Romney family tree has polygamy branch





SALT LAKE CITY -- While Mitt Romney condemns polygamy and its prior practice by his Mormon church, the Republican presidential candidate's great-grandfather had five wives and at least one of his great-great-grandfathers had 12.

Polygamy was not just a historical footnote, but a prominent element in the family tree of the former Massachusetts governor now seeking to become the first Mormon president.

Romney's great-grandfather, Miles Park Romney, married his fifth wife in 1897. That was more than six years after Mormon leaders banned polygamy and more than three decades after a federal law barred the practice.

Romney's great-grandmother, Hannah Hood Hill, was the daughter of polygamists. She wrote vividly in her autobiography about how she"used to walk the floor and shed tears of sorrow" over her own husband's multiple marriages.

Romney's great-great grandfather, Parley Pratt, an apostle in the church, had 12 wives. In an 1852 sermon, Parley Pratt's brother and fellow apostle, Orson Pratt, became the first church official to publicly proclaim and defend polygamy as a direct revelation from God.

Related Links

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  • Double standards in an AP article about the polygamous history of Mitt Romney's family (Newsbusters)


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