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Brigham Young (1801-1877) is our Great-Great-Great-Uncle because he married Great-Great-Great-Aunt Vilate Clarissa Decker (she went by Clara), a daughter of our 3rd-Great-Grandparents Isaac and Harriet Decker.

He’s also our Step-Great-Great-Grandfather, because he married Clara’s big sister Lucy Ann Decker Seely, our Great-Great-Grandmother.

Not to mention that he’s our Step-Great-Great-Great-Uncle, because his little brother Lorenzo Dow Young married Lucy’s and Clara’s mother, our Great-Great-Great-Grandmother Harriet Page Wheeler Decker.
I could go on. He’s also a cousin by marriage, because his 55 or so wives included a couple of our Bigelow cousins. Also a couple of our Ashby cousins. As far as I’m aware, we aren’t blood kin to Brother Brigham (as he liked to be called).

As with Uncles King Richard and Reverend Thomas, I don’t see much point in loading the Web with another detailed life sketch for Uncle Brigham. Google him, if you want to read one. Or two or three: the literature includes a lot of polarized commentary.

Among us so-called “Mormons,” it’s hard to overstate his stature. We believe, you see, that he had a divine mission and accomplished it magnificently. We’re grateful beyond measure for what he did for us.

But even folks who don’t much like his plural marriages and his prominent role in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints tend to agree that he was a powerful character and a figure of towering importance for the nineteenth-century settlement of the American West.

Certainly an interesting uncle. And that, of course, was all it took to fit in this collection.

1Painting by George M. Ottinger, 1833-1917. I got it from Used by copyright permission published at the site.

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