John and Mary Ellison Sutton (Maxine Tanner's great-great grandparents) owned a shop in Parr, St. Helens, Lancashire, England.
Their lives changed dramatically when they were baptized into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on January 12, 1851. Mary's baptismal certificate notes that she was baptized by Elder William Houghton and confirmed the next week by Elder John Bradshaw. They decided to gather to Zion with the Saints.
In 1853, 2,312 persons emigrated to the Great Basin with assistance from the [Perpetual Emigrating Fund]. Four hundred were in the "poor companies," 1,000 were in the ten-pound class, and the final 955 paid their own expenses. (Arrington, Leonard J., and Davis Bitton. The Mormon Experience: A History of the Latter-Day Saints. New York: Knopf, 1979, 131.)
The Suttons were among these emigrants. I cannot tell what the money amounts mean in the Perpetual Emigrating Fund record (see below), but I assume the Suttons paid their own way, since they also helped two young men and a number of families to emigrate:
- John Lowe and Mary Wilgoose Lowe. (Ages 36 and 37. John was a blacksmith in England. Children: Richard Lowe, William Lowe, Peter Lowe, Elizabeth Lowe, and John Lowe.)
- James Ellison and Alice Halliwell Ellison. (This is Mary's brother and sister-in-law, ages 48 and 42. James was a farmer. Children: Ellen Ellison Bennett, George, John W., Jane A., Mary Ellison Bennett.)
- James and Anne Singleton. (Ages 38 and 36. James was an engineer. Children: William, Anne. They seem to have gone to California.)
- George Birchall and Sarah Hobson (Hodgson or Hodgin) Birchall. (Ages 38 and 26. George was a labourer.)
- William Maken. (Age 22.)
- Charles Longson. (Minister, age 23.) (This seems to be the Charles Longson mentioned living in the Marsden household in Brampton, Chesterfield—ancestors on the Glade line. Charles married John and Mary's daughter Ann.)
- Charles McKechnie. (Glass stainer, age 22. Charles later married John and Mary's daughter Ellen Sutton but left the Church and moved to California, after which Ellen married Irishman Samuel Linton, our ancestor.)
- John Nugent. (Labourer, 25. May have also gone to California.)
- Edward and Elizabeth Kaye. (Ages 25. Edward was a miner.)
Here are the PEF records showing the emigration arrangements.
After coming to America, the Suttons had some assets but were not wealthy, according to the 1860 United States Census.
From comparing their stated Value of Real Estate and Value of Personal Estate with others in Nephi, Utah, it looks like they probably had a small but sufficient home and an average amount of personal wealth (see definitions here). But they also had another kind of wealth: they lived surrounded by their children and relatives as well as some of the families they'd helped bring to America.
When John Sutton died in 1865, his obituary said:
Here is a chart Mary Ann Linton Morgan drew, showing the descendants of her grandparents John and Mary Sutton.