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Root Marriage

William Dresser Huntington, 21
Carolyn Clark, 20

First Plural

Harriet Clark, 17

Subsequent Plural

Ann Maginn, 21
Carolyn Clark
William Huntington
Harriet Huntington

William Dresser Huntington and Carolyn Clark were civilly married in Nauvoo, Illinois, in September 1839 when they were 21 and 20, respectively. They each had extended families within the church; moreover, the families were close associates, probably having met in Kirtland, Ohio, and sharing trials of Missouri and relocation to Illinois. The Huntingtons had even lived with the Clarks for a time in Nauvoo. Four years after Carolyn married William, her sister Harriet Clark was also sealed to him for eternity.  

This was an unusually young plural marriage. Because his sisters were sealed to Smith in the fall of 1841 and his older brother Dimick had performed the ceremony, it is possible that William learned of the practice from the three of them. Regardless of how he learned of it, the fact that such a young couple were included among the number of first adopters of plural marriage may be explained by his family relations, especially his familial connection to Smith.   

William’s only other plural marriage was to twenty-four-year-old Ann Maginn in February 1846. She was baptized with her siblings and parents in Canada, probably in 1836. Very little else is known of her before or after her marriage. She is not listed in the same pioneer company as William and the Clark sisters. The family eventually settled in Springville, Utah. Carolyn and Harriet each had seven children; there are no known children of Hannah.  


Bergera, Gary James. “Identifying the Earliest Mormon Polygamists, 1841–44,” Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 38, no.3 (2005): 1–74, 8. 

Brown, Lisle G., comp. Nauvoo Sealings, Adoptions, and Anointings: A Comprehensive Register of Persons Receiving LDS Temple Ordinances, 1841–1846 (Salt Lake City: The Smith-Petit Foundation, 2006), 149. 

“Clark, Hiram” and “Huntington, Dimick Baker,” “Huntington, William,” “Huntington, William Dresser,” “Kimball, Presendia Lathrop Huntington,” “Young, Zina Diantha Huntington,” The Joseph Smith Papers, https://www.josephsmithpapers.org/reference/people 

Hancock Co., IL, Marriage Register, 1829–1915, pp. 25, 35, microfilm 954,177, U.S. and Canada Record Collection, Church History Library.   

“Huntington, Caroline,” “Huntington, Harriet,” and “Huntington, William Dresser,” Pioneer Database 1847–1868, https://history.churchofjesuschrist.org/overlandtravel/ 

“Journal of William Huntington (1784-1846)” at http://www.boap.org/LDS/Early-Saints/WHuntington.html 

Nauvoo Relief Society Minute Book, Entry for May 27, 1842. https://www.churchhistorianspress.org/the-first-fifty-years-of-relief-society/part-1/1-2/1-2-11 

“William Dresser Huntington (KWJX-XV9),” FamilySearchhttps://www.familysearch.org/