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Bennett's of Utah

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Ellen Pincock and James Bennett

Posted: 1090431584000
Classification: Query
Here is some information I found recently in a Pincock Family History book at the Salt Lake City Genealogical Library.

Angie Sullivan
James Bennett is the 3rd great grandfather of Angie Sullivan.

Taken from a family history book found in the LDS Genealogical Library on July 15, 2004 -


Page 11
Ellen Pincock Bennett
Daughter of John Pincock and Mary Marsden

Photo of Ellen Pincock Bennett and Daughters:
Back Row: (let to Right) Elizabeth Bennett Venable, Sarah Ann Bennett Walker, Alice Bennett King, and Martha Bennett Smith. Front Row: (left to right) Ellen Bennett Egbert, Ellen Pincock Bennett, and Mary Bennett Hill.

Photo of James Bennett and Sons: Back Row: (left to right) William Henry, James Parker, and Thomas. Front Row: George, John, and James Bennett

Ellen was the eldest daughter of John and Mary Marsden Pincock, who were married 13 August 1815. We know no details of her early life in England.

June 30, 1832, Ellen married James Bennett, who was born the 10th of October, the family says 1810 and the controlled extraction list of the parish register says 1808, in Layland Moss, Lancashire, England. James was the son of Thomas Bennett and Ann Parker.

The Bennetts probably had the usual struggles of a young couple starting out together, but possibly the hardest adjustment was the birth and deather of their first child. Many of us look at a family group record of an ancestor, see the death of a child and say, "Oh how sad but the mortality rate was so high they just had to expect that would happen." The loss of a child to any family at any time is a tremendous blow that requires a great effort to adjust to. It is not merely a statistic. The hopes and plans o fall the months of waiting have gone for nothing. This would have had an effect on James and Ellen, and without a knowledge of the Gospel it would have been more difficult. No record has been found of the child being christened as the Church of England taught was necessary for salvation.

England was at this time undergoing a tremendous political upheaval which ended with the Parliamentary Reform Act of 1832. As the political strife lessened, English life was disrupted by a cholera epidemic. "Through the centuries there were fairly regular outbreaks of Cholera, and one of the worst occurred in 1832. Houses were small and cramped, sanitation and drainage were very bad." We don't know how this may have affected James and Ellen, but they must have at least been aware of the problem.

In the United States all movement was to the west, where there was open and fertile ground. Even the Church was caught up in this movement. The headquarters were moved from New York to Ohio, and a colony was established in Missouri on the far reaches of civilization.

The Church in Kirtland grew rapidly at first. New converts brought strength and support. The Quorum of the Twelve Apostles was organized on February 14, 1835, and the Kirtland Temple was dedicated March 27, 1836.

In England, Victoria began her reign which would continue for almost 75 years. The James Bennett family was blessed with two children, a son John, and a daughter Mary. They lived the life of a typical English country family, working hard to live and enjoying what small pleasures they could.

The year 1837 was a decisive one for the Bennetts and for the Church. During this year many people in the United States were caught up with a tremendous spirit of speculation, which led to the Depression of 1837. The Kirtland Anti-Banking Society, acting contrary to the advice of the Prophet Joseph, was one of the financial institutions which failed in this Depression. Even though Joseph Smith had withdrawn because of the way the Society was being run, many people blamed him and fell away from the Church.

The Church in Kirtland was then plagued with dissension and apostasy. The Saints were poor. Persecution was growing. At this time, on Sunday, June 4, 1837, the Prophet Joseph Smith came to Heber C. Kimball in the Kirtland Temple and said, "Brother Heber, the Spirit of the Lord has whispered to me,'let my servant Heber go to England and proclaim my Gospel and open the door of salvation to that nation." This call was to have a direct effect on the lie of James and Ellen Bennett and ultimately on all of their descendents.

Of this call Brother Kimball late wrote, "The idea of such a mission was almost more than I could bear up under . . .. However all these considerations did not deter me from the path of my duty; . . .I felt that the cause of truth, the Gospel of Christ, outweighed every other consideration.

There were those, even among the Twelve, who tried to persuade Elder Kimball to reject this immense undertaking. Heber didn't even own a coat; he never had. But he knew Joseph Smith as a Prophet and he had learned to recognize the voice of the spirit. He humbly and faithfully accepted the call of the Prophet.

Elder Orson Hyde, one who had thought to dissuade Heber, was deeply moved by his acceptance of this mission call. "Humbled, he acknowledged his faults, sought forgiveness of the First Presidency, and asked to accompany President Kimball on this special mission designed to open the doors o all nations to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. His repentance accepted, he was set apart as he requested."

Page 12
On December 29, 1837, James and Ellen Pincock Bennett were baptized by Heber C. Kimball and confirmed by Orson Hyde at Euxton, England. During the next couple of years James appears to have been involved in some missionary work. Early Church records show he baptized both his brother-in-law, John Pincock, and a woman in the Preston Branch in 1840. During this time Thomas, born January 7, 1839, and Hannah, born January 10, 1841, were added to the family.

Beore Hannah was even a month old, James and Ellen packed their few belongings, gathered their small family about them, and set out for Zion. They traveled with Ellen's family, her parents, brothers and sisters, and other Saints from the area.

On February 5, 1841, a group of Saints from the Preston Conference left for Liverpool to take passage on board the ship "Sheffield" for transport to America in order to join the Saints in Illinois.

They left Preston aboard the 8:20 a.m. train and arrived in Liverpool at 1:30 that afternoon. For many in the group this probably was their first experience with this new mode of transportation. They were of the working class and had little money to use on other than absolute necessities. When these Saints arrived, many were already on board the ship.

The missionaries organized and made arrangements for the voyage. Interestingly, the leader in organizing this venture was Brigham Young. Elder Hiram Clark was appointed as President of the Company.

On February 6, 1841, the Saints on board received final instructions regarding payment and preparations for departure. The next day the ship set forth on the early tide. Shortly after embarking many of the Saints became sea sick. For most of them this discomfort lasted only a couple of days, but a few suffered for most of the trip. During the fifty-one days at sea there were three deaths and two births among the passengers.

After about 26 days the ship was "becalmed." The ship's progress stopped for lack of wind, and the clear sky offered endless hot sun. As the ship sat in this condition, the water also was motionless and all garbage or refuse thrown overboard remained by the ship. Tempers were short, and hot words were exchanged. On the Sabbath the Saints were reminded that such things ought not to be. They repented, begged forgiveness, and forgave. That day the winds again began to blow.

On the thrity-ninth day out from port there was conflict among the crew. The Captain declared a state of mutiny and asked the Saints to assist him in regaining control of his ship. Six of the Brethren, James Bennet among them, volunteered and were armed. The matter was soon settled, and the ship arrived in part at New Orleans on March 29, 1841.

Passage up the Mississippi was obtained on the steamer "Moravian." After a three-day wait it started up the river and arrived in St. Louis on April 16. Here they stayed overnight before again moving up river aboard the "Goddess of Liberty." The passengers arrived in Nauvoo late in the evening of April 18, 1841, after again transferring to the steamboat "Otter" at Keokuk, Iowa.

Many of the leading Brethren are said to have met the ship despite the late hour. The Prophet Joseph was possibly there with several other leaders. Nine of the twelve Apostles were in England and had been holding a conference on this same day.

References: Hinckley, Gordon B., "Taking the Gospel to Britain: A Declaration of Vision, Faith, Courage, and Truth," The First Presidency Message, Ensign July 1987.

Talbot, Wilburn D., The Acts of the Modern Apostles.

Esplin, Ronald K., "A Great Work Done in That Land," Ensign July 1987.

Alexander Neighbour's Journal, Journal History of the Church, February 7, 1841.


The Pincocks and Bennetts settled in the Nauvoo area. James was ordained an Elder in 1842, and a Seventy in 1843. George Bennett was born on May 14, 1843, in Augusta; and Ellen Bennett was born in Nauvoo on July 21, 1845. In the Journal History of the Church for December 31, 1844, there is a list of the officers and laborers on the Nauvoo Temple. "The names of the sawyers are James Bennett, Jospeh Busby and Moses Thurston." James and Ellen were in Nauvoo at the time of the Martyrdom, but we have no record of their thoughts or actions.

In September and October 1845, the parents of Ellen P. Bennett died and were buried in Nauvoo. The care of their two youngest boys might have shifted to Ellen as she was the oldest.

James Bennett and Ellen Pincock had the privilege of receiving their endowments int he Nauvoo Temple on January 31, 1846. They left Nauvoo that year and were camped in Iowa Territory before 1847. The obituary of James Bennett says, "He with his family passed through all the troubles and privations of Nauvoo without murmur; traveled the almost trackless prairies to Carterville (east of Bluff City), left his family almost without shelter to get provisions for them taking almost everything they had to trade for bread and leaving his wife sick with fever and ague with which she had been afflicted for eight months."

It appears that James might have been poorly prepared for the trek west. A certain amount of this unpreparedness could be attributed to the effort extended by those laboring on the temple. They were working long and arduous hours, and James would have had limited time for preparation. A possible hint in this regard comes from William Clayton's journal, ". . . the Mormons received word that an offer of two hundred thousand dollars had been made for the still unfinished Temple . . . The camp council later decided to sell the temple, but stipulated that twenty-five thousand dollars of the proceeds must be forwarded for use in Garden Grove, 'the balance' Clayton noted after a camp meeting on April 27 (1846) 'to be left at the disposal of Elders Hyde, Woodruff and the Trustees and to be appropriated to help away those who have labored hard to build the temple and the faithful poor of the Saints."

On February 17, 1847, Hannah, who was but a baby when they let England, died of black canker at the age of 6. Another pioneed, Julia Ann Shumway, died of black canker, and a description of her death has been preserved: "On the journey to Council Bluffs, Shumway's wife Julia Ann, became so ill with black canker she could hardly leave her wagon. Food was running scarce, for the entire trip she had nothing to eat but corn meal and bits of dried buffalo meat. . . . By November she was seriously ill. She could hardly breathe, and her throat was so badly swollen that eating a single bite was painful."

"In on satellite camp west of the Missouri as early as August Thomas Kane reported 37 percent of its population ailing with a sort of scorbutic disease, frequently fatal, which the Saints named Black Canker. The disease was also called "blackleg," a form of scurvy caused by the lack of vegatables in the Saints' diet.

James made Hannah's coffin, dug her grave, and carried her in snow two feet deep to her final resting place about one mile away.

James appears to have been one of those skilled individuals who were asked to delay their own travel to the valley of the Great Salt Lake. He remained in the area of Council Bluffs for several years building wagons. His name appears on a petition for a post office at Council Bluffs in 1848.

There is a question as to when the Bennetts crossed the plains. The Crossing the Plains index lists James Bennett as a Captain of 57 wagons which crossed in 1850, but the family records state that they crossed in 1852. The reference to the 1850 crossing is found int he Journal History of the Church for 20 April 1850. An Elder traveling east withe other missionaries to their fields of labor kept a journal. He lists the westbound wagon trains of Saints which they passed each day. On June 28, 1850, they passed several wagon trains; among them was James Bennett's Company of 57 wagons. The journal record indicated that this company had already suffered 11 deaths.

Family records say they came int he Warren Snow company, arriving on October 10, 1852. This date might be preferred, as most records indicate that Elizabeth was born April 15, 1852, in Council Bluffs, Iowa.

There is a possibility that James crossed more than once. Perhaps when it was time for the 1850 crossing, the rest of the family was unable to come. There might have been two James Bennetts, but the Early Church Information File does not give any indication of more than one. Could it be that the Journal should have read 1852 and not 1850? The Elder's Journal lists at least two groups of wagons, on before and one behind James Bennett, as being from William Snow's Company. Could William Snow be Warren Snow in whose Company the Bennet family tradition says they traveled?

After their arrival in Utah james and Ellen Bennett settled in Kays Settlement, later to become Kaysville. There they became bulwarks of the community. They opened a store which Ellen and their daughters operated out of their home. They used the fingertips-to-nose method to measure yard goods. The family operated this store until the Kaysville Co-op opened. Ellen worked not only at the store, but as a midwife as well. She is said to have brought over 500 babies into the world, but the book where she recorded the deliveries she assisted with was started after she had midwifed for a while, so an accurate count is not known.

The James Bennett family arrived in Kays Settlement with eight children. Two of their children died before they reached Utah. In Kaysville they had four more children: William was born January 17, 1854; Charlotte, on December 7, 1855; Martha, on October 12, 1858; and Sarah Ann, on November 22, 1862. Then February 17, 1864, Charlotte died just a few months after her eighth birthday.

James was a hardworking, successful person, accumulating "considerable means" at his death. Temple records show James and Ellen went to Salt Lake City and were sealed in the Endowment House by Brigham Young on November 22, 1855.

In 1856, James was one of the six men from the Kays Ward who took teams and wagons to aid in the rescue of the Willy and Martin Handcard companies. One company was led by Edward Martin, perhaps the same Edward Martin who sailed with James on the "Sheffield."

The Bennett family members all appear in the Kaysville Ward records. These records show when they were blessed as babies, baptized or rebaptized and confirmed. James also appears as one performing these ordinances, a responsibility which at that time seems to have been reserved for leaders in the Ward. He was ordained a High Priest February 28, 1869, by Edward Phillips.

James Bennett was elected to the Kaysville City Council, and he served in that capacity from 1874 to 1876.

James and Ellen Pincock Bennett are among those who took the time and effort to travel the distance and attend to the temple ordinances of their deceased ancestors at the opening of the St. George Temple in 1878. While at the temple on a later trip in 1880 their youngest daughter Sarah Ann, though still a girl in her teens, received her temple endowment.

In 1882, 50 years after their marriage in England, James and Ellen celebrated their golden wedding anniversary with their family and loved ones around them.

References: Nauvoo Temple Workers, Journal History of the Church, December 31, 1844.

Obituary of James Bennett, Journal History of the Church, December 22, 1888.

Brown, Joseph and Dan Guravich, The Mormon Trek West.

Elder William Burton's Journal, Journal History of the Church, April 20, 1850.

Page 14

James Bennett died December 14, 1888, "a firm believer in the Gospel, [he] died as he had lived, a true Latter-day Saint with a full hope of the resurrection." He was preceded in death by his wife, Ellen, on April 20, 1886.

stroy submitted by Bennett descendent, Iva Lou Reese in an unsigned, unpublished manuscript entitled THE LIFE AND TIMES OF JAMES BENNETT.

Obituary, Deseret Evening News, 22 December 1888:

Bennett - James Bennett, of Kaysville, died December 14, 1888, at 10:50 p.m., of old age and general debility, aged 78 years, 2 months and 4 days. He survived his partner in life 2 years, 6 months and 24 days. He was the son of Thomas Bennett and Ann Parker, and was born at Laylon, Lancashire, England, October 10, 1810. Was married to Ellen Pincock June 30, 1832, and the union was blessed with 14 children, 11 of whom are still living, and were at his bedside in his last hours. He also had 83 grandchildren and 32 great grandchildren.

He was baptized at Euxton, Lancashire, England, December 29, 1837, by Heber C. Kimball, and confirmed by Orson Hyde. He was ordained a Priest July 9, 1840; emigrated to Nauvoo in the ship "Sheffield" in 1841; was ordained an Elder in 1842 and a Seventy in 1843; was a member of the Tenth Quorum. He with his family passed through all the troubles and privations of Nauvoo, without a murmur; traveled the almost trackless prairies to Carterville (east of Bluff City), left his family almost without a shelter to get provisions for them, taking almost everything they had to trade for bread, and leaving his wife sick with fever and "ague", with which she had been afflicted for eight months.

Soon after his return, one of his children, a daughter, succumbed to that dread disease, black canker, having contracted it by exposure. He had to make her coffin and dig her grave himself, and then carry her to her resting place, about one mile, in anow 2 feet deep. He made the wagons for Kinghead and Livingston in 1850 which brought the first merchandise to Utah. He crossed the plains to Utah in 1852 in Warren Snow's company, arriving in Utah October 10, 1852. He settled in what is now known as Kaysville, then a few scattered houses. He was ordained a High Priest in 1869 by Edward Phillips. He was a hard working man and accumulated considerable means, of which he was very liberal for the upbuilding of the ward and the Kingdom of God. He was a firm believer in the Gospel, and died as he had lived a true Latter-Day Saint, with a full hop of a glorious resurrection.
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