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 Jacob Lindsay Workman

Jacob Lindsay Workman

Overton County, Tennessee, USA
Death 28 Jul 1878 (aged 66)
Georgetown, Kane County, Utah, USA
Burial Virgin, Washington County, Utah, USA
Plot 81
Memorial ID 52155 · View Source
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Son of John Workman and Lydia Bilyeu

Married Nancy Reader, 15 Aug 1834, Monroe, Overton, Tennessee

Married Fanny Harris, 19 Feb 1847, Mt. Pisgah, Union, Iowa

Married Rebecca Willard Turner, 3 Jan 1852, Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah

A family record or a partial history or family record from August 1855 to the extent of my knowledge of my forefathers. Jacob L. Workman writer of this record was born July 7th 1812, in the vicinity of Overton Tennessee.

John Workman, my father and son of Jacob Workman, was born October 8, 1789, County of Allegheny, Maryland. Jacob Workman, my grandfather, was born about the year 1730 in the State of Maryland or New Jersey. Abram Workman my great-grandfather was born about the year 1710, the place of birth not know but supposed to be in the State of New Jersey. Andrew Workman my great, great grandfather was born about the year 1670, place of birth not known but supposed to be in Holland.

I will now proceed to write some of the circumstances pertaining to my forefathers as they may occur to my memory, that my children may know something of their ancestry. And so I will begin by saying that Andrew Workman, and Abram his son, little or nothing is known at present. Only I have heard my father tell of one Andrew Workman son of Abram Workman, who was a hunter of animals and game and had frequent skirmishes with the Indians in the first settlements of the State of Pennsylvania and Maryland and New Jersey, but whether they fought in the revolution does not appear.

Jacob Workman, my grandfather, I have seen and heard him talk but he was old and infirm and I can just remember seeing him but my father told me many daring experiences, such as bear hunts and hunts after deer and other game that abounded in great plenty in that country.

Tell of some hunting matches with men of great skill in hunting, but he always came off first best in all so that Jacob Workman was the great hunter of the savage mountains of Maryland and Pennsylvania as was Daniel Boone of Kentucky.

Jacob Workman was married to Elizabeth Wickoff about the year 1760 are 1762. She was the mother of 12 children, all of which was born in Allegheny County, Maryland. Their names and order all birth are as follows: Abram, the eldest, Isaac, Jacob, Benjamin, Mary, John, Samuel, James, William, Stephen, Michael, and David the youngest.

Jacob Workman Sr. moved to Bourbon County, Kentucky where he died about the year 1820. I was at his funeral. He died surrounded by his children and friends at a great old age. He suffered for several years severe affliction having the shaking palsy some years before he died. His estate became a matter of trouble among his children. He made a will in his old age when he was childish and willed his property to his two youngest sons, Michael and David. The most of the children waged an unsuccessful lawsuit in court with the two youngest, which cost my father much trouble and a heavy bill in cash to the lawyers and court.

I will now speak of the sons of my grandfather as far as I know and can recollect. Abraham, the eldest, was married in New Jersey but his first wife's name I don't remember. But I think her given name was Hannah. She had five or six children. The eldest James, also Michael, the others I don't remember. Hannah died in Bourbon County, Kentucky in the year 1817, and Abram was again married to Sarah Sullivan. She bore him several children and Abraham died in Sken County, Kentucky in the year 1832. Abraham was a poor man but honest and kind. The second was married in Maryland his first name I don't remember.

His eldest children, Mary, and Nancy, and Hannah oldest son Jacob, next Benjamin his youngest. His wife died in Bourbon County, Kentucky about 1825. He was again married to Eunice Cooms but they did not agree and they parted. Soon after he removed to Illinois where he lived several years and died in 1838. He was poor but an honest man. He met with an accident when a child by being burned which crippled his right hand and arm so that he was a cripple to the end of his days. He was a good shoemaker which trade he followed to the last I heard of him.

Jacob the third I never seen or heard of only my father said of his being a great bully fighter. Mary, the only daughter, was married to Isaac Bilyeu. Their eldest, Jacob, the next John. Had several others but I don't remember their names.

Isaac Bilyeu was a man of good moral's, steady habits, and quite industrious but poor. He used to move from place to place not remaining at one place long at a time so that he has lived in almost every state and territory in the United States. The last I heard of him he was in Missouri and in good health which was about two years hence, his wife Mary still living.

Benjamin the fourth and older than Mary, was married to Hannah Bilyeu, his eldest Elizabeth. Eldest son Stephen, he was a fiddler, next John. Benjamin was a bully fighter but a sober industrious man. He died in Illinois about the time of Isaac in 1838.

John, the sixth, my father, was married to Lydia Bilyeu in Overton County, Tennessee. His eldest, Richard, who died in infancy was born in Overton County, Tennessee, December the 27th 1809.

Next, Jacob L. Workman, the writer of this work. I was born in Overton County, Tennessee, but father moved to Bourbon County, Kentucky. I was born July 7th 1812. My father bought land in Nickless County, Kentucky, 10 miles from where grandfather lived and father by industry and good economy soon became in good circumstances in property and money. We remained in Kentucky till 1827 when we removed to Overton County, Tennessee. We bought a large tract of land in Overton County, Tennessee. I have heard my father J. L. Workman say they bought 3,000 acres, built a good grist mill, carried on a distillery of whiskey and brandy and by hard work and economy we soon became well off in property but still knew nothing of the Gospel of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints till 1839.

My father belonged to the Dunkard church when I can first remember, but he was not satisfied with them and withdrew from them and used to quarrel with them about religion. This brought upon him the hatred and anger of the members of the church which was the leading cause of his leaving Nickless County, Kentucky and removed into Tennessee. We therefore suffered from them and others besides when he left the church. He took to drinking strong drinks which he followed more or less till 1839 when he joined the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints under the hands of Julian Moses, a traveling Elder of the church at which time my mother and other members of the family joined the church.

A word about my mother, she had children very fast, she had twenty in all. No twins. Lydia, my mother, was born August 18, 1793, died September 30th 1845. I, the copyist have found a record of the marriage of John Workman, and Lydia Bilyeu, they were married March 1st 1809.

My mother lived many years after she joined the church enjoying the fruits of the gospel. Baptized by Abraham Owen Smoot, July the 23rd 1840. I joined the church and in the spring of 1842, I, with my family removed to Nauvoo, Illinois, leaving my father and family in Tennessee.

They moved up in the summer of 1848. My father lived in Nauvoo part of the time and part of the time on his farm four miles east of the city. I think it here proper to write a few sketches of J. L. Workman's private history found in another book.

When we returned from Kentucky to Tennessee in 1827 my father gave me a piece (of land) before I was of age and I built a house before I was of age. I also made a trip too on horseback to Kentucky on business for father and also to see our old friends and relations. I spent several weeks and returned home in good health. It being my first visit of any considerable length in my life. About this time we used to make and sell whiskey and brandy and many people of low standing would come and get drunk and spend their last cent for liquor and it put a disgust in it that I left it off entirely and never used it for about 16 years.

I commenced when I was about 18 years of age to save all the time I could and not to drink strong drinks. So when most young men and old too was drinking and rowing, I was preparing timber for my house or doing something that would tell, and when they would come home to go to work with me I would be ready also in better feeling than most of them. So by the time that I needed it, I had a house of my own that I could call my own. And that too by savings what most of the youth of my age spent foolishly. They would go to town and spend from one day to one week in drinking strong drink and meeting friends till their grocery bill would be from $5 to $50 and often have one or more fights which would lay them in for several days and likely will cost them a small sum to pay the County fine and cost. That I saved and applied it on my house and by the time I was 21 I had one as good a house as their was in the neighborhood and had not lost anytime from the work on the farm. The time only that others have lost and they had nothing at all. So much for strong drink.

And finally I was married to Nancy Reader August 15, 1835. Our first child was born July the 22nd 1835, James Thomas, first. Samuel, second of January 26, 1839. William Smoot, November 7, 1841. These were born to me in Tennessee. In 1842, I moved to Nauvoo, Hancock County, Illinois. I lived there till 1846 and then Hiram Parley was born February the 25th 1843. Josephine, my first daughter was born July 2nd 1845. In the spring of 1846 we left Nauvoo for the plains and came to Mt Pisgah. There we suffered much sickness and affliction. There my son Samuel, died October the 11th 1846, then Nancy my wife died also November the 23rd 1846 and then I was married to Fannie Morrison wife of Joseph D. Morrison (deceased) on February 1847.

There David was born February the 28th 1848, and in April 1848 we started for the valleys of the mountains where we arrived all well September the 26th of the same year. More by the by.

Elizabeth, my eldest sister was born in Bourbon Kentucky. Was in my father's family doing her part in our various moves and vicissitudes till1833. She was married to John H. Bilyeu and removed to Illinois, Christian County where they have lived for the last 20 years. Elizabeth has had 10 or 12 children, eldest Peter, next John, many of the rest I don't remember, Peter and John both married at last count and are all well. John, third, born in Bourbon County, Kentucky removed with us till we came to Nauvoo. He did not like the treatment he received from certain ones and went back to Tennessee from there to Illinois where he now lives. He was married in 1835 to Winifred Holderfield, she had five children, John, Lydia, and Elizabeth. I do not remember the rest. His wife died in 1844 and John was again married to Katherine Roberts. All well last spring. Samuel, born in Nickless County, Kentucky came also up to Nauvoo but went back to Tennessee and from there to Illinois where he now lives. He was married to Matilda Burgess just about 1839, had several children, mostly girls, names not remembered.

Lydia, was born in Nickless County, Kentucky. Joined the church in 1835, was married to Jeremiah Hammonol in Tennessee, never came out from there till lately I heard they were in Illinois but was like the rest that are back there, they have forgotten their maker and Mormonism. She has some children but don't remember their names.

Hannah was born in Nicholess County, Kentucky, was married to John Rigsby in Tennessee, came to Nauvoo, went back to Tennessee where John Rigsby died in 1843. She came back to Nauvoo, stayed till 1848 and came to Mt Pisgah and was married to James M. Chadwick, left Nauvoo after the battle, came to Missouri stayed till 1848 then came to Mt. Pisgah, stayed till then came to the valleys of the mountains and still here. She has four children, Delia, Elizabeth, Rachel and Aaron, Abraham, born Nickless County, Kentucky joined the church in 1839. Came to Nauvoo the same time I did. Was married to Martha Witcher. Her firstborn was Caroline, came from Nauvoo to near Mt Pisgah. Martha died and Abraham married to Polly Hays, widow of John Hays. He had two children for him. John, and Heber, and she died and he was again married to Jane Dock, widow of James Dock and they removed to the valleys 1857 and removed to the city of Provo where he died 1859.

Andrew Jackson Workman, born Nickless County, Kentucky joined the church in 1839 came to Nauvoo, came out with the pioneers in February 1846. Enlisted in the Mormon Battalion. Reenlisted in California in the Mexican war, came to San Bernardino and helped to build up that settlement and in the summer of 1855 married Rebecca Dock and has now returned to San Bernardino.

Cornelius, born Nicholas County, Kentucky came to the mountains with the first company of immigrants in 1847 and went through to California, stayed there seven years and returned to this city October 1854.

Oliver G., born in Overton County, Tennessee joined the church in 1840, came to Nauvoo and went round with the Battalion as did Andrew J. Only he came to this place in 1848. Went back to the states in 1849 returned to this city in 1852. He was married to Susan Abigail Brown.

His firstborn was Charles Oliver and in the spring of 1854 was called to go on a mission to England and is now in England.

Mary Ann born Overton County, Tennessee, came up to him in Nauvoo and was sealed to John D. Lee. Left him at winter quarters and came back to Mt. Pisgah and went back to Gt. Desmom and was married to John Bennett and has gone to Kansas. Louisa, born Overton County, Tennessee came to Nauvoo and to Mt. Pisgah and was married to George A. Wilson. One came to this place in 1857 and went to California till the summer of 1855 then returned to this place where they still live Hyrum, the youngest, born in Overton County, Tennessee, came through all the vicissitudes of Mormonism to this place and time and is now well and hearty and is about 17 years of age.

History commenced September the 30th and finished the same day Jacob L. Workman

My father remained in the vicinity of Nauvoo, Illinois until 1846. Then he left with the Saints and was driven into the wilderness. He came to Mt. Pisgah remained there till 1857 when he came to the valleys of the mountains in the city of great Salt Lake for where he lived with his children part of the time and part of the time in his own house laboring with his own hands for his living as far as he was able and rejoicing in the Gospel and the teachings of all the servants of the Lord in this city up to the spring of 1855. When his health became very poor and finally about the first of April he had to cease his daily labors which was transcribing patriarchal blessings, family records into a very plain hand so that they were easy to read. The period which business he followed several years.

His disease increased upon him in spite of all the faith and prayers of us all and in spite of all we could do for him, until the 14th of April. Satisfied that his days were numbered and that he could not live but a short time. Ask him if he was in pain? He said he thot not. I ask him if he was willing to die. He said he would rather live. But he was willing to die if it was the will of the Lord. He remained in his senses most of the time till the evening of the 20th. Up to which time I had frequent conversations with him upon the subject of the gospel salvation. Also upon his temporal effects. He seemed to be in his right mind till the evening of the 20th of April when he seemed to go to sleep but still breathing hard. 20 minutes before five o'clock in the morning of the 21st he breathed his last surrounded by children and friends. And was buried in his temporal robes on the northeast of lot block of the burying ground of the city of great Salt Lake and for the Saints in general.

A family history continued written by Abram Workman son of J. L. Workman

I will endeavor to continue the work my father commenced to the best of my ability commenced March the 22nd 1880. It will be seen that Jacob L. Workman gives no account all but six of the 12 children of Jacob Workman, my great-grandfather. The life of the other six will remain a mystery unless obtained elsewhere.

We left Jacob L. Workman in Salt Lake City with David the youngest. Next born was Lydia Born February 10, 1850. Next Andrew Jackson, May the 24th 1857. Rebecca W. Turner was sealed to J. L. Workman. She Rebecca also stood proxy for Nancy, first wife, January 3, 1852. Next born by Fanny, Joseph Nimrod, August 15, 18 . Firstborn by Rebecca, Abraham, the writer of this book, born October 29, 1852. Next by Rebecca was Elizabeth, and Mary, December the 26th 1853. The last one from Fanny. Fanny Louisa born March 3rd 1851. The balance is from Rebecca. Hannah, January 13th

The summer of 1855 is known as the year of the grasshopper war. When the grasshopper destroyed at Salt Lake City and the neighbor settlements and made bread stuff very scarce before another harvest.

On the 28th day of April 1856, father started on a mission to Las Vegas some 400 miles to the south to preach to the Indians and teach them to raise corn. He left his family without grub to go on a mission because he was called by the servants of God. They suffered considerable but all lived and while he was gone Rebecca bore Martha Jane. Born July the 27th 1856. Then father was called to the lead mines. From there returned home by discharge by President of the mission, N.V. Johns, October the 24th 18__.

Nancy was born April 2, 1860. Isaac Nathaniel born February the 26th 1862.

The fall of 1862, father was called by President Brigham Young to go to Dixie, the southern part of Utah to raise cotton. There he went and arrived the 15th of December 1862 with his two wives and their children. His first wife's children having grown up and stopped behind in the vicinity of Salt Lake. He settled at Virgin City where my uncle Andrew J. lived. There we all suffered very much for food and clothing for the first few years.

Henry F. was born December the 21st 1863. Also Erastus Snow, born November 20, 1864. Rebecca born March 3rd 1867. Lucy Morinda, June 26th 1869. Delia Marion, July 16th 1871.

In the spring of 187? father bought a place eight miles south of Virgin City, where he moved and lived the balance of his life. This is all the children of J. L. Workman. In the fall of 1875, my father (J. L. Workman) lost his eye and the pain thereof came near killing him. But by his request, I cut his eye open with my pocketknife and then it got easy and finally well. But he never was able to do but very little work afterwards. In the spring of 1878, he took sick. And when he first took sick, he said he should never get well. He grew worse every day. We done all we could for him, but he did not wish to take any medicine and would not only to please me. For he said he did not wish to live, for he would never be able to do anything more if he did live. He had his reasons all through his sickness till within minutes on his death and exhorted his family to never forsake Mormonism and bore testimony of its truthfulness to the last. In the morning of the 28th of July 1878, after two months of severe pain and suffering he breathed his last on his place eight miles south of Virgin City, Kane County, Utah. He was taken to Virgin City burying ground and buried in his temple robes and in a few days the Deseret News told the people that another firm latter-day Saint had gone to rest. My father was always a poor man but an honest one. He raised a large family and when he died no man could say that J. L. Workman owed him a cent. (Abram S. Workman)

Daughters of the Utah Pioneers

When the Mormons left Nauvoo Jacob was a captain of ten in Lorenzo Snow's company. Somewhere along the way one of his sons became ill, laid down by the roadside and was left behind. When it was discovered that the boy was missing John Doyle Lee unhitched a team and gave him a horse to ride in his search. He found he boy lying in the open prairie, returned the horse and wept with joy.

Family Members





  • Maintained by: SMSmith
  • Originally Created by: Utah State Historical Society
  • Added: 2 Feb 2000
  • Find A Grave Memorial 52155
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Jacob Lindsay Workman (7 Jul 1812–28 Jul 1878), Find A Grave Memorial no. 52155, citing Virgin Cemetery, Virgin, Washington County, Utah, USA ; Maintained by SMSmith (contributor 46491005) .