Alpheus Gifford was born 28 Aug 1793 in Barnstable MA. His son Samuel wrote his history in a journal now available online.
My father, … (although he had no learning save just enough to read the Bible which he did not neglect), became convinced that there was a God in Heaven. At the age of eighteen he commenced preaching what he supposed to be the Gospel of Salvation, not for the money but for the salvation of souls. He continued to preach in the Reform Methodist Church.
April 27, 1817 he married Anna, daughter of Azar and Lucy Nash. She was born in the township of Butternuts, Otsego County, New York February 17, 1800. My father spent most of his days in preaching until the spring of 1830 when he heard of a set of people called Mormons who were everywhere being spoken evil against, and he, being a believer of the scriptures, and also being convinced by the power of God that there was something worth looking after, went and hunted them up and found them to be the people of God organized under the name of Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He was baptized, ordained a Priest and returned home with five Books of Mormon, which he distributed amongst his friends. He was then living in Tioga County, Pennsylvania. Soon after that he went to Kirtland, Ohio where the Saints had planted a Stake of Zion. … He was then ordained an Elder. They returned home rejoicing in the Gospel. He then commenced preaching for the salvation of souls believing the gospel of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to be the truth. He baptized many in Tioga and Bradford Counties and in the regions round about. The gifts of the Gospel were made manifest amongst the Saints in that place and signs followed those that believed. The sick were healed, devils were cast out, some prophesied, some spoke with new tongues and some interpreted (which was the first of the two later gifts made manifest in the Church). In fact, the gifts were enjoyed to a great extent. Father baptized Heber Chase Kimball who is now Councilor to President Brigham Young.
My [family] started for Jackson County, Missouri sometime in June, 1831. ...