Elizabeth Hardman Morgan

Elizabeth Hardman, daughter of Richard Hardman and Elizabeth Hodgkinson, was born 22 March 1810, at Salwick, Lancshire, England. She was christened into the Church of England 27 March 1810 at Kirkham, Lancshire, England.

She married Joseph Morgan in June of 1828 at Preston, Lancshire, England. Joseph was born 20 January 1807, the son of John Morgan and Mary Maycock. Elizabeth and Joseph were the parents of five children, one daughter and four sons. Their third child died at age 2 years.

While Joseph was working at his trade he became seriously ill and was taken home to his wife and children. He grew rapidly worse and died about 24 hours from when he first became ill. He died 13 May 1838, leaving his wife a widow with three small children to care for, John and Mary, and another son who died in 1840. On 20 October 1838, five months after her husband’s death, a son, Edward, was born.

Shortly after her husband’s death, Elizabeth heard the gospel of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She became converted and was baptized 2 Dec 1838. She and other members of her family began making preparations to immigrate to America.

Elizabeth, her three small children, her brother, John Hardman and his wife, Mary sailed to America on the ship Sheffield, Master, R. King Porter on March 3, 1841. The ship sailed from Liverpool, England, and arrived at New Orleans. Among the passengers listed were:

After their arrival in Nauvoo, Elizabeth met and married Francis Birch in 1842. They had two sons, Moroni, who died in 1842, and Joseph Hyrum, who was born in 1844 and died in 1845. Both are buried in Nauvoo, Illinois.

After the Prophet Joseph’s death, the Saints were driven across the Mississippi River. The Nauvoo Temple had been dedicated, although it was not complete. Francis and Elizabeth were among those left behind to finish the temple. The family remained there until 1846.

The family went to Alton, Illinois, where Francis worked as a mason with his stepson, Edward Morgan, as a helper. They left Alton 13 April 1850 and joined Captain Stephen Markham’s Company of 50 wagons. The company was organized 20 June 1850 near Council Bluffs, Iowa. Elizabeth, Francis and the children arrived in the Salt Lake Valley on October 6, 1850. They made their home in the 11th Ward of Salt Lake.

The family lived in Salt Lake until April 1851, when they moved to a farm in Millcreek. They had a large adobe home. They lived at approximately 3550 South 500 East, Salt Lake City.

On 3 May 1854, Elizabeth and Francis were privileged to leave Salt Lake for a tour, with Brigham Young and about 75 other church members, of the church settlements in southern Utah. Their goal was to select future colony sites and meet and make friends with the Indians. During this trip the company traveled as far south as Harmony, Utah, and then returned home, reaching Salt Lake on 30 May, having traveled a distance of 574 miles.

Elizabeth always tried to help people in sickness and afflictions. She lived a pioneer life, as did her family. Francis Birch must have been a wonderful man. He was always kind to others and was liked by all he met.

Francis married four wives[1]. His first wife died before he reached Nauvoo. The other two wives and Elizabeth lived in the large adobe house in Millcreek. Francis and Elizabeth did not have any children after the two boys who died in Nauvoo. Francis Birch died 29 April 1875, after a lingering illness. He died on the farm in Millcreek at 69 years of age.

Elizabeth’s two sons, John Morgan and Edward Morgan, both lived close to their mother. John married Ann Gillett 6 April 1850 and had 15 children with Ann, and 8 by his second (polygamous) wife, Karen Kristine. Edward Morgan married Louisa Scott 3 August 1856 and had 8 children. He married his wife’s sister, Sophia Scott, 24 October 1870. They had two children. Sophia died in childbirth 20 May 1874. Both children died as infants.

Elizabeth died 10 Mar 1882 at Mill Creek, Utah.

Written by Ruth Smout Ormond, great great granddaughter, in 1966. Information is from the family records of Mrs. George Herrick; early church records of the Nauvoo temple; ship passenger lists; temple index cards; parish records of Kirkham, Lancashire, England; and microfilm 520801.


[1] There is discrepancy in the records about the number of wives. Etsel Wheeler’s record says Francis had only one polygamous wife, Mary Ann Green, with whom he raised a large family.