The Church Historian's Press The Church Historian's Press

William Clayton

17 July 1814–4 December 1879

Born 17 July 1814 in Charnock Moss, Penwortham, Lancashire, England.[1] Son of Thomas Clayton and Ann Critchley.[2] Married Ruth Moon, 9 Oct. 1836, in Penwortham.[3] Baptized as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints by Heber C. Kimball, 21 Oct. 1837, in the River Ribble.[4] Appointed as clerk to Heber C. Kimball, 15 Apr. 1840.[5] Emigrated from Liverpool, Lancashire, to New York aboard the North America, arriving 11 Oct. 1840.[6] Arrived in Nauvoo, Hancock Co., Illinois, 24 Nov. 1840.[7] Member of the Nauvoo high priest quorum, beginning 7 Apr. 1841; appointed to the Nauvoo high council, 24 Apr. 1841.[8] Appointed as clerk to Joseph Smith, 10 Feb. 1842; appointed temple recorder by Joseph Smith, 7 Oct. 1842.[9] Participated in plural marriage.[10] Traveled from Nauvoo to Iowa Territory in a group that traveled with EBW’s group, Apr. 1846; received word his wife Diantha Farr had delivered a son and that night wrote the lyrics for the song “All Is Well,” now known as “Come, Come Ye Saints.”[11] Migrated to the Salt Lake Valley with the Brigham Young pioneer company, arriving 21 July 1847.[12] Wrote The Latter-day Saints’ Emigrants’ Guide, 1847–1848.[13] Served a mission to Great Britain, 1852–1853.[14] Served as auditor of public accounts, ca. 1860–1879, in Salt Lake City.[15] Died 4 Dec. 1879 in Salt Lake City.[16]

 

 

 

[1] “William Clayton,” Patriarchal Blessings, 1833–2011 (closed to research), CHL. William Clayton, Diaries, 1852– 1853, vol. 3, Aug. 1852–Mar. 1853, MS 1406, images 154–155/376, CHL. “Family Tree,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org, accessed 10 Oct. 2020), William Clayton (LHVW-CCX). 

[2] William Clayton, Diaries, 1852– 1853, vol. 3, Aug. 1852–Mar. 1853, MS 1406, images 154–155/376, CHL.

[3] Church of England, Parish Church of Penwortham, Lancashire, Bishop’s Transcripts, 1608–1873, Penwortham Baptisms, Marriages, Burials, 1836, p. 230, William Clayton and Ruth Moon, 9 Oct. 1836, DGS 4006779, image 58/440, FHL.

[4] George D. Smith, ed., An Intimate Chronicle: The Journals of William Clayton (Salt Lake City: Signature Books and Smith Research Associates, 1995), xiv.

[5] William Clayton, Diary, 1840–1842, p. 52, 15 Apr. 1840, MS 2843, CHL.

[6] William Clayton, Diary, 1840–1842, pp. 82–83, 11 Oct. 1840, MS 2843, CHL. “William Clayton,” Saints by Sea (https://saintsbysea.lib.byu.edu/, accessed 13 Oct. 2020).

[7] William Clayton, Diary, 1840–1842, p. 95, 24 Nov. 1840, MS 2843, CHL.

[8] William Clayton, Diary, 1840–1842, p. 100, 7 Aug. 1841; p. 103, 24 Apr. 1841, MS 2843, CHL.

[9] William Clayton, “Another Testimony: Statement of William Clayton,” Collected Material Relating to William Clayton, ca. 1842–1872, pp. 1–2, MS 21623, CHL.

[10] “Sealings and Adoptions of the Living, 1846–1857; Index, 1846–1857,” The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Nauvoo Temple, vol. A, 1846–1857, p. 211, lines 2014–2017, William Clayton and Ruth Moon and Margaret Moon and Diantha Farr, 26 Jan. 1846, microfilm 183374 (restricted access), FHL. William Clayton, Diaries, 1852–1853, vol. 3, Aug. 1852–Mar. 1853, MS 1406, images 156–157/376, CHL.

[11] EBW, Diary, 6 and 15 Apr. 1846. William Clayton, Diary, 1846–1853, vol. 1, Jan.–15 Apr. 1846, images 44–46/110, MS 1406, CHL. Karen Lynn Davidson, Our Latter-day Hymns: The Stories and the Messages (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1988), 58–59.

[12] “William Clayton,” Pioneer Database (https://history.churchofjesuschrist.org/overlandtravel/, accessed 21 Oct. 2020). 

[13] William Clayton, The Latter-day Saints’ Emigrants’ Guide: Being a Table of Distances, Showing All the Springs, Creeks, Rivers, Hills, Mountains, Camping Places, and All Other Notable Places, from Council Bluffs, to the Valley of the Great Salt Lake; Also, the Latitudes, Longitudes and Altitudes of the Prominent Points on the Route, together with Remarks on the Nature of the Land, Timber, Grass, &c.: The Whole Route Having Been Carefully Measured by a Roadometer, and the Distance from Point to Point, in English Miles, Accurately Shown (St. Louis: Republican Steam Power Press, 1848).

[14] “William Clayton,” Go Ye into All the World (https://history.churchofjesuschrist.org/missionary/, accessed 22 Oct. 2020). George D. Smith, ed., An Intimate Chronicle: The Journals of William Clayton (Salt Lake City: Signature Books and Smith Research Associates, 1995), 415–416. James B. Allen, No Toil nor Labor Fear: The Story of William Clayton (Provo, UT: Brigham Young University Press, 2002), 279.

[15] 1860 U.S. Census, 17th Ward, Salt Lake City, Salt Lake Co., Utah Territory, p. 176, William Clayton. William Clayton, Letter, 23 July 1870, Collected Material Relating to William Clayton, MS 21623, CHL.

[16] “Utah Death Registers, 1847–1966,” p. 88 (1879), William Clayton; citing series 21866, from Utah Department of Health, Bureau of Vital Statistics, Utah State Archives and Records Service, Salt Lake City. “Demise of Elder William Clayton,” Latter-day Saints’ Millennial Star, 5 Jan. 1880, 5.