John Cox was born 8 Aug 1810, in Deerhurst, Gloucester, England, the second of nine children born to William Cox (1777-20 Mar 1828) and Elizabeth Turner (1780-28 Feb 1848). Eliza Roberts was born Jun 1816, in Deerhurst, Gloucester, England, the 16th of 18 children born to Samuel Roberts (3 Sep 1775-27 Feb 1859) and Mary Margrate (7 Apr 1774-3 Dec 1840). Eliza’s older brother, Levi Roberts (10 May 1810-22 Jan 1894), six years older than Eliza, also joined the Church. A brother, Robert Roberts (26 Feb 1815, the same day Levi was christened), one year older than Eliza, was apparently baptized in 1840. I have no indication that others in the family joined the Church, but their proxy work appears to have been done.
John and Eliza were married 1 Mar 1836, in Deerhurst, Gloucester, England, when he was 25 and she was 19. At the time of their marriage, John was serving as a parson in the Church of England. Two years later, 1 Jun 1838, she, at least, was baptized, at the age of 22. He apparently was baptized 1 Jun 1839 in England (not in the LG Temple as indicated on my PAF), at the age of 28. Since June 1 is the date of their two baptisms, one year apart (according to my PAF), I suppose there is a possibility, they were actually baptized at the same time. This needs to be verified.
My PAF has conflicting information on the births of their children. They apparently had 20 children, the oldest, Elizabeth, born 4 May 1837, which would have been before their baptism, but the record says she was born in Nauvoo. Ann, born 10 Nov 1838, and John born about 1839, shown being born in Deerhurst, England, may have died young, as perhaps was the case with at least another four children.
At any rate, they migrated to America and by February, 1842, were residing in Nauvoo. He was ordained in 1845. In 1846, they fled Nauvoo for the west. He served in the Mormon Battalion as a Private in Company E, enlisting 16 July 1846, at Council Bluffs, IA, at the age of 35. Eliza’s older brother, Levi Roberts, also enlisted in the Mormon Battalion.
They marched to For Leavenworth, where John designated four dollars to be sent to his family in Council Bluffs (Journal History, 21 August 1846). John and Levi proceeded with the Battalion until they were discharged 16 July 1847, at Ciudad de los Angeles.
John remained in California after his discharge. On 1 May 1848 he donated twenty dollars toward the purchase of two brass cannons from John A. Sutter for the Church (Journal History, 1 May 1848). Eliza claimed that he delayed his return to his family. She swore she was “disabled by reason of hysteric fits” caused by an unfounded rumor of her husband’s death (Pension File). When John did return for Eliza, he was appointed a captain of ten in Titus Billings’ company in 1848 (Journal History, 8 June 1848).
After Eliza and John arrived in Utah, they settled in Weber County, where on 24 July 1854, he gave the benediction at an evening meeting (Deseret News, 3 August 1854). They remained in Weber until 1867. During his years there, he served as a high priest, a counselor, and a teacher (Esshom, Pioneers).
He subsequently moved and became a farmer and teacher in Oxford, Cache County, Utah. Altogether, they had twenty children, the first being Elizabeth Cox, whom my PAF says was born 4 May 1837, in Nauvoo, IL, which is obviously incorrect. Records need to be cleared up.
My great-great grandmother, and the wife of Squire Hepworth, was their 14th child, Margaret Ellen Cox, born 29 Mar 1855, either in Granstville, Tooele, UT, or Weber, Weber, UT.
I have a photocopy photo of John Cox as listed in Pioneers and Prominent Men of Utah—1847. He was an early settler at Oxford, Idaho. He died 1 Apr 1878 at Oxford, at the age of 67. A USMB marker has been placed on his gravesite in Oxford, Bingham County, Idaho.
John and Eliza were endowed and sealed to each other 20 Dec 1867, when he as 57 and she was 51. He lived another 10 years and died in Oxford, ID, 1 Apr 1878, at the age of 67. She lived those 10 years, plus another 12 years as a widow, dying in Oxford, ID, in 1890, at the age of 74. She was sealed to her parents by proxy 21 Aug 1969 in Salt Lake Temple. He was sealed to his parents by proxy 7 Nov 1969.