Professor of Mormon Studies Kathleen Flake is creating a digital database of polygamous marriages in the early Mormon Church. Flake hopes to use this information to better understand the reason these early Saints chose to live in plural families as well as the nature of these family relationships.
"We are trying to create a competent listing of who engaged in these marriages and to understand something about them that will help us understand their choice," Flake said in a quote from phys.org. "What did they hope to accomplish?"
Flake, with the help of advanced computing technology from the University of Virginia, is working on creating a list of every plural marriage that occurred in Nauvoo, Illinois from 1842 to 1852. Once compiled, Flake will make this list publicly accessible for later research.
"I have been surprised by how quickly these families began relating to one another and how quickly the kinship structure expanded," Flake said in a quote from phys.org.
With this project, Flake hopes to better understand early Mormon family ties and how these influenced the social fabric of the community. For more information about the Early Mormon Marriages database, click here.