Jonathan Harriman Holmes was born 11 March 1806 in Rowley, Essex County, Massachusetts, United States to Nathaniel Holmes (1775-1849) and Sarah Harriman (1775-1816) and died 18 August 1880 Farmington, Davis County, Utah, United States of unspecified causes. He married Marietta Carter (1820-1840) 13 April 1837 in Joseph Smith Home, Kirtland, Geauga County, Ohio. He married Elvira Annie Cowles (1813-1871) 1 December 1842 in Nauvoo, Hancock County, Illinois. He married Sarah Ingersoll Harvey (1816-1889) 29 November 1862 in Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, Utah.

Jonathon was baptized in 1832 by John F. Boynton. His father Nathaniel became the Branch President in the Georgetown (Hartford), Mass. area. Wilford Woodruff mentions several times staying in his home. Nathaniel's father was Samuel Holmes and his mother was Ann Cheney. The parents of Johnathon H. Holmes' mother, Sarah Harriman, was Jonathan Harriman and Martha Plummer. Evidently it was a haven for missionaries in that area. Jonathan came to Kirtland in 1834 and made his home with the Prophet Joseph Smith. He continued to live with Joseph and Emma, when he was not out on a mission, until he and Marietta were married in 1837.

Jonathan signed the Kirtland Camp roster and stated that there were three in his family (He, Marietta, and six month old Sarah Elizabeth). They left an almost deserted Kirtland 5 July 1838, traveling on the old Chillicothe road toward Chester. There were about 515 people, 27 tents, 97 horses, 22 oxen, 69 cows and 1 bull. They arrived in Farr West, Missouri, 2 Oct 1838, after an arduous and trying 870 mile trip. Accidents and illness constantly afflicted them. "They were met by Joseph Smith, his brother Hyrum, Sidney Rigdon, and a few other Church Leaders...They pitched their tents near the site designated for a temple." They were now at Adam-ondi-Ahman where Adam had blessed his children.

Everything was in turmoil in Missouri. Less than a month after they arrived in Farr West, Governor Lilburn W. Boggs issued his infamous "Extermination Order." Many Kirtland Camp families had settled at Haun's Mill. They were attacked October 27th, 17 Saints were killed and thirteen others were wounded. In a few months Jonathan, with his family, and many others, headed northeast to Illinois to escape the holocaust.

Jonathan remained a bodyguard and "right hand man" for Joseph Smith, part time, during the Nauvoo period. He was a full time shoemaker and storekeeper. His journal shows that he made shoes for all the well known church leaders. If Emma Smith had kept all the shoes Jonathon made for her account she would have been like Imelda Marcos.

Journal entries tell some interesting things: "Commenced boarding with Jonathon Harriman Hale on the 22nd day of April 1842. Reckoned & settled with J. H. Hale for my board up to Nov. 11- amount $28.50....Feb. 9 1843 moved in to Joseph Smith's house."

Jonathon was named on the Indictment, with Joseph and Hyrum Smith, for destruction of the Nauvoo Expositor . "This morning (17 Jun 1844) I was arrested, together with Samuel Bennett, John Taylor, William W. Phelps, Hyrum Smith, John P. Green, Dimick B. Huntington, Jonathan Dunham, Stephen Markham, Jonathan H. Holmes, Jesse P. Harmon, John Lytle, O. P. Rockwell...for a riot on 10th inst. in destroying the Nauvoo Expositor press. At 2pm went before Justice Wells at his house; and after a long and close examination we were discharged."

He helped build the Nauvoo Temple. He and his brother Milton were both shoemakers, so maybe they were taught this trade by their father Nathaniel. Jonathan was able to put bread on the table with his shoe-making trade. His accounts show that he made and mended shoes for many well known people of Nauvoo. His account books show the sale of a wide variety of merchandise. In a letter from Hyrum Smith to Judge Higbee (who is pressing Joseph Smith for payment of debts), he says he has deposited $300 with Holmes and Co. as collateral. When Sarah Elizabeth was about 2 1/2 years old Marietta and Johnathon had a second baby, Mary Emma (probably a namesake of their good friend Emma Smith). They belonged to the Nauvoo 4th Ward. Jonathan came home one night to find his house burned by a mob and his family run into the street. They found a shed to live in. This mob incident, and the shock of it, were contributing factors in the death of Marietta 20 Aug 1840 and her baby, Mary Emma on 10 Sep 1840. The immediate cause of death listed was "Black Canker" (diphtheria in today's terminology). Joseph Smith came to his good friend Jonathan, immediately after Marietta's death, and asked if Sarah Elizabeth could come and live with them, which she did.

Mormon Battalion Veteran


Participant in the march of The Mormon Battalion. This unit of the US Army served in the Mexican-American War and was the only religiously based infantry unit ever created by Presidential order. It consisted of nearly 500 men recruited exclusively from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (commonly called the Mormons). They undertook the longest infantry march in U.S. military history (as of 1847) and in the process marked out and creating the first continuous wagon road to California which linked the future states of New Mexico, Arizona, and California to the United States. Most members served an initial 12 month term (Jul 1846- Jul 1847) with some members re-enlisting for an additional 12 months afterwards.

Marriage and Family

Marietta Carter was married to Jonathan Harriman Holmes , in Kirtland, Ohio, 13 April 1837 in the Joseph Smith Jr. home.


Offspring of Jonathan Harriman Holmes and Marietta Carter (1820-1840)
Name Birth Death Joined with
Sarah Elizabeth Holmes (1838-1908)
Mary Emma Holmes (1840-1840)

Offspring of Jonathan Harriman Holmes and Elvira Annie Cowles (1813-1871)
Name Birth Death Joined with
Lucy Elvira Holmes (1845-1847)
Marietta Holmes (1849-1905) 17 July 1849 Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, Utah, United States 10 August 1905 Riverside, Box Elder County, Utah, United States Job Welling (1833-1886)
Phebe Louisa Holmes (1851-1939) 5 February 1851 Farmington, Davis County, Utah, United States 30 June 1939 Plymouth, Box Elder County, Utah, United States Job Welling (1833-1886)
Josephine Octavia Ann Holmes (1854-1857)
Emma Lucinda Holmes (1856-1901) 1 February 1856 Farmington, Davis County, Utah, United States 11 June 1901 Farmington, Davis County, Utah, United States Job Welling (1833-1886)
John Henricks Holmes (1858-)



See Also

Footnotes (including sources)