Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Polygamous marriage in the early Mormon Church

The New York Times has an article identifying the fact that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints has posted an essay online confirming that its founder, Joseph Smith, practiced polygamous marriage, with up to 40 wives. The Times article is at

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints, aka the LDS Church, aka the Mormons, is one of the main worldwide drivers of generating family history content provision, through its Family History Library set up and its online FamilySearch website at Its members have a theological requirement to research their ancestry, for reasons including posthumous or 'vicarious' baptism, and the permanent 'sealing' of relationships from their point of view in the afterlife.

Personally speaking, I'm not at all interested in whether Joseph Smith did or did not practice polygamous marriage. What I do find interesting, however, from a family history perspective, is the discussion about the practice of polygamous marriage in the early church, which was practised from 1841-1890. As many from the British Isles migrated to the US to help found the church, it may be an issue of interest to those here with Mormon connections and/or ancestry. The article, entitled Plural Marriage in Kirtland and Nauvoo, is freely available to read online at

(With thanks to Thomas MacEntee via Facebook)


Stuck for a Christmas gift?! I have a series of genealogy books available in the UK, Australia and Canada, on Scottish, Irish and British based subject areas. Further details at Santa approves!

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