John Edwards journal

John Edwards journal

Dates: 1894

Materials include photocopies and transcriptions of John Edwards' journal written four years before his death. Included is Edwards' life history from 1831 to 1894. The autobiographical journal provides details about his joining the church in Wales, immigrating to the United States with his family in 1849 (as well as the deaths of his family around the same time), and his account of settlement and family life in Salt Lake City, Utah. Among other recollections, he writes about his faith, copies blessings and documents into his journal, and keeps a brief family record listing the members of his family. Dated 1894.

  • Extent: 2 folders (0.08 linear ft.)
  • Creator: Edwards, John, 1831-1898. -- Merrigan, Elaine
  • Call Number: MSS 8367
  • Repository: L. Tom Perry Special Collections; 19th Century Western & Mormon Manuscripts; 1130 Harold B. Lee Library; Brigham Young University; Provo, Utah 84602;
  • Access Restrictions: Open for public research.
Languages and Scripts
Alternative Format
Folder 1 contains photocopied scans of the original journal. Folder 2 includes the transcription of the original journal.
Conditions of Use
It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain any necessary copyright clearances. Permission to publish material from John Edwards journal must be obtained from the Supervisor of Reference Services and/or the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Board of Curators.
Preferred Citation
Initial citation: MSS 8367; John Edwards journal; 19th Century Mormon and Western Manuscripts; L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University. Following citations: MSS 8367, LTPSC.
Custodial History
Donated by Elaine Merrigan, great-great granddaughter of John Edwards, through Ronald Dennis, in 2000.
Acquisition Information
Donated; Elaine Merrigan and Ronald D. Dennis; 2000.
Subject Terms
Edwards, John, 1831-1898--Diaries; Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; Religion; Immigrants--Utah; Material Types; Mormons--Wales; Patriarchal blessings (Mormon Church); Salt Lake City (Utah)--19th century
Genre / Form
Autobiographies; Diaries; Photocopies; Transcripts
Processing Information
Processed; Zoe Brimhall, student manuscript processor, and Ryan K. Lee, curator; 2014.
Appraisal Information
LDS cultural, social, and religious history (19th Century Mormon and Western Manuscripts collection development policy 1.V, November 2013).
Finding Aid ID Number
Finding Aid Title
Edwards (John) journal
Finding Aid Author
Finding aid prepared by Zoe Brimhall
Finding Aid Creator
This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit 2014-02-25T14:31-0700
Finding Aid Language
Biographical Info:

Biographical History

Elaine Merrigan is the great-great granddaughter of John Edwards.

Biographical History

John Edwards (1831-1898) was an early Welsh convert to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and served in the Utah War from 1857 to 1858.

John Edwards was born on May 10, 1831 at Hirwaun, Glamorganshire, Wales to parents Edward Edwards and Elizabeth Thomas. Edwards was raised in a religious household: his father was a Weslayan Methodist and his mother was an Armin Baptist. His family joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the 1840s and soon after, in 1849, Edwards and his family emmigrated from Wales to settle in the United States of America. After their arrival, Edwards' father, sister, and mother contracted cholera; while his mother recovered, his father and sister both died of the disease.

Edwards married Charlotte Stephens in 1851 while at Council Bluffs and they had seven children. Together they crossed the plains and arrived in Salt Lake City, Utah, during the October session of General Conference. To support themselves, Edwards found work and his wife made money through her sewing and they built a home in Salt Lake City. During 1857-1858 Edwards left his family to serve in the Utah War where he worked as cook for the generals at the camp.

Edwards died on January 10, 1898, in Salt Lake City, Utah.

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Ryan Lee
Curator - 19th Century Western & Mormon Manuscripts