Monday, April 6, 2015


The previous post on this subject made a tentative case for this post's title's claim. I now have conclusive proof that, taken with other evidence, supports the assertion that Elizabeth Treharn, and not Elizabeth Thomas, was John Jones’ wife and the mother of his children.

I found in the LDS temple ordinance data for Elizabeth Treharn that she had temple work performed on her behalf in the Logan Utah LDS temple in 1887. Checking the microfilmed temple records, I learned that a proxy baptism was performed on her behalf by her daughter, Mary Jones Evans.

Mary Jones joined the Mormon Church in Wales and immigrated to the United States in 1850. She met onboard the ship a Mormon Elder, Abel Evans, a Welsh convert who had joined the Church in 1844. They married and traveled by river boat from the port of New Orleans to St. Louis, then on to the Mormon staging post at Council Bluffs, Iowa, across the Missouri from today’s Omaha, Nebraska, where their first child was born, died, and was buried.

After arriving in Utah in 1852, they settled in Lehi, 30 miles from Salt Lake City. Mary bore eight children, six of whom lived to adulthood. In 1866, Abel died while serving the Church as a missionary in his native land. She was left in charge of the farm with her children and with the companionship of her two sister wife’s and their children. In 1878 she married Isaac Chilton, twice a widower.

Mary’s voice is not usually found in the records of her life and family. I have not seen any written record that she may have produced with her own hand. Her native language was Welsh and she probably spent most of her life in the company of Welsh speakers. Her husbands, both Abel and Isaac, spoke Welch, as did Abel’s two other wives. She may have been illiterate, as were her father and mother.

Yet her voice is heard clearly as taken down by the temple recorder when she went to the temple to do the work for her deceased relatives and friends. On November 8, 1887, she then spoke the names of eleven deceased women, each from Carmarthenshire, Wales, as she performed the sacred act of baptism for them. They were her mother, grandmother, a sister-in-law, two sisters, two aunts, a niece, and three friends. She knew her mother’s birth year and the death date of one other women. She knew her mother’s name, Elizabeth Treharn, likely pronouncing it with a Welsh accent, dropping the “h” and so recorded as Trearn. She gave her own name as Mary Jones Evans, although by then was married to Isaac Chilton.

The first temple completed in Utah was in far away St. George, 300 miles from Lehi, virtually inaccessible to a 59-year old woman at that time. The Logan Temple was dedicated in 1884 and was by 1887 the temple nearest to Mary Evans' home in Lehi, Utah (110 miles). A rail line was completed to Logan by 1879. She travelled with her husband’s married daughter, 29-year old Martha Chilton, who also performed work for her ancestors in the Logan Temple. The two likely made the trip on the Utah Central to Ogden and from there on to Logan in one day. They may have performed temple work the day they arrived, or perhaps stayed overnight and went the temple the next day. They returned to the temple on November 9, when Mary was proxy for her mother’s temple endowment.

Based on this and other evidence, I have now removed Elizabeth Thomas as the wife of this John Jones and the parents of each of the children.

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