Charles Cowley


See Introduction for some general background

Our Pioneer Heritage, Vol. 16, p.510

Charles Cowley, born December 11, 1800, at Kirk German, Isle of Man, was the son of Nicholas Cowley and Eleanor Kelly. [p.511] He was christened according to the order of the Church of England, January 20, 1801. [PR have 4 Jan 1801 son of Nicholas Cowley & Elinor Kelly] At the age of sixteen years he joined the Wesleyan Methodist Church but after twenty years he was disfellowshipped because he was seeking for correct information concerning the will of God. [1837 was the year of disquiet in the Wesleyan body over the centralising aspects of the leadership - several members were expelled though I didn't see Charles Cowley's name among them] On December 26, 1833, he married Maud [? Mary] Ann Killip, daughter of Thomas Killip. They lived on a farm near Kirk German. One night Ann dreamed that an American minister was preaching the gospel and singing the song Come to the supper. The next day she still remembered the song and found herself humming the tune. Soon after, they read in the Douglas newspaper about a minister from America who was in Douglas preaching a strange gospel. John Quayle, a brother-in-law to Ann and a cousin of Charles, went to Douglas, the capital of the Isle of Man, to hear a minister preach. This minister, as they called him, was John Taylor. They were so impressed with his teachings that they brought him back with them to the home of Charles Cowley, and that evening Elder Taylor held a cottage meeting with Charles and Ann Cowley and John Quayle and his wife Catherine. The meeting began with the song Come to the Supper, the same song Ann had heard in her dream and she sang along with him. John Taylor answered their many questions and they felt that this was the gospel they had been praying for. They were baptized the following day in the old millrace on the Close Farm, and in the evening were confirmed members of the church. They all bore their testimonies and Ann and Charles spoke in tongues, which Elder Taylor interpreted.

Soon after being baptized, Charles sold his house and farm to John Quayle and prepared to join the saints in Nauvoo, with his wife and four children: Charles Caesar, William Michael, Ann Elizabeth and Nephi Thomas. Eleanor, a daughter, died as a child and was buried at Kirk German. They left the Isle of Man for Liverpool on January 1, 1843, and set sail January 17th on the ship Swanton. After a voyage of eight weeks and two days, they landed in New Orleans and traveled on to St. Louis, Missouri. They remained in St. Louis because the Mississippi River was frozen over. After the ice had broken, they went up the river to Warsaw, Hancock County, Illinois. The family lived at Macedonia, a village twenty miles from Nauvoo and in 1844, made their way to Council Bluffs.

Quoting from Charles' diary: I bought some land in Hancock County, Illinois, near a village called Macedonia, a village inhabited by Latter-day Saints; heard the voice of the Prophet Joseph Smith at that place, teaching the people their duty toward God and their fellow man; also saw his brother Hyrum at the same place. After the martyrdom of Joseph and Hyrum at Carthage Jail, the Saints had to leave the state. Most of them got as far as Council Bluffs that summer and planted turnip patches and [p.512] early beans. They also had to trade their clothing, watches, etc. for breadstuff, corn, pork and other things to save themselves and families from starvation. I arrived with my family in Salt Lake City on the 27th of September, 1850. I, with my wife and as many of our children as were old enough, were baptized by William Perkins, Bishop of the Seventh Ward. In the spring of 1851, I bought a city lot and we built a house and planted a small orchard. We lived here until 1860. -End of quote

The various children of Nicholas and Elinor Kelly married 12 February 1788 at Kirk German , were (all baptised Kirk German) [there may be some more I've missed]

William baptised 27 Dec 1788
Patrick baptised 30 March 1792 died 17 Aug 1794
Thomas baptised 2 Apr 1794
Patrick baptised 29 Nov 1795
Charles baptised 21 July 1799 presumeably died as
Charles baptised 4 Jan 1801

It is possible that Nicholas Cowley was son of William Cowley & Elizabeth Crellin baptised Kirk Michael 2 April 1758.

One witness to Nicholas & Elinor's Marriage was William Cowley of the Close.

Manx Note Book      [Genealogy Index]

see Mormon Converts

Any comments, errors or omissions gratefully received The Editor
HTML Transcription © F.Coakley , 1999