I’ve decided to really dig in to this branch of my family because it is so intriguing, has several plot twists, and is an international thriller (from New Brunswick to Maine, Ohio, Utah, Illinois, Michigan, Iowa, and Minnesota). These Syphers relatives seem to have it all.

So in the last post, I found the Loyalist claim that Lodewyck Syphers had made in 1784 to the British Crown for compensation for his “losses to the Rebellion”. They were settled around the Grand Lake/Gagetown/Jemseg area just downriver from Fredericton (sorry, just need to post another beautiful picture to remind me to plan a visit)

Grand Lake, NB via wikipedia commons

Grand Lake, NB via wikipedia commons

So Lodewyck Syphers’s eldest granddaughter, Sarah Ferndon Syphers, married a William Henry Earl in 1814ish and they became part of the Mormon Pioneers — William was baptized in 1843 as a member of the Ordained Seventy, ordained in the Nauvoo temple in 1846, and made the Mormon Trek to Utah.

William and Sarah were married in New Brunswick, where their first four children were born, then they moved to Scarborough, Ontario in 1823 (birth records are so useful for tracking migrations), where their next six children were born. I assume this is where they became familiar with the Mormon religion as they then picked up and moved to the Nauvoo Temple in Illinois where Sarah was baptized in 1841. They may have been baptized in Toronto as well? From “The History of the Church in Canada” –

“Parley P. Pratt’s 1836 mission to Toronto was equally impressive. One of the first people baptized in Toronto, Isabella Walton was the key to several important conversions. She introduced her brother, Isaac Russell and his friend Joseph Fielding to Elder Pratt, and before long, they joined the Church. Her friend John Taylor and Joseph Fielding’s sisters Mary and Mercy also joined. Branches were organized in Toronto, Scarborough, Churchville, and Markham.”

I happened to check the Cypher spelling in the LDS temple records index that I’m browsing and found a bunch of baptisms at the Nauvoo Temple in 1841! They all were at the instance of Sarah Syphers Earl — William, her father, Lodavich, her grandfather, William, her great uncle, and Elizabeth, her great aunt. Now I know these baptisms weren’t in person, as they all were not living. It seems in 1841, Joseph Smith revealed the ‘baptism for the dead’ doctrine — so Sarah was able to act as a proxy for her deceased family members. Interesting who she chose or didn’t choose, isn’t it?

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members performing baptisms for the dead via lds.org

I don’t mean to spend too much time on an indirect line, but I find that information can be pieced together when every angle is approached. So we have established that the elder sister of my 3rd great grandfather was heavily entrenched in the Mormon community. Now let’s see if any other siblings followed… stay tuned for next time!

Originally published on Wordpress