DAVIS/DAVIES, Thomas, 1816–1899 Llannelly, Carmarthenshire, Wales/Plain City, Weber, Utah, USA

I could not tell The Second Wife’s Story without including Mary’s parents and family in Wales where Mary Davis was born.

Mary’s father, Thomas Davis , was born 16 Aug 1816 in Llanelly, Carmarthenshire, Wales, to Thomas Davies and Ann Price. Ann’s father, Thomas’s grandfather, was born on December 25, 1761, and was aptly named Christmas Price. Some records show Ann Price as having two surnames: Price and Christmas.

In the 1851 census, he is listed as a pilot by trade. He lived in Burry Port, a well-traveled shipping route to the Coal and Copper Mines in South Wales, and his marriage certificate lists his father as a copperman.  As a pilot, Thomas would have accompanied large cargo ships through shallow and narrow passageways as they entered or left port. A pilot needed to be well-seasoned in seafaring in order to help other ships through dangerous waters. Thomas left Wales with his wife and children aboard the Clara Wheeler in November, 1854. This was most likely his last view of the land he grew up in and his final foray into oceanic waters.

Clara Wheeler ship manifest

Life in Utah Territory

The Davis family arrived in New Orleans in January 1855 and  most likely spent the next year in an outfitting point called Mormon Grove in Kansas. In the early Spring of 1856, the Davis family lost their six-year-old daughter. No notes have yet been found to explain her death, but she is likely buried in or near the former town of Mormon Grove. Another daughter, Most sources say that Deseret Eldridge Davis was born in the fall of 1856, just one month before the family arrived at their destination but her tombstone says she was born in 1857.

Deseret Eldridge Davis tombstone

It is not yet certain that the Davis family came with the Abraham O. Smoot Company on November 9, 1856, but several accounts of other Utah pioneers suggest that the Smoot Company was the most likely candidate.

The Davis family settled briefly in Lehi Utah Territory, south of the Salt Lake Valley. After a dry season, and struggles to grow enough crops to feed the families in the settlement, Thomas Davis joined a small group of men to explore a possible new settlement to the north of Salt Lake County. In March of 1859 Thomas Davis brought his wife and children to Plain City as pioneers to build a new settlement there. It was in Plain City that I found the grave of his daughter Mary, and began my quest to fill in the missing pieces of her story.

Thomas Davis had at least one other wife. Dates indicate that this was a polygamous marriage, as Mary Eynon Davis died five years following his second marriage. They had just one child.  One other probable marriage exists as well. Thomas Davis continued to live in Plain City, Utah until his death on 31 Mar 1899. He is also interred in the Plain City Cemetery.

Marriage to Mary Eynon

Thomas Davis/David married Mary Eynon 3 June 1841. She was 25 years old and listed as a spinster on the parish register. Mary died 7 June 1869 in Plain City, Utah Territory, United States.

Children of Thomas and Mary Eynon Davis

Catherine Davis B: 1841
Sarah Davies B: 1842
Ann Davis B: 1843
Mary Davis Skeen B: 1846
Eliza Davies B: 1848
David Davies B: 1848
Margaret Davies B: 1850
John Thomas Davies B: 1851
Robert Lloyd Davis B: 1853
Robert T Davies B: 1853
Deseret Eldridge Davies B: 1856

Marriage to Anna Jeppasdotter/Jeppson

Thomas Davis/David married Anna Jeppasdotter/Jeppson Christensen Svenssen in 1864. Anna had two adolescent daughters from her previous husband who died in 1859. They lived in Plain City, Utah. I remember seeing a divorce decree between Anna and Thomas. I will have to look that up and update this part later.

Daughter of Thomas and Anna Davis

Annie Josephine Davis, 12 March 1865 – 26 March 1942

Marriage to Hannah Thomas?

Several records show Thomas Davis of Weber County, Utah Territory marrying Hannah Thomas on 10 July 1893. Ogden, Weber, Utah Territory, United States.  Thomas would have been 77 at the time, and Hannah was 60. I have not seen any other marriages in Hannah’s family history.

The Second Wife’s Story

Related Information

David Davies, “Llanelli Early Shipping,” Llannelli Community Heritage, accessed 6 November 2018.  https://www.llanellich.org.uk/files/47-early-shipping-in-llanelli.
Church History and Family History Departments, Brigham Young University. “Liverpool to New Orleans 27 Nov 1854 – 12 Jan 1855 Autobiography of George Sant,” Mormon Migration, accessed 6 November 2018. https://history.lds.org/overlandtravel/companies/277/abraham-o-smoot-company.
Church History and Family History Departments. Brigham Young University. “Liverpool to New Orleans 27 Nov 1854 – 12 Jan 1855” Mormon Migration, accessed 6 November 2018.
“England and Wales Census, 1851,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:SGZQ-PP4 : 9 November 2017), Thomas Davies, Pembrey, Carmarthenshire, Wales; citing Pembrey, Carmarthenshire, Wales, p. 20, from “1851 England, Scotland and Wales census,” database and images, findmypast (http://www.findmypast.com : n.d.); citing PRO HO 107, The National Archives of the UK, Kew, Surrey.
Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed 9 October 2018), memorial page for Thomas Davis (25 Aug 1816–31 Mar 1899), Find A Grave Memorial no. 20126093, citing Plain City Cemetery, Plain City, Weber County, Utah, USA ; Maintained by Burnt Almond Fudge (contributor 46857451).
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. “Abraham O. Smoot Company (1856)” Mormon Pioneer Overland Travel. Updated September 1, 2018, 2018.  https://history.lds.org/overlandtravel/companies/277/abraham-o-smoot-company
“Thomas Davis  • KWV4-XBC,” individual profile, FamilySearch,
Updated September 1, 2018, 2018 https://www.familysearch.org/tree/person/details/KWV4-XBC

Parish record of Thomas and Mary Eynon Davis found in findmypast.com records. Submitted By peggybell158 2/2/2016 (ancestry.com: accessed 6 November 2018). http://search.findmypast.com/record?id=gbprs%2fd%2f870203720%2f1 

“Utah, Weber County Marriages, 1887-1941,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QK6K-CZPY : 4 November 2017), Thomas Davis and Hannah Thomas, 10 Jul 1893; citing Weber County Courthouse, Ogden; FamilySearch digital folder 100634170.