Thomas Howells missionary diary

Thomas Howells missionary diary

Dates: approximately 1870-1880

Handwritten diary by Thomas Howells largely detailing his personal and spiritual experiences on his Mormon mission in South Wales from May 1870 to August 1871. The diary also includes a biographical sketch of Howells before his mission, and ends with records of births, deaths, blessings, and other geneological information of his family, dating up to 1880. Dated approximately 1870-1880.

  • Extent: 1 folder (0.1 linear ft.)
  • Creator: Howells, Thomas, 1831-1883
  • Call Number: MSS 8908
  • 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
Conditions of Use
It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain any necessary copyright clearances. Permission to publish material from the Thomas Howells missionary diary must be obtained from the Supervisor of Reference Services and/or the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Coordinating Committee.
Preferred Citation
Initial citation: MSS 8908; Thomas Howells missionary diary; 19th Mormon and Western Manuscripts; L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University. Following citations: MSS 8908, LTPSC.
Custodial History
Donated by John F. Howells III, a descendant of Thomas Howells, who found the diary in the Howells family cabin on the Stewart Ranch in Summit County, Utah, in 2014, and donated it to the repository in 2016.
Acquisition Information
Donated; John F. Howells III; 2016.
Subject Terms
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; Religion; Missions and Missionaries; Mormonism (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints); Mormon Church--Missions--Wales; Howells, Thomas, 1831-1883; Howells, Thomas, 1831-1883--Diaries
Genre / Form
Processing Information
Processed; Rebecca Fetzer, student manuscript processor, and Cory Nimer, supervisor; September 22, 2016.
Appraisal Information
LDS cultural, family, social, intellectual, and religious history (19th Century Mormon and Western Manuscripts collection development policy IV.a.i.1, November 2013).
Finding Aid ID Number
Finding Aid Title
Howells (Thomas) missionary diary
Finding Aid Author
Rebecca Fetzer
Finding Aid Creator
This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on 2016-12-12 14:25:03 -0700.
Finding Aid Language
Biographical Info:

Biographical History

Thomas Howells (1831-1879) was a Mormon convert, stone-cutter, merchant, and mason in Utah.

Thomas Howells was born May 23, 1831, the oldest of six children to John and Gwenllian Price Howell. When Howells was nine years old, his father died and the family had to eventually sell the family farm. Howells helped support his family by working in a rock quarry. At the age of 18, he was baptized as a member of the Mormon Church, and immigrated to America for religious freedom and economic opportunity. In 1851, he crossed the plains from Missouri and arrived in Salt Lake City on June 6, 1861.

In Salt Lake City, Thomas Howells worked as a merchant and then as a stone-cutter and mason. He built one of the first apartments and was instrumental in the building of the Salt Lake Temple. In 1852, he was called and ordained as a member of the Seventy in the 33rd Quorum. In 1853, Howells met Ann Francis and they wed on October 12, 1853. Eventually they had thirteen children together, nine of whom survived into adulthood. Howells was incredibly dedicated to the Church, and in 1870, he was called on a mission to South Wales, where he served without his wife and children until 1872. Two years after his return, his wife Ann died of consumption. In 1880, Howells got remarried in the Salt Lake Temple to a woman named Agnes Chambers, and they had three children together. Thomas Howells died on October 17, 1883, at the age of 52.

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Ryan Lee
Curator - 19th Century Western & Mormon Manuscripts