Emma Parker Cordon was born May 24, 1819 in Liverpool, England to George and Ann Parker. She led a happy childhood and was well provided for until her father died. Emma went to work at the potteries in Burslem, Staffordshire. There she met Alfred Cordon whom she married December 19, 1836. They initially joined the church of Reverend Robert Aiken, but Alfred was still seeking 'new light.' When a woman told Alfred about the Latter-day Saints, he went to Manchester to speak with the missionaries. Alfred was baptized there in Manchester, and Emma was baptized later by William Clayton when he came to Burslem. Alfred 'was very zealous in preaching and teaching the gospel.' He did missionary work in England until they left in 1841 for Nauvoo, Illinois, arriving in 1842. In the spring of 1844, Alfred was called on a mission to Vermont and left Emma in Nauvoo with two small children. They contracted malaria and were very ill. Emma was present when the 'mantle of Joseph' fell on Brigham Young, and her testimony of this event strengthened her throughout her life. Alfred returned to Nauvoo the day that the capstone was placed on the Nauvoo Temple, and he and Emma were sealed before they left for Iowa. July 6, 1849, on their way to Salt Lake City, Alfred was called on a mission to England. Emma and her children continued traveling with a group of brethren. They left her at Little Pigeon, (about eight miles from Council Bluff) and she spent a hard winter there in a log cabin. By the time that Alfred returned in the fall of 1850, the family was prospering and had enough supplies for the winter. They continued on to Salt Lake City the next year and then moved to Brigham City. In 1856, they moved to Willow Creek (now Willard City). Alfred died in 1871, and Emma survived him until 1899. She died at almost 80 years of age after having suffered two strokes.
Emma's biography is among a collection of papers on the Alfred Cordon family, and it is located in the third folder of the collection. Her biography is four pages long and is a stapled photocopy of a typewritten document. The biography covers Emma's entire lifespan; however, the author focuses the most attention on Alfred and Emma's conversion to the LDS church and their moving to Utah with the Saints. The author then gives a broad outline of other life events. Few details are given about Emma's life after she settled in Utah with her family. Emma is only quoted directly once: of her trials in Nauvoo she said, 'I have had to part with some few things in order to live. We have not suffered much from want of food, but from lack of care. My faith in the work is stronger than ever.' The rest of the biography is narrated by the author, who sometimes describes Emma's feelings. For example, Alfred returned from his mission and told Emma that her mother, who had been bitterly opposed to Emma's joining the church, had sent her love and blessing and that Emma's sister and her husband had joined the church. The narrator states, 'Emma's heart was filled with gratitude.' On the last page, the author lists Emma and Alfred's children: Edwin, Rachel, Emma, Adelaide Amelia, Charles Edward, Eliza Almira, Sarah Jane, Ida Victoria, and Myra. Their birth and death dates and the names of their spouses are also listed.