Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Orrin Porter Rockwell - "The Destroying Angel"

Orrin "Porter" Rockwell born in Belchertown, MA., was Joseph Smith's (Founder of Mormons) personal body-guard and gun-bearer. He went by the name "Porter," was referred to as the "Destroying Angel," and died a wealthy man in Salt Lake City, Utah.

After Joseph Smith was killed by a vigilante mob in Carthage, Ill., "Porter" then became Brigham Young's protector, and personally lead the Mormon contingent across the plains to Great Salt Lake Valley in 1847.

As a boy, he eagerly listened to the conversations between his parents and the parents of the prophet Joseph Smith. He used to beg his mother to allow him to sit up and keep the pine torch burning so that he could hear the message. He picked berries by the moonlight and gathered wood so he could sell them to obtain money to give to the Prophet to help print "The Book of Mormon".

Orrin was received into the Mormon Church on Apr 6, 1830. (Info from the book "Orrin Porter Rockwell - Man of God, Son of Thunder" 1966) He was a scout, pioneer, rancher, and deputy Marshall. Orin never practiced polygamy, although a Mormon. He died 9 Jun 1878, of natural causes, in Salt Lake City. (There is a book titled "Porter Rockwell", which is available at Walden's Book Store. (1992). It details the life of Mormon Porter Rockwell's exploits!) .

He fathered 19 children by his 3 wives.

Census of Weber County, UT., 1850 lists Porter Rockwell, trader, age 36 (born NY) living alone. Census of 1870, Salt Lake City, Salt Lake Co., UT., Porter Rockwell, farmer, age 50, born MA, 8 in household, real estate wealth $8000, personal wealth $5000.

By Lyle Rockwell. Lyle is a Director of the Rockwell Family Foundation and lives in Athens, PA. He can be reached by email at

Sunday, August 15, 2004

Query: Parents of Charlotte Rockwell


QUERY TEXT: "On the death certificate of my gr. gr. grandmother Mary M. Thomas of Danbury, CT. dated Oct. 26, 1917 the names of Charlotte Rockwell and Ephraim Kelley are given as Mary's parents. No birth place is given for either Charlotte or Ephraim, but further research into the census records revealed that this Kelley family lived in the town of Patterson, Putnam County NY in 1820, the town of Southeast, Putnam County NY in 1830, the town of Kent, Putnam County NY in 1840 and the town of Sherman, Fairfield County CT. in 1850.

Charlotte Rockwell, may have been born in the town of Patterson or Southeast, Putnam County NY, ca. 1796 or over the border in the Danbury/Ridgefield/Ridgebury area of CT. Ephraim Kelley was born in the town of Southeast ca. 1794, the son of Reuben Kelley.

Charlotte Rockwell married Ephraim Kelley ca. 1815, probably in the town of Southeast. According to the Colburn / Pepper cemetery records for the town of Sherman, CT. Charlotte Kelley died July 13, 1858 - age 61 years, 11 months, 13 days.

I am seeking any clues of information as to the names of the parents of Charlotte Rockwell.

There was an Isaac Rockwell listed in th 1810 census for the town of Southeast.

In this family were 2 males under 10 , 1 male 10 - 16 , 3 males 16-26 , one
male 45 and up, 2 females under 10 - 1 female 10 - 16, 1 female 16-26, and 1 female 26 to 45.

Was this the family of Charlotte Rockwell?

Does anyone have the names of the children of Isaac?

Any help would be appreciated"

David Smith

Danbury, CT

Query: Rockwell, Lewis & Strong Families, Middletown, CT


QUERY TEXT:"I am trying to determine if the Thomas LEWIS family of Northampton MA whose son Joseph married into the Titus STRONG family of Northampton, MA is related to the ROCKWELL family of Middletown, CT.

Titus Strong is the son of Ithmar Strong, a descendant of the Thomas Strong line in Dwight's book about the family history of Elder John Strong. I know that the Rockwell's are related to the Thomas Strong line through the marriage of Elnathan Strong, Jr., son of Elnathan and Patience Jenner Strong, to Elizabeth Rockwell, daughter of Joseph and Susanna Yeoman Rockwell.

I was trying to find out if there was a direct connection between the Lewises and the Rockwells in the 1700s, particularly the Joseph and Susanna Rockwell branch. Can anyone help? Thanks, Marsha Hamilton"

Query: Mary Rockwell, Fairfield, CT


QUERY TEXT: Seeking information on a Mary Rockwell born between 1791 and 1804 from Fairfield Conn, she married Jesse Jaynes (Janes) and by 1820 were living in Butternut, Ostego Co,NY that is all the information i have on her.

I also have Rockwell's on another side of the family i have a Benjamin Rockwell born Nov 15 1804 (unsure where but was in Newfield Tompkins co,NY in 1850 census) he had the following children Harriet, Ira ,Hiram and Wesley(born ABT 1831 in Newfield)

Would love to hear from any one who may have a connection to ether Rockwell families.



Submitted by Mary Ann Cole. From the Kenosha (WI) News, 2/19/1999)


Ronald J. Rockwell, 64, formerly of Kenosha, late of Daytona, FL, died Jan. 24, 1999.

Born Feb. 22, 1934, in Amherst, Nova Scotia, he was the son of the late Dwight James and Jennie Marie (Fales) Rockwell. He was educated in the Amherst school system.

On Sept. 4, 1954, he married Barbara A. Johnston at United Baptist Church, Oxford, Nova Scotia.

He worked in the office of Tantramar Motors for several years and was with Addressograph-Multigraph in Halifax, N.S., Montreal, and Saint John, New Brunswick. From 1980 to 1994, he w
orked in the head office of SPEBSQSA at Harmony Hall in Kenosha. He moved to Florida in 1994.

He enjoyed singing barbershop music.

While in Kenosha, he was a member of First United Methodist Church. In Halifax he was a member of the local chapter of SPEBSQSA.

Surviving are three daughters, Jo-Ann Clarke of Kenosha, Jillian Perry of Sussex, N.B., Megan Lathrop of Goddard, KS;

Sunday, August 1, 2004

St. James, Fitzhead

Fitzhead is a small village in southwestern England, near Taunton.

We visited this area in the Fall of 1997. My Rockwell ancestors attended this church and are commemorated there.

We found the people to be extremely friendly, we had two invitations to visit private homes that day and enjoyed them immensely.

Transcribed Parish Registers

About Fitzhead

The Mary and John Clearinghouse


"On 20 March 1630, the ship Mary & John sailed from Plymouth, England with 140 passengers aboard. The Rev. John White of Dorchester, Dorset, recruited all the families. Nearly all of them
came from the West Country of England, which included the counties of Somerset, Dorset and Devon. The ship landed in New England on 30 May 1630, two weeks before the Winthrop Fleet arrived.