Pvt. Robert Pixton was born 27 February 1819 in Manchester, Greater Manchester, England, United Kingdom to George Pixton (1784-1846) and Mary Hankinson (1782-1836) and died 23 November 1881 in Taylorsville, Salt Lake County, Utah, United States of unspecified causes. He married Elizabeth Cooper (1820-1904) 5 May 1839 in Prestwich, Greater Manchester, England, United Kingdom. He married Martha Silcock (1852-1916) 25 January 1869 in Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, Utah. Ancestors are from the United Kingdom.
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Son of George Pixton & Mary Hankinson and born in the City of Manchester, 27 Feb 1918. Married at age 19 to Elizabeth Cooper and sailed to England at age 21.

Migration to America

He left England in 1841 on the ship Tapscot and while crossing the Atlantic became acquainted with a company of Latter-day Saints headed to join Joseph Smith and the Mormons in Nauvoo, IL. He followed them to Nauvoo where he was baptized by Elder Thomas Bateman in 1842. The following year his wife and child came to join him.

Mexican-American War

In the great Mormon Exodus of 1846 from Illinois, Mr. Pixton hired out to President Brigham Young (1801-1877) to drive an ox team to Sugar Creek. He then returned to get his family. While traveling between Garden Grove and Mount Pisgah they got word that the US Army ware recruiting soldiers for the war against Mexico.

Robert Pixton volunteered to join this group and became a Private in Company E of The Mormon Battalion (1846-1847). He shared in all of the trials and experiences of that group in their historic march from Iowa to San Diego.

Gold Discovery

He Mustered out with the Company July 16, 1847, at Los Angeles. He and his fellows traveled to Northern California and passed thru the Sierra Nevada, where they found yet more victims of the Donner Party tragedy. Afterwards they encountered fellow Mormon Battalion members that advised them to return to California for a season which they did.

They went back to Sacramento and started work for Mr Sutter at Sutter's mill. Shortly afterwards he and two fellows got terribly sick with the malaria. He was present at Sutter's Mill for the famous discovery of gold there in early 1848 and testifies that it was Mr Willis, one of the Battalion boys (not Mr Marshall) that first spotted the gold.

Migration to Utah

Robert Pixton reached the Salt Lake Valley as part of the Jonathan H. Holmes/Samuel Thompson Company of 1848. He arrived in Salt Lake on 04 Oct 1848 just one week after the arrival of his wife Elizabeth and family. She had driven her own ox team across the plains from the Missouri River.

Mr Pixton's company consisted of 44 men and 1 woman, 39 of whom were returning Mormon Battalion veterans. In early May a small survey group set out from Sutter's Fort to find a trail across the Sierra Mountains that could be traversed by wagons. This company constructed a wagon road over Carson Pass which was later used by many traveling to and from California. They left Pleasant Valley (near Placerville) and crossed the Sierras to Carson Valley. At that point the company divided into smaller groups and traveled to Salt Lake City.

Missionary Work


Tombstone for Robert Pixton and wives Elizabeth and Martha at Salt Lake City Cemetery

Robert Pixton lived in the Salt Lake Valley as a devout follower of Brigham Young and the Mormon Church for many years. This devotion would lead him to accept some unique missionary assignments later in life. In 1862 he was called on a mission to Europe and was gone there for three and half years. When he returned, his family was called to help settle "Dixie" in Southern Utah. In his later years he returned to live in Taylorsville UT. The 1870 US Census shows him and Elizabeth living in West Jordan Ward.

In his autobiography he records an 1865 visit with his English relatives and then the voyage with a group of saints on the Bella Wood to America and the Utah Valley.

Family of Robert Pixton

Married Elizabeth Cooper, 5 May 1839, Chesterfield, Derbyshire, England Married Martha Silcock, 25 Jan 1869, Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah


Offspring of Pvt. Robert Pixton and Elizabeth Cooper (1820-1904)
Name Birth Death Joined with
Charlotte Pixton (1840-1892) 8 February 1840 Manchester, Lancashire, England 12 November 1892 Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, Utah William Van Dyke (1830-1901)

George Pixton (1841-1841)
Mary Elizabeth Pixton (1844-1844)
John Heleman Pixton (1846-)
Robert Pixton (1850-1916) 6 November 1850 Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, Utah 21 April 1916 Taylorsville, Salt Lake County, Utah Amelia Melissa Atwood (1853-1931)

Elizabeth Pixton (1852-1938)
Willard C Pixton (1854-1936) 4 November 1854 Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, Utah 23 April 1936 Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, Utah Isabella Carter (1857-1921)

Sarah Pixton (1857-1857)
Joseph Cooper Pixton (1858-1932)
Sarah Hankinson Pixton (1862-1928)

Offspring of Pvt. Robert Pixton and Martha Silcock (1852-1916)
Name Birth Death Joined with
Alma Silcock Pixton (1870-1870)
Nellie Pixton (1872-1874)
Seth Silcock Pixton (1875-1956) 20 June 1875 Utah 20 June 1956 La Mesa, San Diego County, California Ellen Weaver (1874-1935)

Jane Pixton (1879-1969) 17 March 1879 Leeds, Washington County, Utah 14 June 1969 Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, Utah John David Bowers (1878-1942)

Olive Pixton (1881-1964) 17 January 1881 Leeds, Washington County, Utah 11 May 1964 Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, Utah Edward Holding Eardley (1878-1857)


Offspring of George Pixton and Mary Hankinson (1782-1836)
Name Birth Death Joined with
John Pixton (1804-1862)
William Pixton (1808-1809)
Ann Pixton (1815-)
Ellen Pixton (1815-)
James Pixton (1816-1816)
Mary Pixton (1817-1862)
Robert Pixton (1819-1881) 27 February 1819 Manchester, Greater Manchester, England, United Kingdom 23 November 1881 Taylorsville, Salt Lake County, Utah, United States Elizabeth Cooper (1820-1904)
Martha Silcock (1852-1916)

Maria Pixton (1821-)

Vital Records

1841 British Census

Cheshire, England

1870 US Federal Census

Recorded for West Jordan Ward, Salt Lake County, Utah - 2 Sept 1870.

  • Robert Pixton - m/52 - b:England
  • Elizabeth Pixton - f/50 - b:England
  • Robert J Pixton - m/20 - b:UT
  • Willard Pixton - m/16 - b:UT
  • Joseph Pixton - m/12 - b:UT
  • Sarai Pixton - m/8 - b:UT

Research Notes

Genealogical Records lists the following marriages for Rober Pixton - but there is no supporting records founds. They are not included in his tombstone in Salt Lake Cemetery:

  • Mary Cooper (1794-)
  • Rebecca Palmer Savage (1837-1899)
  • Lucy Tagg (1799-1881)


  • Pixton, Robert, Autobiography [ca. 1870] - Church History Library, Salt Lake City
  • History of Utah: - Comprising Preliminary Chapters on the Previous ..., Volume 4 - pg 219 - Chapter on Robert Pixton.
  • Gold Rush Saints - pg 87-90. quotes discovery of gold from Robert Pixton's autobiography.
  • Mormon Migration - Belle Wood
  • Gravesite of Pvt Pixton - FindAGrave


Footnotes (including sources)



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