Chronology of James Holt, Mary Payne and Parthenia Overton

Here is a chronology of the life of my 3rd Great-grandfather, James Holt.  He was married to Mary Payne and then Parthenia Overton.  These highlights are taken from his journal.


Feb 10 1804   James Holt born in Halifax County North Carolina

Aug 1804   Holt Family and other Relatives moved to area of Lebanon, Tennessee.

1816   At a Davis family Dinner near Lebanon, Tennessee, James was the oldest grandchild of his Grandpa Davis and he was honored.

22 Jan 1830   James married Mary Payne in Wilson County.

27 July 1832   Their 1st Child Jesse Hyrum born and died the same day.

1832   Built a boat with his father-in-law with plans to move to a spot down the Mississippi River. The boat had a hole in the gunnel and after the boat was loaded water came in the hole and sank the boat. They were able to raise the boat and save part of their belongings. After repairing the hole, they began their move. While they were going down the Ohio River storms made things so rough that many became sick. Because of this they stopped at Johnson County Illinois and decided to settle there.

16 July 1833   James and Mary had their second son and they named him Washington Holt. He died 16 Nov. 1833 at 4 months of age.

27 Mar 1835   James and Mary had their first daughter. They named her Sarah Elizabeth Holt. She died July 1835 at 4 months of age.

6 Dec 1836   James and Mary had a son born and they named him Leander Holt.

27 Mar 1838   Mary gave birth to a son and they named him LeRoy Holt.

1839   A Mormon Elder named Zachariah William came into James Holt’s neighborhood preaching the gospel. James Holt was converted and was baptized in October, 1839. Three weeks later Mary was baptized.

11 Jan 1840   James and Mary had a daughter born while still living in Johnson County, Illinois and they named her Mary Ann Holt.

1840   None of Mary’s family would listen to the message and persecution became quite severe so James and Mary decided to sell out and join the saints in Nauvoo, Illinois. However, when he tried to sell out he had to sacrifice his place for about one tenth of its value, but in the spring of 1840 he moved to Nauvoo with his family. He worked at the rock quarry and on the Nauvoo House for almost four years.

25 Aug 1842   James and Mary had a son born and they named him William Alma.

April 1844   James was ordained a Seventy and called on a mission to Tennessee to preach the gospel and promote Joseph Smith in his bid to run for President of the United States. He traveled to Lebanon, Tennessee where his Holt Relatives lived and attempted to teach them the gospel without success.

June 27 1844   While speaking to a large group in the Courthouse at Lebanon, Tennessee, he suddenly received a witness that the Prophet Joseph Smith and just been killed. He concluded his talk with a testimony that the Mormon Prophet had just been killed and “You may have this as a testimony of the Gospel, for if it is not true, Mormonism is not true.”

July 1844   James Holt returned to Nauvoo to find the Church in a great uproar, with several claiming the right to lead the Church. It was at this time that James Emmett came to him testifying that he had been appointed by Joseph Smith to take a few families and lead a small advance group West among the Indians and on the Rocky Mountains to locate the place for the Church to settle in. Even before Brigham Young got back to Nauvoo to assume the leadership of the Church, James had taken his family in a Northwestern direction from Nauvoo to join James Emmett and camped near the Iowa River at a place he called “Kitchens Settlement.”

22 Aug 1844   While camped at Kitchens Settlement, James wife Mary gave birth to their 8th child and they named him John James Holt.

Oct 1844   Less than two months after the birth of John James, his mother Mary died and was buried near the bank of the Iowa River while the group was still camped north of Kitchens Settlement.

Nov 1844   While still camped on the Iowa River, James’ oldest son Leander died and was buried.

1 Jan 1845   The Emmett group broke camp and traveled between fifty and one hundred miles further along the Iowa River. At this camp two Elders came from Brigham Young asking the Emmett party to return to the main group back at Nauvoo.

10 Feb 1845   James lost his six months old child John James Holt and he blames this child’s death on the lack of care from the woman who was supposed to be caring for him. This left him with three living children of the eight he and his wife Mary had.

11 Feb 1845   James married Parthenia Overton.holt-james-and-parthenia

March 1845   The Emmett group broke camp again and traveled for over three months until they arrive at Vermillion a French Trading Post located in the SE Corner of what is now South Dakota on the bank of the Missouri River. After some interesting experiences with the French trader and the Indians in the area they set up a community where it appears that they stayed until early spring of 1846 and began planting seeds for gardens and crops, at which time two more elders from the Church came with word from Brigham Young that the Church was moving west and for them to meet at the Bluffs.

1846   After leaving Vermillion the Emmett Company traveled to the Bluffs and met with the leadership of the Church and then moved about 25 miles South East of the Bluffs to an area that James Holt referred to as Keg Creek. After sending men on down to Missouri to work for some corn, word came from George Miller that they were to hurry and join him so they could be in the advanced party going west. (Miller wanted to be the leader of the advance party.)

Aug 1846   The Emmett Company then headed west across the Missouri River and joined with the George Miller Company at a place they called Pawnee. Then a dispute arose as to who should lead the party west and finally the brethren wrote to Brigham Young to settle the dispute. He sent word back that no one should go west at that time, but that they should find a suitable place and winter. George Millers group took whoever would follow them and went north for the winter to a place they called Ponca Camp, in NE Nebraska.

15 Nov 1846   Parthenia, the wife of James Holt gave birth to a son that they named Dandridge Holt at the place they called Ponca Camp.

Spring 1847   Brigham Young sent word for the group to return to Winter Quarters and being destitute, they really struggled to get back there, but eventually got back to the “Bluffs” and the group was broken up, with both George Miller James Emmett apostatizing. James Emmett left for California. James Holt moved his family to an area South East of Council Bluffs to Fremont County where he and his family stayed several years trying to recuperate.

15 Aug 1847   Dandridge Holt the 10-month-old son of James and Parthenia died shortly after they moved to Fremont County.

8 Aug 1848   James and Parthenia were blessed with another son and they gave him the name of Joseph Overton Holt. He was born in Fremont County.

28 Oct.1850   Nancy Catherine Overton, daughter of James Holt and Parthenia Overton Holt was born on this date in Fremont County.

July 1852   James decided it was time to join the Saints in the west. He went to Keg Creek for provisions and when he returned found that his son William Alma had fallen off an ox and broke his arm. It was set by those who bought James’ place.

27 July 1852   The James Holt Family crossed the Missouri River on their way West.

31 July 1852   Seven miles west of Ash Hollow Nebraska Parthenia gave birth to her fourth child, Franklin Overton Holt.

27 Oct 1852   Arrived in Ogden Valley and spent the winter with James Emmett’s son Moses Simpson Emmett and his wife Catherine Overton Emmett, sister to Parthenia Overton.

1853   In the spring James Holt moved his family to North Ogden where he purchased a farm.

25 Sept 1853   Another baby girl was born to Parthenia shortly after moving to North Ogden. They named her Clarissa Jane Holt.

2 Nov 1853   There was much sickness in the area. On this date their 5-year-old son Joseph Overton Holt died of Whooping Cough. A week later their infant daughter Clarissa Jane died of the same ailment.

1853 Winter   James Holt was ordained a High Priest and appointed as a counselor in the Bishopric to Bishop Bunn.

15 Feb 1855   Another baby girl was born to Parthenia there in North Ogden and they named her Celesta Ann Overton Holt.

22 Feb 1855   Celesta Ann died, being only one week old.

13 Oct 1855   James & Parthenia’s’ daughter Mary Ann married William Barker in the Endowment House in Salt Lake City.

14 June 1856   Another baby girl was born to Parthenia. They named her Rachel Overton Holt.

1857 Fall   The federal government sent Johnson’s Army to put down a supposed Mormon Rebellion. James’ sons LeRoy and William Alma saw a lot of action at this time. Brigham Young instructed all the saints North of the Provo area to pack what they could and move to the South for safety. James Holt moved his family to the area of Springville, Utah at that time.

15 Dec 1857   James’ son, LeRoy married Ellen Lowe, daughter of John & Ann Lowe.

28 May 1858   Parthenia gave birth to another son while living in Springville, Utah. They named him George Albert Holt.

1858 Summer   James Holt moved his family back to his farm at North Ogden.

3 July 1859   William Alma, son of James and Mary married Sarah Wardell while living at North Ogden, Utah.

1860 Fall   James Holt decided to sell his holdings in North Ogden and move to a valley 15 miles east of Ogden where he took up a farm and tried to make a living there. His grain crops froze there before they were ripe so he decided to accept Brigham Young’s call to move South and raise cotton.

19 Oct 1861   Another daughter was born to James & Parthenia. They named her Parthenia Holt. The records show she was born in North Ogden.

1862 Summer   James moved his family South and settled in Washington, Utah and took up a farm, where they raised cotton and wheat.

15 Oct 1863   James and Parthenia experience another tragedy with the death of their little two-year-old daughter, Parthenia.

26 Oct 1864   Henry Davis Holt the last-born child of James and Parthenia was born in Washington, Utah.

Feb 1865   Because of the unhealthy conditions in Washington, Utah, James Holt moved his family to the area known as Long Valley, but in June they got a letter from Erastus Snow that they needed to move back to the Dixie area for safety so they moved to Virgin, Utah where they built a small cabin. They reported exciting experiences with Indians when they returned to Long Valley to harvest their crops.

Feb 1867   James Holt moved his family to the Mountain Meadows and rented land from Simpson Emmett and stayed there in the area that became known as Hamblin, until erosion began to destroy the crop land in the area, at which time he followed the stream of water down the Meadow Canyon and settled on what became known as Holt’s Ranch at the mouth of that canyon.

At this point, James Holt’s journal ends.


25 Jan 1894   James Holt died at Holt’s Ranch, Washington, Utah.

27 Jan 1894 James Holt was buried at the Holt Cemetery.

6 May  1906   Parthenia Overton Holt died in Gunlock, Washington, Utah.

7 May 1906   Parthenia Overton Holt was buried at the Holt Cemetery.

Holt, James Headstone, Holt's Ranch .  holt-parthenia-d-1906-headstone

About annlaemmlenlewis

I am member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and I am currently serving as a Missionary in the Washington Yakima Mission. Welcome to my personal blog, Ann's Words, and my Mission blog, Our Yakima Mission. If you are interested in family history stories and histories, you can find those posted in Ann's Stories. Thanks for looking in!
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