The Morse family arrived in New York on 31 May 1865 via the ship The Belle Wood. An article in the 20 September 1865 Deseret News places the family with the 1865 Willes Company. However, baby Jane died in Nebraska and John was very sick with Malaria so the family did not end up leaving for the Valley until the following year. The company they traveled with is noted in local church financial records for his father. Sarah Ann's obituary confirms that the family traveled in 1866.
The surname is recorded as "Moss" on the ship records and Willis Company records.