William Hobbs and Matilda . . . met on the sailing ship William Tapscott as they were coming to America as English converts to the Church in the spring of 1859.
William Hobbs was born 16 March 1837 in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England, and Matilda Barrett on 28 May 1843 in Pontypool, Monmouthshire, Wales. Following their voyage to America they crossed the plains in the George Rowley Handcart Company, which left Florence, Nebraska, on 9 June 1859, and arrived at the mouth of Emigration Canyon in Salt Lake Valley three months later on Sunday, September 4. President Brigham Young, learning of their expected arrival, canceled the afternoon meeting in the tabernacle, and hundreds of Saints came out on the road to meet the handcart company, including apostles Orson Pratt and Ezra T. Benson. A brass band met them at the mouth of the canyon, and they marched past the Lion House and on to the 19th Ward Square. They had lived on scant rations for many weeks, and the wagonloads of bread found at the square caused their mouths to water and tears to stream from their eyes. . . .
Matilda Barrett, sixteen years old at the time of their arrival in the valley, stayed the first year with the family of Bishop John Mills Woolley of the 9th Ward, and on 3 October 1860 married William Hobbs in a ceremony performed by Bishop Joseph Keddington.