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Faria legal documents

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSS 6788

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of documents from Wayne County, New York; Lake County, Ohio; and Hancock County, Illinois. These documents, which are frequently reports of insolvent debtors and court summons, illustrate the legal system of these counties during 1827-1869. The documents follow many cases, which are not high profile cases and are largely tied to debt. These documents, while showing the legal system of these respective counties, also show an insight into social customs in the wording of the statements and the process in which the court trials carried out.


  • 1827-1869


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 Faria legal documents must be obtained from the Supervisor of Reference Services and/or the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Board of Curators.

Administrative History

Hancock County, which was formed in 1825, contains Carthage city, a city that has much history with the Latter-day Saint Church.

Hancock County, formed in 1825, was named for John Hancock, the first signer of the Declaration of Independence. Hancock County was formed out of neighboring county Pike County, and was established seven years after Illinois gained statehood in the United States Union. in 1833, Carthage, Illionis became the governmental capitol of Hancock County. The courthouse was run out of a small log cabin that existed until 1945. In 1839, a second courthouse was built that served the state until the early twentieth century. The third courthouse, dedicated in 1908, is still in use in Hancock County. The Latter-day Saints settled in Commerce, Illinois from approximately 1839-1846, though some Latter-day Saints stayed after this time period. They renamed Commerce "Nauvoo," meaning "beautiful place." While living in Hancock County, the Latter-day Saint church thrived. During this time period, Nauvoo became the largest town in Illinois. In 1844, however, Joseph Smith, Jr. was assassinated in Carthage, Illinois. Roughly a year and a half after this assassination, the main body of the Latter-day Saints left Nauvoo to settle in the Rocky Mountains. Though Hancock County is well known for the Latter-day Saints, another Utopian Society established in this county for a short time. The Icarians settled in Nauvoo in 1849. They sought to establish Utopia based on the ideas of a French philosopher named Etienne Cabet. The colony dissipated within the decade. Despite such a history rich with new religions and ideas, Hancock County remains a prominently Catholic region.

Administrative History

Lake County, Ohio, formed in 1840. was settled by early Latter-day Saints in the 1830s and consequently contains some LDS early history there.

Lake County, Ohio, the smallest county in Ohio, was formed in 1840. The county covers 228 square miles. In the 1830s, the Latter-day Saints settled in Lake County, establishing a larger township in Kirtland, Ohio. Though the Sainst left within the decade, the history left behind them still supports much of Lake County. The tourists that come to see the remnants of the Saints' early history have become a major part of Lake County. Throughout most of its history, Lake County has been a quiet, agricultural community.

Administrative History

Wayne County, new York, formed in 1823, has a rich history of religious movements, abolitionism, agriculture, and westeward expansion.

Wayne County, New York was formed in 1823. The new county took in parts of Ontario County and Seneca County, forming a new county between the outskirts of each county. However, the first white settlers came to Wayne County in the laste 1700s. The county was not heavily puplated by Native Americans at the time, but it may have been a huge Indian settlement hundresds of years before. Due to the geographic placement of Wayne County, the county experienced a rich history due to religious movements, abolitionism, agriculture, and westward expansion. Within twenty five years after the arrangement of the county, two religions formed within its boundaries. In the 1820s, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, presided over by Joseph Smith Jr., was birthed in Palmyra, New york. Twenty years later, in 1848, the religious movement known as Spiritualism sprang from Wayne County as well. The Fox sisters led this movement. Before the Civil War, Wayne County held many abolitionist citizens, many of whom helped with the Underground Railroad. Wayne County also enjoyed great commerical success due to the county's location on the Erie Canal. This commercial success, tied to the Great Lakes commerce, lasted throughout much of the nineteenth century.

Biographical history

Larry Faria is a businessman and document collector; he and his wife Sandra live in Missouri. Larry Faria was born and raised in California. He met his wife Sanda in High School. They have four children and thirteen grandchildren. Both joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in December 1969. The Faria family moved to Santa Barbara, California in 1972, and again to Missouri in 1980.

A student of LDS Church history, Larry Faria discovered a large collection of records in 2003. The collection was donated to BYU in 2004. The documents provide a unique insight into LDS Church history. Other discoveries by Larry Faria include hundreds of documents from Wayne County, New York; Lake County, Ohio; and Jackson County, Missouri.

Biographical history

Sandi Faria is the wife of Larry Faria and has assisted in transcribing documents from the collection--some of the Faria’s collection has appeared in a number of historical publications.


3 boxes (1.5 linear ft.)

Language of Materials



Collection contains legal documents from Wayne County, New York, Lake County, Ohio, and Hancock, Illinois.


Materials arranged by the place of origin of the documents.

Custodial History

Maintained by the Farias until the time of donation; documents were collected from each respective county.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated; Larry Faria; 2008.


Utah Political History (19th Century Western and Mormon Manuscripts collection development policy 5.I, August 2007).

Processing Information

Processed; Lissa Bogart; 2009. Processed; Thomasina Morris, and John Murphy, Curator; 2009.

Register of the Faria legal documents
Lissa Bogart, Thomasina Morris, and John Murphy, Curator
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