Vernon & District Family History Society

SHARING GENEALOGY KNOWLEDGE SINCE 1982

THOMAS HOWARD

On my father's side the search for ancestors discovered the son of Thomas Howard and Sarah Mackell... another... but younger Thomas Howard... born in Wales. He married 4 times, and was a participant in a wagon train ride across the United States to Salt Lake City, Utah. Here he managed the first Paper Mill built for the Mormon church at the request of Brigham Young. He deserves his own story...

Thomas Howard, was the brother of my great great grandmother. He was named after his father, who was born in 1788. That was the year the London Times started printing. In 1788 the first fleet arrived at Botany Bay, and proceeded to establish a Penal Colony in Australia. The United States welcomed another eight territories into Statehood to now total 11 stars on their Stars & Stripes. Mozart completed his final symphony, and Robert Burns wrote Auld Lang Syne. As the elder Thomas grew through his teen years, Nelson was winning the naval Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. A dozen years later, Thomas married Sarah Mackell... and the younger Thomas was born on March 6, 1815. He was the first of eleven children.

Thomas Howard
1815-1906

THOMAS HOWARD

By 1815, the war between Great Britain, Canada and the United States was coming to an end... Napoleon had escaped his prison on the island of Elba and had entered Paris with an army of 340,000. John A. Macdonald, the first Prime Minister of Canada was born in Glasgow, Scotland.

Thomas was born in North Wales, grew up and married Martha Savage in the county of Buckinghamshire, England in 1838. They had 2 daughters before she passed at age 29. Her cause of death is not disclosed, but history is on the side of a woman who lost their life at that age... is usually attributed to childbirth. Thomas married again 7 years later, when he was 30 years-old... to Sarah Langley in 1845, and by 1851 the family had embraced the Mormon faith. His wife and new son and daughter boarded the ship Olympus along with the children from the previous marriage to Martha Savage... and headed to America. Four more were to be born in the United States.

Cottonwood Mill

The family joined the James Cummings wagon train. 150 individuals, and 100 wagons, headed for Salt Lake City. Utah would not become a state for another 40 years. They had to cross 1,000 miles of Nebraska and Wyoming Territory in July 1851, arriving at their destination during the first week of October of that year. It was a time of amazing growth for the Church of the Latter Day Saints. 70,000 Europeans had converted, and emigrated to North America between 1847 and 1857. Thomas Howard's background was the manufacturing of paper, and Brigham Young tasked him with the building and management of their Cottonwood River Paper Mill. He did this, and produced a quality which enabled the church to produce their bibles and correspondence to put out their 'Word'.

When Thomas' second wife died in 1865... he courted another Sarah... who had emigrated from Yorkshire in England, and they married in 1866. At that time he took on the role of Preacher, an Elder of the church. This Sarah passed away in 1900, and at 85 he found Margaret Morgan, newly arrived from his home country of Wales. They were married just 2 month's later... and she outlived him. Thomas Howard, senior member of the Church of Latter Day Saints died on March 10th, 1906.