Elizabeth Laird
February 2, 1795 - abt. 1860


Elizabeth Laird is my Great Great Grandmother.

Chapter 1

Elizabeth Laird was born in New Monkland, Lanark, Scotland on July 27, 1860 to John Laird and Elizabeth Russell. Elizabeth Laird married Robert Easton, October 8, 1814; Robert was born in New Monkland on July 29, 1792. Elizabeth and Robert had 11 children: John, May 27, 1819; Robert, July 27, 1822, Barbara, March 12, 1826; George, January 4, 1829; Mathew Stevenson, March 12, 1831; Elizabeth, September 30, 1833; Jane, February 8, 1834; James, July 24, 1823; Margaret, September 20, 1834. All of their children were born in either Old or New Monkland, Lanark, Scotland. Robert died on February 8, 1849, Airdrie, Lanarkshire, Scotland. I believe that Elizabeth died in the Cedar City settlement about 1860.

The following was taken from Russell Family History that is contained on the very interesting web site: http://www.waughfamily.ca/Russell/Mormons.htm

Elizabeth Laird Easton

On March 2, 1850, Elizabeth Laird Easton and her children Matthew (19) and twins Margaret and Jane (15) boarded the Hartley in Liverpool and arrived in New Orleans, Louisiana on May 2, 1850.

S S Hartley

"FORTY - EIGHT COMPANY. - Hartley, 109 souls." The ship Hartley, carrying one hundred and nine souls of Latter-day Saints, bound for the Valley, sailed from Liverpool, March 2nd, 1850, under the presidency of Elder David Cook. This closed the emigration from Great Britain until the following September. After a passage of fifty-nine days, the company arrived in New Orleans on May 2nd, 1850, the emigrants generally enjoying good health. During the voyage there was but a very little sickness, but the Saints were much annoyed by the Irish passengers and the conduct of Captain Morrell was shameful, as he did all in his power to make their situation as miserable as possible; and when they were holding their meetings, he took particular pains to annoy them. But, while he acted as a demon to the rest of the company, he was exceedingly kind and attentive to two or three females whom he on different occasions, invited into his cabin. These, however, were not members of the Church. Otherwise the voyage was a pleasant one, and the weather was fine and agreeable, so much so that not one of the ship's sails was ever reefed from the day the vessel sailed from Liverpool until it's arrival in New Orleans. Only a very few of the passengers suffered from seasickness; no births or marriages occurred during the voyage, but one child died coming up the river on the first of May, and was buried in New Orleans. At New Orleans the company was met by the church emigration agent, Thomas McKenzie, who accompanied the Saints up to St. Louis, Missouri, where they arrived about the middle of March. From thence a part, or all, of the emigrants continued the journey to the Bluffs. (Millennial Star, Vol. XII, pages 89, 216, 217, 252, 300.)" March. Sat. 2. [1850] - The ship Hartley sailed from Liverpool, England, with 109 Saints, under David Cook's direction. It arrived at New Orleans on May 2nd. From: Liverpool to New Orleans, March 2, 1850.

Letter From Thomas McKenzie

St. Louis, May 1850

Dear Brother, -- The ship Hartley arrived in New Orleans on the 2nd of May, 1850, with a company of Saints under the presidency of Elder David Cook, who I think has discharged his trust faithfully. The Saints that came on the Hartley as far as New Orleans were generally in good health. They had very little sickness on board, but were much annoyed by the Irish passengers. The conduct of Captain Morrill was most shameful; he did all in his power to make their situation as miserable as possible; and when they were holding their meetings he took particular pains to annoy them. The Lord reward him according to his deeds. The captain was very kind to some two or three of the females, inviting them into his cabin, and at the same time acting as a demon towards the rest of the company. This is one great evil the sisters have to contend against, namely, the imprudence of some who call themselves sisters.

The Saints have been warned, time after time, on coming to America to be careful of their diet, and of exposing themselves; yet, as soon as they land they commence eating fresh meat and vegetables, and drinking large quantities of water. The consequence is, that when they start up the river they are taken ill. This can be avoided by obeying counsel. The Saints, I think, would do well to provide themselves with spices, cayenne pepper, mustard, camphor, and peppermint.

I have delayed writing at New Orleans, as I was going up with the company to St. Louis. The second day after we left some of the Saints and others were taken ill with diarrhea. I immediately gave them some remedies I had provided before I started, and all were healed directly. The destroyer is abroad on the waters, and it requires the united faith and prayers of the elders to pass through the scenes that are before them. This I know by experience. All that came on the Hartley have arrived safely in St. Louis. Many of those who are apparently good Saints when they start away, when they arrive in New Orleans find fault with everything, from Brother Pratt down to Thomas Mc'Kenzie. I am now on board the "Era" on my way to the Bluffs, in the company of some good Saints who love and worship God. Praying God to bless you, I remain your respectfully,

Thomas McKenzie
from BIB: Mc'Kenzie, Thomas also Cook, David. Latter-day Saints' Millennial Star 12:14, (Jul 15, 1850), p. 217. (CHL)

The John Easton Company

On July 1, 1851, the John Easton Company (or Scotch Independent Company) departed St Louis, Missouri. Organized initially as the 4th Ten in the 2nd Fifty of James W. Cummings's company, they left the company on 12 July to travel independently to Utah. They were dissatisfied with the pace of the company and were concerned that they would have enough provisions for the entire distance. They reached Salt Lake several weeks ahead of the Cummings company (on Sept 15, 1851). James Easton and Agnes Adam Easton (daughter of William Thom Adam and Isobel Laird) were amongst this company as was Elizabeth Laird Easton (James mother) and most (if not all) of her children. From: John Easton Company (1851), Mormon Pioneer Overland Travel

Fourth Ten

Jno. [John] Easton[,] Capt.: 7 Souls, 1 Waggon, 4 Oxen, 2 Cows
Alexander Easton: 8 Souls 2 Waggons, 8 Oxen, 2 Cows, 6 Horses
James Easton: 6 Souls, 2 Waggons, 6 Oxen, 2 Cows, 7 Horses
Alexander Meir: 6 Souls, 1 Waggon, 4 Oxen, 4 Cows
Jno. [John] Birt [Burt]: 6 Souls, 1 Waggon, 6 Oxen, 2 Cows
Jno. [John] Stodget [Stoddard]: 5 Souls, 1 Waggon, 4 Oxen, 2 Cows
James Bullock: 4 Souls, 1 Waggon, 4 Oxen, 2 Cows
James Williams: 6 Souls, 1 Waggon, 4 Oxen, 2 Cows
William Hartshorn: 4 Souls, 1 Waggon, 6 Oxen Henry Reese: 1 Soul, 1 Waggon, 2 Cows, 7 Horses
Alfred Cordon Emigrating Company, Journal, 1851 June-Sept.

William Thom Adam, Margaret Thompson, John Thompson, Margaret Adam Henderson (and her children William, Isabelle, Margaret, Janet, Mary and David), William Nish (along with the Keir family above) and the Burdic family may also have been with the John Easton Company. From: - Findagrave for Margaret Ada Adam Henderson  John Grant may also have been with the John Easton Company. From: John W. Grant


"... We lived here [St. Louis] untill the spring of 1851, and then we organized a company of ten to cross the plains to Salt Lake City

John Easton was appointed captain of the ten. and the names of the members of the company are as follows. John Easton and family, James Easton and family, Robert Easton and family, Alexander Easton and family, Mrs. Easton, their mother, and two unmarried sons George and Matthew Easton, James Williamson and family, Sandy Kear [Kerr] and family, Sandy [David] Mustgared [Mustard] and daughter, John and Andrew Burt, Joseph Horn, James, Robert and David Bullock, James Berner, John Stoddard, my father, my mother, John Stoddard, my brother and I David Stoddard.

We left St. Louis in April and were six weeks on the road to Winter Quarters. We were compelled to stop here a long time, it seemed, because the rivers had overthrown their banks and it seemed impossible to take the old road up the Platte River or that of the old Mexican Trail. So we were compelled to send out scouts to locate a route which would be possible to use in safety.

After a delay of several weeks we were organized into a company of with a train of 50 wagons so as to be strong enough to insure our safety. This company was captioned [captained] by Captain [Alfred] Cardon [Cordon]. Or known as Captain Cardon's Company.

After a weeks travel we were discouraged as so much time was wasted. Captain John Easton called us all into council and laid before us the condition of affairs, asked if we were willing to travel alone as a company of ten and leave the others. We all agreed to do this as near as I can remember. About the fifth day of our trek, we saw a great cloud of dust in the east, we judged about one mile away. Captain Easton called a halt, we thought it was a band of Indians and we would surely be destroyed. To our surprise we found it to be a large herd of buffalo which we estimated to be around five thousand. The herd we judged to be one mile long and one fourth of a mile wide. We had all we could do to save our wagons from being turned up side down. Another day we came in sight of a large Indian camp, we passed by in peace and camped about three miles from them. We had just made fires and were preparing our suppers, when suddenly the camp was surrounded by about two hundred indians. We gave them all the camp could spare in eatables and soon they went away whooping in their Indian fashion. I could tell volumns [volumes] of incidents which happened during this trek but time will not permit. But will say that after a great many days of travel and hardship we reached Salt Lake City on Friday October 5th 1851, with Captain Cardon's Company.

Source of Trail Excerpt: Stoddard, David Kerr, Autobiographical sketch. [Variant version of text also in Our Pioneer Heritage, 20 vols. (1958-77), 13:391]

From Autobiographical Sketch, David Kerr Stoddard


. . . Friday July 11. Captn. Cordon a rose and Said he wished to make a few remarks and the first thing he wished to bring to Brethren’s mind was this that when we come to place like we did today he wanted every man when he had got out of danger to take his cattle from his wagon and go and help the others and not lay down under the wagon or anchor his hind quarters in the wagon and get so lazey that they wished themselves some where else and not let 6 wagons detain this Company an hour and three quarters as was the case to day.

Well he said: brethren the next item of business I wish to call your attention to and that is a seperation which is about to take place and that is this, Captain Easton and his ten has declared they would leave this company because we did not travel fast enough for them they have some horse and ox teams that walk faster than ours and another excuse they had for leaveing was they had not provisions enough to last them and that they could travel from 25 to 26 miles a day they have done it and they say they can do it again.

Captain Cordon then gave him and his ten his mind on the subject and that was this he did not want them to go and leave us but as long as they had taken a vote to leave amonst themselves he said go Brethren and let the responsibility rest on your shoulders for said he I want no man nore set of men that cannot be united with us to stay with us for we want no growlers here and every man that is not satisfied with our mode of travel we want him to go with Captain Easton.

In the morning, he said I have been watching the Spirit of that Company for this some time and I new it would come to a separation for the spirit manifested it self as not being united with this company and said he I want that man that said he would go if he could get any one to follow him and not stop to cook and wash he wanted to shove ahead. Well now their is a chance for him to go also and I want he should go for such big headedmen as him we do not want with us for said he every man knows that it was right to stop on that day for our wives done up their little domesticks and our wagons got sweetend and our cattle got rested and we have gained more by it than we should had we kept on our course the Brethren said we have done well by stoping on that day the Captain said that Captain Easton had shown a Spirit of none confidence to him not only once but twice and a third time and Captain Easton said that Captain Cordon had a wrong impression with regard to his confidence he said he had the best of feelings for this company and said he always had for any of the Latter Day Saints and he was very satisfied with Captain Cordon and he could say that he had the most confidence in Captain Cordon and always had since he got acquainted with him.

Brother Cordon said he would stick by those that would stick to him and he wanted every man to stay with him until all the tens say it is wisdom to seperate. Said he, I go in for union all the time and if we are united we shall role into the Valey in safety. The meeting was then dismised by prayer.

Saturday, July 12th the morning is cool and pleasant, our sick are getting better the wind blows cool from the South and it has the appearance of a good day for traveling. We rolled out at 8.o.clock and we have had a splended day for traveling and have come 15 miles. Our road today has been very hilly but they were first rate good hard roads.

Captain Easton and Company and George W Johnson rolled out and left us this morning and when we camped they were out of sight. When we camped today their is no wood but plenty of good water...

Wednesday July 23, the camp were all full of business untill 10 o'clock, then the horn was blown and all assembled to See what was the matter. Captain Cordon came forward and spoke with relation to crossing the river and said he wanted every team yoked up and then start at 12 o'clock each ten doubled team and half of the fifty rolled over at a time. We all Crossed it in one hour and thirty five minutes. We come up with Easton’s Company and they have lost 9 horses they appealed to us for horses to go and hunt for theirs but our Captain told them that they could not have them.

Just as we started to cross the stream, the Easton’s Company crowded in with ours wich was not a very good trick and when they got in the middle of the river one wagon stopped and commenced to settle. We went to his assistance and pulled him out. If they had a listened to the council of Brother Cordon they would now have had their horses and not have been a burden to their company. But men that will go Contrary to council and think they are so strong and can go so very fast on their own responsibility must take the lash at all times. we have come to day with crossing the river 8 miles and camped where there is no wood but plenty of water and good feed. Easton’s Company come up after we had carrelled and camped a quarter of a mile a head of us.

Thursday, July 24th, at 6 o'clock, Easton’s Company is out of sight. At 8 o'clock we hitched up and rolled out. We found splended roads though it was over hills.

Saturday, August 30th, the day broke clear and cold and when we got up in camp we found ice in our buckets and pans and it was an eighth of an inch thick. We rolled out at 8 o'clock and traveled until dinner time and turned our cattle out to bait below the upper ferry. We Started again at 2 o'clock and crossed the river and come about 4 miles and Camped about mile from the river. We have come 12 miles to day. Just after we camped three men come in from the mountains and told us that Captain Easton and Company was robbed of their horses and provisions and they were in a destitute condition. From Alfred Cordon Emigrating Company, Journal, 1851 June-Sept.

Organized initially as the 4th Ten in the 2nd Fifty of James W. Cummings's company, they left the company on 12 July to travel independently to Utah. They were dissatisfied with the pace of the company and were concerned that they would have enough provisions for the entire distance. They reached Salt Lake several weeks ahead of the Cummings Company.

We were only able to make eight or ten miles a day and winter was on us. It must have been early October and there was a strong frost every night. We were only some 116 miles from Salt Lake City. In due time we arrived in Salt Lake and were invited to the house of John Gray whose wife was a niece of my father. - from the Memoirs of William Laird Adam, California Pioneer, 1836-1903

There were some discontents in Utah even then, but it was good policy to say little. Father used to say "Best be very quiet while you are under the lions paw. In a quiet way some would intimate a trip to California would be very desirable. - from the Memoirs of William Laird Adam, California Pioneer, 1836-1903

Mormon Leader Brigham Young saw Southern California as a supply source for the salt flats of Utah, and as an immigration and mail stop between Salt Lake City and San Pedro, California. A group of almost 500 Mormons left Utah for California in 1851. They found abundant water in the valley, along with willows, sycamores, cottonwood and mustard, as well as the Yucca plant. The Mormon contingent was led by Captain David Seely (later first Stake President), Captain Jefferson Hunt and Captain Andrew Lytle, and included Apostles Amasa M. Lyman and Charles C. Rich. They first made camp at the Sycamore Grove, about 1.5 miles (2.4 km) southeast of the present Glen Helen Regional Park. They stayed until the sale of Rancho San Bernardino could be arranged.

In September 1851, Lugo sold the Rancho to members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons). The Rancho included most of modern San Bernardino among other areas, though part of the northern areas of the City were part of Rancho Muscupiabe. The price for 40,000 acres (160 km2) was $77,000 with $7,000 down. The Mormons built Fort San Bernardino at the site of the present county courthouse. Inside the fort, they had small stores, and outside, they grew wheat and other crops. They later moved outside the walls of the fort when feared-attacks did not materialize. The Mormon Council House was built in 1852. It was used as the post office, school, church, and was the county courthouse from 1854 to 1858. - from History of San Bernardino, California, Wikipedia

James Easton, Margaret and Agnes Adam and their children and William Thom Adam and Margaret Thompson and their children all traveled from Cedar City to California in 1854. John Easton (son of James Easton and Margaret Adam Henderson) was born in California in 1856. James Easton and Agnes Adam and their family would eventually travel on to Oregon.




This page last updated on October 01, 2013 .