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Eli Wiggill autobiography typescript

 File — Folder: 1
Identifier: MSS 504

Scope and Contents

Typewritten copy of an autobiography. Wiggill was born in England and migrated to South Africa where he joined the Mormon Church. He came to Utah in 1861 and worked as a wagon maker there. His account gives a lot of detail on his activities as a Mormon in South Africa, his journey to Utah, and his subsequent life in that state.


  • 1883


Conditions Governing Access

Open for public research.

Conditions Governing Use

It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain any necessary copyright clearances. Permission to publish material from Eli Wiggill autobiography typescript must be obtained from the Supervisor of Reference Services and/or the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Coordinating Committee.

Biographical note

Eli Wiggill (1811-1884) was a Mormon pioneer from England who joined the LDS Church in South Africa and migrated to Utah.

Eli Wiggill was born on November 5, 1810 or 1811 in Gloucestershire, England to Isaac Wiggill and Elizabeth Grimes. In the Winter of 1819-1820, his family migrated to South Africa where they were some of the first English settlers in that country. On February 20, 1831, Eli married Susannah Bentley in Grahamstown, South Africa, and they had nine children together. Eli worked as a wagon maker. In 1837 Eli began working as a preacher for the Methodist Wesleyan Church, for which had been a member since the 1820s, and later taught Sunday School and doing other work in building up the mission and teaching the native people of the area. They survived the Kaffir Rebellion (1835) and the War of the Axe (1850).

In 1857, Wiggill was introduced to missionaries of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and was baptized on March 1, 1858, along with his wife, Susannah, and daughter, then later re-baptized with many of his family on June 1, 1858. Wiggill would lead the branch of Latter-day Saints until February 1861, when he and his family migrated to Utah. The Wiggill family eventually settled in Kaysville, where Wiggill was involved in carpentry and farming.

In August 1869, Susannah Wiggill died of dysentery. Soon after this, Eli determined to return to South Africa, which he did as a missionary from from December 1869 to May 1873.

In 1873, Wiggill would marry Ann Brown Hammer.

Eli Wiggill died on April 13, 1884 and was buried in Kaysville, Utah.


1 folder (0.05 linear ft.) : (ca. 50 p.)

Language of Materials


Custodial History

Provenance of document unknown.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Source of acquisition unknown.


LDS, Utah and the American West cultural, social, and religious history (19th Century Mormon and Western Manuscripts collection development policy IV.a.i.1 and 4, November 2013).

Existence and Location of Originals

Original four-volume handwritten autobiography is in MSS 9137.

Related Materials

The original four-volume handwritten autobiography is available in MSS 9137.

Processing Information

Record updated; Ryan K. Lee; 2018.

Register of Eli Wiggill autobiography typescript
Under Revision
Benjamin Sipes
2011 June 3
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English in Latin script.

Repository Details

Part of the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Repository

1130 HBLL
Brigham Young University
Provo Utah 84602 United States