Elizabeth Neff

Female15 November 1840–2 May 1914

Brief Life History of Elizabeth

My mother, Elizabeth Neff, was born Nov. 15, 1840 in Strasburg, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. She came to Utah in 1847 with her parents John Neff, Sr. and Mary Barr Neff, when she was seven years old. She married Charles Stillman Jan. 12, 1858. Mother was small in stature, about five feet, and weighed 90 pounds when married. She gave birth to fourteen children - Mary Elizabeth, John Neff, Harriet, Seymour, Delia Barr, Charles Franklin, Samuel Seymour, Forest Neff, Frances Minerva, Cyrus Neff, Letitia Barr, Brigham Jason, Barbara Matilda, Joseph Julian and Susanna Ethel. All but John lived to maturity. Father and mother built a home on about thirty acres and it was covered with everything to make work. They had a large fruit orchard and all kinds of small berries. Mother helped with all of this, picking, peeling, preserving and drying. They had a lot of cows for milk and butter. I have seen mother churn, work and print many pounds of butter at a time. They had pigs, sheep, chickens, ducks and turkeys, a granary with pigeon boxes all around. Father would shoot into the flock and kill twenty or thirty, then mother would make the best pie crust and cook and season the pigeons and make a pie in a large milk pan. They were delicious. She was a good cook and had plenty of butter, cream and eggs, and lot of good things to cook with. She could make beans taste better than anyone. My sister used to tell how - said she would put a piece of butter, then another, then shut her eyes and put in some more. They had 75 to 100 stands of bees. They would extract about five or six 5-gallon cans two or three times a summer. They would go to town with all of their produce - butter, eggs, honey and hundreds of pounds of dried fruit to sell, then do their trading. It took them from early morning until late at night, ten miles each way, a long hard tiresome trip. Our home was always kept in perfect order, both inside and outside. We had a large dirt dooryard, which mother swept often to keep clean. The outside of the house was always white-washed, which mother did with help. We children slept in trundle beds, which were pushed under her bed in the daytime. We slept upstairs when we were large enough, and she always came up if there was anything wrong with any of us, and we never once heard her scold or get out of patience with us. There were no modern conveniences in her early married days, but later she was among the first to have running water in her house, with bathtub, toilet, range and sink, which was quite a luxury for those days. Mother was a very dignified lady, even in a calico dress. She was a devoted church member, and loving and devoted to her home, husband and family. We can all testify that they were the most congenial couple. We never heard them speak a cross word to each other. She lived to be 73 years old and died May 2, 1914 at her home. She was buried in the Salt Lake City, Cemetery. (These histories were taken from histories written by a daughter, Frances Stillman Bagley and a granddaughter, Harriet Curtis Nielson)

Photos and Memories (25)

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Family Time Line

Charles Truman Stillman
Elizabeth Neff
Marriage: 14 January 1858
Mary Elizabeth Stillman
John Neff Stillman
Harriet Seymour Stillman
Delia Barr Stillman
Charles Franklin Stillman
Deana Stillman
Samuel Seymour Stillman
Heber C Stillman
Forest Neff Stillman
Frances Minerva Stillman
Cyrus Neff Stillman
Letitia Barr Stillman
Brigham Jason Stillman
Barbara Matilda Stillman
Joseph Julian Stillman
Susanna Ethel Stillman

Sources (54)

  • Elizabeth Neff in household of Benjamin Neff, "United States Census, 1850"
  • Elizabeth Neff Stillman, "Utah Death Certificates, 1904-1956"
  • Elizabeth Neff in entry for Chas F Stillman, "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Record of Members (Worldwide), 1836-1970"

Spouse and Children

  • Marriage
    14 January 1858Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah, United States
  • Children (16)

    +11 More Children

    Parents and Siblings

    Siblings (12)

    +7 More Children

    World Events (8)


    Age 8

    Find A Grave website photo indicates establishment of the cemetery in 1848. Located at the NE corner of 4th Avenue and N Street. Salt Lake City Cemetery is in The Avenues neighborhood of Salt Lake City, Utah. Approximately 120,000 persons are buried in the cemetery. Many religious leaders and politicians, particularly many leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) lie in the cemetery. It encompasses over 250 acres and contains 9 1?2 miles of roads. It is the largest city-operated cemetery in the United States. The first burial occurred on September 27, 1847, when George Wallace buried his child, Mary Wallace. The burial was two months after the Mormon pioneers had settled the Salt Lake Valley. In 1849, George Wallace, Daniel Wells, and Joseph Heywood surveyed 20 acres at the same site for the area's burial grounds. In 1851, Salt Lake City was incorporated and the 20 acres officially became the Salt Lake City Cemetery with George Wallace as its first sexton.


    Age 10

    Historical Boundaries: 1850: Mexican Cession, United States 1850: Utah Territory, United States 1851: Great Salt Lake, Utah Territory, United States* 1896: Salt Lake, Utah, United States *Renamed Salt Lake in 1868


    Age 23

    Abraham Lincoln issues Emancipation Proclamation, declaring slaves in Confederate states to be free.

    Name Meaning

    German and Swiss German: relationship name from Middle High German neve ‘nephew’ (later rather broader in application, like cousin in English), hence probably a distinguishing name for a close relation or familiar of a prominent personage. This surname is also found in France (Alsace and Lorraine). In North America, this surname is also an altered form of the variant Naff .

    Dutch: variant of Neve , cognate with 1 above.

    Jewish (Ashkenazic): from German Neffe ‘nephew’, cognate with 1 above.

    Dictionary of American Family Names © Patrick Hanks 2003, 2006.

    Possible Related Names

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