Elizabeth Bell was born in the parish of Upholland, Lancashire, England, December 21, 1814. She was the daughter of William Bell and Margaret Martlew (Bell). Her father, William Bell was born in Dublin, Ireland, but his father was English born and went to Dublin, married and died there. William, the son, went as a youth to England to find his father's relatives, but failed to locate any of them. He settled down near Wigan and married Margaret Martlew. Elizabeth was the first child and was named after her grandmother, Elizabeth Birchall Martlew. When Elizabeth was two years of age the father, William Bell, ruptured a blood vessel and died. Her baby sister, Mary Bell, also died the same year, 1816.
After the death of her husband, William Bell, Margaret Martlew Bell returned to her home in Pemberton, taking Elizabeth with her. Margaret Martlew Bell later married James Holding. Elizabeth continued to live with her grandmother Martlew until she was married to John Barton. They were married at Haigh Church near Wigan, Lancashire, England, September 6, 1835. She became the mother of twin boys, William Bell and James, July 21, 1836. John and Elizabeth and the two baby boys moved in 1837 from Wigan to St. Helens. The next year, a baby girl was born to them, November 30, 1836. They named her Elizabeth, but she only stayed with them a short while. On September 6, 1839, Elizabeth, the baby, passed away. A son, John, was born to them July 24, 1840.
Elizabeth heard the missionaries of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1841. She was convinced, after hearing the first sermon, that the Gospel was true. Many of the members of the St. Helens' Branch emigrated to Nauvoo in 1842. This left the Branch disorganized for sometime, but Elizabeth continued to meet with the Saints. Two more sons were born to John and Elizabeth: Isaac on December 11, 1842 and Peter on March 21, 1845. On June 27, 1847, the anniversary of the martyrdom of the Prophet Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum, Elizabeth was baptized in the river Mersey at Liverpool. Her home was opened from this time on, for the Elders who visited the Branch and the Apostles, High Priests, Seventies and Elders from Zion, and the Home Missionaries were always gladly welcomed. Two more sons were born to her and John: Joseph, July 25, 1848 and Hyrum, June 13, 1852. Finally, a daughter was welcomed to their home. Bertha was born February 23, 1855.
The early life of the Barton family in England was one of industry. With patient care, the mother, Elizabeth, had trained each one of her children to be useful about the home. The seven boys could knit, darn and sew and in general be helpful in the house. If they did something they should not have done, they were punished by having to knit a few rounds on stockings. Elizabeth and John were of the sturdy, honest, English type and the children were endowed with talents and abilities which were turned to good account.
William Bell, the eldest twin, was married to Ellen Birchall March 13, 1860 at St. Helens. He and his bride, his two brothers, James (his twin) and John left England for America March 31, 1960. In 1861, another son, Isaac, sailed for America. Two years later, Elizabeth and John and the rest of their children, Peter, Joseph, Hyrum and Bertha, and a niece Eliza Barton, emigrated to Zion. They set sail on the "Manchester", Tuesday, May 6, 1862 and landed in New York at Castle Garden, June 13. They arrived in Salt Lake City, October 5, 1862. They located at Kaysward (now Kaysville, Davis County) making their home with the John F. Smith family until they moved into an adobe house west of town. Later the Barton family built the first brick house in Kaysville.
In 1874, two sons, William and Peter, went on missions to England. William left in June and shortly after Peter left in August, Elizabeth's husband, John, passed away. After all the children were married, Elizabeth lived with the children, first with one and then another. For the last eleven years of her life, she lived at the home of her son William. She died there April 19, 1896 in her 82nd year. She considered herself highly honored in having two sons called to be bishops , and another son a bishop's counselor. She did work in the temple for her relatives and friends, and received all the blessings pertaining to the House of the Lord. She never faltered nor wavered in her faith, but staunch and true she passed away gently, not tasting of death. She was talking at home with the family when she suddenly placed her hands to her head and exclaimed "Oh my!" and without a sigh, sob or moan, her spirit gently passed away with the hope of a glorious resurrection.
Her funeral took place in the Eighteenth Ward meeting house in Salt Lake. The services were conducted by Elder Robert Patrick. The speakers were Elders Robert Patrick, James McGee, Bishop George Romney, John Nicholson, and an old friend of the family, John S. Smith of Kaysville. Six of her sons acted as pall-bearers and her only daughter, who had been absent nearly twenty years, came all the way from Portland, Oregon to be present at the funeral. Seventy members of the family were present. The teachers of the Relief Society attended in a body. The Meeting House was filled with friends and relatives. She was truly a choice mother in Israel. She was buried beside her husband in the Salt Lake City Cemetery and Elder Robert Patrick Sr. offered the dedicatory prayer.