logo Mathias Cowley


See Introduction for some general background

Our Pioneer Heritage, Vol. 16, p.524

Ann Quayle Cowley, daughter of John Quayle, was born in 1799 on the Isle of Man, married Matthias Cowley, the son of Thomas Cowley. They lived on the Isle of Man where five children were born to them: Ann, John Mathias, Elizabeth, Catherine Mary and William. They were converted to the L.D.S. Church and in 1841 left Liverpool on an old sailing vessel which took six or seven weeks to cross the ocean. Mathias sold his small farm and herds of sheep to raise money to make the journey. This was a great sacrifice as they had enjoyed many luxuries in their native land. Mathias and Ann lived in Illinois for a time where two daughters were born but both of them died. At one time, Mathias paid a hundred dollar fine so that the Prophet Joseph Smith could be released from jail after false charges had been brought against him. They lived in St. Louis where Mathias worked in a packing house and where he died in 1853.

In April 1854, Ann and her children left St. Louis in the Isaac Groo Company and arrived in Salt Lake City in September. They had two wagons, four yoke of oxen and one cow. James Anderson, who later married Catherine Mary, was a teamster in the Isaac Groo Company. Ann lived in the 7th Ward most of her life and died at the home of her son John, May 9, 1877. -Mary Ellen Anderson Giauque

Our Pioneer Heritage, Vol. 1, p.214

Elizabeth Jane Cowley, my grandmother, was born on the Isle of Man December 2, 1829, the third child in a family of seven. Her father was Matthias Cowley and her mother Anne Quayle. When she was eleven years of age two Mormon missionaries, John Taylor then one of the Twelve Apostles, and Elder Clark came to the Isle of Man and preached the Gospel. The Cowleys heard them and were convinced that the principles they taught were true. In November, 1840 they were baptized and immediately made plans to come to Zion. They sold their farm for enough to pay passage and set sail April 2, 1841 on the ship Rochester.

The Cowley family was living in Nauvoo when the people were forced to flee that city. A cannon ball tore out one wall of the Cowley home during these persecutions of the Saints and they fled to a cornfield [p.215] for protection. The family then moved to St. Louis, Missouri and it was here that Elizabeth Jane met John William Dutson, a member of the Nauvoo Legion. They were married August 10, 1850 by Elder William Dunville. John William Dutson and his wife, Elizabeth Jane, had four children born to them in St. Louis. The two eldest, sons, died in infancy; then a daughter Rebecca Deseret, was born. After the birth of their second daughter, Florence Virginia, they began preparations to cross the plains. An independent company organized by John Taylor with J. H. Hart as captain was preparing to leave St. Louis so they cast their lot with them. John was appointed captain of the second ten wagons. They left Florence, Nebraska for Great Salt Lake City June 30, 1857. Elizabeth Jane walked and carried the baby Florence Virginia and a young girl who came with them took charge of Rebecca.

When they neared the Valley they were glad to find that Elizabeth Jane's two brothers, John and William Cowley, feeling anxious about their welfare, obtained wagons, fresh horses and provisions and had come across the mountains to meet them. This was much appreciated and needed.

After spending a few days in Salt Lake City the family moved to Fillmore. Six more children were born to them in that community. Elizabeth spun wool, made soap and candles and did the countless jobs performed each day by pioneer women everywhere. Although the furnishings of the home were poor, the only table being the box that contained their clothing on the trek across the plains, it was always adorned with a white cloth which, somehow, seemed to make the frugal meals taste better. ...


Manx Note Book      [Genealogy Index]

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