Joseph Smith/Polygamy/Children of polygamous marriages

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Children of Joseph Smith by polygamous marriages

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Children of Joseph Smith by polygamous marriages



Did Joseph Smith father any children through polygamous marriages?


Brief Summary: Is it possible that Joseph Smith fathered children with some of his plural wives, and that he covered up the evidence of pregnancies? Did Joseph Smith have intimate relations with other men’s wives to whom he had been sealed, and did any children result from these unions? DNA testing has so far proven these allegations to be false. (Click here for full article)
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Did Sarah Pratt (Mrs. Orson Pratt) not know whether Orson or Joseph fathered her child?


Brief Summary: There is no evidence to support this claim. Anti-Mormon sources sometimes confuse Pratt with Prescindia Buell. (Click here for full article)
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Did Prescindia Lathrop Huntington Buell not know whether Orson or Joseph fathered her child?


Brief Summary: DNA testing rules out Joseph as the father of one child, and it is historically implausible that they were even together at the right time to conceive a child. A second child has been posited, but only on evidence from a very dubious source. (Click here for full article)
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Presendia Buell


Brief Summary: Did Joseph Smith father children by polyandrous plural wife Prescindia Buell? (Click here for full article)
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See also Brian Hales' discussion: Did Joseph Smith’s Plural Marriages Include Sexual Relations?
The answer is yes or no, depending upon the type of plural marriage Joseph and the woman entered into. Those that were for this life and the next (called “time and eternity”) could include sexual relations. Those that were limited to the next life (“eternity only”) did not. Overall, evidence supports sexual relations in less than half of Joseph Smith’s polygamous unions, and available documents indicate that such relations were infrequent. (Link)
Sexual Relations are Documented In Less than Half of Joseph Smith’s Plural Marriages
Kathryn Daynes observed that any assertion that most of Joseph Smith’s plural marriages included sexual relations is “a conclusion that goes beyond documentary evidence.”[1] (Link)
Children from Joseph Smith’s Plural Marriages


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  1. Kathryn M. Daynes, More Wives than One: Transformation of the Mormon Marriage System, 1840–1910 (Urbana, Illinois: University of Illinois Press, 2001), 29. ISBN 0252026810.