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Fanny Atherton


Fanny M. Atherton (Redfield)
(Mill Girl)

Fanny was born August 31, 1807 in Dalton, Coos, New Hampshire, to Samuel Atherton and Molly Brown. After Fanny's mother died in January of 1835, she and her 15 year-old sister, Persis Atherton, were baptized by Apostle William E. McLellin on August 10, 1835 in Dalton. With their mother gone from the family, Fanny apparently moved to Lowell and worked in the mills there, appearing in the 1836 Lowell Female Directory, as working in the Lawrence Mill. This makes her one of the first Mormons to live in Lowell, some five years prior to the formal organization of the Lowell Branch.

Fanny M. Atherton then apparently moved to Kirtland, Ohio, for there she married David Harvey Redfield on October 26, 1837. Redfield (who usually went by Harvey) was the son of Samuel Russell and Sarah Gould Redfield, born in 1807. What happened to Fanny and her husband is unknown until the mid-1840s when they appear in Nauvoo, where Harvey was a High Priest and member of the Nauvoo Legion. Fanny and Harvey Redfield had one child there, Sarah Gould Redfield (named for her paternal grandmother), born October 10, 1844; however she died less than a year later on August 27, 1845. After being endowed in Nauvoo in December 1845, Fanny and Harvey disappear from records. It is possible they both died from malaria, dysentary, tuberculosis, or any of the other diseases rampant in Nauvoo, which decimated the population living there in the swamplands.

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