Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Oh Say It Isn't So!


The grandson- Posted by Picasa

As many of you know, one of my hobbies is genealogy.

I've decided to let my subscription to Ancestry.com lapse, partly due to the expense and the fact that I've hit the proverbial brick walls on my family search.

My subscription ends in September, so I'm using the remaining time to wade through my notes once more to be sure I've not missed anything. Needless to say, this is quite boring, as I've delved through the online information so deeply as to have almost memorized much of it.

For fun, I decided to take a look at Mr. SB's ancestry. Since this would be a totally new search, I'd be able to actually find stuff!

I knew Mr. SB's mother came from Mormon stock, so my first stop was the LDS website. I never take for granted what I find there, but I do find good leads. I then take the information gathered and head elsewhere for census and other records to verify the data.

After going back and forth gathering data, I was looking at Mr. SB's G-G-G Grandfather, and found six wives. This wasn't too unusual back in those days, as people had harder physical lives and died much younger than now. Women tended to give birth almost yearly, and many died in childbirth. The men would take on a new wife as soon as possible to give their children a caregiver.

Looking more closely at the data, I found this man had six wives concurrently! Aha, he was a polygamist! I've read only a little about Mormon history, and I'm pretty sure I read that non-Mormons didn't accept polygamy, so I decided to look at the Federal Census data to see how they reported their unusual lifestyle.

I found this G-G-G Grandfather would show himself living with his primary wife and their children at one location. His other wives were listed as head of household in other physical locations nearby along with their children.

My husband is not at all interested in my hobby, but did get a laugh about his polygamous ancestry.

His comment was "I can't handle one wife... how could I deal with six?"

He's a smart man, he said the right thing. But I wonder what he really thinks?

21 Comments:

Blogger Bucky Four-Eyes said...

Well...Jim and I were married by a Mormon minister, because we didn't have a church and he was the only one who would come out to the house and marry our godless asses anyway, and Jim often teases me that this entitles him to more than one wife.

But it makes me wonder...I could see him wantin' a girlfriend, but another wife? He might as well ask for a corkscrew in the eye, right?

12:11 PM  
Blogger SierraBella said...

bucky-
Did your Mormon minister ask for your genealogical records so he could get you all into heaven?

"Corkscrew in the eye" is right!
I was thinking it might work if there was one wife for cooking, one for cleaning, one to send out into the workforce and Angelina Jolie for playtime!

12:28 PM  
Blogger Squirl said...

Yes, your husband gave the right answer. If I HAD to be in a polygamous situation I'd have to be the wife-in-charge. I'd boss all those other house-bitches around.

12:33 PM  
Blogger SierraBella said...

squirl!-
I'm agreeing with you here.
I'm thinking the husband would be so busy *ahem* servicing all the wives that he'd need the "wife-in-charge" to handle financial matters; and that would be one big mistake!

12:52 PM  
Blogger SoozieQ said...

Heh, smart man.

I remember when The Hubs and I started dating and a few of his (male) co workers asked how old I was. One of them said "Man, she's gonna KILL you, trust me. You'll never be able to keep up with her!"

Well he's still alive but I don't think he could handle six of me :-)

And this reminds me of someone's entry (for the LIFE of me I can't remember who it was!!) about some hot chick on a bicyle or walking or something. They (the husband and wife) drive by her and some comments are exchanged along the lines of "Yah, don't you WISH" and the husband says something like "Honey, I can barely keep up with you, how could I handle a woman like that?" and so she smacks him.

I was laughing out loud at that, but I just wish I could give the credit to whoever actually wrote it. Ahh, too many bloggies running around my head!

1:46 PM  
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1:56 PM  
Blogger SierraBella said...

soozieq-
I know I hate it when I can't remember where I read something! It's getting more and more frequent too...
I'm guessing "The Hubs" would have to keep you on as the 'luv-ing' wife and keep the others for chores and whatnot.

anonymous-
I'm guessing this is a spam message, so I'm not daring to go to your link.
So sorry! Or not.

2:17 PM  
Blogger Nina said...

LOL, my husband would say the same thing . . . one at a time is enough.

3:26 PM  
Blogger eclectic said...

That sounds very interesting, SB! I've always been a little curious, but not enough to learn how to track it all down. But I love to hear my grandma talk about family members she recalls.

Don't you think that the wives' union would be pretty much a cartel with 6-to-1 odds? Poor bastard probably never got any with them always holding out for better wages, or working conditions, or childcare, etc...

6:58 PM  
Blogger cheesecakey said...

I've always heard you can find good records through the Mormons....

I think men would like the physical aspects of 6 wives.... but the emotional... forget it!!

cute picture!

9:43 PM  
Blogger SierraBella said...

nanina-
Yep- I think one at a time is probably more than enough!

eclectic-
You might want to write down your grandmother's stories, or better yet tape her telling those stories!

I didn't get into genealogy until I retired, since it's time consuming. Who has time for anything when they're working full-time?

Those wives probably did have a union-style agreement, but some of them must have been scabbing since each of them had about six children!

cheesecakey-
I've found the Mormon records online are pretty good, but as with anything, you have to double-check.
I'd think with 6 wives, both the physical and emotional loving would be arid.
Thanks about the picture!

7:36 AM  
Blogger Rae Ann said...

wow, 6 wives! he must have been wealthy to afford them all in different houses. Men had it so much better back then. Got a new woman every few years when they wore out and died in child birth. It's kind of sickening, like disposable wives or something. Sorry, not feeling so good today.

7:41 AM  
Blogger SierraBella said...

rae ann-
You're right on target here!
I have an older post somewhere about a woman back in the day who became widowed, then had a younger man living in the home as a farmhand who later became her husband! It sometimes worked both ways, thank goodness.
I'm not feeling so hot either. Hope we both start feeling better.

8:15 AM  
Blogger eclectic said...

Oh. I hope you feel better today, Sierrabella!

9:37 AM  
Blogger Kat said...

Well, as long as I was the lead wife and the other wives had to do all the cooking and cleaning...

I could see the advantage of that!

11:01 AM  
Blogger SierraBella said...

eclectic-
Thanks- I don't think it's anything a few Advil won't cure!

kat-
That position sounds not too shabby!

11:25 AM  
Blogger SoozieQ said...

Feel better SOON SierraBella!!

Was this picture taken recently of the litte guy? 'Cause if he's visiting now, then maybe a few Advil and a *HUG* from him might do the trick ;-)

1:08 PM  
Blogger SierraBella said...

soozieq-
Thank you!
The picture was taken fairly recently.
He was here yesterday for a couple of hours... maybe he gave me some kind of virus?

1:53 PM  
Blogger Greenthumb said...

I grew up Mormon and I was a geneology librarian for our local stake. I used to spend all that quiet, solitude doing my own.

That picture is adorable, but you still need to get a D70. Mr. SB, are you listening? Stop thinking about those extra wives and think about the happiness a D70 can bring the one you already have. :o)

3:03 PM  
Blogger Sylvana said...

I read that in some countries polygamy is very common and works out great for the women. They have help keeping up the house, they can get out of the house more often because there are always other people to babysit, and there is such a large woman to man ratio that they can run roughshod over him if he gets out of line!

7:10 AM  
Blogger SierraBella said...

greenie-
I'm guessing you got quite good at family research, and at a young age at that!
I told Mr. SB what you said, verbatim! He said "Thanks a lot Greenie!"
Actually, the other day he showed me a camera ad in Time Magazine for one which was under $300. I had to explain the one I already have has more features, and I'm not falling for his ploy! Jeesh...

sylvana-
You're making polygamy sound better and better!
I'm beginning to feel sorry for the husband.

10:05 AM  

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