logo Biographies of Mormon Converts


Early Mormon converts were encouraged to write short biographies, partly because of the Mormon interest in genealogy but mostly as a form of encouragement to others. Obviously much of the material will emphasise their conversion but such such documents can give a vivid picture of their domestic life in the early part of the 19th century. Other pages will deal with the Mormon Mission that included the Isle of Man and the reaction of the Manx press towards it.

A paper on this topic, published in Proc IoMNH&Soc is also available.

The following are derived from various sources:

One common thread running through them is some connection with John Taylor (later to become 3rd President of the Mormon Church) - he had married a Manxwoman in Toronto, missioned the Isle of Man in 1840 and had polygamously married his wife's cousin, also Manx in 1843 (at least five more wives were to follow, two of whom were sisters who also had a Manx connection by marriage). He ran for some time the official newspapers (Times & Seasons) before installing his nephew, George Quayle Cannon to look after them. Thus the selection of biographical histories may well depend on a connection with this powerful figure in the church.

Another feature that seems to be emerging is that those who emigrated had little or no family to hold them on the Island.

Other names, not necessarily Manx or Mormon, which are still to be researched include:

John Boyd (mentioned by J Quayle as having died 11 March 1853 in St Louis).

The Quayles mention a Bridson as having emigrated with them in 1841.

The James Pennell seems to have a number of Manx on board

Titus Barlow (b.1813) , fisherman, & Mary Ann Barlow (b.1810) emigrated on James Pennell in Sep 1849 - stated to be from Isle of Man. (children Christiana b. 1834; Sarah b.1838 ; John b. 1841; Titus b. 1841 ; Nephi b. 1843; Joseph b.1845; William b.1847

The Barlow's are obviously Mormon but the following shown as from Douglas IoM are not -

Charles Cachan [? Kaighin] (b. 1822) - origin Douglas - tentatively identified by Greg Kaighin as Charles Kaighin born 15 Jan 1826, German, to Patrick Kaighin and Jane Cowley, from Knocksherry. The German/Peel connection would also fit - a Charles Kaighan with wife Margaret and son Napoleon is found in a 1856 Utah census in 17th Ward Greater Salt Lake City.
James Clucas (b. 1833) + Ann Clucas (b. 1827) + Elizabeth (b.1847)
William Hetherington, b. 1796 and shown as Minister (no entry in 1841 census)
Isabella Olzeal [? O'Neil] b. 1815
Mary Smith b.1784


Martin Holden has recently (2006) started a new website http://www.manxmormons.com/ which adds to the later history of the LDS on the Island together with some updated information on some emigrants (which I have added to my paper) and a review of my paper (not all points of which I agree with).


L. Callister The Callister Family IoM Family History Soc. Journal vol. 13 #2 pp60/63 1991

N. Crowe The Cannon Family of Eary ne Gowin, Kirk Michael IoMFam Hist Soc Journal vol 3 #4 pp66/74 1981

N. Crowe The Kellys of Ballabrew, Braddan IoMFam Hist Soc Journal vol 2 #1 pp12/15 1980

Letter from a Manx Emigrant in America [John & Catherine Quayle] Manx Liberal 21 Aug 1841

Mormon Immigration Index - CD ROM availaible via usual LDS FHC outlets - though has extracts from various Mormon biographies etc these do not appear to be complete, also suspect that many of the names on later voyages (in which the Church merely booked passage) include many non-Mormons; the James Pennell seems also to have many Non-Manx names indicated as being from Isle of Man so wonder about transcription

Manx Note Book      [Genealogy Index]


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