Brigham Young, President of Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints

Is your surname Young?

Research the Young family

Brigham Young, President of Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints's Geni Profile

Share your family tree and photos with the people you know and love

  • Build your family tree online
  • Share photos and videos
  • Smart Matching™ technology
  • Free!


Brigham Young, Sr.

Birthdate: (76)
Birthplace: Whitingham, Windham County, Vermont, United States
Death: Died in Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, Utah, United States
Cause of death: Peritonitis
Place of Burial: Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah Territory, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of John Hayden Young, Sr. and Abigail "Nabby" Howe Young
Husband of Mary Kelsey; Hepzibah Young; Miriam Angeline Young; Mary Ann Angell; Lucy Ann Young and 40 others
Ex-husband of Elizabeth Fairchild; Diana Diora Severance Young; Mary Ann Powers; Mary Elizabeth Greene Young; Mary Ellen Woodward and 5 others
Father of Elizabeth Young; Vilate Decker; Joseph Young, Apostle, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints; Mary Ann Young; Brigham Young Jr., Apostle, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and 49 others
Brother of Nancy Kent; Fanny Young; Rhoda Greene; John M. Young, Jr.; Abigail "Nabby" Young and 5 others
Half brother of Edward Young

Occupation: Mormon leader, Pioneer, Governor, LDS Church President, Mormon Leader
Managed by: Richard Frank Henry
Last Updated:

About Brigham Young, President of Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints

Wikipedia Biographical Summary:

"...Brigham Young (June 1, 1801 – August 29, 1877) was an American leader in the Latter Day Saint movement and was the president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) from 1847 until his death. Young was the founder of Salt Lake City and the first governor of the Utah Territory, United States, and is the namesake of Brigham Young University..."

"...Young was born to a farming family in Whitingham, Vermont and worked as a traveling carpenter and blacksmith, among other trades. Young first married in 1824 to Miriam Angeline Works. Though he had converted to the Methodist faith in 1823, Young was drawn to Mormonism after reading the Book of Mormon shortly after its publication in 1830. He officially joined the new church in 1832 and traveled to Upper Canada as a missionary. After his first wife died in 1832, Young joined many Mormons in establishing a community in Kirtland, Ohio. Young was ordained a member of the original Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in 1835, and he assumed a leadership role within that organization in taking Mormonism to the United Kingdom and organizing the exodus of Latter Day Saints from Missouri in 1838..."

"...Young was ordained President of the Church in December 1847..."

"...As colonizer and founder of Salt Lake City, Young was appointed the territory's first governor and superintendent of American Indian affairs by President Millard Fillmore..."

"...Young was a polygamist, marrying a total of 55 wives, 54 of them after he converted to become a Latter Day Saint. The policy was difficult for many in the church. Young stated that upon being taught about plural marriage, "It was the first time in my life that I desired the grave." By the time of his death, Young had 56 children by 16 of his wives; 46 of his children reached adulthood..."

"...Sources have varied on the number of Young's wives, due to differences in what scholars have considered to be a "wife"..."

"...Young did not live with a number of his wives or publicly hold them out as wives, which has led to confusion on the number and identities. This is in part due to the complexity of how wives were identified in the Mormon society at the time. If a woman was married and her husband died, she often married another man in proxy of her former husband..."

"...[Young died in] Salt Lake City at 4:00pm on August 29, 1877..."

"...His last words were "Joseph, Joseph..." upon anticipation of being reunited with his predecessor, Joseph Smith. On September 2, 1877, Young's funeral was held in the Tabernacle with an estimated 12,000 to 15,000 people in attendance..."

SOURCE: Wikipedia contributors, 'Brigham Young', Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 19 April 2011, 21:14 UTC, <> [accessed 29 April 2011]

Additional Resources:


Records indicate that the following women were sealed/married to Brigham Young. Individuals with "Master Profiles are in bold. The sixteen who bore him children are designated by an asterisk:

  1. * Miriam Works (1806-1832)
  2. * Mary Ann Angell (1808-1882)
  3. * Lucy Ann Decker (Seely) (1822-1890)
  4. Augusta Adams (Cobb) (1802-1886)
  5. * Harriet Elizabeth Cook (1824-1898)
  6. * Clarissa Caroline Decker (1828-1889)
  7. * Emily Dow Partridge (Smith) (1824-1899)
  8. * Clarissa Ross (1814-1858)
  9. * Louisa Beaman (Smith) (1815-1850)
  10. Eliza Roxcy Snow (Smith) (1804-1887)
  11. Elizabeth Fairchild (1828-1910)
  12. Clarissa Blake (1796-1863)
  13. Rebecca Greenlief Holman (1824-1848)
  14. Diana Chase (1827-1886)
  15. Susan Snively (1815-1892)
  16. Olive Grey Frost (Smith) (1816-1845)
  17. Mary Ann Clark (Powers) (1816-)
  18. * Margaret Pierce (Whitesides) (1823-1907)
  19. Mary Harvey Pierce (1821-1847)
  20. * Emmeline Free (1826-1875)
  21. Mary Elizabeth Rollins (Lightner, Smith) (1818-1913)
  22. * Margaret Maria Alley (1825-1852)
  23. Olive Andrews (Smith) (1818-)
  24. Emily Haws (Whitmarsh) (1823-)
  25. Martha Bowker (1822-1890)
  26. Ellen A. Rockwood (1829-1866)
  27. Jemima Angell (Young)(1804-1869)
  28. Abigail Marks (Works) (1781-1846)
  29. Phebe Ann Morton (Angell) (1786-1854)
  30. Cynthia Porter (Weston) (1783-1861)
  31. Mary Eliza Nelson (Greene) (1812-1886)
  32. Rhoda Richards (Smith) (1784-1879)
  33. * Zina Diantha Huntington (Jacobs, Smith) (1821-1901)
  34. Amy Cecilia Cooper (1804-1852)
  35. Mary Ellen De La Montague (Woodward) (1805-1894)
  36. Julia Foster (Hampton) (1811-1891)
  37. Abigail Harback (Hall) (1790-1849)
  38. Mary Ann Turley (1827-1904)
  39. Naamah K. J. Carter (Twiss) (1821-1909)
  40. Nancy Cressy (Walker) (1780-1871)
  41. Jane Terry Tarbox Young (1819-1847)
  42. * Lucy Bigelow (1830-1905)
  43. Mary Jane Bigelow (1827-1868)
  44. Sarah Malin (1804-1858)
  45. * Eliza Burgess (1827-1915)
  46. Mary Oldfield (Kelsey) (1791-1875)
  47. Eliza Babcock (1828-1874)
  48. Catherine Reese (Clawson) (1804-1860)
  49. * Harriet Emeline Barney (Sagers) (1830-1911)
  50. Harriet Amelia Folsom (1838-1910)
  51. * Mary Van Cott (Cobb) (1844-1884)
  52. Ann Eliza Webb (Dee) 1844-1925)
  53. Elizabeth Jones (Lewis, Jones) (1814-1895)
  54. Lydia Farnsworth (Mayhew) (1808-1896)
  55. Hannah Tapfield (King) (1807-1886)

"...While Maria Lawrence appears on several published lists of Brigham Young’s wives, I have found no marriage record to substantiate a union between her and Brigham Young..." Deane Jessee

Additional Marriage Information:

Brigham Young had a total of 55 wives in his lifetime, although not all at the same time. He had children with 16 of his wives, and the majority of the others he never lived with and were never publically considered his 'wives' - they were mostly widows and divorcees that he had promised to take care of. At his death, he had been divorced 10 times and widowed 19 times. Although 23 wives were still living, his will mentioned only the 16 whom he had lived with. These 16 split his estate.

Brigham's first wife was Miriam Angeline Works. She died before Brigham was baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (commonly called the "Mormon" church). He re-married Mary Ann Angell and joined the Church. His first polygamous marriage was 8 years later, to Lucy Ann Decker, who had been abandoned by her husband. Brigham then married Augusta Adams, who's husband had left her as well. The next wives were Harriet Elizabeth Cook and Clarissa Caroline Decker. His next wife, Emily Dow Partridge, was a widow. Clarissa Ross was next, a 30 year old spinster. Louisa Beaman and Eliza R. Snow were his next wives, also both widows. He next married Elizabeth Fairchild, who divorced him after 11 years of marriage. Clarissa Blake, Rebecca Holman, Diana Chase, and Suzanne Snively married him in October 1844. Diana divorced him only a few years later. The next three marriages were to widows: Olive Grey Frost, Mary Ann Clark, and Margaret Pierce. Mary Pierce and Emmeline Free came next, after which Brigham was sealed to Mary Elizabeth Rollins. Mary Rollins was married and living with a non-Mormon, and so was sealed to Brigham for "eternity only" meaning that she would not be considered his wife until the afterlife. In January 1846, Brigham married Margaret Alley, Olive Andrews, Emily Haws, Martha Bowker, Ellen Rockwood, Jemima Angel, Abigail Marks, Phebe Morton, Cynthia Porter, Mary Eliza Nelson, and Rhoda Richards. All but Margaret, Martha, and Ellen were widows.

Zina Diantha Huntington, a widow, came next. She was followed by Mary Ellen de la Montague (a divorcee, who was divorced from Young and re-married to her previous husband only a few months later), Julia Foster (a divorcee), Abigail Harback (a widow), Amy Cecilia Cooper (a 41 year old spinster), and Mary Ann Turley (who divorced Brigham 5 years later). Naamah Carter, a divorcee, was next, followed by Nancy Cressy and Jane Terry, both widows. Lucy Bigelow, Mary Jane Bigelow, Sarah Malin (a 43 year old spinster), and Eliza Burgess were next. Mary and Sarah divorced him after 4 years. He then married widows Mary Oldfield, Catherine Reese, Mary VanCott, and Elizabeth Jones; and divorcees Harriet Barney and Ann Eliza Webb. Ann divorced Brigham 7 years later. He married Eliza Babcock and Amelia Folsom as well. Eliza divorced him a short time later. Brigham's final two wives, Lydia Farnsworth and Hannah Tapfield, were in a similar situation as Mary Rollins. They were married and living with non-Mormon husbands, so were sealed to Brigham for 'Eternity Only'.


Religious Leader. Second President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (LDS), also known as the Mormons. He is revered today by his followers for his wisdom and leadership in the building of the Mormon Church in Utah. He is controversial for his belief in plural marriage and his role in the late 1850s in a dispute with the Federal Government. Born the 9th child of 11 to a poor farmer in Whitingham, Vermont, his father, John Young, moved his family to upstate New York, where Brigham became an itinerant carpenter and painter. Raised a Methodist, he married Miriam Works in 1824, and moved to Cayuga County, New York, where he plied his trade of carpentry and painting. In 1829, he moved to Mendon, Monroe County, New York, where he saw the Book of Mormon for the first time. He quickly joined the LDS Church, being baptized on April 14, 1832. After his wife's death on September 8, 1832, he became more convinced of the correctness of his new religion, and began preaching and converting others to the LDS faith. In the fall of 1833 he moved to Kirtland, Ohio, and married Mary Ann Angell, who took care of his two children from his first wife, and bore him several additional children. In February 1835, he was named one of the first 12 Apostles of the LDS Church. In the next several years, he performed missionary missions in New York and Missouri, and working as a carpenter and painter helping to build the Kirtland Temple. In 1839, he went to Missouri to help the Mormons there move to Nauvoo, Illinois. In 1840, he went to England to perform missionary work, returning to Nauvoo periodically. While in New York in 1844, he learned of the death of Joseph Smith, Founder, first President and Prophet of the LDS Church, and he hurriedly returned to Nauvoo. Speaking powerfully to the dispirited people of Nauvoo, he rallied them and was quickly given authority as President of the Church. In 1846, the Mormons were forced from Nauvoo, Illinois, and Brigham Young determined to lead them to a better land where they would not be persecuted. He and 147 others arrived in the Salt Lake valley on July 24 1847. Young was ill, and when he saw the valley for the first time, he stated, "This is the Place." Salt Lake City was built with his guidance. From 1851 to 1858, he served as the first Governor of Utah Territory. While in Utah, he had a vision that God would allow the Mormons to have multiple wives. Before his death, he had 29 wives and 56 children, for which he was highly criticized by many people. From 1856 to 1858, relations between the Mormons and the Federal Government deteriorated, with the eastern press playing up popular fear that the polygamous Mormons were about to declare their independence from the United States. President James Buchanan ordered the United States Army to Utah, to reestablish Federal control. This force, under command of Colonel (and future Confederate General) Albert Sidney Johnson, remained in Utah until the outbreak of the Civil War. Brigham Young established the LDS Church firmly in the West, seeing to its expansion, growth and stability. He laid the groundwork for Utah's eventual entrance into the Union as a state, and was a political force throughout the latter half of the 1800s. It can be truly said that he helped to build and settle the West. His dying words were reportedly a call to the first LDS Prophet, "Joseph! Joseph!" (bio by: Kit and Morgan Benson)

founder of the Mormon Church

view all 142

Brigham Young, President of Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints's Timeline

June 1, 1801
Whitingham, Windham County, Vermont, United States
September 26, 1825
Age 24
Port Byron, Cayuga, New York, USA
June 1, 1830
Age 29
Mendon, Monroe County, New York, United States
April 14, 1832
Age 30
October 14, 1834
Age 33
Kirtland, Geauga, Ohio, USA
December 18, 1836
Age 35
Kirtland, Lake County, Ohio, United States