Smith, Mary Duty

Smith, Mary Duty


Born: Oct. 16, 1743, Rowley, Essex County, Massachusetts, USA

Spouse(s): Asael Smith

Married: 4 October 1855, 15 September 1857

Died: May 27, 1836, Kirtland, Lake County, Ohio, USA

Parents: Moses Duty and Mary Palmer

Family Line: Silas Smith


Joseph Smith’s New England Heritage, Richard Lloyd Anderson, 1971, 2003. pg. 114-115

The nearly ninety-three-year-old matriarch willingly endured a 500-mile journey, for “she had asked the Lord that she might live to see her children and grandchildren once more.” She migrated to Kirtland in May 1836 with the northern New York saints, families of Asael Smith, Jr., Silas Smith, and other converts. Elias Smith, son of Asael, Jr., particularly cared for his grandmother in the second half of her journey. His contemporary journal gives geographical details of the week-long voyage down the St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario to Rochester, where Mary Duty Smith went on by Erie Canal boat to Buffalo, transferring to the steamboat Sandusky for the final cruise across Lake Erie to Fairport, a dozen miles from her destination of Kirtland. They landed “about 5 p.m.,” and soon fair skies turned to rain.

Lucy Smith remembered her mother-in-law’s “good health and excellent spirits” on arrival, when “she rejoiced to meet so many of her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren.” Beyond kinship, there was the religious meaning of her pilgrimage, for Mary Duty Smith completely accepted the testimony of her grandson-prophet. She told Lucy Smith, “I am going to have your Joseph [Jr.] baptize me, and my Joseph [the patriarch] bless me,”

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