John Rowley and Sarah Wright Family Messenger



Since so little has been written of the life of James Rowley, I am going to tell some of the know history of his loved ones, hoping in this way to enrich the small amount of information we have been able to find and perhaps we will be able to find additional facts of interest in these allied histories.

The following chapter will contain a short history of his daughter, Zuriah Rowley.

Zuriah Rowley ws born to her parents, James Rowley and Mat Shirlock, in Fenton, Staff., England, on 15 August 1855. She bore a striking resemblance to her father and his people.

When Zuriah was less than one year old her father left England and many of his loved ones, Mary Shirlock, baby Zuriah, his mother, brothers and sisters, and migrated to Utah. Zuriah’s mother, Mary Shirlock, never left England.

At some time in Zuriah’s childhood, her mother married a man named ?????????? Bailey. Zuriah had several half brothers and sisters who were born to her mother. The ones we know of at this time are Charles, Alfred, George, Elizabeth and Hannah.

Zuriah worked very hard as a child in a pottery. We do not know that she worked for relatives, but it is very probable that she die, for her father’s people were potters by trade.

In 1863, Zuriah’s grandmother, Sarah Wright Rowley and her two Aunts, Mariah Rowley Olon and Abigail Rowley Walters and their families migrated to Utah. Many of Zuriah’s father’s people still remained in England, his sister Mary, who married William Holt, never left England, nor his sister Sarah.

Zuriah’s Uncle Ralph Nephi Rowley, her ????? James Rowley and now her grandmother, Sarah Wright Rowley, and her Aunts Mariah Rowley ???? and Abigail Rowley Walters and their families all settled in Fillmore, Millard, Utah.

Sometime in 1873, Zuriah joined her father and the others in Fillmore. They must have been very proud of her for she was a true Rowley with her eyes spread far apart and her beautiful curly hair and genteel ways and mannerisms.

James Rowley and his wife, Hannah Barrows had four children at this time, James, Abigail, Sarah and Joseph. Zuriah joined this family and was very happy to know them, for they were her half brothers and sisters.

Zuriah’s father, James and his brother, Ralph Nephi had a pottery in Fillmore. James was also a brick mason and owned a farm. James was also a part owner in a flour sill & operated it for many years but this was at a later date.

There were many dances and social gatherings held at this time. Lorenzo Snow Lyman played for many of the dances. One night as he was playing in the orchestra he say the  beautiful English girl, Zuriah come in the door. As his eyes beheld her, he knew that here was the girl he wanted.

Following are quotations from his diary:

“Fillmore, April 20, 1874, I played for a dance at Mr. Rowley’s for the little folks.

“Fillmore, June 21, 1874. I took Miss Rowley out walking this evening.

“Fillmore, July, 1874 Miss Zuriah Rowley agrees to keep company with me, with the calculation of marriage provided we suit each other.

“Fillmore, Sunday, July 19, 1874. A wagon load of young folks went berrying in the canyon today. I took Zuie.

“Fillmore, July 25, 1874. I spent the afternoon at the Rowley’s.

“Fillmore, July 26, 1874. I spent the evening with Zuie.

“Fillmore, July 28, 1874 I helped Mr. Rowley lay a wall.

“Fillmore, July 31, 1874 I spent the evening with Zuie and she consented to be my wife.

“Fillmore, August 1, 1874 Spent the evening with Zuie.

“Fillmore, August 4, 1874. Saw James Rowley and he was much pleased and gave his consent.

“Fillmore, August 5, 1874. Saw Zuie this evening.

“Fillmore, August 8, 1874. Saw Zuie this evening.

“Fillmore, August 11, 1874. Saw Zuie this evening.

“Fillmore, August 23, 1874. Saw Zuie the evening.

This is all, as here the diary ends with a lot of blank pages following.

Zuriah Rowley and Lorenzo Snow Lyman were married November 21, 1874 in Fillmore, Millard, Utah, by Edward Partridge, probate judge.

The rest of Zuriah’s story I will tell with direct quotations from letters received from her daughter Rosa Lyman More.

Letter of October 30, 1957. “We never any of our mother’s people and were too young when she passed away to be interested in family histories. My oldest sister was 13 years old, I was the 3rd child, and was ten and the youngest just six weeks. I can remember my mother receiving letters from her mother, brothers and sisters in England, and after her death in February, 1889, we children occasionally wrote to Grandmother Bailey, but really never knew much about them. My father told is she came to Utah to her father James Rowley.

“My oldest sister, Mary Eliza was born in Fillmore in 1875, then they moved to California. My brother Cornelius was born in Carpinteria, California, in April 1877, and I, Rosa, in Santa Barbara, December 1878, Nora, in Carpinteria in August 1880. Another move to Parowan, Utah, for about three years, during which time Ina Dee was born, November, 1882. In 1884 or  85, we came back to California, to San Bernardino, (where my father was born) And in 1888, the final move for my mother. Amasa Henry was born December 31, 1888 and mother died in February 1889, when Amasa was just six weeks old.”

From letter of March 24, 1958. “My mother was a scrupulously neat person, kept us children in all white starched clothes until we had five on us. When I was four, I was learning to sew and knit and crochet, and loved it, — we were all taught to do work about the house and do it right too. No corners left unswept.

From letter of May 14, 1958. “My sister-in-law, Edith Shuman Lyman recalled little things my brother had told her of his child hood days, things that I had not thought of for years. How, for instance, while we lived in Parowan, Utah, we kept the Pose Office, and one day while he men were all away from the then little town, the Indians (probably drunk), raided the town and came into the Post Office, scaring our mother very badly, but doing no damage. And I can remember too, how we would take an egg or a paper to the store and trade for candy. The papers were used for wrapping parcels.

“And my sister Nora wrote me that she remembered how busy our mother was, and how clean and neat she always kept us. As we grow older we have realized how hard she must have worked, for she loved to dress us four girls in white, starched and ironed to perfection. She knitted all our stockings, crocheted, quilted and was a wonderful cook and housekeeper. Nora and I both have beautiful lace she knitted for pillowcases.

“I remember hearing my father tell of meeting my mother when she first came to Fillmore from England. He was playing the accordion at a dance when she came in, and immediately he said to himself, “That’s my girl”, not even knowing who was.


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