|Birth: ||Nov. 28, 1803|
New York, USA
|Death: ||Jun. 8, 1890|
Elizabeth Beswick (Tanner) was born November 28th 1803 in Bolton, Warren County, New York to Everton Beswick and Anna Lamb. She married John Tanner (1778) on November 3, 1825 at age 21. John Tanner's first wife had born 14 children and died in May of 1825. John was looking for someone to help him care for his large family. Seven were still at home to care for. The youngest child was Albert Miles Standish Tanner who was seven months old when they married. Martin was two, Louisa "Maria" was six, Nathan was nine, John Joshua was thirteen, and Sidney was sixteen. Three other children still living had already married: Elisha Ellis (1801), and William Stewart (1802) who were both older than Eliza and Matilda Randall (1804) who was a year younger than Eliza. John Tanner had already had four children die. With the death of John's previous wife, Eliza would be the only mother and grandmother many of John Tanner's children would ever know. In addition to raising all of the children this marriage came with, Eliza and John would go on to have the following eight children together:
1. Myron Tanner was born June 7th 1826 in Bolton, New York. He married Mary Jane Mount about 1855 in Payson and had nine children and in 1866 Myron also married Ann Crosby and they had eight children, for a total of 17. He was a Bishop in Provo for 27 years and died January 11th 1903 in Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, Utah.
2. Seth Benjamin Tanner was born March 6th 1828 in Bolton, New York. He married Charlotte Ann Levis about 1858 in Pine Valley, Washington County, Utah. He died December 3rd 1918 in Taylor, Navajo County, Arizona.
3. Freeman Everton Tanner was born January 3rd 1830 in Bolton, New York. He married Sarah Elizabeth Wilkerson in Goshen, Utah on May 10th 1861. He died January 8th 1918 in Payson, Utah County, Utah.
4. Joseph Smith Tanner was born June 11th 1833 in Bolton, New York. Joseph married Elizabeth Clark Haws on February 17th 1860 and died January 28th 1910 in Payson, Utah County, Utah.
5. Philomelia Tanner was born March 10th 1835 in Kirtland, Ohio and died May 28th 1838 in Indianapolis, Marion County, Indiana.
6. David Dan Tanner was born on February 8th 1838 in Kirtland, Ohio. He married Rebecca Estella Moore on January 10th 1861 in Payson, Utah and died October 19th 1918 in Provo, Utah County, Utah. (Dan was the last child to survive to adulthood.
7. Sariah Tanner was born July 19th 1840 in Montrose, Iowa. She died March 12th 1853 in San Bernadino, San Bernadino County, California while the family was there on a mission for the church.
8. Francis Tanner was born March 10th 1843 in Montrose, Iowa. Died on June 5th 1844 in Montrose, Lee County, Iowa.
Eliza tells of her conversion to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints about seven years after she married John Tanner in 1832 only two years after the church was organized. "Some of our neighbors joined the church and we attended some of the meetings..." (She particularly mentions a funeral sermon given by Jared Carter after the death of one of their neighbor's children). The elders had visited the Tanner home previous to this, but it seems John was not too impressed with their teachings until he heard this sermon (on Aug. 28, 1832, according to Jared Carter's journal). Elder Carter wrote that at this funeral there was a large congregation present, and the Lord enabled him to speak to them in the spirit. Many were converted as a result. Apparently this was the sermon during which the spirit first bore witness to John Tanner, and some of the neighbors joined the church. His wife Elizabeth says that at first John was cautious but investigated further, advising his Baptist friends not to fight against the elders' doctrines, for if the work were of God it would stand, and if not it would fall to the ground on its own. He said they would not want to be found fighting against God. Elizabeth's account continues, "He (John) was a man given to hold his opinions strenuously, and not easily led by new doctrines ... (he got a Book of Mormon and studied it carefully) ... Bros. Jared and Simeon Carter visited him one day (a few weeks later) and after talking with him a while, administered to him and commanded him to arise and walk, which he immediately done, throwing away his crutches and never using them anymore. The following day, September 17, 1832, we were both baptized in Lake George and confirmed on the water's edge by Jared and Simeon Carter. Our home was open from that time as a home for the elders who came to that part of the country."
As would be expected Eliza's history followed that of the Mormon Church from that time on. First she and her husband would travel in January of 1834 from New York to Kirtland where they joined the saints in building the Kirtland Temple. Then John and Eliza would take what has been estimated to be worth of well over 200 million dollars in value in the year 2000, and help build the Kirtland Temple and the church, going from being rich to poor in only a few years. She would send two of her sons with Zion's camp. Eliza John Tanner would then travel by wagon 1000 miles to Missouri in 1838, where they were persecuted by white men and attacked by Indians. They would then move near Nauvoo where she and John would help build the temple before John was would be called on a mission and leave Eliza to care for their many children alone. In 1846 she and her husband would receive their endowments and be sealed in the Nauvoo Temple before being driven to Winter Quarters. While waiting to go to Utah she had a son who went west with the Mormon Battalion and her husband and two sons were made compassionate Bishops. The Tanner family then traveled in the Willard Richards Company leaving Winter Quarters July 3rd 1848 as they became part of the earliest settlers of Utah. John would get sick and die in 1850 leaving Eliza with many children to raise and at the head of a large family. Eliza and some of the family were called by Brigham Young on a mission to California where Eliza and many children and grandchildren would help those members of the church coming to the Southern California coast make their way to Utah. You may be challenged to find a mother who had more children and step-children or who joined the church earlier and whose descendants had a greater impact on the church in general than Eliza. One daughter would marry and apostle and in time many more apostles and church leaders would be among her descendants. Her faith and strength cannot be under estimated. Like her husband she gave all for the kingdom and may have more strong descendants in the church than nearly anyone. Some may marginalize her by saying she was only a step-parent to many of these descendants but to anyone that has been a step-parent they know that this job is even more challenging than that of regular parent. Ask Jesus' step-father Joseph.
When all was said and done Eliza would be grandmother and step-grandmother to 183 grandchildren and 845 great-grandchildren. Many of them knew only her as their parent, grandparent, and great grandparent. She cared for her family as a widow for over 40 years. Eliza lived in Payson, Utah for many years. She would die June 8th 1890 in Payson and be buried there.
Everton Beswick (1773 - 1821)
Anna Lamb Beswick (1769 - 1852)
John Tanner (1778 - 1850)
Myron Tanner (1826 - 1903)*
Seth Benjamin Tanner (1828 - 1918)*
Freeman Everton Tanner (1830 - 1918)*
Joseph Smith Tanner (1833 - 1910)*
David Dan Tanner (1838 - 1918)*
Caleb Beswick (1795 - 1842)*
David Beswick (1800 - 1842)*
Elizabeth Beswick Tanner (1803 - 1890)
Rebecca Beswick Varnum (1806 - 1885)*
She's crossed the troubled river,
That lies 'twixt us and heaven,
To her a robe of whiteness,
A golden crown is given.
Payson City Cemetery
Created by: L Despain
Record added: Sep 16, 2008
Find A Grave Memorial# 29841753