Joseph Henry James (1855 - 1908)


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Information taken from writings of minnie Carlile, Heber City, Utah, "Gleaning the Holyoak Field".  Family group sheets in possession of David Duncan, Ogden, and other sources searched by writer.  This sketch was arranged for filing at the D.U.P. building for Effie Beauregard, Miller Camp by Nora Lund, historian, August 1968. 

According to the book "Pioneers and Prominent Men of Utah". page 941 and family records, Sarah Green Holyoak was the daughter of Daniel Green and Edith Hopkins Green of Mosley Ware, Green Common, near Birmingham, England. She was born July 2, 1797 and christened, July 16, 1798, at Mosely, Warwick, England. 

Sarah was the fourth child of a family of nine children.  Preceding her were  Joseph, William, and Daniel.  Those who came after were Ann, Mary, Hannah, Elizabeth, and James.

Sarah married George Holyoak, who was the son Issac and Ann Bird Holyoak.  They became the parents of eight children; william, born April 12, 1826, at the age of 11 was "bound out" to learn the butchers trade.  This was during the reign of Queen Victoria.  Young William's heart yearned for the green grass and the climbing roses that grew about his home, called "Rose Cottage" and he just couldn't like the butchers trade. At age 13 he set out to learn the harness trade from his Uncle John Green.  This had more appeal and stayed with his uncle until he was 21 years of age.   

William married Martha Green, August 2, 1846, and they owned and operated a grocery store.  Martha ran the store and William worked in a harness factory.  Martha's health failed and he took her to his parents home.  There a son, Nehemiah, was born and Martha passed away 3 days later.  Sarah and George took Nehemiah and cared for him as one of their own.  William later married Sarah Wilkins, December 27, 1849. 

Their oldest daughter, Mary, born April 10, 1827, George Jr., born September 1, 1830, Ann born, 1832, Daniel born 1834 and died 1839, Sarah, born August 4, 1835, Henry born March 5, 1837, Hannah born March 25, 1841. 

In the early 1880's the Holyoak family became interested in a new religion, called the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  This gospel message being preached by humble missionaries from America.  The Holyoaks were good religious people, consequently the truths sank deep into their hearts.  After much study and prayer they were baptized members of this church, June 24, 1841. 

The missionaries also encouraged the new converts to emigrate to Utah to strengthen the Mormon church, members of which were having their own difficulties at that time. 

The Holyoaks had a yearning to join the Saints and started making plans to this end.  Their oldest son William  and Sarah Wilkins  his second wife left England for America January 10, 1850, on the ship "Argo".

Their son George Jr. unmarried at the time, but a member of the LDS Church, sailed from Liverpool on the ship "Ellen Maria", February 1, 1851. 

Mrs. Carlisle tells in her writings of how in April of 1851, excitement ran high because the government announced that a census was going to be taken.  The people recalled the "Doomsday Book" of William the Conqueror, and were afraid that the census would mean more taxes.  Many refused to open their doors to the census taker, but not so with George and Sarah Holyoak.  When the census taker called at No. 92 Mosley Wake, Green Common, Yardly, England he was admitted.  Thus we have the following census record... "George Holyoak was 52.  His occupation was given as an agricultural laborer, and his birthplace as Yardly.  His wife Sarah, age 53, was listed as a laundress, also born at Yardly.  Their daughter Sarah was fourteen years of age and listed as a house-servant.  Henry was twelve years of age and listed as a hostler,(someone who takes care of horses, a groom).  Their youngest child, Hannah, was ten years old and Nehemiah was three. Hannah was baptized when she was eight years old and because of ridicule by both adults and children she was not permitted to go to school. 

In 1845 their oldest daughter, Mary was married to John Francis Knowles.  Mary and Frank were also members of the Mormon church and left England with her parents in 1854. 

George and Sarah Holyoak's dream of migrating to Utah was realized on February 22, 1854, when they boarded the ship "Windemere", with Daniel Garn in command of 477 souls.  Their children; Mary and John Francis Knowles, Ann, Sarah, Henry, Hannah, and grandson Nehemiah were with them. 

The voyage was a difficult one, with small pox breaking out on the ship, causing much suffering and death.  However, the Holyoak's lives were spared at this time.  The "Windemere" finally docked at New Orleans, on April 23, 1854.  From New Orleans they took the steamboat, "Grand Tower" up the river to St. Louis, where according to the history of Hannah, they were delayed by the death of her sister, Mary Holyoak Knowles, who was buried on the plains of Kansas. Her death was recorded as May,  1854 at Kansas City, Missouri.  

The Holyoak family joined the Darwin  Richardson's Company, which consisted of 300 souls and 40 wagons.  The trip was hard because there was so much sickness from cholera and scurvy.  

Quoting Carter's "Treasures of Pioneer History", page 13 & 14, Hundreds of Saints who left the old world that year full of hopes and fond anticipations at the prospect of going to Zion, were suddenly and unexpectedly cut short in their career by that most dreadful of all diseases--cholera, and instead of being spared to cast their lot with the Saints in the Rocky Mountains they were laid to rest by the wayside". 

Sarah Green Holyoak, age 57, was among those who were stricken on the plains of Nebraska.  She died in July of 1854.  Her pain-racked, weary body was sewn in a quilt and laid to its final earthly rest in a shallow grave by the side of the trail.  The sorrowing father and children trudged on toward the Great Salt Lake Valley.  Even though Sarah was not permitted to complete the journey to Utah alive, her noble spirit came on with her husband and children who arrived September 30, 1854. 

On the ship coming over, Sarah and George's daughter, Ann, fell in love with a fine Mormon boy, Joseph James, but she was taken by death as they were well on their way across the plains in Wyoming. She succumbed in August 1854, and was later sealed to Joseph James in the Endowment House in Salt Lake City. 

After the deaths of the mother Sarah in Nebraska and daughter Ann in Wyoming, 19 year old daughter Sarah and Joseph James turned to each other for comfort.  After arriving in Salt Lake City, they were married in a covered wagon Oct 3, 1854. 

President Brigham Young sent George Holyoak Sr., his two children Henry and Hannah, his son-in-law Frank Knowles, and his two little children, also his grandson Nehemiah, south to Parowan to settle.  William and George Jr. and their families joined their father later. 

Henry met and married Sarah Ann Robinson, who was born at Nauvoo, Illinois.  They were called to help settle the San Juan area in south eastern Utah.  They were among those who went down through Hole in the Rock and remained in the area for a few years. 

Hannah, married at the Christmas party, December 25, 1855, to William LeFevre, a young English convert, who had also crossed the plains and settled at Parowan with his mother.  Nehemiah went to live with his father.  When he grew older he married Sarah Ann Harper. 

George Sr. married Ann (Wacktin?) Gunn, widow of John Gunn.  She had joined the church in London in 1854 and came to Utah with her family of six sons and two daughters in 1860.  Her husband John Gunn had died at Stratford, Hertfordshire, England, in 1838.  George and Ann lived in Parowan until their death.  Ann died February 6, 1878 and George died three years later on October 27, 1881. 

Sarah Green Holyoak and George Holyoak Sr. Children: 

William            married - Martha Green, and after her death he married Sarah Wilkins 

Mary                married - John Francis Knowles 

George            married - Eliza Moore and also Elizabeth Ann Ferguson in a polygamous marriage 

Ann                 --                      Died on the plains and was sealed to Joseph James

Daniel --                      Died at the age of 5 in England. 

Sarah            married - Joseph James 

Henry            married - Sarah Ann Robinson (San Juan Missionaries who settled in Moab)  

Hannah            married - William LeFevere December 25, 1855 

Nehemiah        -  grandson (went to live with his father William) married -  Sarah Ann Harper


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