Apr 1926 at Safford, Graham, AZ. He m. Agnes Dock, 22 eb 1865 at Willard, box Elder, UT. Agnes Dock was b. 28 Apr 1847 at Paisley, Renfrew, Scotland and d. 25 Feb 1913 at Safford, Graham, AZ. She was a dau. of Robert Dock and his wife Agnes Dreghorn. [Biographies of their children and multiple grandchildren follow in the book.]"

    5. The following is a partial quote from an article entitled: "The Michael and Catherine Eller Stoker family as early Mormons in Ohio and Missouri," by Jimmie "B" Stoker, November 24, 1993, as reprinted in the book "Our Stoker Family Histories 1731-1881," Vol. II, comp. and ed. by Elyane Stoker, 2004, printed by Stevenson's Genealogy Center, Provo, UT. See the notes of Michael Stoker (1762-1838) for the full transcript of this article:
    "A call to Zion takes the family to Missouri.
    Only one stays in Ohio.
    Seven of Michael Stoker's (1762-1838) nine children joined the LDS Church between 1833 and 1836. His daughter, Catherine (1809-1893), who married Alexander Lackey, may not have joined nor did Rebecca (1807-1821), a daughter who died accidentally in 1821 at age 14. No doubt, Michael Stoker (1762-1838) and his wife, Catherine Eller (1773-After 1850), joined the church also although no record of their baptisms at that time seem to be available. Catherine had her patriarchal blessing given by Hyrum Smith in 1843.
    The family, listening to their church leaders, were anxious to gather to Zion. On October 27, 1836 Michael, now past the age of 74 and Catherine, over 63 years old, sold out their holdings in southern Ohio and headed west to join the Saints in Missouri. With all of his children married except their youngest son, Eller (1816-1855), Michael Stoker (1762-1838) and a couple of dozen or more of his married descendants and their families headed west.
    Goodby Ohio.
    David Stoker's wife, Barbara Graybill, and Polly's husband, Michael Graybill, brother and sister, said their goodbyes to thier parents, John Peter Graybill, Sr. (1762-1842), and Christina Wampler (1771-1844). This couple had journeyed from the Blue Ridge mountains in Ashe county, North Carolina with the Stokers in 1815 to southern Ohio and they planned to die there which they did. Christina Wampler may have trembled to see her children leave for the west. She had been kidnapped by the Delaware Indians from her Pennsylvania home when she was three years old. With pressure from the increasingly stronger armed forces of the whites, the Indians relinquished her when she was eleven years old, along with other children. She became easy to identify as she sang a lullaby, no doubt a German one, which her mother had taught her. When her mother heard her sing, she knew immediately that it was her Christina.(6)
    A winter in Indiana.
    During the late fall and winter of 1836, the Stoker families, whether together or separately, trekked across Ohio in their wagons. Many of them planned to spend part of the winter with relatives in Indiana.(7) Michael stopped in Henry County, Indiana where on December 1, 1836 he bought "1 Roe of Shock corn" from the estate of Absalom Koons who was Catherine's deceased nephew.(8) Michael's son Michael Stoker, Jr., must have been in Henry County when he wrote in his journal in April 1837 that he baptized Margaret Judd, David Eller, Tabitha Eller, Mary Sharp, Rhoda Judd. These were relatives and soon-to-be relatives. Margaret Judd in 1839, after the Stokers were driven from Missouri, would marry Michael's youngest brother, Eller. Rhoda Judd was the mother of Margaret Judd and Tabitha Eller. David Eller was Michael's first cousin.(9)
    Michael's (1762-1838) daughter, Elizabeth (1800-1868) and her husband, James Welker had been in Indiana when their first child was born in 1823. However, their next four children, starting in 1825 and ending in 1835 were all born near the Stokers in Jackson County, Ohio. The members of Michael's family felt comfortable living near each other and sometimes grew deeply attached. Polly Stoker Graybill found it difficult when her family said their goodbyes to their Indiana relatives. One of them cried because Aunt Polly was leaving and he would not see her again.(10)
    Picture: "Christena Wampler's headstone in Jackson Co."
    Evidently, Catherine Stoker Lackey and her husband, Alexander, went to Missouri and joined her parents there in 1837. One of her sons, Michael Onesimus, being only a year old, cried so hard when they crossed the Mississippi River that his mother had to cover his head with her apron.(11)
    Footnotes:
    5. Vivian Graybill, "Michael Graybill, Sr." Typescript sent to Jim Stoker by Alice Graybill Russell, 6120 Wincanton Dr., Shreveport, LA 71129 on October 6, 1993.
    6. Ibid.
    7. Ibid.
    8. A necessary explanation on the Michael Stoker (Stocker) family group sheet sent by Jim Rose, 740 So.Woodland Hills Dr., Woodland Hills, UT, 84 653 on Nov. 13, 1993.
    9. "The Howard Leytham, Stoker, Von Dollen Family Histories...," p. 92.
    10. Vivian Graybill, "Michael Graybill, Sr."
    11. Letter from Ethel McCarley, dated July 15, 1957 to Madeline E. Fletcher. Ethel's address was Rio Grande, Ohio. Information found in the notes of the Michael Stoker family group sheet sent by Jim Rose to Jim Stoker on Nov. 18, 1993."

    6. The following is a partial quote from an article entitled: "The Michael and Catherine Eller Stoker family as early Mormons in Ohio and Missouri," by Jimmie "B" Stoker, November 24, 1993, as reprinted in the book "Our Stoker Family Histories 1731-1881," Vol. II, comp. and ed. by Elyane Stoker, 2004, printed by Stevenson's Genealogy Center, Provo, UT. See the notes of Michael Stoker (1762-1838) for the full transcript of this article:
    "The following members of Michael Stoker's family attached their names to a petition in 1843 that they had lived in Missouri and had been driven from their state:(21)
    David Stoker [Michael's son David (1795-1852)], John Stoker [possibly David's son, John (1817-1881) or Michael's son, John W. (1803-1857)], John McDaniels (1812-1884) [David's son-in-law, husband of his oldest daughter, Christine (1815-1854)], Elles Stoker (1816-1855) [Eller, Michael's youngest son], Mary Stoker (1822-1890) [probably Margaret Judd, Eller's wife]. Catharine Stoker (1773-after 1850) [Michael's wife, Catharine Eller], Jacob Stoker (1812-1893) [Michael's son], Catharine Stoker [Catharine Burcham, Jacob's wife], John Stoker (1803-1857) [Michael's son, John W. Stoker], Sarah Stoker (1806-1857) [John W. Stoker's wife, Electa Sarah McDaniel].
    Geo. Graybill (1821-?) [Michael's grandson, George Washington Graybill, son of Polly Mary Stoker (1792-1864)], Michael Stoker (1805-1858) [Michael's son], Martha Stoker (1808-1873) [Martha Carr McDaniel, wife of Michael's son, Michael], Gabrael Stoker (1832-1852) [Michael's grandson, son of Michael (1805-1858)], William Stoker (1819-1892) [Michael's grandson, son of David], Almira Stoker (1818-1884) [Michael's granddaughter-in-law, grandson, William's wife, Almira Winegar], Samuel D. Stoker (1840-1908) [Michael's great-grandson, son of William and Almira], William Stoker (1842-1906) [Michael's great-grandson, son of William and Almira].
    Mary Graybill [possibly Michael's daughter, Polly Mary Stoker (1792-1864) or his granddaughter, Mary Ann Graybill (1830-?)], William Graybill (1825-1880) [Michael's grandson, son of Polly Mary Stoker], Adam Graybill [still looking for this relationship to Michael], Sidney R Graybill (1836-?) [Michael's grandson, son of Polly Mary Stoker], Levi Graybill (1818-1912) [Michael's grandson, son of Polly Mary SToker], Patience Graybill (1825-1895) [Patience Smith, Michael's granddaughter-in-law, wife of Joseph Levi Graybill (1818-1912)], Mary Graybill [possibly Michael's daughter, Polly Mary Stoker (1792-1864), or his granddaughter, Mary Ann Graybill (1830-?), Polly's daughter].
    John Stoker (1817-1881) [Michael's grandson, son of David], Jane Stoker (1810-1890) [Michael's granddaughter-in-law, Jane McDaniel, wife of John (1817-1881)], Hannah Graybill [Michael's great granddaughter, daughter of Joseph Levi Graybill], Hyrum Stoker (1840-1887) [Michael's great grandson, son of John Stoker (1817-1881) and Jane McDaniel], Alma Stoker (1835-1897) [Michael's adopted great grandson, son of Jane McDaniel], and Franklin Stoker (1842-1855) [Michael's great grandson, son of John Stoker (1817-1881)]. Lucinda Stoker is also listed on the petition but cannot establish a relationship to Michael Stoker (1762-1838).(22)
    Refuge found in Illinois.
    The people of Quincy reached out to help the Mormons fleeing from Missouri. Elizabeth Haven Barlow writes, "The people of Quincy had contributed between four and five hundred dollars for the poor Mormons. God had opened their hearts to receive us. May heaven's blessings rest upon them. We are hungry and they feed us, naked and clothed us. The citizens have assisted beyond all calculations."(23)
    FOOTNOTES
    21. Also included are some of their children who were born after 1838 in Illinois.
    22. "Mormon Redress Petitions," pp. 574, 598, 599-601.
    23. Elizabeth Haven Barlow in letter to Elizabeth Howel Bullard, 24 February 1839, published in Ora H. Barlow, "The Israel Barlow Story and Mormon Mores." Salt Lake City: Ora H. Barlow, 1968."

    7. From an article entitled "Stokers coming to Ohio" rom the book "Our Stoker Family Histories 1731-1881," Vol. II, comp. and ed. by Elyane Stoker, 2004, printed by Stevenson's Genealogy Center, Provo, UT:
    "(A Miss Ethel McCarley did research on the Stoker family line for Madeline Fletcher of Fort Collins, Colorado. She sent to Madeline an article found in a local newspaper which featured an elderly Mrs. Katy Lackey. She is Catherine Stoker, daughter of Michael Stoker and Catherine Eller, who married to Alexander Lackey on Jan 1, 1829. The newspaper and its date were not given. It is assumed that the interviews took place in 1896. Photocopy of the article was sent to Jim Stoker by Madeline Fletcher's sister, Helen Evans, of San Diego, California on March 15, 1994.)
    'On last Monday, the writer paid a visit to Mrs. Katy Lackey, of Rio Grande. The old lady is remarkably spry for one so old, being eighty-seven last February. She can remember back for eighty-one years. Though she now lives in Gallia County, the greater part of her life was spent in Jackson County. Her maiden name was Stoker. Her parents, Michael and Catherine Stoker came here from North Carolina in 1815, when she was but six years old. There was quite a large family of them, consisting of father and mother, five brothers, three sisters, and a brother-in-law by the name of Craybill [Graybill]. They came in wagons, bringing all their goods with them, as far as the salt works on the Kanawha river, and there, on account of bad roads, they loaded their goods on pack horses. They crossed the Ohio river some time in February. Coming to this county in 1815, before its organization, they were directed by a gentleman by the name of Arthur to a sugar camp near the old Henson place, and there they stayed till a log cabin could be erected for a home. Many persons yet living in the vicinity, can remember the rude log hut that used to stand just a few rods above the present site of the Vega school house. Her nearest neighbors were, the Stephensons, who lived on the Daniel Evans' place; the Lackey homestead, now owned by Prof C. A. Lackey; an Arthur family, who lived where Mrs. Rebecca Evans now lives, below Vega and a family of Welkers, who moved somewhere in the hollow, where Albert and Evie Edwards now live. Her five brothers were David, John, Mike, Jacob and Elery [Eller] Stoker; and the sisters were Elizabeth, Rebecca, and herself, Katie Stoker. Her sister, Rebecca, was the second person buried in the old grave-yard mentioned a few weeks ago, on the farm of Mr. Daniel Williams; Anne Stephenson, a daughter of John Stephenson, one of the first commissioners of Jackson county, being the first person buried there. The story goes that Anne Stephenson was carried to the door on a quilt, and looking across the creek, selected a spot on the hillside under a walnut tree for her grave, which was the starting of the graveyard. When Rebecca Stoker died, Mr. Stephenson requested that she be buried by the side of his daughter, Anne, they being about the same age. The first school she attended was near the old tan house and not very far from where Mr. Jenkins Davis now lives. Her first teacher was John Stephenson and the second was Andrew Stephenson, both sons of the commissioner, John Stephenson. The school house was one of those rude log structures with a chimney in one corner, usually taking up about one quarter of the entire building. Wood was used for the fire purposes, the boys taking turns at chopping and rolling in back logs. The Stokers afterwards moved to Iowa, with the exception of Katy, the subject of this sketch, who married Mr. Alex Lackey and has lived here in Gallia county ever since.
    The Stephensons came here from Greenbrier county, Virginia. Just when they came we are not able to say as they were here when the Stokers came in 1815. There was a large family of them, also, consisting of father, John, and mother, whose maiden name was Ewing. She was some relation of Thomas Ewing, the first Secretary of Interior; seven sons and three daughters. The sons were Jas, John, Joshua, Andrew, Williams, Samuel and Jerry. The girls were Ellen, Anne and Nancy. James was judge of the court of common pleas; John was, for several years, auditor; Sam and Jerry moved to Indiana; Anne died at the old homestead as stated above; Ellen married Joseph Scurlock; and Nancy married Courtney Martin.
    The Lackeys came here from Virginia in 1806. They settled for a while in Gallia county, near where Mr. Jerry Corn now lives; then they came to this county, settling in Bloomfield township. The old homestead is still in possession of one of the descendants.
    When the Lackeys and Stokers first came here, the country was all woods. Wolves were so numerous, it was next to impossible to keep sheep, and their howling would make the night hideous. Bear, too, were plentiful, and it was no uncommon thing to hear the pigs squealing and to rush out and find that a bear had devoured a pig, or had eaten a shoulder off of one of the larger hogs."

    8. Partial transcription from an article entitled "Michael Stoker and Catherine Eller." from the book "Our Stoker Family Histories 1731-1881," Vol. II, comp. and ed. by Elyane Stoker, 2004, printed by Stevenson's Genealogy Center, Provo, UT. See notes of Michael Stoker for full transcription of this article:
    "During the Adams County time period some of the Stoker men found work with a farmer named Coleman Wilkes. Mr. Wilkes lived approximately two miles southeast of Columbus, Ohio. He had first offered work and a home to Elizabeth's husband, James Welker, and soon after David, John W., Michael, and Jacob also obtained work with him. Here they labored diligently trying to earn enough to rebuild their supplies and stock which they had lost during the Missouri struggles.
    Moving to Bear Creek, Hancock Co., Illinois
    On July 1, 1839 the Mormon church's prophet and leader, Joseph Smith, called for all church members to settle in and around the Commerce, Illinois area. The town of Commerce was renamed by the church members to Nauvoo. In 1842 the Stoker family had complied. Packing up their belongings they moved north settling their families around the Carthage/Bear Creek area. James Welker's son, John, recorded: "...he found that there was land that could be entered in Hancock County, about 15 miles south of Nauvoo. He moved there and filed on a homestead. Part of it was prairie land and part was timber. He built a large hewed two roomed log house. Then the next thing was to fence and make a farm to make a living off of" (Ibid).
    The 1842 personal property tax assessment book of Hancock County has records for Stoker, Welker, and Graybill families living within the county. These records indicate the possibility that they lived outside of the cities."
    Building the Nauvoo Temple
    The Stoker families were on hand for the building of the temple for their church. It is recorded in the church history that Eller Stoker, Jacob Stoker, and John McDaniel (husband to Christine Stoker) worked on the temple for a period of time. All families were expected to donate time and supplies to the temple project...
    Life was beginning to flourish again for the families, and happy times were with them. On May 23, 1844 Joseph Levi Graybill, Eller Stoker, and Michael Stoker were initiated and passed into the Nauvoo Lodge of Masons. Two weeks later Levi Graybill, Eller Stoker, and Michael Stoker became lodge members, and on June 8th they were raised to Master Masons. While in Illinois, John Stoker, John W. Stoker, John Welker Eller Stoker, and Jacob Stoker were given church callings of Office of the Seventy.
    Death of Joseph and Hyrum Smith
    Living around Carthage the Stoker, Graybill, and McDaniel families were homesteading lands close to those who most violently disagreed with the Mormons and who were constantly calling for their removal. Sometimes these men formed their own vigilante groups trying to scare the Mormons into leaving. Some of the Stoker men folk were called into military duty within the State Militia as recorded in the history of John McDaniel.
    "Early on June 24, Joseph and Hyrum Smith, John Taylor, and fifteen other members of the Nauvoo city council headed to Carthage to answer the charges filed against them. They passed the home of William Stoker located six miles southeast of Nauvoo on the Carthage Road before 8 A.M.... Sometime after noon, the Stokers saw the mounted riders traveling toward Nauvoo. Arriving at their destination at 2:30, the leaders gathered three small cannons and about two hundred firearms which were turned over to the militia. At nearly midnight the militia delivered the Mormon leaders who came voluntarily to the authorities in Carthage... Thursday June 27 Joseph and his brother Hyrum, were martyred. A mob of about one hundred men with blackened faces gathered about five 'clock in the afternoon. Several stormed the jail where the Smith brothers and a few friends were sequestered. Joseph and Hyrum were shot dead, and John Taylor wounded...the assassins and their comrades fled Carthage to Warsaw and then sought refuge west of the MIssissippi River... Friday June 28, with the bodies of the slain leaders placed in two different wagons, covered with branches to shade them from the hot sun, Willard Richards, Samuel Smith, and Artois Hamilton pulled out of Carthage and headed for Nauvoo. Sometimes shortly after noon, the procession with eight soldiers passed by William Stoker's driving teams pulling the two wagons containing the bodies of the martyrs. Mary Stoker Aitken, a granddaughter of WIlliam Stoker and Almira Winegar, wrote, "My father [John Stephen Stoker] told us that his parents had told him that they had seen the bodies of the Prophet and his brother Hyrum Smith, being taken from Carthage to Nauvoo." ...One of the Stoker relative's narrative mentions that "After the deaths of Joseph and Hyrum in 1844, Simeon Graybill went up to Nauvoo to help guard the secretly hidden bodies of Joseph and Hyrum. Fearful the anti-Mormon mob might try to do further violence to Joseph and Hyrum's bodies, their caskets were filled with sand for public burial" (Ibid).
    Conflict/Harassment Again.
    In 1845 the mobbing and burnings began, starting with the outlying settlements. The Stokers were living within the church area called the Highland branch of Illinois. The babies, weddings, and all manner of social life continued on and in July the families were doing more temple work for their ancestors. Again the families grew; new events were attended to. Jacob and John Stoker also joined the Masons and were later raised to Master Masons.
    Sheriff of Hancock County ordered the saints to organize and protect themselves. "John Welker tells how he and his cousins mutually watched out for each other. His account follows: 'The mob (against) the Latter-day Saints was increasing and I but a boy of 18 was the oldest of the boys that was at hoe. My oldest brother was married and doing for himself. I was the one to look after the family after my father died and when the burning out of the later day Saints by the mob commenced close by I was in a settlement 10 miles for whare {sic} they were burning houses and some of my cousins and relative lived close to whare {sic} I lived. We got together and agreed to take turnes {sic} and watch the mob and do the best we could to protect our homes. Some one was out every night watching their movements. They did not come to our little settlement to burn us out, if they had come some of them would have been hurt. Thare {sic} is many things connected with this I will not write.' (Punctuation added.)
    Not all of the Stoker relatives were as fortunate as the Welkers, John McDaniel and his wife Christine Stoker, according to one history, "...were greatly persecuted with the other saints and several times were driven out by the mobs. On one occasion they were attacked and forced to flee with a child under each arm while their home was burned" (Ibid).
    Nauvoo Temple Dedicated.
    In late 1845 the church's Nauvoo Temple was dedicated and many of the saints came to the temple to perform their own religious (endowment) ordinances. Between January 5 and January 21, of 1846 sixteen heads of the Stoker clan had received their own temple endowment.
    Michael Stoker Jr. and Catherine Burcham
    Jacob Stoker and Martha Carr McDaniel
    Eller Stoker and Margaret Judd
    Catherine Eller Stoker (widow)
    Elizabeth Stoker Welker (widow)
    James W. Welker and Anna Pugh
    John Stoker and Jane McDaniel
    John W. Stoker and Sara McDaniel
    William Stoker and Almira Winegar
    Records from the Nauvoo temple show that the Stoker family participated in other religious temple activities: Catherine Eller Stoker, Michael Stoker (son), Eller Stoker (son) and wife Margaret (Judd) Stoker (Eller's wife), James Welker and wife Elizabeth Stoker Welker, and Mary (Polly) Stoker (Graybill) all did baptisms by proxy for their deceased relatives."

    9. From the book "Our Stoker Family Histories 1731-1881," Vol. II, comp. and ed. by Elyane Stoker, 2004, printed by Stevenson's Genealogy Center, Provo, UT. The following article is entitled"John Welker Short Sketch." It is noted by the author that: "This story was reprinted as I received it by Helen Evans of San Diego California." The story:
    "I take a little time to pen down a few items in relation to my experience and labors and travels. I was born in the years 1826- March 16 in Jackson County, Ohio. My father, James Welker and my mother Elizabeth Stoker Welker, joined the Latter-day Saints faith or in other words they joined when the Mormons or Latter-day Saints settled in Farr West, Missouri, they sold out their farm in the state of Ohio and moved to Farr West, Missouri. Father went to the land office and entered land and made a home in a new country and all the family that were able to work had to work to make a living and fence and build up a new house.
    We commenced to be a little comfortable fixed when mobocracy commenced to rise and persecution commenced to rage and the Saints came in from other counties to Caldwell County. They continued their mobbing until Governor Boggs sent his big army and took their guns and firearms away from the little handful of Latter-day Saints and banished them from the state. They had the Prophet Joseph Smith and a great many of the leading men of the Church as prisoners and put them in jail in Richmond, Missouri. Now this is but a small part of the persecutions of the Saints that I am an eyewitness of that occurred in Missouri. My father and some others that I could mention had their best animals taken away from them by the mob. My father's family and grandmother and my uncle's family had to move out of the state with one old wagon and three old horses. Perhaps you imagine how many of the families could ride.
    I was thirteen years old that spring of the move from the state. I made my own shoes to walk out in. It is a hard story to tell but it is a true one. I made my own shoes to walk out in of boot legs and old saddle skirts and used wooden pegs as they were then called. They had to last me through. We traveled through snow and rain and mud and water, laying out in the storms to sleep during the nights. All this I have passed through, snow and rain and mud and water, laying out in the storms to sleep during the nights. All this I have passed through with a few others that are yet alive. We made our way out of the state of Missouri to the Mississippi River through much suffering and privations. With all this, the Saints did not murmur and find faults of their trials and sufferings as much as some do now with the small trials that they have at times in life. I will not or site anymore of the trails of Missouri.
    At present, as I am writing more of my experience than of the Church, I will commence at the Mississippi River. When my father and the others that came out with him got to the camp on the east side of the river, there was a noble hearted man which came to our camp and got in conversation with my father and found out his circumstance and the number in the family. He said to him, "How many boys do you have?"
    He said, "Three. Here they are." We were standing around listening very anxious to hear what he had to say.
    He looked at us and said, "You are the family that I want to take home with me. I have a large farm and an empty house for you to go into and I will furnish you with provisions and you and the boys can work for me."
    It surely was a God's send for us. He lived in Adams County, two miles south of Columbus. The three families all went home with him and he treated us very kind and fatherly. Grandmother and family got a home close by us. We stayed with him about three years.
    Father found that there was land that could be entered in Hancock County, about 15 miles south of Nauvoo. He moved there and filed on a homestead. Part of it was prairie land and part timber. He built a large hewed two roomed log house. Then the next thing was to fence and make a farm to make a living off of. We went to work with all the strength and ability that we had and fenced about 20 acres of land and farmed it two years. Because my father and all three of us boys were concerned in it, now I will tell you more about what we did in this time of about three years- built a large log stable with a loft on top to hold hay and fodder for our horses and cows.
    About the time we got all of this done, the Devil was busy getting his hell hounds to work. They tried to get something against the Prophet Joseph Smith so that they could convict him and stop the progress of the Church. With all that we had labored and passed through the fall after the martyrdom of the Prophet Joseph Smith and Patriarch Hyrum Smith in the Carthage Jail, my father took the intermitting fever and died. At this time my bother Wilburn was married and I was the oldest at home. After the martyrdoms of the Prophet there was a little rest given the latter-day Saints, but it did not last long until they began to burn out the Mormons as they are generally called. They kept up their persecutions until the Saints had to leave the state. The land that had been filed on by my father had not been proved up on so we did not get anything for it. There was a man who came from McDonough County and offered a pair of three year old steers and an old United States musket for our improvements if we could go over to his place and get them. As we did not have team enough to move with, we let him have a thousand dollars worth of property for almost nothing.
    Now I will give a little account of that trying journey. We had raised a good crop of corn and had the most of it on hand. It was about the same as nothing to sell. It brought eleven cents a bushel at Warsaw, eleven miles to haul, and it had to go be shelled at that. We could not sell it on the cob. This was our chance to get clothing and to fit up to go out into a wilderness country. It is too much for me to tell about it at this present time. We got away all the same. We went through...
    (John Welker either did not finish this life sketch or it was not preserved. This sketch, in the possession of Mrs. Bertie Branch, was given to me to copy by my grandfather, James R. Welker. At his request I corrected the spelling and added the punctuation. No attempt was made to change the wording. This draft was more polished than the notes he jotted down in his little notebooks. When I copied the biographical sketch and the genealogical and historical information from the three small notebooks, I was very inexperience and failed to follow the accepted procedure. All misspelled words and missing or incorrect punctuation should have been underlined. If this had been done, there would be no question as to how John Welker wrote his record. There could also be no assumed typographical errors. At the time I was also inexperienced in proof reading typed material. To my knowledge xerox copies were not available then in Safford. M.E.F.)"

    10. From the book "Our Stoker Family Histories 1731-1881," Vol. II, comp. and ed. by Elyane Stoker, 2004, printed by Stevenson's Genealogy Center, Provo, UT. The following article is entitled "Notes from one of the little red books John Welker." It is noted by the book's author that: "The following accounts have been reprinted using the same spelling and grammar as the original as submitted to me by Helen Evans 4177 1/2 Utah St. San Diego, CA 92104." The transcript:
    "Dec. 15, 1910 Thomas Passa at Paris Idaho died and Franklin D. Rich they died within a few hours of each other.
    Joseph S. Nelson born 1838 in colwell co mo died may 1911.
    John Haddock born July 17, 1828 died 1910.
    John Rex Winder was born in Kent England December 11, 1821 died Mar 28th 1910.
    Born 1822 Jame Elsworth died April 1911.
    And he liked it and he offrd a pare of 3 year old steers and an old United States musket gun for our primesses or farm and improvement we were poor and did not have team a nuff to move with.
    Reginna the name of david Stokers wife.
    John Welker Safford I will write a little of my genealogy or a sceth of my lif and travels My Father and Mother My fathers name was James Welker my mother name was Elizabeth Stoker Welker they lived in the State of Ohio til I was 9 years old and my father moved to the State of Mosouri Farewest Hancock county and live thare 4 years until the Latter day Saints was drove out it was thare whare I seen the prophet Joseph Smith first I was musterd under his command at the tiem of bogesars army came to exserminate or drive the Saints from the state I will not tell the trials we had to leave in the spring thare were nothing to be got about whare we lived we left a large pile of corn we could not git market for any of it we were compelled to leave or qit the mormons we suffrd a grat deal in traveling out in the erly spring 3 famleys moved in one wagon with 3 horses to draw it in the month march I mad my own shoes to walk out of the state in out of saddle scrits and boot legs they were the first that I made and they lasted my through all rite I will not go in to all the details of our travels from the state it was a hard experience and a trying time on the people we had our share of it I now will tell a little of my experence in the time the mob was gethering and after they came to Fare west and leave all that we could not tak along with us to the mercy of the mob We had to live on build (?) corn a grat deal of the time with a little mean when we could git it we had a grat maney hogs at home but we dared not go out to git them but the hogs fared better than we did they run in the timber ware thare was plenty of acorns in the field when we went back thare was a grate many fat hogs left for our winter meat thare was no sale for any of them those that we did no use for our meat we left in the timber for thare was not one to buy them this may be hard for some to believe its true allsame we had meat but no flour my father went in to the older settlement to work to git a little clotheing for his famley and something for them to eat while traveling out of the state we the famley got throug all alive but had a hard time in traveling in ice and snow we got to the state of ill and found a man by the name of Coleman Wilks that took us home with him he let us have a house to live in an furnished us some thin to eat work to pay for it we stayed with him 3 years then father moved to hancock co and filed on a qarter section of land we had very little to do with my father an I went to pikee county illnoise to work at harvisting thare is whare father contracted the intermitting feavor which caused his death I will state what my father and his boys done before his death after fileing on his land he bult a 2 roomed log house which was in a nice location in the edge of white oake grove and a butiful spring run out a little below the house this... was about 15 miles south east of Nauvoo and built a good hewed log house and a goo log barne and grainery and other buildings in 1844 my father died we had not proved up on the land the mob against the Latter day Saints was increasing and I but a boy of 18 was the oldest of the boys that was at home my older brother was maried and doing for himself I was the one to look after the family after my father died and when the burining out of the latter day Saints by the mob commence close by I was in a settlement 10 miles from whare they were burning houses and some of my cousins and relatives lived close whare I lived we got together and agreed to take turns and watch the mob and do the best we could to protect our homes Some one was out every night watching their movements they did not come to our little settlement to burn us out if they had came some of them would have got hurt thare is many things connected with this I will not write this burning of houses was kep up by the mob until Shiriff macentosh ordered out a possa of men to take the mob and bring them to trail in a chase after a crow of the mob porter Rockwell shot and killed one of them the were kindling a fire in my motherinlaws house when the shiriffs posey came in site the disperced and fled in all directions as they ran one man of the mob turned in his saddle shot back at the posse and porter Rockwell shot and fetched him from his horse and he died soon after then the governor ordered out what he called the malishey but they turned out to be nothing more or less then mob he marched his armey to Nauvoo orderd a serrender and ...fier arms to be given up agian as the governor of Mosouri had done a little of my laybours on the road through Iowa my brother Wilburn was taken sick on the road and could not drive his team at one time while traveling I had to drive his team... Sometimes when he could not drive we got through to Council bluffs Now I will go back to Illinois now I will not go into all the details of this serrender thare is some of it I have forgot as I did not pen down Some more of my travels and exsperences in life we were orderd to leave the sate of illinoise I moved to council bluffs in Iowa built a hosue near a small stream what was spring creek and fenced a small farm on very rich pease of bottom land in 1850 I married Roxana Dustin in 51 I rented my motherin laws farm... (can't read) we went to Joseph Dustisn that night through the timber about a mile we had to travel and it was thundering and a litening and raining and my wife was near of being confined first child we got thare with a few of our rags on us I got my pants on but no hat nor coat thae was no time for hunting clotheing Away the crop and many other things we had was... had a narrow escape from being drownded that night I took my wife to a hill close by about 10 rods away for the house and then went back for my motheinlaw house and woke them and led them out to the hill by this time the water was too deep to go back after anything more... we went to Joseph Dustins... and stayed til morning when I went back to the hill next morning the water was running 5 feet deep betwixt the houses we lost very near all we had in the hosue I had my wife and a little farm house a pair of 3 year old colts 2 cows and one hog and a few chickens left to make another start with we lived thare until 51 and then went to Utah and made a home again and had got a tolerabel well fixed to live again then went to Bear Lake in Idaho made a home again and lived thare about 20 years then Arizon was cracke out to be the garden of the world and I sold out again and come to Arizona in 1883 thare was but a few mormons in Layton at the time I stoped close to hyram tippets on a farm that Mr tuttle had perchest from a mexican and after a few days my son with my help bought his claim which was only a qut claim my son went to the land office filed on two hundred and 20 achors under the desert act he let me have land to cleare and work and after he proved up on the 160 acres I bought part of the land of him he gave me a deed for it it was an expenceive farm a grove of muskeet without fence or ditch to carey the watter to the farm but a few achors scratch out by Mexicans and then I was calld that winter of 1883 to tak charg of the ward as a presiding Elder which gave me a grate deal of laibour now to the detail of the laiburs that I had to do it would be too much of a task so I will only give a little of it in this as theare was no sawmills but a little one horse mill that mister Fry had up in the mountains thore was no lumber to be had to build with I went to the wash above Layton got some crooked cotenwoods on the river bottom and put up a small cabbin and coverd it with brush and grass and dirt it was a fine dwelling house and when it rained it leaked and when it qit rianing outdoors it kep reaining in the house in 1884 I was ordained a bishop to preside over the Layton ward then my laibour was increased we were turned into a muskeet grove to make farms without a watter ditch to run watter to arigat the land or houses to hselter us from the storms we had hosues to build ditches to make th emuskeet to cleare off and the stumps to dig out the watter ditch was a hard and exspencive one to make it had to be made through heavy muskeet groves in 1885 the young men of Layton ward built a small adobe house close to alma Bennets on the corner of his lot to hold their meetings and it was used also for ward meetings until the ward put up a brick meeting house and coverd it with a sheet iron roof in the time wen shingles was scarce in this part of the county.
    Grandfather Michael Stoker children David Stoker Mar 23 1795 Polly Nov 24 1792 John Stoker feb 16 1802 Michael feb 10 1805 Elizabeth feb 28 1800 Catharine 19 18-7 Jacob Stoker Apr 7 1812 Eller July 24 1816 (Catharine was born 19 Feb. 1809 and Eller was born July 28, 1816.)
    James Welker Sen born in North Carolina in 1803 Elizabeth Stoker Welker born feb 28 1800 in north corlina Children David born in indiana James Wilburn Jan 17th 1827 in the state of Ohio Jackson Co John Mar 16 1826 Jacob Welker Jan 17 1829 Sarah Welker in state of Ohio Mary C welker born Jan 12 1832 in state of Ohio Rebecca Adam Co Ill Hancock Co., (Note: James Wilburn was born in 1825 and Adam in Adams Co., Illinois.)
    San diego Cal Sept 25, 1911 no of house is 532 F. St. I went to the ship landing on the bay whare the ships ankerd and seen ship that wer used at Manilla in the Spanish war this ship landing is on the south of the city east of it is a nice little park with seats and butiful shad and a Ion for resting place for visitors this is the most even climate in the United States all kind of improvements is going on here the school system is a very good one they teach all kind of trades and industrys
    John Welker on July the 9th 1911 in a canion on a bottom land in a little log house I staid all night at my grandsons John pecys and my son John Eller and his wife Sarah and Lona GreenHaulch and hur little girl and percys wife and 3 children was all thare at the same time and percys children had 2 granpa Welkers thare this is something that never happened before and perhaps never will happen a gain"

    11. From the book "Our Stoker Family Histories 1731-1881," Vol. II, comp. and ed. by Elyane Stoker, 2004, printed by Stevenson's Genealogy Center, Provo, UT. The following is a partial excerpt from the longer article entitled "The following were copied from small notebooks of John Welker in the possession of Mrs. Bertie Branch of Safford. Dates and historical and genealogical information appearing in the long narrow brown notebook of John Welker." (Note: I only include what pertains to my specific family history):
    "...David was Born in Indiana henry county July 2nd 1823..."
    "...James Welker was born in North Carolina August the 19th 18 3 Elizabeth Stoker Welker in North Cor David Welker was born in henry county indiana Ashe county feb 28, 1900 James W Welker was born in Ohio Jackson Co. Jan 17 1825 John Welker born March 16 1826 in Ohio Jackson county Jacob Welker b ohio Jackosn county Jan 8th 1829 May Catharine Welker born in State of Ohio Jackson Jan 12 Sarah Welker was born in Jackson Co Ohio in 1834 Rebecca was born Ohio Jackson co. July 21st 1835 Adam Welker was born in illanois Adams county feb 19 1841."
    "...Babtisems and confermation John Welker was babtiesed June 4 1841 by Samuel B. Frost confirm by John Fisher..."
    "Eller Stokers family that alive lives in Iowa Orson the oldest boy is ded Allen was alive 2 years ago their address is Notia Harrison Co. Iowa Michael Ellers youngest boy lives thare. Unkle John Stokers famIey that is alive lives in Utah. Jane and Catharine and Sophronia Unkle Jakes Hyram lives at Lovelock Nevade..."
    "Jared Stoker was born in, Iowa on March 19, 1843 and died at Union, Oregon on December 5, 1912. (Could not read the name of the place in Iowa)
    Page 14: "Names -and births. David Stoker born March 23ed 1795 John W. Stoker Feb 10 1802 Poly Stoker nov 24 1792 Michael Stoker 10 1805 Catharine born 9 1809 Jacob Stoker April 7 1812 Eller Stoker July 24 1816 Elizabeth Stoker feb 28 1800..."
    Page 26: "Jame Welker Sen born Aug 19th 1803 in North Corlina roan co Elizabeth Stoker Welker Born in North Corlina Ashe Co. feb 28th 1800 David Welker in State of Indana James Wilburn born Jan 17 1825 Ohio Jackson Co John Welker Mar 16 1826 born in State of Ohio Jackson Co Jacob Welker Jan 17 1829 in State Ohio Sarah Welker in State Ohio Mary Catharine Jan 12 1832 in the State of Ohio Jackson Co
    "Rebecca in State Ohio Jackson Co Adam Welker III"
    Page 63: "John Welker the Son of Jame Welker and Elizabeth Stoker Welker born Mar 16 1826 in the State of Ohio Jackson Co was 8 years old when my parents joined the Latter day Saints church in 1835 my parents moved to farewes Callwell co mo and lived thare until the Saints wer drove out of the State at the time that Governer Bogges arma was on the goos creek hill I was musterd with the boys and old men Some women by the Prophet Joseph Smith marched out on a rug road west of the town which put a Stop to their coming in that day a traitor cornel hinkel gave the prophet and the people away I was baptiessed in June 1841 by Samuel Frost and confirmed by John Fisher."

    12. From the book "Our Stoker Family Histories 1731-1881," Vol. II, comp. and ed. by Elyane Stoker, 2004, printed by Stevenson's Genealogy Center, Provo, UT:
    "James WELKER and Elizabeth STOKER.
    James was born 19 Aug., 1803 in Rowan County, North Carolina. He was the son of Adam and Sarah Welker.
    He married Elizabeth Stoker about 1822 in North Carolina. She was born in Ash County, North Carolina on Feb. 28, 1800 or 1806. The records list both years as possible dates. Elizabeth was the daughter of Michael Stoker and Catherine Eller.
    The couple first lived in Henry County, Indiana then moved in 1824 to Bloomfield, Jackson county, Ohio. They moved in about 1830 to the town of Madison then up to Columbus.
    James and Elizabeth joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at the very beginnings of the church. James was baptized in 1834, just four years after the church was organized on April 6, 1830. Elizabeth was baptized about the same, though the records of her baptism are lost. During the time of James and Elizabeth's baptism, the church was located in Kirkland, Ohio. They didn't live very farm from this city. It isn't hard to suppose that they came to general conference at least once or twice and saw the Kirkland Temple in use.
    The family moved to Hancock, Illinois along with Elizabeth's parents. Land records show that Elizabeth's father, Michael had owned land just to the south of Nauvoo. James and Elizabeth's son John, was given a Patriarchal blessing from Hyrum Smith in Nauvoo in 1843 along with Elizabeth's brother Jacob. The records list Elizabeth as going through the Nauvoo Temple for her own endowments on January 21, 1846. There were only about two hundred people that were given this opportunity. Elizabeth's brothers Eller and Michael also went through the same day with her. Many of James and Elizabeth's children, though adults and married by the 1840s were baptized. James died on 5 Sept. 1844 in Hancock, Illinois at the age of 41. Elizabeth went with her son's John and James and traveled on to the Salt Lake Valley in 1852. They and their families moved first to the town of Willow Creek (now called Willard).
    During the time of great concern when the government sent Johnston's army to Utah, John was called to help defend Echo Canyon with the Nauvoo Legion, while James took his mother, Elizabeth and his and John's family and went to Alpine, Utah to stay until the trouble was over.
    Many years later, on Aug. 26, 1877, John was ordained a high priest by John Taylor. He was ordained a bishop by Brigham Young Jr. in Nov. 1884.
    The family moved up to Bloomington, Bear Lake, Idaho and it was here that Elizabeth lived the last years of her life. She died Jan 2, 1868. She is buried in the Bloomington cemetery."
    "Information on Elizabeth and James is from Family records of Alma Greenhalgh family. Nauvoo Social histories project by James Smith. Records from Mrs. Bessie W. Jacobson of Bloomington, Idaho. Family records of Annie Welker. Records of Mrs. Elizabeth Gale (her ancestor was Jacob Stoker), L.D.S. Historical and L.D.S. Biographical Enc. Vol. 4 page 604.
    James WELKER (b) 19 Aug, 1803, Rowan, North Carolina, son of Adam and Sarah Welker, (d) 5 Sept, 1844, Hancock, Illinois, (m) abt 1822 in North Carolina to Elizabeth Stoker.
    Elizabeth STOKER (b) 28 Feb, either 1800 or 1806 in Ash county, North Carolina, daughter of Michael Stoker or Stocker and Catherine Martha Ellier, (d) 2 Jan, 1868 in Bloomington, Idaho.
    Children of James Welker and Elizabeth Stoker:
    DAVID (b) 2 July, 1823, Henry, Henry, Indiana, (d) young, probably in Ohio.
    James WILBURN (b) 17 Jan, 1825, Bloomfield, Jackson, Ohio, (d) 17 May, 1912, Bloomington, Bear Lake, Idaho, (burr) Bloomington, Bear Lake, Idaho, (m) 17 Feb, 1845, Pottawattamie County, Iowa to Anna Pugh. (For more information see chapter 2 and 3.)
    John(b) 16 Mar, 1826, Bloomfield, Jackson, Ohio, (d) 1 June, 1913, Safford, Graham, Arizon, (m) 2 April, 1850, Council Bluffs, Pottawattamie, Iowa to Rocksena Dustin.
    Jacob STOKER (b) 8 Jan, 1829 in Bloomfield, Jackson, Ohio, (d) 28 April, 1911, (m) Feb, 1855, Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah to Harriet Angeline Lish.
    Mary Catherine (b) 12 Jan, 1832 in Madison, Jackson, Ohio, (d) 8 Dec, 1920, Thatcher, Graham, Arizona, (m) 27 Mar, 1853, Willard, Box Elder, Utah, to Thomas Dilington Nelson.
    Rebecca (b) 21 July, 1835, Madison, Jackson, Ohio, (d) 1863, Willard, Box Elder, Utah, (m) 1852 to Alexander Roswell Stevens.
    Sarah (b) 1837 (some records have her birth as 1834) in Jackson, Ohio, (d) before 1846.
    SUSIE (b) Dec, 1834 in Madison, Jackson county, Ohio, (d) 8 Dec, 1834, Madison, Jackson, Ohio.
    ADAM (b) 19 Feb, 1841, Columbus, Adams, Ohio, (d) 2 April, 1926, Safford, Graham, Arizona, (m) (1st) 22 Feb, 1865 to Agnes Dock, (2nd) 21 July, 1914 to Negra Kirk."
    (Pictures p. 38: "Kirkland Temple" and "Sectional Map of Hancock County.)"

    13. The article "Michael and Catherine Eller Stoker's Descendants in Illinois," by Jimmie "B" Stoker, July 30, 1994, as reprinted in the book "Our Stoker Family Histories 1731-1881," Vol. II, comp. and ed. by Elyane Stoker, 2004, printed by Stevenson's Genealogy Center, Provo, UT. See the notes of Michael Stoker (1762-1838) for the full transcript of this article. This portion of the article lists the proxy baptisms done in Nauvoo, Illinois by the Stokers and related families for their extended family in behalf of their dead relatives and friends per the doctrine of their newly embraced Mormon religion:
    "A new doctrine taught.
    Seymour Brunson's funeral.
    On August 10, 1840 forty-year-old Seymour Brunson died in Nauvoo. He was an old Stoker friend. Not only was he one of the first missionaries that had brought the restored gospel to their home in Jackson County, Ohio during 1833, but he had also distinguished himself in Missouri during 1838 as leading out in Joseph Smith's behalf. Colonel Brunson had led some of the Mormon attacks against the Missouri enemies.
    At Brunson's funeral Joseph Smith introduced to his followers the ordinance of baptism for the dead. This doctrine would seize the imagination of many members of the church including the Stokers. Joseph taught that "the Saints have the privilege of being baptized for those of their relatives who are dead, whom they believe would have embraced the Gospel, if they had been privileged with hearing it, and who have received the Gospel in the spirit, through the instrumentality of those who have been commissioned to preach to them while in prison."13
    Baptism for the dead.
    The idea of this ordinance underscores the fact that God is just and will allow all mankind equal opportunity to accept proper baptism in Christ's name. Hence by allowing a proxy to be baptized in behalf of those who had died without being baptized in the proper manner, God would not penalize those of His children who had lived on the earth without hearing the restored gospel. In the hereafter, God would allow them to accept or reject that ordinance which is designed to allow one entrance into Heaven. Individual members of the church could perform baptism for their ancestors who had never heard of the restored gospel.
    The Stokers go to Nauvoo to be baptized for their dead relatives.
    Stepping into the water on behalf of their dead relatives to be baptized for them was an act that Catherine Eller Stoker was to perform. Many in her family followed her example and were baptized for numerous dead relatives.
    During the short time after Joseph Smith had introduced the concept of baptism for the dead, members of the church entered the waters of the Mississippi River to be baptized on behalf of their loved ones. The rite of baptism for the dead was confirmed to the vicinity of Nauvoo.
    On January 19, 1841, the Lord commanded that the Saints built a temple with a baptismal font in it. Furthermore, the commandment states that baptism for the dead "belongeth to my house, and cannot be acceptable to me, only in the days of your poverty, wherein ye are not about to build a house unto me."14 On October 3, 1841, as the temporary baptismal font in the Temple basement neared completion, Joseph Smith declared, "There shall be no more baptisms for the dead until the ordinance can be attended to in the Lord's House."15
    In 1841 Catherine Eller and members of her family traveled to Nauvoo to perform baptisms for their dead. At this time the church policy allowed men and women to be baptized indiscriminately for each other. Catherine was baptized for her father, Peter Eller, and her brother, John Eller. She may have been baptized for her deceased daughter, Rebecca Stoker at this date. Michael Stoker (1805-1858) was baptized for his Grandfather Stoker, Michael (1762-1838), Eller Stoker (1816-1857) was baptized for his uncle, George Eller.16
    It is most probable that these 1841 Stoker baptisms were performed in the MIssissippi River. The first baptisms for the dead performed in the Nauvoo Temple font took place on Sunday November 21, 1841 in the basement. This temporary font had been dedicated a couple of weeks earlier and would be used until the Temple was completed with a permanent one.17
    The following Stoker family members were baptized for these dead members of their families [Person baptized for/Relationship to above:]
    Catherine Eller Stoker:
    Elizabeth [Dick Eller] White/Mother
    George M. Eller/Grandfather
    Kinrod Dick/Grandfather
    Catherine Dick/Grandmother
    Peter Eller/Father
    John Eller/Brother
    Rebecca Stoker/Daughter
    Michael Stoker (1805-1858):
    Michael Stoker/Grandfather
    Barbary Pertune/Aunt
    Absalom Koons/Cousin
    Eller Stoker (1816-1857):
    Christian Sherrer/Great uncle
    Sarah Sherrer/Great aunt
    Jacob Sherrer/Mother's cousin
    Catherine Sherrer/Mother's cousin
    Philip Baker/Uncle
    George Baker/Cousin
    George Eller/Uncle
    Margaret [Judd] Stoker:
    William McQuarey/Uncle
    James Welker:
    Sarah Wilker/Mother
    Elizabeth Stoker Welker
    Lear Black/Mother's cousin
    William Pennington/Uncle
    Mary Polly Stoker Graybill
    Molly Coons/Great aunt
    Andrew Sherer/Mother's cousin
    Andrew Black/Mother's cousin
    Catherine Yance/Mother's cousin
    Luke White/Step-grandfather
    Mary Steemel [Stimmel]/Aunt"

    BIRTH:
    1. From the book "Our Stoker Family Histories 1731-1881," Vol. II, comp. and ed. by Elyane Stoker, 2004, printed by Stevenson's Genealogy Center, Provo, UT. The following is a partial excerpt from the longer article entitled "Notes from one of the little red books John Welker." It is noted by the book's author that: "The following accounts have been reprinted using the same spelling and grammar as the original as submitted to me by Helen Evans 4177 1/2 Utah St. San Diego, CA 92104." The portion of the transcript which deals with the birth of James Welker and his wife Elizabeth Stoker is as follows:
    "James Welker Sen born in North Carolina in 1803 Elizabeth Stoker Welker born feb 28 1800 in north corlina Children David born in indiana James Wilburn Jan 17th 1827 in the state of Ohio Jackson Co John Mar 16 1826 Jacob Welker Jan 17 1829 Sarah Welker in state of Ohio Mary C welker born Jan 12 1832 in state of Ohio Rebecca Adam Co Ill Hancock Co., (Note: James Wilburn was born in 1825 and Adam in Adams Co., Illinois.)..."

    2. From the book "Our Stoker Family Histories 1731-1881," Vol. II, comp. and ed. by Elyane Stoker, 2004, printed by Stevenson's Genealogy Center, Provo, UT. The following is a partial excerpt from the longer article entitled "The following were copied from small notebooks of John Welker in the possession of Mrs. Bertie Branch of Safford. Dates and historical and genealogical information appearing in the long narrow brown notebook of John Welker." (Note: I only include what pertains to my specific family history):
    "...James Welker was born in North Carolina August the 19th 18 3 Elizabeth Stoker Welker in North Cor David Welker was born in henry county indiana Ashe county feb 28, 1900 James W Welker was born in Ohio Jackson Co. Jan 17 1825 John Welker born March 16 1826 in Ohio Jackson county Jacob Welker b ohio Jackosn county Jan 8th 1829 May Catharine Welker born in State of Ohio Jackson Jan 12 Sarah Welker was born in Jackson Co Ohio in 1834 Rebecca was born Ohio Jackson co. July 21st 1835 Adam Welker was born in illanois Adams county feb 19 1841."
    Page 26: "Jame Welker Sen born Aug 19th 1803 in North Corlina roan co Elizabeth Stoker Welker Born in North Corlina Ashe Co. feb 28th 1800 David Welker in State of Indana James Wilburn born Jan 17 1825 Ohio Jackson Co John Welker Mar 16 1826 born in State of Ohio Jackson Co Jacob Welker Jan 17 1829 in State Ohio Sarah Welker in State Ohio Mary Catharine Jan 12 1832 in the State of Ohio Jackson Co."

    MARRIAGE:
    1. FHL Film #301,043 "Jackson County, Ohio Marriages 1816-1843" has no record of any marriage for this couple even though it does have marriages of John W. Stoker and Electa Sally McDaniel in 1827 and John McDaniel and Christina Stoker in 1835.

    2. Per DUP biography for wife cited above.

    DEATH:
    1. 5 Sep 1844 in Hancock County per article above from the book "Our Stoker Family Histories 1731-1881," Vol. II, comp. and ed. by Elyane Stoker, 2004, printed by Stevenson's Genealogy Center, Provo, UT.

    2. 6 Jun 2002 Ancestry.com indicates either Dec 1844 or Dec 1845 in either Adams County or Hancock County, Illinois.
  • Change Date: 4 Oct 2014 at 21:01:31



    Marriage 1 Elizabeth Stoker b: 28 Feb 1800 in , Ashe, North Carolina, United States
    • Married: 2 Jul 1822 in , Jackson, Ohio, United States

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