According to her obituary, as found as a "memory" in Family Tree, Helen crossed the plains with Elizabeth Sperry (her mother) in 1847. Elizabeth "Sperry" appears on the Journal History roster of the Jedediah M. Grant/Willard Snow Company of 1847, but Helen's name is not listed, probably because of her young age. However, she is with her mother in the 1850 federal census of Utah, where both of them are members of the Timothy S. Hoyt household. Helen Josephine "Hoyt" was re-baptized at Salt Lake City on 26 October 1851. In the Salt Lake Stake Record of Members at the time of her rebaptism, she gave her birth date as 11 July 1834.
In the 1856 Utah Territorial Census she is shown as "Hellen J. Hoyt" of Juab County. She married Timothy Elmer in 1860. Her name is "Helen Jane Elmer" on her death certificate and the Utah Death Register. The Utah Cemetery Inventory lists her as "Josie" Elmer.
Her mother's brothers, William Lamont Sperry, Charles Sperry, and Harrison Sperry also traveled to Utah in this pioneer company.