Family History


Harriet Mills

20 December 1819 to 24 March 1891


John Mills (1774-1863)

Elizabeth Allaston (1777-1856)


Edward Mills (1818-1830)

Half Siblings:



Edward Ottley (1817-1898)


Edward Ottley (1848-1933)

George Ottley (1850-1937)

John Ottley (1852-1925)

Peter Henry Ottley (1855-1902)

Anne Deborah Ottley (1858-1951)

Elizabeth Susan Ottley (1861-1923)

Frederick Hugh Ottley (1865-1957)

Copyright (©) Ward B. Rasmussen. All rights reserved.

    Harriet Mills was born at Mt. Bures, December 20, 1819.  Her home was an obscure cottage in front of which there was no travelled road.  It was known as Hobsey Well.  Harriet had only one brother and a number of half brothers and sisters.

    During her youth she and others became interested in the news of some young men from America who were preaching a strange religion.  She had been reared in a fine Anglican element and was a thoughtful girl.  She and her girlfriend asked permission of her father, John Mills, to go to an adjoining town and listen to these new preachers.  John, an honest Christian gentleman, gave his consent, with the admonition that she should be careful in listening to strange doctrines.  However, he saw no harm in mere listening.  The girls went and Harriet returned home much inspired and concerned by what she had heard.  The doctrines taught by these young men seemed to satisfy a subconscious yearning which she had carried with her since early childhood.  When she reported their preaching to her father she was advised to be careful and reminded of the words of the Savior that “grievous wolves would enter in to scatter the flock.”

    The girl heeded her father' s advice and paid no further attention to the teachings of the missionaries at that time.  However, she never seemed to lose the spirit of what she had heard and allowed the matter to rest within her heart.

    As a young woman Harriet went to London and worked as a domestic servant.  While there she joined the Church of England.  There a girlfriend told her that a young man in America had seen an angel.  She remembered this remark in later years when she first heard the missionaries.

   On October 3, 1847, Edward Ottley married Harriet Mills at Alhamstone, Essex.  Harriet at the age of twenty-seven listed her condition on the Church records at the time as a “spinster.”

     In 1852, when her third son John was born, a convert couple by the name of Ebenezer and Sarah Smith Gillies came into the locality preaching and looking for employment.  Gillies secured work as a coach builder and cabinet maker.  As a Mormon Elder he preached in the streets on Sundays.

Harriet did not go to the first street meeting, but later, hearing that Elder Gillies was going to speak on the Second Coming of Christ, her attention was attracted.  She had already become dissatisfied with the teachings of other Churches.  She went to the meeting and felt comforted with the teachings of this new religion.  Af first she hesitated a little when she remembered the admonition of the scripture that “there should be false prophets arise in the last days,” but this thought was soon dispelled.  She asked for baptism and received it at the hands of Elder Gillies after walking seven miles to the place of baptism.

Her husband and children were not baptized at that time, but it is apparent that Harriet commenced to teach the Gospel to her family from that day on. Edward Ottley was baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in April of either 1867 or 1868.  In doing so, he joined with Harriet in this new religion.  The family began to plan their immigration to Zion and, after complying with legal requisites and accumulating sufficient worldly goods, left Liverpool on September 19, 1877 on the steamer Wisconsin. They arrived in the United States and rode the newly completed transcontinental railroad arriving in Salt Lake City on October 9, 1877.  The October General Conference was in session and teams and wagons were as numerous around Temple Square as are automobiles now.

      Harriet, on seeing the old South Cottonwood ward house with its red curtains on the north windows, said that she had seen it in a dream while still in England.  They moved into the George Sylvester home temporarily and the following spring moved to the Godfrey Farm where they resided fourteen years.

      Harriet died March 24, 1891 and was buried in the South Cottonwood (now Murray City), Utah cemetery.

      Harriet received her endowment vicariously in the Salt Lake Temple October 9, 1897.  She was sealed to Edward Ottley in the Salt Lake Temple October 22, 1902.

Read the detailed family history:  Edward Ottley & Harriet Mills history.pdf

(My thanks to Lyn Misner for preserving and sharing this history.)

      Edward Ottley                 Harriet Mills

This has been identified as the Church (non-LDS) where the Ottley family attended services while in England.

From this marriage were born five sons and two daughters.

        Edward                      George                        John                   Peter Henry             Ann Deborah            Elizabeth Susan         Frederick Hugh