Elizabeth Ann Birch was born 2 November 1823 in Presteigne, Radnorshire, Wales, United Kingdom to John Birch (1775-1852) and Ann Craven (1778-1846) and died 22 October 1899 in Murray, Salt Lake County, Utah, United States of unspecified causes. She married Arnold Potter (1804-1872) 10 December 1843 in Nauvoo, Hancock County, Illinois, United States. She married Francis Brown (1827-1872) 1858 in Beaver, Beaver County, Utah, United States.


British Isles

Elizabeth and her parents originated from Radnorshire, Wales. After a few years they had relocated to Herefordshire, England. Here they were part of the United Brethren Movement when contact by Wilford Woodruff (1807-1898) and missionaries of the new LDS Church. Elizabeth and her mother were joined this new church.

They desired to join the main body of Saints in America but their John Birch, stedfastly refused, leading to the breakup of Elizabeth's parents.

Elizabeth and several family members left England in early 1841 on the newly built square rigger, Alesto, under the command of Captain Henry Whiting. They were part of group of Mormons led by Elders Thomas Smith and William Moss.

Life in Nauvoo

Soon after arrival in the large mormon city of Nauvoo, Illinois, Elizabeth married a widower, Arnold Potter (1804-1872). They had one son together that must have died early, for he is not found on any records from 1849/1850 or later.

They traveled to Utah with a Mormon pioneer colony in 1849. In 1853 they were part of the large Mormon colony to settle San Bernardino, California.

Return to Utah

Arnold Potter was called in 1856 on a mission to Australia, but returned early, significantly transformed. They had one more child together, but very quickly Elizabeth took the children and left him and the colony, fleeing to Beaver, Utah. Here she remarried to Francis Brown (1827-1872).

Marriage & Family

1st Marriage: Arnold Potter

Married to Arnold Potter (1804-1872) in the Mormon Community of Nauvoo, Illinois after the death of his first wife. In 1853 they moved to the Mormon Colony in San Bernardino, California. She divorced him circa 1858 and left with all of the children, shortly after his transformation into a Messianic Preacher.

  1. John Potter (1844-) - died prior to 1849 family migration to Utah.
  2. Wallace Edwin Potter (1850-1909)
  3. George A Potter (1852-1909)
  4. Mary Adeline Potter (1854-1874)' - first anglo child born at the Mormon Colony of San Bernardio. She md at age 16 and died one week after the birth of her second child at 19. Her first child lived to age 101.
  5. Elizabeth Ann Potter (1858-1931)

2nd Marriage: Francis Brown

Married to Francis Brown (1827-1872) - in Beaver, Utah sometime in 1858. They had three children.


Offspring of Elizabeth Ann Birch and Arnold Potter (1804-1872)
Name Birth Death Joined with
John Potter (1844-)
Wallace Edwin Potter (1850-1909)
George A Potter (1852-1909)
Mary Adeline Potter (1854-1874) 7 September 1854 San Bernardino, San Bernardino County, California, United States 7 March 1874 Murray, Salt Lake County, Utah, United States Welcome Chapman (1849-1900)

Elizabeth Ann Potter (1858-1931)

Offspring of Elizabeth Ann Birch and Francis Brown (1827-1872)
Name Birth Death Joined with
Francis Brown (1861-1908)
Elizabeth Rosella Brown (1863-1935)
Ellen Brown (1869-)



  • The Family of John Birch & Ann Craven in the Nineteenth Century - by Wendel Walton with Hilary Hendricks. Publ by BYU Press, 2008.
  • Wikipedia - Life of Arnold Potter


Footnotes (including sources)

‡ General