Edward Rowland was born October 31, 1786. He
married Mary Williams. Their first child, Job, was born April 5, 1813, at
Bedwelty, Monmouthshire, England. Their next two children, each named
Margaret, died in infancy. The record does not state the time or place of
their birth. It was a common custom to give children the same name as a
sibling who had died; consequently, the fourth child was named Margaret. She
was born in 1817 in Dowlais, Glamorganshire, Wales.
The other six children were also born in
Dowlais. They were: Rachel, born about 1820, “died young”; Ann, January 1,
1823; Ephraim, July 21, 1824; Martha, about 1827, “died young”; Thomas Edward, 8 June 1831; Benjamin,
September 30, 1833.
There is no certainty as to where the parents were born.
The family record, written many years after their death, lists them “of” (which
means they were living there) Dowlais, Glamorgan, Wales. Since their first,
and possibly second and third, children were born in England, there is a
possibility that the parents moved from England across the border to Wales.
Dowlais is a parish of Merthyr Tydfil, Glamorganshire. It
was the seat of Lord Wimborne. Glamorganshire had large iron works and
collieries. Edward worked in the mines. When his eldest son, Job, was eight years
old, he began working in the coal mines with his father. The only time they
would see daylight was on Sundays. Little more is known about their life in
Wales except that they joined the Latter-day Saint church ( LDS) and came to
the United States after Edward, the father, died.
The book Pioneers of Utah, gives pictures and brief
histories of many pioneers. Among them is Benjamin Rowland, youngest child of
Edward and Mary Rowland. This book states that he came to the United States
with the Dan Jones company in 1849 and arrived in Utah in 1853. The account of
the Dan Jones missionary work in the parish where the Rowland family lived and
the report of his converts’ journey to the United States, will give some idea
of the Rowland family’s conversion to the church and of some of their
experiences on the way to Utah. Following is an excerpt from a pamphlet, “The
Welsh in Utah”, compiled by Kate B. Carter of the central committee of the
Daughters of the Utah Pioneers:
“The British Mission was opened in 1837 by Heber
C. Kimball and six other missionaries, including Willard Richards. James
Burnham crossed over into Wales, and a branch of the church was organized in
Flintshire, North Wales, with thirty-two members in the fall of 1840. There
was a missionary by the name of John Needham who labored in South Wales, and at
the close of 1840 there were over one hundred members of the LDS Church in
Wales. But it was not until 1845-49, when Dan Jones filled his mission in
Wales, that the mission showed any great increase in numbers. By December 31,
1848, 3,603 had been baptized.
“Dan Jones was a native of Flintshire, born
August 4, 1811. …at 32 he had earned for himself a college degree, sailed the
seven seas, and emigrated to the United States. He plied a small river steamer
on the Mississippi Rover. In 1843, he brought a company of saints from St.
Louis to Nauvoo. At this time he met the Prophet Joseph Smith…. Soon
afterward, Dan Jones became a convert to Mormonism. He then became a
body-guard and trusted friend of the prophet….He was with the prophet in
Carthage Jail. While here the prophet told him he would fulfill a mission in
“A few months later this prophecy was fulfilled,
and he began preaching the gospel in Merthyr Tydfil. He was an eloquent
speaker and could hold his listeners spellbound for hours, whether they were
tough miners or country gentlemen. In the course of four years, he and his
companions became the means of baptizing and adding to the church four thousand
souls in Wales.
“When he finished his mission in Wales, Capt.
Jones sailed from Liverpool, February 26, 1849, with 249 emigrating saints on
board the ship Buena Vista. The boat was leaky, but Capt. Jones, being
seaworthy and wise, repaired it, and with prayers each day for their safety,
they made it across the ocean and unloaded everything upon the docks, and the
ship sank in the harbor.
“With their wealth of melody and song, the Welsh
saints came ashore, carrying, some of them, their harps with strings of hair or
leather, even though they knew space in the wagons would be limited. The
couldn’t leave their music behind. Leaving New Orleans, the Welshmen took a
steamer, Highland Mary, up the Mississippi River. But death rode with
them, for cholera claimed sixty lives, about one-fourth of the company.”
When the Rowland family arrived in Council
Bluffs, Thomas and Benjamin went out to secure work, no doubt to earn money
with which to buy supplies, wagons, etc., needed for the journey across the
plains. Job and Margaret stayed in Council Bluffs with their mother. Margaret
was very discouraged and homesick. It was decided that Job should take her
back to Wales. More will be said about Margaret later. While they were gone,
their mother, Mary Rowland, died of cholera in 1851.
Job, Thomas, and Benjamin came to Utah. Here
they located in Iron (later named Cedar City). It is likely they were sent
here by Brigham Young because they were familiar with mining, the chief
industry of that part of Utah at that time.
In April 1853, Job went to Salt Lake City to
attend conference. While there he met Mary Parry. They were married and
returned to Cedar City, where they lived in a two-room adobe house. Here their
first child, Edward Parry Rowland, was born March 27, 1854. Come time later,
Mary went back to Salt Lake City to visit her brother who had come to Utah from
Wales with the handcart pioneers. She persuaded Job and Mary to move to Salt
Job Rowland was called to go to Echo Canyon to
guard against Johnston’s Army. When the call came to move south, they went and
endured all the hardships in pioneering that place.
They moved to Logan in 1865 with their family of
two boys and two girls, one daughter, Mary Elizabeth, having died in Ogden,
Utah, while Job was at Echo Canyon. In Logan, the father took up farming and
Later that year, 1865, Job returned to Wales to
visit his sister, Margaret, and to gather genealogy. He was gone six months.
During this time, he collected hundreds of names of his Rowland and Williams
relatives from Wales and England. When he returned to Logan, he and his family
spent much time doing temple work for these relatives. Job’s daughter,
Margaret Rowland Morrell, compiled this material in temple record books. Job
and Mary were the parents of five children: Edward Parry, Mary Elizabeth,
Margaret, Job William, and Martha Ann. In later years, Job William and Martha
Ann were known to all the children as “Uncle” and “Auntie.” Neither ever
Job Rowland died November 11, 1879, and his
wife, Mary, died August 5, 1912.
The home at Second North and Fourth West, Logan. In front
are Martha Ann Rowland, “Auntie” and her mother, Mary Parry Rowland, wife of