Coming to America


Using family histories, the Mormon Immigration Index and Ships, Saints and Mariners by Conway B. Sonne, I have gathered the following information about the immigration of my ancestors to the United States.



William Bowden and Elizabeth Churchill Bowden along with their sons Joseph (15), James (11) and daughter Mary Ann Elizabeth (23) and her husband Edward Cassidy, his two children and their daughter Marnitha (1) sailed from Liverpool, England on the square rigger Clara Wheeler.  They sailed from Liverpool on 22 November 1854 in a company of 422 saints and arrived in New Orleans on 11 January 1855.  Their granddaughter, Marnitha, died at sea on 30 December 1854.  After arriving in New Orleans they continued up the Mississippi on the riverboat Oceana, arriving at St. Louis on 22 January 1855.


Rachel Smuin sailed from London, England on 4 June 1863, at the age of 19,on the Amazon.  It was this contingent of saints of whom Charles Dickens wrote favorably of in The Uncommercial Traveller. After a forty-four day passage the Amazon arrived at the New York harbor on 18 July 1863. One day later the Cynosure would anchor alongside the Amazon carrying the William Kirk family. The two companies of saints would travel together to Utah.  Rachel Smuinžs parents, Thomas Smuin and Sarah Hook Smuin would follow her to America five years later. The Amazon was one of the largest, fastest and most famous packet ships of her time.


Henry Dittmore (Heinrich Dittmar), by family tradition, gained passage to New York by working as a sea hand.  By 11 Mar 1864 he was in Utah, had met and married Rachel Smuin.


William Kirk and Jean Hynd Kirk and daughters Elizabeth (3) and Margaret (4 months) sailed from Liverpool on 30 May 1863 with 775 saints on the Cynosure.  They arrived at New York on 19 July after of passage of 50 Days. The Cynosure was a Yankee square-rigger packet ship.


William Norris, Jr. and Caroline Tirrell Norris and their children Walter (20), Ruben (16) and Emily (12) sailed from London on 5 May 1866 with 389 saints on the square-rigged sailing ship Caroline.  They arrived in New York on 11 June 1866 after 36 days at sea.


Thomas Smuin and Sarah Hook Smuin sailed from Liverpool to New York on the Colorado, a steam ship, on 14 July 1868 with a company of 600 saints. They arrived in New York on 28 July 1868.


Ebenezer Godfrey DeFriez left home as a young man with his brother Charles to work as seamen on the British merchant ship the England. Their father sent a tutor with them so they could continue their academic studies.  The captain of the England was George Henry Harrington, the uncle of Ebenezer and Charles. While anchored in Sydney, Australia in 1873, Ebenezer joined the Church. From Sydney the England traveled to the Puget Sound, where Ebenezer, Charles and their tutor, John Miles left the ship and traveled overland to Utah. Three years later Ebenezer returned to England as a missionary.  There he converted his mother, Mary Ann Godfrey DeFriez, his younger sister and younger brother and other family members.


Mary Ann Godfrey DeFriez accompanied by Ebenezer Godfrey DeFriez and a younger son, Francis (18) sailed from Liverpool, England on 25 July 1877 on the Wyoming, a steam ship. They arrived in New York on 4 August 1877 after a ten-day voyage. The Wyoming carried more Latter-day Saints across the Atlantic than any other vessel; however, there were only nine members on this voyage.


The ancestors of Sarah Elizabeth McCullough came to America prior to the Revolutionary War but nothing else is known of how or when they came to America.