ARNOLD GOODLIFFE 1837-1913    
Account taken from the personal narrative of Arnold Goodliffe, given to me by Yvonne Peterson.  It is also published in the LDS Biographical Encyclopedia by Andrew Jenson, vol 1, page 391

                Since Martha married Arnold Goodliffe I think it only fitting to add something of his life.  It should be noted that Arnold was living the law of polygamy that was still in practice until 1890 within the church.

        "I came of goodly parentage, my father and mother's antecedents being staunch Christians, who defended their religion with their lives many of them being burned at the stake, cast into dungeons, etc. in the days of the awful crusade in England by the Roman Catholics.  My mother died when I was quite a small child.  My father, however, was blessed in his second marriage with a good woman, who proved a noble mother to his children, and we always bless her memory.  My parents were Baptists; in fact, all the Goodliffes descend from the early reformers, and have helped to build and endow seven chapels.  My father was a firm believer in religious freedom and would defend the rights of a ‘Mormon’ Elder as quickly as those of the Baptist denomination.

         “I became acquainted with the gospel when but a small boy and believed with my whole soul; but my father thought I was too young to fully realize what I was doing; and so I was not permitted to be baptized.  I was sent to live with my uncle, Arnold Goodliffe, a merchant, of Nottingham, to divert my attention.  I was in Nottingham one year before I learned of any Saints, and I had some difficulty in getting to their meetings; but by attending morning service in my uncle's church, I was allowed to go to the Saint's meetings on Sunday and week day evenings. I was baptized 27 Jun 1853, being over 16 years old.

            “My first church donation was to the Salt Lake Temple.  My great desire and anxiety now, having been baptized was to go to Zion, and I prayed to God earnestly that my way might be opened.  God moved upon my relatives, and my brother proposed that I should go to America, and they would furnish all the money necessary.  After a short visit among my relatives, I went to Liverpool, paid my passage, set sail in the ship "Siddons" for Philadelphia, with a company of Saints, bidding farewell to father, kindred, home and friends.

            “President John Taylor met us in Philadelphia, where we landed 20 Apr 1855, and gave me my first meal in America.  I possessed only twenty-four cents when I landed in America.  We traveled by rail and steamboat to Atchison, Kansas.  Here the cholera broke out in our company, and I gained quite an experience with this dreaded disease, as I nursed the sick.  I was told that the afflicted ones must not have a drop of water- nothing but liquor and hot pepper teas.  But I gave them all the pure water I could and had the pleasure of seeing them recover and removed to Mormon Grove.  From here I traveled in Captain Richard Ballantyne's company and was appointed clerk to the captain of the guard.  On the road I took quite sick, my life being despaired of.  Brother Robert Baxter and family (now of Wellsville) were very kind to me and did all they could for me.  God heard my prayers, and my life was spared.  We arrived in Salt Lake City, 25 Sep 1855. I hired out to Clark Ames for my board, who said to me, ‘I see you are not able to work, but you can chore for me, and I will learn you how to get along, but we have only provisions to last about four months.’  I told him that I would go, and remarked that when I was confirmed a member of the Church, I was promised that I should not want for bread. He replied, ‘Come along, you are the man to live with this year.’  This was in 1855.  Before he reached his home in Kaysville, he was enabled to get breadstuff enough to last for 12 months. The man from whom he obtained it telling him he could not render any help, but he finally let him have the wheat because of his magnanimity in taking in a poor, lone boy at such a time.”

            Arnold helped in settling, Franklin, Idaho.  He also ran a gristmill in Logan for a couple years, went to Bear Lake Valley and then to Malad, Idaho.  He was called on a mission to England while residing in Malad in 1875.  He was released to come home in May of 1876 because of illness.  I will continue with his narrative:

"On arriving in Brigham City, Apostle Lorenzo Snow requested me to take a trip to Curlew Valley, explore the same and report.  I complied with his request, which resulted in my being called to make my home in Curlew Valley.  Soon after locating there with my family, we were visited by Apostle Lorenzo Snow, Judge Samuel Smith and Bishop Alva Nichols and Johan Evans, when I was sustained as president of the Curlew Branch.  This was on August 13, 1876.

“In 1877 I was called to act as Bishop of Snowville, being ordained a High Priest and Bishop by Apostle Lorenzo Snow, 21 Oct 1877.  I have embraced the principle of plural marriage and have endeavored to obey it, as well as every other law and ordinance of God's house.  I am proud to say that I was numbered among those who were persecuted, hunted, and driven during the recent raid on polygamists.  I was arrested in the fall of 1890 on the charge of unlawful cohabitation, taken to Ogden and tried, but finally acquitted, though one of the indictments charged me with having ‘seven wives known and numerous others unknown to the jury.’”     


Arnold Goodliffe passed away 9 Jun 1913 at the age of 76 after suffering a stroke that caused paralysis.  He is buried in the Snowville Cemetery.

Before finishing the story of Martha’s life I’ll include a few lines about her childhood in England and then share some memories of her that were written by two of her granddaughters. Martha had no recollection of her father.  He died just before her first birthday.  She had two older sisters.  In their teenage years they worked as servants or maids.  From the time Martha joined the church she held firmly to her beliefs and made choices that supported her acceptance of the gospel.  Martha was a good influence on her grandchildren in the Stone and Snowville area.  Those who knew her spoke well of her.  She served in the Primary and Relief Society organizations in Snowville. 

Vienna, daughter of Martha Jane, wrote about a visiting teaching experience of her grandmother as follows, “The lady who was her companion and grandma drove their own team on a light spring wagon to make the rounds of their district.  They called on mother and then drove on about 4 miles to another family living above the meadows.  As they left mother told them that she would like to have them stop in for the evening meal on their way back.  At that time the schoolteacher of the Stone school was boarding with us, Mr. Nibbert.  After the meal grandma conversed with him explaining the gospel.  He loved to talk with her whenever she came to our house.  The other lady was somewhat anxious to be going and she said “Don’t you think we had better be going Sister Hurd?  It looks like it is going to rain.”  Grandma was interested in explaining the teachings of the gospel and she answered that she didn’t mind if she got wet to the skin.  Such was her love for the gospel that she had left her native country for.”

Another recollection from Vienna as follows, “We always loved to go to grandma’s place for we knew that she would have some cookies in her cookie can when we arrived.  We children were always first to get to the house and we didn’t wait to ask her for a cookie.  When mother arrived on the scene she would scold us for getting into grandma’s cookie can.  We always replied that ‘Grandma said we could’ and that saved the day from further correction.”

Martha was probably sad to bid farewell to Albert and Martha Jane’s families when they headed to Canada.  She lived out the rest of her life in Snowville near William’s family and her youngest son, Fred and his wife, Lizzie.

Ruth, one of William's daughters said, “Our Grandmother Hurd was getting along in years, she had bad nosebleeds always when one of we children slept with her.  I was happy when it was my turn.  She carried a lantern to light her way.  One night at the store she thought she’d lost it, and spent some time looking for it.  It was on her arm, and it created much amusement among the men gathered there.  Often, in the night, I’d awaken to Grandmothers puffing her breath out through her lips, and I’d be terrified thinking she was going to be ill, but it was fun to be with her.  She had cheese, sweet crackers and sugar candy, all things we didn’t have at home.”

By Vienna’s calculation, Martha lived to see her posterity number 59 grandchildren and 24 great grandchildren.  At some point prior to her death, she must have been unable to get around.  On her death certificate it was recorded that she was an invalid and the cause of death was listed as old age and general debility.  She was 83 and a half.  This occurred on 11 Sep 1914.  She is buried in Snowville Cemetery in the Goodliffe family plot. 

Why didn’t her headstone contain the Goodliffe name?  According to Vienna’s account, most of the children were not happy about their mother’s decision to marry.  Some of them felt that their brother, William, might have pressured her into this marriage.  “What has been done wrong in this life will be righted in the next life,” is what Martha told her children.

            Years later, Blanche Olson Low, another granddaughter, took Martha’s statement to mean that she had made a mistake in marrying Arnold Goodliffe.   She may have searched for the divorce record and might have concluded that no formal divorce had taken place.  This could have influenced her decision to get the marriage and sealing of Martha and Arnold annulled.  To be fair to Blanche, I should say that many have looked for a record of divorce and found nothing.  I stumbled upon the clue we needed while looking for records of my great grandfather who has the same name, John Hurd. The first record of the divorce that I found was on a CD titled “Territorial Vital Records 1800-1906”.  Then an on-line source found later led me to search probate court records in Box Elder County where Martha had petitioned the court for the divorce.

              Blanche spoke to President Heber J. Grant about her concerns and must have been convincing.  According to an archive record, President Grant gave permission for the annulment and some of the Canadian descendants had the sealing work completed for John and Martha in the Cardston Temple, 11 Mar 1936.  It may have been William who did the baptismal and endowment work for his father prior on the 7th and 8th of Apr 1915.

            I should also note that other Hurd descendants have since had the sealing of Martha to Arnold Goodliffe put back in place so at present she is sealed to both husbands.  It will be her choice to right whatever wrongs have been made and decide which sealing to accept.

            Another bit of information I learned from a Goodliffe descendent may shed some light on this subject.  LuAnn Harris told me that when the practice of polygamy was halted in 1890 Arnold Goodliffe had to choose one wife.  According to her he chose Esther Arbon Goodliffe as his legal wife.  The other marriages were null and void since they weren’t even considered legal in the eyes of the law. Martha may have chosen to go by the Hurd name at that time since both the 1900 and 1910 census list her as Martha Hurd. 

What follows will be a sketch of the Hurd children and their spouses, taken from the information collected from my Hurd cousins or their spouse’s families.   I hope you enjoy reading this information and gain a greater appreciation for the family.


 Note:  There is no sketch of Mary, the fourth child, who died in infancy in Middleton, England.  After reading these accounts, if you have information to source the histories and genealogies or correct them please contact me.