Tuesday, April 27, 2010

William Shepherd Baxter 1828 - 1865

William Shepherd Baxter baptized James Gardiner or rather rebaptized him on
16 Nov 1861 and confirmed him on 17 Nov. 1861

Here is the story of William S. Baxter's mission:

September 29, 1860, Millenial Star:

March 9, 1861, Millenial Star:

April 13, 1861, Millenial Star:

April 13, 1861, (second pg) Millenial Star:

June 15, 1861, Millenmial Star:

July 6, 1861, Millennial Star:

July 6, 1861, (Second pg) Millennial Star:

August 19, 1861 Millennial Star:

September 28, 1861, Millennial Star:

November 2, 1861, Millennial Star:


November 9, 1861, Millennial Star:

November 23, 1861, Mllennial Star:

December 14, 1861, Millennial Star:

December 14, 1861 Milliannial Star: (second pg)

January 18, 1862 Millennial Star:

February 22, 1862, Millennial Star:

March 29, 1862, Millennial Star:

June 21, 1862, Millennial Star:

July 12, 1862, Millennial Star:

August 16, 1862, Millennial Star:

September 20, 1862, Millennial Star:

October 4, 1862 Millennial Star:

October 4, 1862, Millennial Star:

October 11, 1862, Millennial Star:

December 6, 1862, Millennial Star:

December 13, 1862, Millennial Star:

January 17, 1863, Millennial Star;

February 7, 1863, Millenial Star:

February 14, 1863, Millennial Star:

March 28, 1863, Millennial Star:

March 28, 1863, Two Millennial Star:

April 25 1863, Millennial Star:

May 9, 1873, Millennial Star:

Research Notes:

It most likely is the same person, though I have to admit that Scotland, particularly the Fife area has a lot of Baxter's.  The time period fits for William's mission, and I was aware that on at least one of the voyages he did serve in a leadership role for a company. I have been able to identify the time period of the mission for him based on entries I found for I think the Deseret News of the time.  (I would need to check that for sure) William's mission, at least for part of it, was in the Fife area of Scotland.  William was from Kirkcaldy, and had immigrated to Utah prior to his mission that returned him to Scotland. In one of the journal entries I have found it mentioned that while on his mission, he was able to visit his mother who had remained in Scotland and did not immigrate.  I do appreciate you sending me the information you have, it is not something that I have come across while doing me research.  I must say, I do like this new family search program, it certainly makes it easier to connect with others out there who have information that you don't.

Thanks again,

Le Anna Baxter


Here is the picture and the journal entries that I have.  Hope that you can read the copies, as the writing is very small.  If you have problems, let me know and I will try again or send them through the mail.

I don't know how much you would like to know about William's history, but in case you are interested here is what I have managed to piece together through clues in research and family story.   William was born in Kirkcaldy, Scotland 12 Sept 1828, the second son of John Baxter and Mary Shepherd.  I am not sure when he immigrated to Utah, or if any of his brothers came with him, but I have determined that his mother remained in Scotland. William was married before his mission to a Harriet Merchant, an immigrant from Australia.  They were married in Beaver in 1858.  Together, they had one son, William.  William was then called to serve a mission to Scotland.  When he returned, according to family story, it was his intention to marry a convert from his mission, Mary Sheppart Copley.  Mary and her step-mother, Sarah Copley, either came with William when he returned from his mission, or very shortly within his return.  At either rate, his first did not want to be part of a polygamous marriage, and took the child and left.  William married Mary Sheppart Copley on 3 Oct 1863, in Salt Lake in the Endowment House.  They settled in the Salina, Utah and their son, James Shepherd was born 5 Dec 1864.  William death is related to the Utah Black Hawk Indian Conflict.  According to what has been passed down through the family, William was with a group of men who were out in the act of protecting the community in connection with the problems that were ongoing with the Indians at the time.   This was common for the men of the settlement to be assigned to do during this time, according to records I have read regarding this conflict.  Apparently William was crossing through the fence somewhere in Salina canyon when he was accidently shot by another member of the party, and William died from the wounds.  I have not been able to verify this is records, but I believe that the story has some element of truth.  I have visited William's grave in the Salina Old Pioneer Cemetery.  The original section of this started as a plot of donated land which was designated for the purpose of burying those who gave their lives to protect Salina during the Black Hawk War. William is buried in this section, and on the headstone that is there, William's death date is listed as 1865. While we are not sure which month William died in, the story is that James was about a year or so old.

Thanks also for the piece on William Shepherd.  As you must have guessed, the Shepherd is a family name, but I have to admit, it is one of the lines I have had trouble finding information on.  I have only been able to get as far as James Shepherd, William's grandfather, but I keep trying. The Shepherd name must have had some importance to William, however, for it was given to William's son also as a middle name.  William's son James Shepherd Baxter is my great-great grandfather.

I hope that this information helps you with the things that you are trying to accomplish.  Thanks again for letting me know about people that William was able to help!  If there is more that I can assist you with, please let me know.

Le Anna


I went through my pictures, and I do have a picture of William Shepherd Baxter.  I will scan that this weekend and get it sent  to you.  I will also scan the copies I have from the Journal History that contains references to William S. and his mission and send those as well.  I think they will be of interest to you.
From what I can see in reviewing the information I have, it appears as if this is in fact the missionary you are looking for.  William was set apart as a missionary April 25 1860 and returned Sept 1863.  My records also show that he was on the John Boyd, as do yours.  It also appears that for a time at least, he was President of the Dundee Conference, and organized or reorganized branches in Aberdeen and Forfar.  All of which seems to fit with your records.
I'm glad that I could find something in my record that could help you.  I will send those items soon.  It's nice to know that one of my ancestors was able to help one of yours!
Le Anna

Dear Kent,

Unfortunately I do not think that we have a picture of Wright's Hall.
It might be worth trying the Dundee Local History Centre to see if they
do. Their e-mail address is local.history@dundeecity.gov.uk

I have also established that by 1864 the congregation was meeting in
Hammerman's  Hall, Barrack Street. This may well be Camperdown Hall by a
different name. By 1867 Wright's Hall is listed as the home of the
Church of the 'Latter-Day, Saints or Mormonites'  so they presumably
moved between these two dates

Best wishes,


Hi everyone,  Attached is another excerpt from the Millennial Star.  The relevant letter is the one signed by Wm S. Baxter.  James Gardiner would have been one of those feeling first rate and rejoicing to have returned to the fold.  James Gardiner was baptized on 16 November 1861 by William S. Baxter.  The next day the Aberdeen Branch was organized and James Gardiner was confirmed and ordained a Priest by William S. Baxter.  There were only 8 members in the branch and James was one of them.  N

Hi everyone,  Attached is an excerpt from the Millennial Star.  The letter refers to a Brother Baxter who had letters from some Highlanders who wanted to return to the fold.  James Gardiner could very well have written one of those letters.  Brother Baxter is William S. Baxter, the person who baptized James Gardiner in 1861.  More to follow . . .  N