Samuel Alger was born in 1786 in Uxbridge, Massachusetts. Clarissa Hancock was born in 1790 in Springfield, Massachusetts. Samuel and Clarissa were married in Ohio in 1808.
In the fall of 1830, Samuel and Clarissa were living in Chagrin, Ohio. There, along with all the members of Clarissa’s family, they were converted by the preaching of Parley P. Pratt and Oliver Cowdery. Clarissa was baptized on November 16, 1830, making her the first of my ancestors to become a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
The Algers were participants in all of the historic events that took place in Ohio, Missouri, Illinois and Council Bluffs. In 1848, Samuel and Clarissa traveled in Brigham Young’s second company, arriving in the Salt Lake valley on September 22.
Samuel and Clarissa lived in Salt Lake City until 1850, when they were called to explore and settle Southern Utah. Under the leadership of George A. Smith, they arrived in Iron County in January 1851. They lived there until they were released as missionaries, then returned to Salt Lake City.
In October 1853, Samuel Alger was called as Patriarch and sustained during General Conference. He served in that calling until he and Clarissa moved back to Iron County to live close to their children.
In May 1868, Samuel delivered a speech at a meeting in Parowan. In that speech, he said that at the age of 81, he quit chewing tobacco after using it for 59 years and that he felt better after doing so.
Clarissa Alger died in Parowan on July 22, 1870.
After his wife’s death, Samuel moved to St. George to live with his son. Samuel was an expert cabinet maker and joiner and made hundreds of coffins for his deceased friends. He also built coffins for himself and kept them under his bed, but gave them away whenever there was an emergency. When he died in 1874, he was buried in a coffin that he hadn’t built himself.
The connection between my dad and Samuel and Clarissa Alger is: Eric Eastman – Blanche Savilla Jones – Amy Sophronia Whitney – Job Hall Whitney – Clarissa Alger – Samuel Alger & Clarissa Hancock
Sources: A lot of good information can be found on Samuel’s Family Search page. Another excellent source is the journal of Levi Hancock (Clarissa’s brother), the text of which can be found in multiple places by doing a simple internet search. Pages of Levi’s journal are on display at the Church History Museum.