Private Jesse Martin served with the Iowa Volunteers during the Mexican-American War Service Started: Jul 1846 Unit(s): Company B, Mormon Battalion Service Ended: Jul 1847
Date: 20 OCT 1908
Note: Jessie was baptized by Thomas Grover in Adams Co. Illinois. His family had already joined to church and moved to Illinois to join the Saints. Later he left Nauvoo with the Saints. He joined the Mormon Battalion (Private in Company "B"). When he was mustered out in California, he worked at Sutter's mill long enough to get the gold for a wedding ring for his future wife Sophponia Moore, who had crossed the plains in 1847. they were married in 1848 in Salt Lake City.
Their first home was a one room log cabin that he later added a large adobe room to. However, he also invited a friend from the Mormon Batallion and his wife to live with them. He belonged to the Minute Men and helped fight the Indians.
June 20, 1853 he was called on a mission to Great Britain where he served for 4 years and 4 months. I believe he sailed on the ship George Washington which left March 28 and sailed for 3 weeks to Boston. There were 817 people on board ship ,although several died. He sailed with the group that would become the Israel Evans handcart company. They sang a recently written song,"Ye Elders of Israel", when they assembled on the deck of the George Washington. Three weeks seems fairly quick for the crossing, but one passenger complained of rough seas and unfavorable winds. Jesse led a wagon train back from Iowa city with 31 or 34 wagons and 192 people. There is not a roster of the company. They left Iowa City June 1, and traveled 300 miles to Florence Nebraska which they left on June 28,29. They heard that Parley P. Pratt had been killed while they were crossing the Missouri River into Nebraska on a ferry. They met some apostates at this point who told them negative things about Utah. They also met Mormon missionaries with handcarts going out from Utah. (The idea of handcarts was unpopular because of last year's tragedies with the Martin and Willie companies. Heber C. Kimball had suggested that in order to guarantee that strong carts were sent, all missionaries should pull handcarts back across the plains.) John Taylor also passed them on his way from New York to Utah. They were just ahead of Johnson's army and people in the company were very concerned. They write about wild rumors that the militia intended to kill all the Mormons. One member of the company records that people had to leave treasures behind as they became too heavy and that thy had to ration food. At the Platte River there were lots of buffalo and their cattle stampeded. At least one elderly man was killed when stampeding oxen yoked to a wagon rolled over him. A child was killed and another injured. A handcart company, led by another member of the Mormon Batallion who had also been at Sutter's Mill, Israel Evans, travelled nearby. Sometimes they were ahead of Jesse's wagon train and sometimes they were behind it. They arrived in Salt Lake City September 12, 1857. Ann Clark was an English emmigrant who cameback with Jesse. He married her December 20, 1857.
A little background information is in order. This was a difficult year for church emmigration. First the church ahd overextened itself trying to bring the poor to Zion in 1856. The PEF was in debt. The disaster with the last two handscarts was very discouraging. Brigham Young tried to solve the money problem by telling the leaders that this year, the church could not afford to help anyone cross the plains. Emmigrants would have to pay their own way. "We truly feel to assist the poor Saints...but it is not wisdom to absorb every othr interst, pertaining to the building up of the kingdom of God, in gathering the poor, which is only one branch of it... All the funds that the company can command will be exhausted in discharging the heavy liabilities, incurred in sending out over two thousand souls, in the year 1856."( Published in Millenial Star, Dec 27, 1856, reprinted in Handcarts to Zion.)
He hoped to relieve the church's debt by getting a contract from the Federal government to deliver the mail. He started several new communities to that end, but the difficulties over polygamy and jealousy from the former contract holder got the contract cancelled. Then Johnson's army came. The emmigration report for the year tells the story. Only one person came through the PEF, and that was someone on the George Washington. 144 people on the George Washington came across in handcarts, the other 674 travelled in wagon trains. There were only 424 handcarts that travelled that year and nearly 1000 others who went in wagon trains, for a total of 566 in handcarts and 1614 in wagons.
In 1863, he was called by President Young to preside over the Scipio branch in Millard County, and again his families battled anew the hardships of pioneering. Because of the unfriendliness of the Indians the settlers built a fort near the East mountains, known as the First Fort. In this enclosure the men made dugouts for their families until such time as a more substantial fort could be erected which was called the Second Fort. At the end of the Black Hawk hostilities the people moved onto the lots they had drawn, and Jesse built two cabins [p.33] with two rooms each for his families on the land alloted him. The remainder of his children were born and reared here. The first telegraph south of Salt Lake City was installed in one of his homes and two daughters learned to both send and receive messages.
Our Pioneer Heritage, Vol. 1, p.33
Jesse Bigler served as presiding elder of the community in 1863, and, in 1875, was ordained a Patriarch of Millard Stake by President Young. During his later years he moved to Provo, Utah with his wife Sophronia. Ann stayed in her home in Scipio. He passed away October 17, 1908 nearing his eighty-fourth year. –Zora Smith Jarvis
Source: S12 Title: Our Pioneer Heritage Author: Kate Carter Abbreviation: Kate Carter Publication: Daughters of Utah Pioneers Abbreviation: Our Pioneer Heritage Page: Volume 1, p. 32-38 Note: Page 32,33 records information about Jesse. The rest of the pages are accounts of other families who came in his company and on the George Washngton.
Source: S20 Title: Handcarts to Zion Author: Leroy Hafen and Ann W. Hafen Abbreviation: Leroy Hafen and Ann W. Hafen Publication: Arthur H. Clark Co., 1960 Abbreviation: Handcarts to Zion Page: pp143-157
It may be possible to confirm family relationships with Jesse by comparing test results with other carriers of his Y-chromosome or his mother's mitochondrial DNA.
However, there are no known yDNA or mtDNA test-takers in his direct paternal or maternal line.
It is likely that these autosomal DNA test-takers will share DNA with Jesse: