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Merrill, Cyrena Dustin, 1817-1907



  • Existence: 1817 - 1907

Biographical History

Cyrena Dustin Merrill (1817-1907) was a mother, grandmother, and early pioneer of the Church of Jesus of Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Cyrena was born in the state of New York in 1817. She was introduced to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints age 19, and was later baptized in March 1837. She was the first and only member of her family to be baptized, a decision that led Cyrena to leave her home in 1838 to emigrate with the Saints against her family's wishes.

Cyrena traveled to Utah with other families who had joined the Church and met many prominent Church leaders along the way. She received her patriarchal blessing from Joseph Smith, Sr. During her travels, Cyrena caught a severe cold and experienced many health struggles.

In 1839, Cyrena traveled to Nauvoo, Illinois, where she met her husband, Philemon Merrill. They were married on September 20, 1840. Together they had 7 children over the course of their marriage. Both Cyrena and Philemon received their endowments in the Nauvoo temple.

Together with their young children, Cyrena and Philemon began the trek west towards Salt Lake City, Utah. Philemon was enlisted in the Mormon Battalion, and so Cyrena found herself alone for some of this time. They arrived in the Salt Lake Valley in 1849 and lived there until 1857.

Various callings caused the family to move to different areas of Utah, Idaho, and eventually Arizona. As several of her adult children and spouses passed away, Cyrena found herself in charge of many young grandchildren in need of care. Philemon died on September 16, 1904, and Cyrena followed him in passing on February 3, 1907.

Find-a-Grave, via WWW, Feb. 26, 2013 (Cyrena Dustin Merrill; b. Jan. 6, 1817 in Le Roy, Genesee County, N.Y.; parents: Seth Dustin and Elizabeth Redfield; d. Feb. 3, 1906 in Safford, Graham County, Ariz.; m. Philemon Christopher Merrill, Sept. 20, 1840 in Nauvoo, Hancock County, Ill.; joined Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Mar. 1837; lived in Little Platte, Mo., Nauvoo, Ill., Iowa, Utah, and Ariz.; eight children), via WWW, Feb. 26, 2013 (Cyrena Dustin Merrill; Cyrena Dustin; Cyrena Merrill; Serina Merrill; Cyrena Bruce Dustin; b. Jan. 6, 1817 in Genesee County, N.Y.; d. Feb. 3, 1906 in Safford, Ariz.)

UPB files, March 20, 2020 (b. 1817 in New York; baptized March 1837; received patriarchal blessing from Joseph Smith, Sr.; description of health problems during travel; arrival in Nauvoo and first encounter with Philemon Merrill; names and birthdates of all children; description of husband leaving for Mormon Battalion; arrived in Salt Lake 1849; moved to different areas of Utah, Idaho, and Arizona; d. Philemon September 16, 1904; d. Cyrena February 3, 1907)

Found in 2 Collections and/or Records:

Cyrena Dustin Merrill autobiography

 Digital Record
Identifier: MSSSC2180

Cyrena Dustin Merrill autobiography

 Item — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSS SC 2180
Scope and Contents

Autobiography by Cyrena Dustin Merrille, including her experience joining the Mormon Church in 1837, time spent in Far West, Missouri, Nauvoo, Illinois, Winter Quarters, Nebraska, and her migration to Salt Lake City, Utah. She describes the impact of a measles outbreak among Ute Indians in Salt Lake City in 1851, and an 1876 move to Arizona with her family. Also included is a genealogy of the Merrill family. Dated 1898 to 1907.

Dates: 1898-1907

Additional filters:

Digital Record 1
Collection 1
Far West (Mo.) -- History 1
Latter Day Saint women -- Biography 1
Latter Day Saint women -- History 1
Latter Day Saints -- Biography 1
Mormons -- Biography -- Sources 1