Slide 1

Stephen Mack & Hannah Saunders Covey family

Slide 2

Irene, Stephen, Grandy, Helen Jean, John, Marilyn

Slide 3

Grandy, Marilyn, Helen Jean, Irene

Slide 4

Papa & Grandy

Slide 5

Stephen Mack Covey, 4th from the right

Slide 6

John, Helen Jean, Irene, Stephen

Slide 6

Stephen L with his boys

Slide 6

Family photo at Grandy & Papa's house

Slide 6

Snake River cabin

Slide 6

Stephen Longstroth Richards and Grandy in the dining room at the canyon cabin

Slide 6

Christmas, approximately 1912

Slide 6

Believed to be Mark & Susannah Ogden Bigler

Slide 6

George Albert & Bathsheba Bigler Smith

Slide 6

L to R, Stephen Glenn Covey, Irene Louise Richards Covey, Stephen Mack Covey

Slide 6

Enoch & Janett Carruth Young Covey

Slide 6

Stephen L & Irene Smith Merrill Richards

Slide 6

Demas Ashdown & Hannah Barwell Saunders

Slide 6

Stephen Glenn Covey (2nd from right, back row) with siblings

Slide 6

Covey Family Photo at Grandy's and Papa's

Slide 6

L to R, John, Marilyn, Helen Jean, Irene, Stephen

Slide 6

Stephen Mack & Hannah Ashdown Covey

Example Frame

John Smith (1781-1854)

This is a photo of an oil painting of John Smith.  In 1994, Louise Williams Nelson and Daniel Covey Williams discovered this painting of their great great great great grandfather as they searched through their mother's (Marilyn Richards Covey Williams) family history boxes shortly after she passed away.  It is an oil painting, unstretched, on canvas.  It had some damage to it and there was a hole in the forehead area.  It seems to have been restored, as you can see in the photo.  There was a note we believe to have been written by our great grandmother, Irene Smith Merrill Richards that stated the painting hung in the Nauvoo Temple and was carried across the plains with the pioneers.  Our uncle, John Covey donated the painting to the Church History Museum. 











  • Uncle to Joseph Smith, Jr. and Hyrum Smith
  • Assistant counselor to President Joseph Smith: 3 September 1837 (age 56) to 27 June 1844
  • Church Patriarch 1 January 1849

BIRTH / CHRISTENING...16 July 1781, Derryfield, New Hampshire

Asael or Asahel Smith and Mary Duty

9 January 1832

10 December 1845, Nauvoo, Illinois Temple


  1. Samuel Smith (1666-1748)
  2. Mary Smith (1770-)
  3. Delia or Delice Smith (1802-1849)
  4. Daughter Smith (1816-1816)
  5. George Albert Smith (1817-1875)
  6. Caroline Clara Smith (1820-1895)
  7.  John Lyman Smith (1823-1893)      



23 May 1854 (age 72), Salt Lake City, UT, USA

Salt Lake City, UT, USA


  1. John Smith
  2. George A. Smith
  3. Bathsheba Kate Smith
  4. Irene Smith Merrill
  5. Irene Louise Richards
  6. Marilyn Richards Covey

It took considerable courage for John Smith, uncle of the Prophet and assistant counselor in the First Presidency, to enter the village of Carthage, which was filled with many blood-thirsty enemies of the Church on 26 June 1844. More than once his life was threatened and several guns were “snapped” (triggers pulled without firing) at him. Arriving at the jail where Joseph and Hyrum were imprisoned, he was rudely refused permission to see his nephews. When the Prophet saw this aging gentleman through the window, he said to the guard, “You will not hinder so old and infirm a man as he is from coming in.”[1] After being thoroughly searched, “Uncle John Smith” was permitted to spend a few minutes with the prisoners. Twenty-four hours later his two nephews were brutally murdered.

John Smith first heard of the Restoration in 1828 when his brother Joseph Smith Sr. wrote to their father, Asael, telling of young Joseph’s visions. Later the Prophet Joseph wrote a letter to his Uncle John on the same subject. In the summer of 1830, Joseph Smith Sr. visited his father’s family in St. Lawrence County, New York, and told them of the newly established Church. John was convinced of the truth of the work but was not baptized until January 1832 when, ill with consumption, the doctors had given him up to die. A hole was cut in the ice on a stream in order to perform the baptism. From that very day he regained his health and strength and lived twenty-two years longer. After moving to Kirtland in 1833, John became close to the Prophet, and at a conference in September 1837 Joseph chose him as an assistant counselor in the First Presidency.

Leaving from Kirtland, John filled a twenty-four-hundred- mile mission to the East with his brother Joseph Sr., during which they visited many of their relatives and baptized sixteen converts. He had the distinction of serving as president of four stakes of Zion located in four different states—Missouri, Iowa, Illinois, and Utah. Six months before the Prophet died, he ordained John a patriarch. The Prophet’s younger brother William was ordained patriarch to the Church in May 1845, succeeding his slain brother Hyrum, but he was rejected by the vote of the Church in the October conference that year. Although John’s oldest brother, Asael, was presiding patriarch by right, his health was so poor he could not function, and Uncle John Smith acted unofficially as patriarch to the Church until January 1849, when he was sustained and set apart to that position in Salt Lake City. Before his death in 1854, this great patriarch had administered 5,560 blessings. Uncle John Smith was described as “a man of the utmost honor and of sterling integrity both to God and man.”[2]

Lawrence R. Flake, Prophets and Apostles of the Last Dispensation (Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 2001), 311–13.

In September 2012, Diane Miller found and sent these images of John Smith's personal 3rd Edition Book of Mormon and his Bible to me.  Her family has these original items.  

Her line comes through Caroline Clara, John's daughter (and George A.'s sister).  

The Book of Mormon was passed down from John Smith to his daughter,  Caroline Clara  to her daughter, Clara Caroline Callister, to Mary Miranda Lyman, Lydia Lyman Finlinson and then to Diane's father.  

Thanks, Diane!

John Smith (July 16, 1781 – May 23, 1854), known as Uncle John, was an early leader of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church).

Smith was the younger brother of Joseph Smith, Sr., uncle of Joseph Smith, Jr. and Hyrum Smith, father of George A. Smith, grandfather of John Henry Smith, and great-grandfather of George Albert Smith. He served as an assistant counselor in the First Presidency under Joseph Smith, Jr. and as Presiding Patriarch under Brigham Young. He was succeeded as Presiding Patriarch by his great nephew, who was also named John Smith.

Smith served as president of the stake in Lee County, Iowa during the Nauvoo period. He was also the first president of the Salt Lake Stake, the first stake in Utah Territory, and as such was the leader of the Latter-day Saints in Utah in the winter of 1847–1848.

Smith practiced plural marriage and fathered four children.[citation needed] He died at Salt Lake City and was buried at Salt Lake City Cemetery.

Monument to four generations of a branch of the Smith family, prominent in LDS history

Headstone of John Smith map of locations John Smith may have lived


  1. I was interested last night when I found your connection to John Smith! Our family comes through his daughter, Caroline Clara. We have in our possession John Smith's handwritten patriarchal blessing, Bible and 3rd Edition Book of Mormon. I can email you a copy of it, if you'd like! They are currently in Salt Lake as there is a John Smith reunion in October, but I scanned them before sending them to my father. My email is if you'd like to contact me.

    1. Diane...I'd love to see a copy of this. Thanks!

  2. Very interesting. My great great great grandfather, Isaac Hill, was a bodyguard of Joseph Jr. He is credited for saving John Smith (the uncle,) from the assassins while he was at Carthage, by protecting him from the same angry mobs who later murdered Hyrum and Joseph.

  3. Interesting. I didn't know the story of John Smith almost being killed by a mob at Carthage. When was this?


Any suggestions?