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 Hannah Maria Septima <I>Sims</I> Layton

Hannah Maria Septima Sims Layton

Gloucestershire, England
Death 5 Oct 1889 (aged 41)
Kaysville, Davis County, Utah, USA
Burial Kaysville, Davis County, Utah, USA
Plot 14-2-A-39
Memorial ID 120933 · View Source
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The certified copy of her birth record from England spells her name "Hannah Maria Septima Sims."

Daughter of George Sims and Caroline Gill

Married Christopher Layton, 14 Jan 1865, Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah

Children - Amy Caroline Layton, Priscilla Mae Layton, Drucilla Grace Layton, Oscar George Layton, Harry Wilford Layton, Franklin Sims Layton, Jesse Monroe Layton

Biography - History of Hannah Maria Septima Sims Layton.

Septima Sims married polygamist Christopher Layton, and to their union were born seven children: Amy Caroline, Priscilla May, Drucilla Grace, Oscar George, Franklin Sims (died at seven months), Harry Wilford and Jesse Monroe.

Septima was the daughter of George Sims and Caroline Gill, born 20 July 1848, at Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England. She told that her father used to rouse his children in the morning by calling, "Martha, Mary, Septima, and John, arise and put your britches on; and if you don't have britches, put your petticoats on, Martha, Mary, Septima, and John."

Septima was a small woman with piercing, black eyes and very dark hair, meticulous in her habits neat as a pin, and very industrious in her work. She pushed a handcart across the plains from St. Louis to Winter Quarters.

The Sims family was very poor and used every resource to make a living for their children who were Martha, Mary, Septima, John, Priscilla, and Jacosa. Two of their children, Lorenzo and Lorenzo Obostick, died in infancy. The children often went into the streets to sing for pennies or small coins. When a girl in Cheltenham, England, Septima would walk around the fields, clapping two boards together to scare the birds away so that they would not eat up the seeds planted for their crops. They owned but a small parcel of land and the children had to stay constantly in the fields, frightening the birds from the grain.

The parents joined the Church in 1850 with the children probably being baptized when they came of age. Septima was baptized by her father 3 August 1856, and was confirmed three days later on 6 August 1856. She was about 14 years of age at the time she came to the United States. They were two months crossing the ocean in a small boat. They had to have cheap passage. After arriving in New Orleans, they transferred and went up river to St. Louis. [See Editor's Note]. Her father was a carpenter by trade - a trade that has been handed down even today.

There is not too much known other than Septima was a Catholic when she joined the Mormon Church. Her parents probably settled around Payson or Lake Shore, Utah, after crossing the plains and coming to Utah. [See Editor's Note]

Septima was only 17 years of age when she married Christopher Layton, January 7, 1865, and one week later on January 14th they were sealed in the Endowment House in Salt Lake City, Utah.

They lived in Kaysville, Davis County, Utah. On December 24, 1867, Christopher had a brass band come to their house, gave them an excellent supper, and all had an enjoyable time. After they were all settling down for the night, Septima presented him with a little daughter, whom they named Amy Caroline. Septima gave birth to six of their seven children while she lived in Kaysville.

In February 1883, Christopher was set apart in Salt Lake City as President of the St. Joseph Stake in Arizona, and he immediately began to make preparations to leave for that Territory. Septima remained in Kaysville until September. Christopher received word that two of his wives, Rosa Hudson and Septima Sims were at Bowie, so he took a team and went over there. He found that they had written to him, but he never received the letter.

After staying in Safford for a few weeks, Christopher settled his wife, Septima, and family at Curtis or as it is known today, Eden, Arizona. Septima and her family lived in Curtis under very humble surroundings and it was here on 27 December 1884 that here seventh child was born, whom they called Jesse Monroe. [Her brother, Samuel John Sims was living there at the time, also.] The next year Christopher moved Septima and her family over to St. David and her daughter, Amy, married Reuben W. Fuller at St. David.

Septima stayed three years in Arizona with her husband then moved back to Kaysville, Utah, 8 March 1886 with her children... May, Drucie, Oscar, Harry and Jesse. They left too early in the season and encountered lots of boggy roads and, in order to get through, they had to chop limbs from the trees and throw across the road.

They arrived in Kaysville the 12th of May to find balmy, nice weather. They received orders for hay and food supplies at all of the tithing offices along the way. Septima and her children were located in a good home. (There are 18 homes built by Christopher Layton which are 80 to 100 years of age in 1952 that are still standing in Kaysville and Layton, Utah.)

Grandmother Septima lived only two years after returning to Kaysville. One day she went into the fields to gather hops, which grew luxuriantly along the fences and walls. She didn't return so Oscar went to look for her and found her lying among the hops. She had suffered a paralytic stroke. Her face all pulled to one side, caused from the stroke. She used to pat her children on the head, realizing that she was going to die and be taken from them soon, but was never able to utter a word to them.

Two of her girls were married: Amy to Reuben Fuller, living in Thatcher, Arizona, and May to Thomas Flitton, living at Kaysville, Utah. Drucie soon married John Hooper Blood and resided in Kaysville. She took Jesse Monroe to live with her, and Harry and Oscar went back to Arizona.

Information provided by Freda Layton Allred, granddaughter, 1952.

Editor's Note: Jessie Layton Ewing, daughter of Oscar and Lula Lewis Layton and granddaughter of Septima Layton, sent me the following information some time ago that she had researched on Grandma Septima: Septima's parents were living on Tivoli Street in Cheltenhem, Gloucestershire, England, when she was born.

Septima was neat as pin and very industrious. It has been said that one must remove their shoes before entering her house as not to dirty her floors.

Her father, at the time of his marriage, gave his occupation as a porter, also at the birth of his first child, Martha; but at the birth of each of the other children on on his Death Certificate, it is given as a paper hanger. Finally, tradition says, "He was a carpenter and builder by trade, a trade that has been handed down even today." I know his son, John Samuel, was a carpenter and, perhaps, George could have been a farmer and carpenter as well as a paper hanger.

While family preparations were being made to join the Saints in Utah, the father passed away at their home at 22 St. Philip Street in Leckhampton, Gloucestershire, England, of kidney disease on 3 March 1862. Septima was only 14 years old. The brave little family came on alone, sailing Saturday, 30 May 1863, from Liverpool on the ship "Synosure" [Cynssure] with 754 Saints aboard, docking at New York Harbor 2 July 1863. The Perpetual Emigration Fund made it possible for this family to make the voyage at this time.

Eight days after departing, on 8 June 1863, another tragedy struck this faithful family. Baby Lorenzo Obostick, 21 months of age, passed away. He was put into a gunny sack with some coal and after a prayer, was slid off the boat into a watery grave. The grandmother, Maria Gill [Clayfield], also passed away on the Little Sandy while crossing the plains [while journeying to meet her daughter's family in Utah, after her husband had passed away in England, 1868]; but through it all, every member of the family stayed true to the Church, dying with a strong testimony of it's divinity, and never doubting the goodness and mercy of our Heavenly Father.

The family settled in Kaysville, Utah, upon their arrival in the Salt Lake Valley.

(Jessie recently passed away on 15 October 1991 and will be greatly missed by the family. We are indebted to her for her contribution to this book and for the genealogy she has recorded for our benefit.)

My father, Jesse Monroe, blessed her as a baby when she was given her name. She told me about two years ago in a letter to me that "Uncle Jesse said he had nothing better to give her than his good name, and how she had cherished it." We loved her dearly.

This is a very large family and, over a period of generations, it was challenging to recall events as others see them, to remember exact dates and places, and to keep a journal; therefore, we still spell Septima/Septema/Septemma" as it came down to us. My understanding is that her birth record states "Septima", but that she preferred "Septemma" and that it is on the Kaysville Ward records that way. Regardless, a little vowel will not upset us.

Love, Clutha "R" Layton Johnston Harvey

From the family publication: Septima's Children, Compiled and Edited by Clutha L. Harvey, 1991, pages 13-17 and the preface.

Bio by: SMSmith




  • Maintained by: SMSmith
  • Originally Created by: Utah State Historical Society
  • Added: 2 Feb 2000
  • Find A Grave Memorial 120933
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Hannah Maria Septima Sims Layton (20 Jul 1848–5 Oct 1889), Find A Grave Memorial no. 120933, citing Kaysville City Cemetery, Kaysville, Davis County, Utah, USA ; Maintained by SMSmith (contributor 46491005) .