Catherine Eller was born in Rowan County, North Carolina in 1773. Catherine’s grandfather, George Michael Eller, was a German immigrant who came to America in about 1742, possibly searching for religious freedom. Catherine married Michael Stoker in around 1791. The couple lived in Ashe County, North Carolina for about 15 years. Catherine gave birth to eight children during that time.
In 1814, Catherine and Michael moved to Bloomfield, Ohio. They were accompanied by their two oldest children and their spouses, as well as their six younger children. Catherine gave birth to her youngest child in Ohio.
On January 19, 1833, Luke S. Johnson, a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints baptized several members of the Stoker family. By the end of 1833, all of the Stokers had been baptized. A few years later, the Stoker family moved to Caldwell County in Missouri where, with other church members, they attempted to settle that area. Michael died in Far West, Missouri in 1836. Catherine and her children fled with other church members to Illinois after the Mormons were expelled from Missouri.
Catherine, along with her children and their families, lived in the Nauvoo area. In 1841, Catherine was baptized in the Mississippi River for several of her deceased family members. Catherine received her endowment in the Nauvoo Temple on January 21, 1846.
On July 30, 1843, Catherine received her patriarchal blessing from Hyrum Smith:
“Sister Catherine, I lay my hands upon your head in the name of Jesus of Nazareth and seal you up unto Eternal Life from this very hour for this is thy Blessing for thy days and years are on the decline. Nevertheless there are some more to be multiplied upon thy head and a consolation to inspire your heart yet in the days of your Pilgrimage and you have a crown laid up for you in the Mansion of your Father and ye shall stand in your place and in your station as a Mother in Israel as one that hath kept the commandments and that hath been faithful.
“Since you believed, therefore you are blessed in time and your blessing shall be continued in eternity, for you are sealed here on earth and sealed in heaven that you may live and be comforted with this comforter that your name is written as is made known by the Spirit in the Lamb’s Book of Life and shall not be blotted out, but shall be continued henceforth and forever and there is a blessing on your house, even your children from generation to generation and the priesthood is theirs according to the rights of lineage and the covenants and promises made to their Father Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Therefore, let your heart be comforted henceforth and forever for the promise is sure and your days shall yet continue for a season and your name shall be perpetuated from generation to generation and handed down in honor by your children until the latest generation. These blessings I seal upon your head in the name of Jesus. Amen.”
In 1846, when church members were again forced to leave their homes, Catherine went with them. She was accompanied by most of her family. She made it as far as Council Bluffs in Iowa. She died there in 1850.
The connection between Lucile Brimley Eastman and Catherine Eller Stoker is as follows: Lucile Eastman – Lola Samantha Nelson – Samantha Madsen – Elizabeth Mary Jane Nelson – Mary Catherine Welker – Elizabeth Stoker – Catherine Eller
Sources: http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=10462791, http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GSln=Stoker&GSiman=1&GScid=2333576&GRid=45081435&, http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=cr&CRid=2333576&CScn=stoker+graybill&CScntry=4&CSst=14&CScnty=624&, The Descendants of George Michael Eller, by A. W. Eller (viewable at FamilySearch.org), George Michael Eller and Descendants of His in America, by James W. Hook (also viewable at FamilySearch.org)