this photo ( New info . . .January
At one time this photo was thought to be a likeness of James
Newberry. Recent research and study by a number of people
have now verified that the photo is NOT James Newberry,
but is of a man named Mark Forscutt, who was highly involved
in the reorganization efforts of the LDS church under the leadership
of Joseph Smith's son Joseph and his widow, Emma Smith.
This photo appeared in a Newberry family album with the name
James Newberry on the back. The information on this photo has
been corroborated by several researchers and the RLDS
(Community of Christ) Archives. See photographic evidence
Mark Forscutt was apparently important to the family as they
have an original sepia toned photograph in an album.
moving west to Western Reserve,
near Indian Territory in Ohio, Missouri, etc . . .
James Newberry began wandering as a young man. He married Mary Smith
b. June 11, 1792 in Warwick, on August 24, 1811 in Mill, Ohio or Warwick. The
exact place is unknown for now. He may have been out in Ohio on a hunting
expedition to bring in food for the winter at home. By this time he was twenty years
of age. Mill, Ohio is due east of Cochocton, Ohio which before the Revolution
was a Delaware town. Indian America at this time is described by Calloway as
“A cultural cacophony, a country of mixed and mixing peoples” especially in Ohio.
How much had the Ohio country changed at the time that James and Mary arrived
there between 1821-23 is unclear.
James returned to Warwick with Mary for the births of their first four children.
Following the birth record gives some idea as to where their wanderings took
them. This record was written by her father so I would assume it to be correct.
John Newberry II's death in Warwick his children began leaving
home for Ohio. In 1821, James A. Newberry, with his wife and family, moved
from Orange County to Hanover, York Co. PA. The family may have stayed
only a short time before they moved again. Their fifth child Hannah Maria was
born in Strongsville, Ohio in 1823. By 1825 they were in Brownhelm, Ohio for
the birth of their sixth child, where they resided for a few years. It is possible
that James' two sisters Sophia and Martha were in Brownhelm with them. It is
not known when they arrived or if the family was traveling together.
It appears John III, leaves N.Y. with his wife Sally Fancher and they too settle
in Brownhelm, around 1828.. John and Sally stayed in Brownhelm until their deaths.
Jesse Smith and Martha Newberry Smith also went to Brownhelm but it is believed
that they did not stay and returned to N.Y.
During a visit to Kirtland,
Ohio, James Newberry became acquainted with Joseph
Smith and joined the ranks of the early Mormons.
James Newberry converted to Mormonism in 1831 in the infancy of the Church.
James was baptized by Edson Fuller* in Kirtland, Ohio. He was made an elder of the
Church by Joseph Smith himself. His family wondered at his sanity after being brought
up in a Baptist home. James apparently had a close relationship with Joseph Smith.
Many of the early church records were lost or destroyed during the flight of the people
from Missouri to Illinois. There is no record of Mary's baptism and her children were
baptized later in their lives, probably as per their father's request.
James gathered up his family
and moved to Clay County, Missouri, on a tract of
unimproved land. Two years later they made another removal and took up a piece of
raw land for a farm in Farwest, Caldwell County. He built himself a fine two-story brick
house, but was never able to live in it. When the Mormons were driven from Farwest,
James was appointed by Joseph Smith in a second meeting of the elders to lead the people
to Illinois. They traversed over Indian territory in their flight.
In Nauvoo, Illinois situated along the Mississippi River - James and Mary's names are
found on the Nauvoo City Tax lists of 1842-43. Land maps show that the Newberry’s
were given a plot in the city. Whether a house was ever erected is not known. Although
it is known that James lived in town with some of his daughters under his roof after Mary's
death. Many historical records were destroyed when the city was in siege. In 1842 Mary
died of "the canker" in Nauvoo. Back home in Warwick, N.Y. James' mother Jemima
died in 1843.
In 1838, James and Mary are shown in Lee Co. Iowa on the Half Breed Tract census
which was eventually called Des Moines township. Here Abraham and James Washington
supposedly secured the land after their parents brought them there under pre-emption
laws. Eventually the land was purchased by the LDS Church from Issac Galland. The
land was supposedly signed over to the Indians in fee simple in 1838, but in 1839 the
government changed their minds about the whole thing. In 1840, it is unclear who was
on the land, settlers or Indians. There was a great deal of legal trouble about the land for
The following was taken from a family journal dated 1841. The journal was started shortly
after arriving in Iowa. The contents are fascinating and were kept by someone in the family
until 1976, with some new entries added until that date. The journal was begun James
Newberry in Lee County, Iowa. The italicized information is information that was added
and was not in the original document.
James Newberry and Mary Smith Newberry
James Newberry b. May 29, 1791
died July 10, 1880 Council Bluffs, Iowa Married
August 24, 1811
Mary Smith Newberry b. June 11, 1792 died February 7, 1842 in Nauvoo, Illinois
Daughter of Samuel Smith and Jane Stephens
1. Jane Newberry b. Oct. 17 1812 Warwick, Orange, N.Y. d. December 1, 1907
Panama, Iowa. Married Jacob Crandall
2. John Smith Newberry b. May 22, 1814 Warwick, Orange, N.Y. d. 1863 Lee Co.
Iowa (The middle name of Smith was likely in honor of John’s grandfather Samuel Smith)
Married Lucinda Williams
3. Abraham B. Newberry b. March 31, 1816 Warwick, Orange, N.Y. d. Argyle, Lee Co.
4. James Washington Newberry b. December 9, 1819 Warwick, N.Y. d. May 7, 1895
Lee Co. Iowa married Edith Benedict
5. Sally (Sarah) Ann Newberry b. June 19, 1821 Hanover, York, PA d. January 24, 1907
Parowan, Iron, Utah. Married Calvin C. Pendleton
►6. Hannah Maria Newberry
b. March 13, 1823 Strongsville,
Cuyahoga, Ohio .
d. March 6, 1893 Salt Lake City, Salt Lake county, Utah. Married George Morris
This marriage was the second for George Morris who lost his first wife before he
came to this country from England.
7. Harriet Newberry
b. Nov 24, 1825 Brownhelm,
Lorain, Ohio – Notation in journal
Harriet Newbery Palmer died at Montrose, Lee Co., Iowa (more in notation but not legible)
1849 Married Seth Palmer. Married to George Morris is a posthumous Mormon sealing
ceremony as his fourth wife. Before the Mormons left Nauvoo, she had requested to
become a polygamist wife but was stopped by her siblings Jane, Abraham and James
Washington, who took her out of the area when they were informed of her plans.
At the time she was only 17 years old.
8. Lecty (Electa) Louisa
April 4, 1827 Brownhelm,
Lorain, Ohio he died in Iowa
d. Placer County, California February 13, 1888. Married George Wixon 2nd marriage
to Horace Mansur. She pre-deceased Horace Mansur.
9. Esther Newberry b. June 7, 1829 Brownhelm, Lorain, Ohio. d. Lotus, El Dorado Co.
California March 29 1891 Married Edward Beebee
d. Sept 23, 1917
he died in Iowa
In the same family journal, a copy of
James Newberry's patriarchal blessing was hand written.
A patriarchal blessing is a convention unique to the people of the LDS faith. It is usually given
by a member of the Church who is has a highly respected position. James' blessing was given
to him by Hyrum Smith (Joseph Smith's brother). In the blessing James is said to be from the
“tribe Israel and the lineage of Mannasseh”. The lineage of Mannasseh is just an old way of
saying that he was Native American. Hyrum Smith probably recognized his distinctiveness
when administering the blessing. It is interesting to note that most people who are recognized
as being from this tribe are usually people of color from Native American or South American
There are some mentions of James in LDS history, however, none of it tells anything about
his ethnicity except his patriarchal blessing. At one point he was asked to go to Indiana and
preach the gospel, but it is unclear if he ever went. It is also intimated that he was at the jail
when Joseph Smith and Hyrum were killed. He was jailed, but nothing was proved against
him and he was set free.
On to Iowa
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York / More Newberry's in New York /
Samuel Smith / Smith
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