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Saturday, January 21, 2012

Mitt Romney: His Mormon genealogy

(Helaman Pratt)
Wikipedia reports that Mitt Romney is “a sixth-generation member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints” and “is descended from a genealogically interconnected political family sometimes known as the Pratt-Romneys.”  The Pratt-Romney family is linked by marriage to the Smith family – the most famous member of which was Joseph Smith, Jr., founder and prophet of the Latter Day Saints movement.

The genealogy chart that is depicted in Wikipedia’s “Pratt-Romney family” article shows that Mitt Romney’s maternal great-grandfather is Helaman Pratt, and his paternal great-grandfather is Miles Park Romney.  These men were both key figures in Mormon history. 

Helaman Pratt, who was “born in a covered wagon during a one-hour stopover on the Mormon Trail near Mount Pisgah, Iowa,” became one of the first Mormon missionaries in Mexico.  Todd Compton tells us that before Pratt’s missions to Mexico in the 1870s, Pratt had “lived a full life of Mormon leadership, exploration and colonizing, including numerous confrontations with American Indians.” 

Miles Park Romney was born in the Mormon city of Nauvoo, Hancock, Illinois in 1843 (within a year of Joseph Smith’s martyrdom).  Ethel Romney Peterson tells us that Miles Park Romney was an “ardent admirer” of Brigham Young, the second president of the Church of Latter Day Saints.  After being ordained a High Priest and then a Bishop – Miles Park also resettled in Mexico.

Both these great-grandfathers of Mitt Romney were polygamists.  They believed that it was their religious duty to be so.  When the United States government began outlawing polygamy, both these staunch believers chose to insure what they saw as their religious rights by permanently moving to Mexico.  Todd Compton reports that “these remarkable men allow us to see where Mitt Romney and George Wilcken Romney’s talent for leadership came from.”


Copyright January 21, 2012 by Linda Van Slyke   All Rights Reserved


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