It will be four years ago this August when I set out on a pilgrimage to honor my ancestors who were the first converts in my line to join the church. In honor of my 40th birthday this was my gift to them- a road trip-- destination grave yards. In 36 hours, we visited 10 grave yards and 40 grave sites. It was the first time in my entire life that I had spent this significant amount of time with just my parents. It was the best birthday present ever! We found all of the graves except two- one of which was Molly's...
Salt Lake City Cemetery-200 North Street
William Flint(1814-1890) Mary Jane Goodridge(1825-1883)
Plot k 3 1 1E
Benjamin Franklin Goodridge (1794-1875) Penelope Randall Gardner Plot B-15-9
John Rex Winder(1821-1910) location D 5 15 1E
Elanor Walters(1822-1892) D 5 15 2E(1790-1875))
William Leather (1808-1900)Mary Ann Windows(1817-1879)
Molly (Mary) Knight Slade
And it is her story in which I can trace my ancestry back to the first 150 members of the church and the Colesville branch. This small woman was the younger sister to Joseph Knight Senior and was a good friend to the prophet Joseph. Joseph Knight was instrumental in bringing forth the Book of Mormon. The Knights are one of the first three families of the restoration.
Molly was 78 years old when she climbed off of the Wagon in Salt Lake City. She had seen and witnessed much since joining the Mormon church in 1830. Her Husband left her for having joined the controversial religion, but she did not falter- her faith defined her actions.
As a member of the Colesville Branch she was among a small group which banded together and stayed the ties of adversity. Her journey to the "Ohio" led her to the live on the Lehman Copley Farm under the New Order. Next came the call to establish Zion in Missouri. By boat, she traversed the great Mississippi and temporarily camped in Kansas City, MO. After the expulsion there, she lived for a time in Clay County in a secluded canyon.
It was in Far West that Molly joined the prophet once again. Life at Far West was for a time happy and prosperous, but tensions and questions soon rose as Oliver Cowdrey doubted the work of the prophet. These events led to the Hans Mill Massacre, the false imprisonment of the Prophet, Hyrum and others. The Saints were again driven from their homes. Molly along with her family crossed the Mississippi and lived in Pittsfield Illinois while Nauvoo was being established.
Driven from their "Zion" again Molly traveled to Winter Quarters and then back to Kanesville. While there, she sustained Brigham Young as the next prophet of the church. How strange it must have been for Molly. She had followed the prophet Joseph since the days of Colesville.
Having seen more adversity than I can imagine, Molly climbed aboard her all to familiar wagon one more time and headed to the Salt lake Valley- the final trek of her journey that began 32 years earlier when she joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints- A choice which forever changed the course of her history and of mine.
I did not find Molly's grave four years ago-- she had been buried in a Pauper's field in1853 because her family did not have enough money to bury her. ""After being lost to the current family for over 154 years, Mary “Molly” Knight Slade was found at her journey’s end buried in the paupers’ field of the Salt Lake City Cemetery in plot # 374. A commemoration and headstone setting were held on Aug. 4, 2007. Those attending were many Knight-Slade descendants as well authors of early church history Larry C. Porter and William G. Hartely."
No Molly is no longer lost- her testimony continues to burn brightly in her descendants. May we ever remember the faith of Molly. May we never get lost.
For more information on Molly Knight Slade or the Knight family please visit Family Search or the Knight family website. May I also suggest a great article by Elder Renlund from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints at
My lineage to Molly Knight
Amyanne Weaver m. Travis Rigby
Kimball Weaver m. Janet Hofheins
Ruth Mabel Stoddard Kimball Weaver m. Max Dickson Weaver
Edwin Clevleland Stoddard m. Jennie Smith Stoddard
Hyrum Franklin Stoddard m. Evangeline Cleveland
Henry Rogers Clevleand m. Margaret Boyack
Henry Alanson Cleveland m. Ann Slade
Aaron Slade m. MARY "MOLLY' Knight
Benjamin Knight m. Sarah Crouch