Joseph crossed the Atlantic on the ship Henry Ware in 1849 and from 1849 to 1850 he was an Elder in the New Orleans, Louisiana Branch of the Church. Branch records then indicate that he removed to St. Louis. In August 1850, at the time of the federal census, he was living with the Bamford family in District No. 21, Pottawattamie County, Iowa. On 25 September 1850, according to the Frontier Guardian newspaper, he married Esther Bamford at Kanesville, Iowa. They were members of the "Browning Camp" and the Brownings were part of the Henry W. Miller Company. Esther had sailed to America in 1849 on the ship Berlin. Both Joseph and Esther were re-baptized at Salt Lake City on 6 November 1852; they were living in the Fifteenth Ward.