William B Smith was born 13 March 1811 in Royalton, Windsor County, Vermont, United States to Joseph Smith (1771-1840) and Lucy Mack (1775-1856) and died 13 November 1893 in Osterdock, Clayton County, Iowa, United States of unspecified causes. He married Caroline Amanda Grant (1814-1845) 14 February 1833 in Kirtland, Geauga County, Ohio, United States. He married Roxie Ann Rosanna Grant (1825-1900) 19 May 1847 in Knox County, Illinois, United States. He married Eliza Jane Sanborn (1827-1889) 12 November 1857 in Kirtland, Lake County, Ohio, United States. He married Rosella Goyette (1830-1923) 21 December 1889 in Kirtland, Lake County, Ohio, United States. Notable ancestors include Henry II of England (1133-1189), William I of England (1027-1087), Charlemagne (747-814), Hugh Capet (c940-996), Rurik (c832-879), Alfred the Great (849-899). Ancestors are from the United States, the United Kingdom, England, France, Germany, Russia, Ukraine, Belgium, Spain, Portugal, Hungary, Israel, the Netherlands, Ireland, Belarus, Italy, Turkey.


One of the original Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, brother to the Prophet Joseph Smith, and Patriarch to the Church.

Early Life

Born in Royalton, Vermont, Smith and his family suffered considerable financial problems and moved several times in the New England area. He was living in the home of his parents near Manchester, New York, when his brother Joseph reported that he had taken golden plates from the hill Cumorah.

He was at one time allowed to feel and lift the pages of the golden plates of The Book of Mormon through the pillow case Joseph kept them in. William was baptized into his brother's Church of Christ on June 9, 1830, by David Whitmer, one of the Three Witnesses to the golden plates.

Zions Camp Participant


This Judith Mehr rendition depicts struggles endured by members of Zion's Camp, an expeditionary force to help Church members in Jackson County redeem their brethren.

One of the most interesting episodes in the early history of LDS Church was the march of Zion's Camp (1834). The members of the Church in Missouri were being persecuted, and the Prophet Joseph made it a matter of prayer and received a revelation on February 24, 1834. The Lord instructed the Prophet to assemble at least one hundred young and middle-aged men and to go to the land of Zion, or Missouri. (See D&C 130:19–34.)

Zion’s Camp, a group of approximately one hundred and fifty men, gathered at Kirtland, Ohio, in the spring of 1834 and marched to Jackson County, Missouri. By the time they reached Missouri, the camp had increased to approximately two hundred men.

He also accompanied Zion's Camp (1834) and practiced plural marriage. Attended the Kirtland Temple dedication and School of the Prophets. However, he was called to repent more than once for his rebellious spirit, he had many arguments and one fight with his brother Joseph the Prophet.

Quorum of 12 Apostles

Failure to fulfill his callings and persistant rebellion he was eventually disfellow-shipped and was removed from the Quorum of Twelve Apostles in for two weeks in May 1839.

Smith served a term in the Illinois General Assembly in 1842 and 1843, being elected to the Illinois House of Representatives as a representative of Hancock County. Smith ran in the election as a Democrat. His chief opponent was Thomas C. Sharp, an anti-Mormon Whig candidate. Smith won the election easily as a result of overwhelming Mormon support from voters in Nauvoo.

He was later restored to the Church, and after Hyrum Smith's death was called upon and set apart as Presiding Patriarch by Brigham Young where he issued several Patriarchal Blessings in Nauvoo. But soon he fell into apostacy and was excommunicated from the Church, being removed both from being apostle and patriarch of the church. (06 Oct 1845)

RLDS Church Era

He was one of several who sought the Presidency of the Church after the Prophet's death, even though it was known that he associated with apostate groups, eventually going to the Strangites and then Reorganites. He died the last living sibling of the Prophet.

As a result of Smith's excommunication, he did not follow Young and the majority of Latter Day Saints who settled in Utah Territory and established The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). Rather, Smith followed the leadership of James J. Strang and was involved with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Strangite).

In 1847, Smith announced that he was the new president of the Latter Day Saint church and that he held a right to leadership due to the doctrine of lineal succession. He excommunicated Young and the leadership of the LDS Church and announced that the Latter Day Saints who were not in apostasy by following Young should gather in Lee County, Illinois. In 1849, Smith gained the support of Lyman Wight, who led a small group of Latter Day Saints in Texas. However, Smith's church did not last, and within a few years it dissolved.

William moved to Wisconsin with wife(Eliza SANBORN d.1889IA)and later in 1858 Elkader, Iowa.

Smith's relationship with Young remained strained until Young's death in 1877. Smith believed that Young had arranged for William's older brother Samuel to be poisoned in 1844 to prevent his accession to the presidency of the church. However, in 1860, Smith wrote a letter to Young in stating that he desired to join the Latter-day Saints in the Salt Lake Valley. Shortly after sending the letter, Smith became involved as a soldier in the American Civil War, and after the war he did not show any interest in moving to Utah Territory.

In 1878, Smith became a member of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (RLDS Church), which was organized in 1860 with Smith's nephew, Joseph Smith III, as its leader. The majority of William Smith's followers also became members of the RLDS Church. While Smith believed that he was entitled to become the presiding patriarch or a member of the Council of Twelve Apostles of the RLDS Church, his nephew did not agree and William Smith remained a high priest in the RLDS Church for the remainder of his life. Today, the Community of Christ sometimes refers to Smith as "Petitioner for RLDS Patriarchate" from April 6, 1872, until his death.

In later years(c1890) he helped found a small Reorganized Church of the Latter Day Saints (Hdqt. Independence MO – Prarie Mormons) at Osterdock, Iowa at the site of Bethel Cemetery where he is buried.

Marriage and Family

Note that 3 of his four marriages were performed in Kirtland, Ohio. Originally part of Geauga County, Ohio until 1840 when it was split to form Lake County, Ohio. That will make a difference when you look up historical marriage, birth, death records, etc for his family.

1st Marriage: Caroline Amanda Grant

2nd Marriage: Roxie Ann Rosanna Grant

Roxie Ann Rosanna Grant (1825-1900) was the second wife married to William who was previously married to her older sister. Married William B Smith on May 19, 1847 in Knox IL; they had a son Hyrum Wallace and a daughter Thalia. Roxie was the 2nd of William's 4 wives. They divorced each other in bitterness in 1853.

  1. Fannie Helen Smith (1872-) - older adopted child

3rd Marriage: Eliza Jane Sanborn (1827-1889)

4th Marriage: Rosella Goyette


Offspring of William B Smith and Caroline Amanda Grant (1814-1845)
Name Birth Death Joined with
Mary Jane Smith (1834-1878)
Caroline L Smith (1839-1878)

Offspring of William B Smith and Roxie Ann Rosanna Grant (1825-1900)
Name Birth Death Joined with
Thalia Grant Smith (1848-1924)
Hyrum Wallace Smith (1850-1935)
Fannie Helen Smith (1872-)

Offspring of William B Smith and Eliza Jane Sanborn (1827-1889)
Name Birth Death Joined with
William Enoch Smith (1858-1930)
Edson Don Carlos Smith (1862-1939)
Louise Mae Smith (1866-1925)


Offspring of Joseph Smith Sr and Lucy Mack (1775-1856)
Name Birth Death Joined with
Infant Smith (1797-1797) 1797 Tunbridge, Orange County, Vermont 1797 Tunbridge, Orange County, Vermont
Alvin Smith (1798-1823) 11 February 1798 Tunbridge, Orange County, Vermont 19 November 1823 Palmyra, Wayne County, New York
Hyrum Smith (1800-1844) 9 February 1800 Tunbridge, Orange County, Vermont 27 June 1844 Carthage Jail, Carthage, Hancock County, Illinois, United States Jerusha Barden (1805-1837)
Mary Fielding (1801-1852)
Mercy Rachel Fielding (1807-1893)

Sophronia Smith (1803-1896) 17 May 1803 Tunbridge, Orange County, Vermont, United States 28 October 1876 Colchester, McDonough County, Illinois, United States Calvin W. Stoddard (1801-1836)
William McCleary (1793-1846)

Joseph Smith (1805-1844) 23 December 1805 Sharon, Windsor County, Vermont 27 June 1844 Carthage Jail, Carthage, Hancock County, Illinois Emma Hale (1804-1879)

Samuel Harrison Smith (1808-1844) 13 March 1808 Tunbridge, Orange County, Vermont, United States 1 August 1844 Nauvoo, Hancock County, Illinois, United States Mary Bailey (1808-1841)
Levira Clark (1815-1883)

Ephraim Smith (1810-1810) 13 March 1810 Tunbridge, Orange County, Vermont 24 March 1810 Royalton, Windsor County, Vermont
William B Smith (1811-1893) 13 March 1811 Royalton, Windsor County, Vermont, United States 13 November 1893 Osterdock, Clayton County, Iowa, United States Caroline Amanda Grant (1814-1845)
Roxie Ann Rosanna Grant (1825-1900)
Eliza Jane Sanborn (1827-1889)
Rosella Goyette (1830-1923)

Don Carlos Smith (1816-1841) 25 March 1816 Norwich, Windsor County, Vermont 7 August 1841 Nauvoo, Hancock County, Illinois Agnes Moulton Coolbrith (1811-1876)

Lucy Smith (1821-1882) 18 July 1821 Manchester, Ontario County, New York, United States 9 December 1882 Colchester, McDonough County, Illinois, United States Arthur Millikin (1817-1882)

Katherine Smith (1813-1900) 28 July 1813 Lebanon, Grafton County, New Hampshire, United States 2 February 1900 Fountain Green, Hancock County, Illinois, United States Wilkins Jenkins Salisbury (1809-1853)
Joseph W Younger (1803-1900)

Namesakes of William B Smith (1811-1893)

 Birth placeDeath placeFatherMotherJoined with
William Smith (1784-1865)Warwickshire, England, United KingdomPennant Hills, New South Wales, AustraliaIsabella Brown (1790-1864)
William Smith (1832-1876)Burnt Forest, Wollongong, New South Wales, AustraliaBobundarah, New South Wales, AustraliaJeremiah Smith (1775-1848)Sophia Akers (1795-1874)Ann Norris (1838-1878)
William Smith (1707-1783)Charlestown, Suffolk County, MassachusettsWeymouth, Norfolk County, MassachusettsWilliam Smith (1666-1730)Abigail Fowle (1679-1731)Elizabeth Quincy (c1721-1775)
William Smith (1767-)Kilmaurs, East Ayrshire, Scotland, United KingdomWilliam Smith (1731-)Mary Steel (1735-)Ann Parker (1771-)
William Smith (1778-1856)County Monaghan, IrelandWollongong, New South Wales, AustraliaAndrew Smith (bef1778)Catherine McConnor (bef1778)Mary McGuire (1776-1856)
William Smith (1666-1730)Charlestown, Suffolk County, MassachusettsCharlestown, Suffolk County, MassachusettsThomas Smith (1634-1690)Sarah Boylston (1642-1711)Abigail Fowle (1679-1731)
William Smith (1731-)Kilmaurs, East Ayrshire, Scotland, United KingdomRobert Smith (c1700-)Agnes Smith (c1700-)Mary Steel (1735-)
William B Smith (1811-1893)Royalton, Windsor County, Vermont, United StatesOsterdock, Clayton County, Iowa, United StatesJoseph Smith (1771-1840)Lucy Mack (1775-1856)Caroline Amanda Grant (1814-1845) + Roxie Ann Rosanna Grant (1825-1900) + Eliza Jane Sanborn (1827-1889) + Rosella Goyette (1830-1923)
William Edward Smith (1860-1931)Walcha, New South Wales, AustraliaUralla, New South Wales, AustraliaJohn Smith (c1808-)Margaret Smith (c1830-1880)Hannora Mary Jones (1865-1942)
William Edward Smith (1890-1917)Walcha, New South Wales, AustraliaFranceWilliam Edward Smith (1860-1931)Hannora Mary Jones (1865-1942)
William Henry Smith (1825-1891)William Henry Smith (1792-1865)Mary Ann Cooper (-1851)Emily Danvers, 1st Viscountess Hambleden (c1828-1913)
William Henry Smith (1862-1942)Braidwood, New South Wales, AustraliaGin Gin, New South Wales, AustraliaWilliam Smith (1832-1876)Ann Norris (1838-1878)Mary Jane Sullivan (1862-1948)
William Henry Smith (1825-1891) of ConnecticutHannah M. Oatley (-1881)
William Henry Smith (1854-1922)Wollongong, New South Wales, AustraliaCooma, New South Wales, AustraliaThomas Smith (1814-1873)Sarah Finnamore (1823-1908)Margaret Day (1856-1928)
William Henry Smith (1882-1959)Glen Morrison, New South Wales, AustraliaAttunga, New South Wales, AustraliaJames Smith (c1855-1908)Margaret Sutherland (1859-1918)Jessie Catherine McKenzie (1883-1910)+Helena Ellen Bird (1883-1934)+Elsie May Bridge (?-?)
William Henry Smith (1864-1934)Braidwood, New South Wales, AustraliaNewtown, New South Wales, AustraliaHenry Smith (1835-1872)Elizabeth Smith (1846-1885)Eliza Lewin (1879)
William King Smith (1856-1951)Chippendale, New South Wales, Australia17 Nicholson Street, Crows Nest, New South Wales, AustraliaEdward Morehead Smith (1827-1883)Elizabeth Leeder (c1834-1920)Emily Jane Burless (1861-1949)
William Richard Smith (1818-1890)Sydney, New South Wales, AustraliaOberon, New South Wales, AustraliaRichard Smith (c1792-)Frances Green (1797-1854)Mary Ann Barsden (1824-1893)
William Robertson Smith (1846-1894)Keig, Aberdeenshire, Scotland, United KingdomCambridge, Cambridgeshire, England, United KingdomWilliam Pirie Smith (1811-1890)Jane Robertson (1821-1899)
William Stephens Smith (1755-1816)Long Island, New York, United StatesLebanon, New York, United StatesJohn Smith (1735-1821)Margaret Stephens (1733)Abigail Amelia Adams (1765-1813)

Footnotes (including sources)

‡ General



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