History of James Brinkerhoff
Sally Ann Snyder, Rebecca Hawk and Eliza Jane Henderson
 

Written by John Shaw, March 1999
 

James Brinkerhoff
 James Brinkerhoff was born  on May 22, 1816 to George and Hannah DeGraff
Brinkerhoff1 in Semprenius, Cayuga, New York.2  Cayuga County is just East of Seneca
County in central New York, Finger Lakes region (just Southeast of Syracuse).  He was
raised here and in Niles, Cayuga, New York.  He had lots of relatives in this area, both of
his father's family and his mother's family.  He grew up learning several occupations:
farming, raising and making maple syrup, bee keeping and peddling fish.3
Sally Ann Snyder
 Sally Ann Snyder was a twin.  Her twin sister's name was Eliza Ann.4  They were
born on October 22, 1815 in Semprenius, Cayuga, New York to William and Mary Clark
Snyder.  Sally was part of a large family of fifteen children.5
Rebecca Hannah Hawk
 Rebecca Hannah Hawk was born on August 12, 1835 in Parke County, Indiana.6
Her parents, William Hawk and Margaret Harris had recently joined the Mormon Church
(December 1833).  When she was very young their family moved to be with the Saints in
Missouri.  They lived near DeWitt, Missouri until they were compelled to sign away their
property and were driven to Caldwell County.  While in Missouri, Rebecca had two
younger sisters born.  Then they were forced to leave Missouri and go to Iowa.7
James Brinkerhoff and Sally Ann Snyder
 By January 24, 1830 or more likely 1836.8 & 9 James Brinkerhoff and Sally Ann
Snyder had fallen in love and were married.  Nine months later Sally Ann gave birth to a
daughter.  They named her Janett.10  What a great blessing to this young couple.  Then
two years later, some real excitement came into their home.  They came into contact with
the Mormon Church.  At least Sally Ann's sister Eliza Ann and brother Clark joined the
Mormon Church at that time.11  Then on August 9, 1840 Sally Ann gave birth to another
daughter, but this was to be a trial in their life because the baby died 4 days later.12
 Two years later, James Brinkerhoff accept the restored gospel, he was baptised on
March 1, 1842.13 (We don't have an exact date when Sally Ann joined the church, but was
either about the time her sister and brother were baptised or when her husband was
baptised.   Then on July 24, 184214, Sally Ann gave birth to a healthy baby boy.  They
named him James after his father.  It must have been later this same year that they decided
to join the saints in Nauvoo.  This they did and they became neighbours to the Prophet
Joseph Smith.  Their daughter Janett even picked peaches in the orchard at the Smith
Farm. They helped with the building of the Nauvoo Temple.15  Their daughter Janett also
remembers walking on top of the temple before it was complete.16
 While they lived in Nauvoo, James was called on a mission to Ohio.  He was on his
mission when the Prophet Joseph Smith was Martyred.  Then in August 1844, the meeting
was held, James and Sally Ann were there and witnessed the transfiguration of Joseph on
the countenance and in the voice of Brigham Young.17
 Persecutions had now become so great, that the saints at once prepared to go to
Winter Quarters.  The Brinkerhoff's were in the first company and they travelled by way of
ox team.  When they reached Winter Quarters, he was obliged to leave his wife and little
ones and travel to Missouri to work for money to buy provisions.  It was during this hard
winter that their forth child , little James Jr. (two years old) died and was buried in the
"Camp of Israel" burial ground at Winter Quarters.  He died while crossing the Missouri
River (November 16, 1846).18
 Also a part of this exodus was the Hawk family.  Before departing Nauvoo
however, Rebecca's parents were able to receive their endowments in the Nauvoo Temple.
This occurred on January 28, 184619.   Also Rebecca Hawk was baptised during this time
of persecution.  Her baptism date was April 12, 1846.20  Then, a new challenge came to
them, her father was asked to be a part in the Mormon Battalion.  He became a Private in
Company "B".21
 The Brinkerhoffs started to the Rocky Mountains in the Spring of 1847.  They
were with the Third Ten, First Fifty of the First Hundred Pioneers.  Peregreime Sessions
was their Captain of Fifty.22  The buffaloes that roamed the plains furnished their meat and
the wild fruits were plentiful enough that they were able to obtain some to eat and some to
dry for future use.23
 Sundays were always observed as days of rest and worship, while every evening,
everyone met together for prayer, singing, and occasionally for amusement.
 The journey was not without its trials and hardships.  John Smith's wagon of flour
tipped over in the creek but all was soon put to right. The Brinkerhoff's wagon also tipped
over, mashing the chicken coop and releasing the chickens, but they were recaptured
without loss.  There was plenty of good feed for their cows, and the jolting of the wagons
over rough ground, soon turned their milk and cream into butter.24
 Although their daughter Janett was only eleven years old she was a great help to
her parents.  She even drove a team the last 500 miles of the long journey across the
plains.25  They finally arrived in the Salt Lake Valley on September 25, 184726.  As winter
was close at hand, all set to work building a fort to make themselves comfortable for the
winter and as a protection against the Indians.  Also that winter, they were blessed with
another son.  They named him Levi.27
 In 1849, Rebecca's mother, Margaret Harris Hawk and her children began there
journey west. However her mother did not make it to the Great Salt Lake.  She was killed
by an oxen stampede near Ash Hollow, Nebraska, September 3, 1849.28 The children
were able to continue their journey and become reunited with their father in the Salt Lake
Valley.
 James Brinkerhoff was soon called to move to Centerville.  His calling was to
teach people how to farm.  They lived there for a number of years.  While they lived in
Centerville, their daughter Janett Married George Leavitt.  They had three more sons born
to them in Centerville, Hyrum, George and Willard.29
 Also at this time, James took a second wife, Rebecca Hawk. They were married
September 28, 1852 in the Endowment House in Salt Lake City30.  She was not quite 17
years old.  Two years later he took a third wife, Eliza Jane Henderson.  She had been born
April 29, 1831 at Jacksonville, Morgan County, Illinois.  They were married June 11,
1854 in the Endowment House.31  She was 23 years old.  She was only five years older
than his oldest daughter, Janett.
 After living 15 years in Centerville, James Brinkerhoff was called by Brigham
Young in 1863 to go to Southern Utah where again he helped start the farming work.
This time in St. George, Washington County, Utah and again in 1870, nine years later, he
was called to help settle the "muddy" in Nevada.  He was there at the time Brigham
Young released them because of hard times and Indians troubles and told the people to go
elsewhere if they wanted.  They stayed in Orderville until the crops were gathered, then
went to Glendale.32  He and was living there at the time of this death due to sunstroke33
March 4, 1875.  He was only 59 years old.
 This left the three wives with large families.  Sally Ann , his first wife, had given
birth to eight children.  Their names were Janette, Hannah, Mary Ann, James, Levi,
Hyrum, George and Willard.  She died February 8, 1895 at Thurber, Utah.34
 Rebecca was a good seamstress and she helped manage the sewing for the family.
She had given birth to nine children.  Their names were Clark, Mary Caroline, Margaret,
Samuel, William, Alonza, Jesse, Ira, Sally Edith and Loretta who was born 3 months after
her father died.   Rebecca married again.  She married a man gamed Gardner and lived in
Emery County, Utah.  She died on December 22, 1905.   She was with her youngest
daughter, Loretta Young in Price, Carbon County, Utah.  She was taken to Huntington,
Emery County, Utah for burial.
 Eliza Jane was a weaver and helped make cloth.  She had given birth to eight
children.  Their names were David, John, Silas, Eliza Ann, Lucinda, Joseph, Maryette and
Wilford.  She died in 1905 at the age of 74 in Glendale where she is buried beside her
husband.35  There are other documentation's.36
 (This has been written as a service to family, extended family, cousins and distant
cousins.  I have tried to give credit where it should be given.  If anyone finds errors or
would like to improve on or has more information, it would be most welcome.)  Thanks.
Also special thanks to Vicki Tovey and Myrna Kemp for their willingness to share.
John Shaw, 4589 W. 1650 N. Ogden, Utah 84404.