Pratt family

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Pratt family
William Major painting, detail of Pratt brothers.gif
Detail from group portrait, 1845.

(Original in color.)
Brothers Orson and Parley Pratt were descendants of Anne Hutchinson through their mother Charity Dickinson.[1] Parley served in the Utah Territorial Legislature 1852–1854;[2] Orson, for 13 terms during the 1860s-1870s, eight of these as Speaker.[3][4]
Current region Predominantly
U.S. Intermountain West
Members Parley P. Pratt, Orson Pratt, Sarah Pratt, George Romney, Jon Huntsman, Sr.
Connected families Huntsmans, Romneys, Smiths

The Pratt family is made up of the descendants of the Mormon pioneer brothers, Parley Parker Pratt and his brother Orson Pratt,[5] whose father was Jared Pratt (1769–1839).[6] It has many members in Utah, and other parts of the U.S. There are many branches of the Pratt family, such as the Romney Family (of Mitt Romney) and the Huntsman family.[7][8][9][10][11]


Selected family members

  • William Pratt (1609–1678) was an early colonial settler, a lieutenant in the Pequot War, and a representative to the General Court of Connecticut for 23 terms.[12][13] William and his older brother John were two sons of Reverend William Pratt of England. William and John came to Massachusetts on the same ship as John Cotton and Thomas Hooker. Before that, William and John Pratt went with Thomas Hooker to Holland. Rev. Hooker and Rev Cotton attended the same college at Cambridge as Rev. William Pratt. All were strong believers in the Puritan movement. Rev. Hooker was an ardent believer in universal Christian suffrage and along with William and John Pratt broke away from Rev. Cotton of Massachusetts Bay Colony. They went on to found the Connecticut Colony, which on 14 January 1639 ratified "Fundamental Orders of Connecticut" which were inspired by the beliefs of Hooker. Connecticut is known as "The Constitution State" because of the hugely forward thinking of its founders, including the Pratt Brothers and Rev. Hooker who saw the future in American Democracy and freedom of Religion, as first espoused by its first truly Puritan Church leaders.
  • Jared Pratt (1769–1839) was born in Canaan, New York, on November 25, 1769, the son of Obadiah Pratt and Jemina Tolls. He married 1799 to Charity Dickinson, a descendant of Anne Hutchinson and was father of Parley P. Pratt and Orson Pratt.[14]
    • Anson Pratt (1801-1849), brother of Parley P. Pratt, married Sally Barber (1805-1841). He fought at the Battle of Nauvoo.[5][15]
    • Parley P. Pratt (1807–1857) was an original Mormon Apostle and member of the Utah Territorial Legislature in 1854. He was the 3rd great-grandson of William Pratt. He married fourth wife Mary Ann Frost, sister of Olive Frost (who married Joseph Smith). His brother was Orson Pratt.[16]
      • Helaman Pratt (1846-1909)[17] was born outside Mt. Pisgah, Iowa, on May 31, 1846, the son of Parley P. Pratt and fourth wife Mary Wood. He married 1874 to second wife Anna Johanna Dorothy (Dora) Wilcken (the daughter of Charles Henry Wilcken), and was father of Anna Amelia Pratt (who married Gaskell Romney). He had three wives, marrying first wife Emeline Victoria Billingsley Pratt when she was sixteen. He was part of group of polygamous Mormons who fled the United States because of the federal government's opposition to polygamy,[18] and would serve as president of the Mexican mission in Mexico City before moving to the state of Chihuahua.
        • Anna (Pratt) Romney (1876–1926)
        • Rey Pratt (1878–1931)[19] was the son of Helaman Pratt and a member of the First Council of the Seventy, as well as president of the Mexican Mission, including in exile, during the Mexican Revolution, and on into the 1930s.
    • Orson Pratt (1811–1881) was an original Mormon Apostle and member of the Utah Territorial Legislature from 1869-1879. He was the brother of Parley P. Pratt.[16]
    • Sarah Marinda Bates Pratt (1817–1888)[20] was the first wife of Orson Pratt, and central to his 1842 excommunication from the LDS Church. She was one of the first outspoken critics of polygamy and founders of the Anti-Polygamy Society in Salt Lake City. She was excommunicated 4 October 1874, becoming an Mormon apostate.
      • Jane Elizabeth Pratt (October 27, 1837 – November 23, 1912), daughter of Anson and Sally, married Frederick Kesler (1816-1899).[15] (Kesler was a bodyguard of Joseph Smith, served as a major in the militia corps of the Great Salt Lake Military District, was a justice of the peace, and director of the penitentiary.[21][22][23])
        • Alonzo Pratt Kesler (January 29, 1868-February 1918), son of Jane Elizabeth and Frederick, married Donnette Smith (September 17, 1872 – September 15, 1961), a daughter of Joseph F. Smith. He was President of the Eastern States Mission and she served on the General Board of Relief Society[24]
          • A. (Alonzo) Pratt Kesler (1905-1984) was the great-grandson of Jared Pratt. His mother was Donette Smith, a daughter of Joseph F. Smith. He was a Republican, serving as Salt Lake City Prosecuting Attorney between 1935–40, Assistant Salt Lake City Attorney between 1940–53, appointed U.S. Attorney by U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower in Utah between 1953–1961, and Utah Attorney General from 1961–1965. He was only the second person in Utah history to serve as both U.S. Attorney and state attorney general. Kesler served as Republican State Chairman in Utah from 1950–1953, and was a delegate to Republican National Convention from Utah in 1952. He was a member of the Republican National Committee between 1952–53.[25]


Relationships table[edit]

Family association[edit]

Jared Pratt Family Association
Abbreviation JPFA[27]
Formation 1881
Type Non-profit organization
Headquarters Salt Lake City, Utah
Region served
Robert J. Grow[28][29]
Website JPFA

The Jared Pratt Family Association is a family association that conducts primary genealogical research and preserves genealogical and other historical information on the Pratt family surname, especially the descendants of Mormon Pioneer Orson Pratt or of his brothers.[30] The association takes its name from its founder, Orson Pratt's,[31] father, Jared Pratt.[32]

Orson Pratt was an apostle in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, a professor at University of Nauvoo in Illinois. After Orson trekked to what is now Utah, he served, among other offices, as the LDS Church Historian and Recorder 1874–1881 and also established the basis for the LDS Church's genealogical endeavors.[33][34][35] Pratt had begun in the early-1850s an extensive work on the descendants and family of William Pratt, the earliest ancestor of the Pratts to come to what is now the United States, in cooperation with Frederick W. Chapman, a Congregationalist minister. Chapman's book was published in 1864, and Orson Pratt and his family members used it to perform temple work on many family members, continuing the focus and leading to them organizing the family association 17 years later.[36]

The association was chartered by its founder, Orson Pratt (in statement appended to the meticulous family genealogical data he had collected) "to collect and register therein, from generation to generation, the dates of births, marriages, places of residence and deaths of all the descendants of my four brothers and myself. ... It is to be hoped that all our posterity of whatever branch or name will be sufficiently interested to preserve their genealogy to the latest generation."[37]

The association's president is Robert Grow, Ph.D.[38][39] and one of the association's historians is Robert Grow's son,[40][41] University of Southern Indiana professor Matthew Grow,[42][43] now with the Joseph Smith Papers Project.[44] According to the association, as of 2011 it possessed a computer database with 32,000 descendents of Jared Pratt and Charity Dickinson, believed to be half-complete.[45] The association has published a newsletter since 1965.[46]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Givens, Terryl L.; Grow, Matthew J. (2011). Parley P. Pratt: The Apostle Paul of Mormonism. Oxford University Press. p. 12. ISBN 978-0-19-537573-2. 
  2. ^ Givens, Terryl L.; Grow, Matthew J. (2011). Parley P. Pratt: The Apostle Paul of Mormonism. Oxford University Press. p. 336. ISBN 978-0-19-537573-2. 
  3. ^ Powell, Allan Kent, ed. (1994), Utah History Encyclopedia (article "Orson Pratt"), University of Utah Press, ISBN 978-0-87480-425-6 
  4. ^ Orson Pratt House, Utah State Historical Society, Entered August 11, 1983 onto National Register of Historic Places, Marker No. N-584  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  5. ^ a b Pratt, R. Steven (October 1979), The Five Sons of Jared and Charity Pratt, Ensign magazine 
  6. ^ Givens, Terryl L.; Grow, Matthew J. (2011). Parley P. Pratt: The Apostle Paul of Mormonism. Oxford University Press. p. 401. ISBN 978-0-19-537573-2. 
  7. ^ Barbaro, Michael; Parker, Ashley (January 4, 2012), On Stage, an Awkward Reminder of Personal Rifts in G.O.P., New York Times, The Romney and Huntsman families — two intertwined clans that go back to the early days of Mormonism.... 
  8. ^ Krasny, Ros; Nichols, Michelle (January 2, 2012), Huntsman tries to turn up heat on Romney in N. Hampshire, Reuters, 'Both Romney and Huntsman descend from Parley P. Pratt, one of the most storied early Mormon leaders,' said Joanna Brooks, a Mormon scholar.... 'Both have family and personal connections to the institutional hierarchy of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. And both enjoy an unusual degree of access to high-ranking church leaders,' she said. 
  9. ^ Bowman, Matthew (2012), The Mormon People: The Making of an American Faith, Random House, p. xix, One hundred and fifty years after the death of his ancestor, Parley Pratt's great-great-grandson Mitt Romney announced his bid for the Republican Party's nomination. ... He had served as governor of Massachusetts, and his father, George, as governor of Michigan. 
  10. ^ Denton, Sally (January 29, 2012), Mitt and the White Horse Prophesy, Salon magazine, ...the youngest son of the most prominent Mormon in American politics — a seventh-generation direct descendant of one of the faith’s founding 12 apostles—Mitt Romney.... 
  11. ^ Rich, Frank (January 29, 2012), Who in God’s Name Is Mitt Romney?, New York Magazine, Romney is...the scion of a family dynasty integral to the progress of an American-born faith.... 
  12. ^ Roberts, B. H., ed. (1902). History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 1. Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret News. p. 119. OCLC 4890306. 
  13. ^ General Society of Colonial Wars (U.S.): 'Annual Register of Officers and Members of the Society of colonial Wars; Constitution of the General Society', J. Pott & Company, 1895, p. 12 
  14. ^ Givens, Terryl L.; Grow, Matthew J. (2011). Parley P. Pratt: The Apostle Paul of Mormonism. Oxford University Press. p. 401. ISBN 978-0-19-537573-2. 
  15. ^ a b Pratt, Orson (Undated document), Brief Abstract of Genealogy and Ancestry of Jared Pratt, Unpublished manuscript, Orson Pratt Collection, Historical Department Archives of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Salt Lake City, Utah, archived from the original on November 2009, retrieved February 9, 2012  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  16. ^ a b McLellin, William Earl; Shipps, Jan; Welch, John Woodland (1994), Shipps, Jan; Welch, John Woodland, eds., The journals of William E. McLellin, 1831-1836, University of Illinois Press, p. 455, ISBN 978-0-8425-2316-5 
  17. ^ Givens, Terryl L.; Grow, Matthew J. (2011). Parley P. Pratt: The Apostle Paul of Mormonism. Oxford University Press. p. 402. ISBN 978-0-19-537573-2. 
  18. ^ "Romney Family Tree Has Polygamy Branch". The Boston Globe. Associated Press. February 24, 2007. Archived from the original on October 12, 2007. Retrieved February 26, 2007. 
  19. ^ Digital Collections: Rey L. Pratt, Utah State Historical Society Classified Photo Collection, retrieved March 14, 2012 
  20. ^ Iversen, Joan (1997). The Antipolygamy Controversy in U.S. Women's Movements, 1880-1925: A Debate on the American Home. Routledge. p. 111. ISBN 978-0-8153-2079-1. 
  21. ^ Hull, Thomas (1899), Events of the Month, 2, The Improvement Era, p. 719, archived from the original on May 2006 by David Grow  Check date values in: |archive-date= (help)
  22. ^ "Re-organization of the Militia". Deseret News. April 29, 1857. Archived from the original on September 2006 by David Grow.  Check date values in: |archive-date= (help)
  23. ^ The Frederick Kesler Papers, J. Willard Marriott Library, University of Utah 
  24. ^ Latter-Day Saint biographical encyclopedia: a compilation of biographical sketches of prominent men and women in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Volume 4. Andrew Jenson. A. Jenson History Co., 1936. p. 189, 331
  25. ^ "U.S. Attorney's for the District of Utah", State of Utah. Retrieved December 5, 2011
  26. ^ Robison, Franklin Alonzo (1915), Autobiographical Sketch of Franklin Alonzo Robison, Unpublished manuscript, Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah 
  27. ^ Pratt Family Reunion [1996] (PDF), Jared Pratt Family Association, retrieved February 10, 2012 
  28. ^ Lloyd, R. Scott (April 26, 2008), "Honoring apostle", Church News 
  29. ^ Contact us, Jared Pratt Family Association, retrieved February 10, 2012 
  30. ^ Givens, Terryl L.; Grow, Matthew J. (2011). Parley P. Pratt: The Apostle Paul of Mormonism. Oxford University Press. p. 465. ISBN 978-0-19-537573-2. 
  31. ^ Genealogical Society of Utah (1936), Records of Early Church Families, 27, Utah Genealogical and Historical Magazine, p. 113 
  32. ^ Tucker, Darren (July 22, 1991), Descendants Count at Pratt Family Reunion, Salt Lake Tribune 
  33. ^ Lloyd, R. Scott (September 2, 2011), Orson Pratt descendants honor his heritage, Deseret News 
  34. ^ Nelson, Russell M. (May 1998), A New Harvest Time, Ensign magazine 
  35. ^ Allen, James B.; Embry, Jessie L.; Mehr, Kahlile B. (February 1995), Hearts Turned to the Fathers: A History of the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1894-1994, BYU Studies, ISBN 978-0-8425-2327-1 
  36. ^ Given and Grow, Parley P. Pratt, p. 319-320
  37. ^ Bennett, Archibald Fowler (1957), Finding your forefathers in America, Bookcraft, p. 207 
  38. ^ New Family History Website Offers Collaboration Feature, PRWebb, September 19, 2007 
  39. ^ "Mormon Apostle Dead 150 Years to Be Exhumed, Reburied With 4 Wives". Associated Press. April 22, 2008. 
  40. ^ Stack, Peggy Fletcher (April 4, 2008). "Parley Pratt's remains may come to Utah". Salt Lake Tribune. 
  41. ^ Lloyd, R. Scott (August 7, 1993), Pratt descendant, 16, preserves record, Salt Lake City, Utah: Church News 
  42. ^ 2011 Reunion of the Jared Pratt Family Association (PDF), Bicentennial Star (Jared Pratt Family Association newsletter), July 2011, retrieved March 15, 2012, ...Matt Grow, one of our family historians." 
  43. ^ "Liberty to the Downtrodden": Thomas L. Kane, Romantic Reformer, Yale University Press, retrieved March 7, 2012 
  44. ^ The Joseph Smith Papers: Team, Church Historian's Press (an imprint of the History Department of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, retrieved March 7, 2012 
  45. ^ Lloyd, R. Scott (September 2, 2011), "Orson Pratt descendants honor his heritage", Deseret News 
  46. ^ English: Library: FHLCatalog: Printing: Title details print: Title number 147876, Family Search, retrieved February 11, 2012 [unreliable source?]

External links[edit]