Sunday, October 26, 2008

As I was going to St. Ives....

Well, I've been curious about Orson Hyde. I've done some research and found out Orson had eight wives back in the day. (Please correct me Pappy if I'm wrong, since I'm sure you are a wealth of knowledge with regards to our family.)

I know polygamy was part of the Hyde clan for many years. How does that work on genealogy records? I bet it is a nightmare. I don't even know what relation I have to Orson. If I remember right, his brother was our great, great, great, ... (I don't know how many) grandfather.

I don't think he was sealed to all his wives and I think he shared a wife with Joseph Smith. What a train wreck of confusion. How does all that work out in terms of doing work for the dead? Was his "work" considered done or did sealings get done afterwards?

Marinda Nancy Johnson Hyde Smith? Marriage to Orson Hyde in September 1834 and then married to Joseph Smith in April 1839. Then got divorced from Orson in 1870. I am so confused. I didn't even know polyandrous was even a word.

I know Dad should be able to correct any of the things I posted here. The Internet isn't a completely reliable source.


Zaphod said...

Digging into anyone's life is bound to produce folly and sin. Orson's was no exception. I have not done a lot with his private life simply because I had no venue to use that kind of information. I am guessing, but I suspect that the 1839 "sealing" to Joseph Smith happened about the time that Orson dropped off the radar in Missouri. Frankly, that seems a little early for a "sealing" in the sense that we use it today. That there was a formal civil marriage between Joseph and Miranda is not really possible in that year for a variety of reasons.

Why a woman divorces a man at age sixty-five should terrify every male on the planet. She did not remarry. By the way, in a cursory investigation I did not find a record of the divorce. Both Miranda and Orson are buried in the same cemetary.

As far as plural marriage is concerned, there are no serious genealogical problems unless a woman has more than one husband. Then, as you say, there is a bit of a train wreck. To whom do I seal my mother? To my Dad or Harry Mead? Materially speaking, Harry treated my mother far better than my father ever did. Whom did my mother love more? Whom does my mother love more? I frankly had the ordinances done the way I wanted it to work out. If my mother and father choose some other way, then I will have to live eternally with that. They have to accept the ordinances that I have performed vicariously for them.

I have a similar problem with my maternal grandmother. My mother is the daughter of Herman Winkler, a man to whom my grandmother was married for less than a year. No one in the family, besides my grandmother and my great-grandfather ever knew him. After my mother was born, my grandmother met and married Charles Gaskill, the only father and the only grandfather we in the family have ever known. My mother did not know until she was twenty-one that she was not Grandpa Gaskill's daughter. I was a great blow to her.

So, in trying to square away the train wreck caused by bad choices made by people almost a hundred years ago, what do I do as far as my genealogy is concerned? What do I do about temple work for these people that I love? Do I go with my biological grandfather? Do I go with the only grandfather I have ever known? These are tough decisions that I think, in the end, I cannot really make. These are decisions that my grandmother is going to have to make. When her will is made manifest, then there is no question that her agency will be respected. In the meantime I perform the ordinances I would like to see come true. That is all I can do. I have performed ordinances for my biological grandfather as a matter of genealogy and duty to my blood line, but I have no idea how all of this will be received. It is probably a good thing that we will have a thousand years during the millennium to sort these things out.

I would not count Orson and Miranda out, regardless of the various ordinances that have been performed; the Lord will respect their deepest righteous desires. The same may be said of the other women who have been sealed to Orson. They will not be compelled, except by their love for one another.

Trillium said...

The standard genealogical advice about proxy temple work where a woman had more than one spouse is to perform the sealings to each of her spouses. The individuals involved will then get to accept whichever ordinance they prefer. They, of course, can reject any or all ordinances. Our responsibility is to do the proxy work without "making decisions for them" or limiting their ability to choose.

genachi=aerobic genealogy! LOL