Grampa Bill's General Authority Pages
John Gaylord John Gaylord

1797 - 1878

  • Born 1797?
  • Ordained Seventy 1836
  • First Council of the Seventy 1837
  • Excommunicated 1838
  • Rebaptized 1839
  • Married Elvira Edmonds 1840?
  • Died 1878>

    Grampa Bill must admit that Elder Gaylord has him completely stymied. Perhaps the gentlereader can help. Read on.

   Both the LDS Biographical Encyclopedia and the Encyclopedia of Mormonism give his date of birth as July 12, 1797. The Encyclopedia of Mormonism gives his date of death July 17, 1878 and states that he was married to Elvira Edmonds. So Far, so good. The dates given fit in well with other events in Elder Gaylord's life. But in an attempt to fill in a few blanks, Grampa visited Family Search dot org and checked the International Genealogical Index, (IGI) and the Ancestral File, (AF). Whoa!!! No such person appears in either.

   The Grampa then visited Roots Web dot com. Well... yeah... they do have a John Gaylord about the same time period but the dates are completely different. His date of birth is January 21, 1779 and his date of death is October 28, 1844. OK, it's a different John Gaylord... except that the Roots Web John Gaylord died in Nauvoo, Hancock County, Illinois!!! Wow! Well, maybe the Rootsweb John Gaylord is the father of our John Gaylord. Did he perchance have a son named John Gaylord? Well, yes he did... but the son died at age of three. Any of you good folks have any answers?

   John Gaylord was one of the Seven Presidents of Seventies, from 1837 to 1838. Whatever his date of birth, he joined the Church at an early day. He was ordained a Seventy by Hazen Aldrich Dec. 20, 1836, and set apart as one of the Seven Presidents of Seventies April 6, 1837, under the hands of Sidney Rigdon and Hyrum Smith, replacing Sylvester Smith, who had been previously ordained a High Priest

    Apostasy and alienation from the leadership of the Church were rampant in the Kirtland, Ohio area after the failure of the Kirtland Safety Society. Apparently this spirit of apostasy also affected Elder Gaylord. At a meeting of the High Council held in Kirtland, Ohio, Jan. 13, 1838, Elder Gaylord, together with many others, were excommunicated from the Church for rising up in rebellion against the higher Church authorities. Henry Harriman was subsequently called to fill the vacancy in the First Council of Seventies.

    Afterwards John Gaylord rejoined the Church on October 5, 1839 and was with the Saints in Nauvoo, where he received his endowments in the Temple before the Church left for the wilderness. On October 18, 1840, he was listed as clerk pro tem for the Kirtland Elders Quorum. However this may be a reconstruction of callings held at an earlier time.

    On July 27, 1845 (Sunday), the 28th and 29th quorums of Seventy were organized in Nauvoo, with John Gaylord and Augustus A. Farnham as senior presidents.

    According to the Encyclopedia of Mormonism, John was married to Elvira Edmonds on Decemer 31, 1840. This information undoubtedly was derived from the Times and Seasons, [a newspaper printed in Nauvoo between 1839 and 1846], Hymenial: [list of marriages] "In Walnut Grove Knox co. Ill. Dec. 31st, 1840, by Elder Wm. Burton Mr. John Gaylord to Miss Elvira Edmonds, both of the same place." According to Roots Web, their John was married to Joanna Bagg Daecember 12, 1799 in West Springfield, Hampshire, Massachussetts.This is somewhat corroberated by Elder Luman Shurtliff, who in his autobiograpy states, "About the middle of October, 1828, a man and his family, John Gaylord by name and his wife, Joanne Bagg Gaylord, moved into our neighborhood. They had a large family of children, among them four young persons, two young men and two young women."

    Elder Gaylord is said to have died July 17, 1878, place not given, or was it October 28, 1844 in Nauvoo? I dunno; do you? If he lived to 1878, did he travel west with the saints? I dunno; do you? My final speculation is that the two John Gaylords are father and son (the death at age three notwithstanding) but which of them served in the Preidency of the Seventy, I have not a clue. Any help will be greatly appreciated.

   History of the Church, vol2, p.510
   2005 Church Almanac, p.70
   LDS Biographical Encyclopedia, Andrew Jenson, Vol. 1, p.193
   Encyclopedia of Mormonism, Vol.4, Appendix 1
   Times and Seasons, Vol.2, p.357
   Family Search, check the IGI and the AF
   Roots Web check the WorldConnect Project

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