Jared Pratt Family Association

May 1, 1992

Dear Pratt Cousin:

Greetings from the Jared Pratt Family Association!  This letter reports on our 1991 Reunion and the current status of the Descendants Search and Ancestral Search projects.


Reunion Report

On July 20, 1991, over 800 Pratts from approximately 15 states (including Hawaii, New York, and Washington, D.C.) united at the Arlington Hills Chapel in Salt Lake City to renew old friendships, make new friends, and organize ourselves to aggressively continue finding the descendants and ancestors of Jared and Charity Pratt.  Highlights of the Reunion included: computer demonstrations of the rapidly growing Descendants Search data base; finding ourselves in the descendancy charts covering most of the gymnasium walls; seeing many of the family’s precious heirlooms including the original descendancy records started by Orson Pratt and maintained by the family organization leaders for over 100 years; organizing the ancestral work of the family under the able leadership of Professor David H. Pratt of BYU; and, for young and old alike, watching a genuine blacksmith (Dennis Manning, “The Forge”) shoe horses and make authentic pioneer iron products.  It was decided that the Association would have a reunion every 2 to 3 years and encourage reunions to be held by “grandfather” family organizations in the intervening years.  We are considering having a reunion in July of 1993 or 1994.  Any suggestions concerning what we should do and how you can help would be appreciated.

Thanks to each of you for participating in the Reunion, the Descendants Search project, and the Ancestral Search project during this past year.


Descendants Search Report
by Robert and Matt Grow

There are currently 22,817 descendants of Jared and Charity Pratt in the Descendants Search database, with approximately 2,000 descendants from Anson, 1,000 from William, 16,000 from Parley, 4,000 from Orson, and 73 from Nelson.  This data has been compiled from numerous sources, but primarily from hundreds of people, like you, who have submitted information to us.  Other sources include: The Pratt Pioneers of Utah, the LDS Church Ancestral File, family group sheets from the LDS Church Family History Library, and family record books kept by the Pratt family until the early 1970’s.  We are still getting information, and would appreciate your continued help.  Following the Reunion, we made available computer disks containing our data for any one of the grandchildren of Jared Pratt.  If you would like a disk, don’t hesitate to call us.  In November, we submitted all of our data to the Church, and this data will be in the next cut of Ancestral File, the Church database.  The Pratt family data is most likely the largest family submission ever made, and we thank Gary Christiansen, a Pratt descendant who works at the Family History Department, for his tremendous effort in integrating our data into the Ancestral File.  Some corrections to the Ancestral File will probably need to be made when it is released.  The Family History Department has asked us to detail how the family has compiled its descendancy records.  We are looking forward to doing this so that other large pioneer families can start the same process.

Much has been accomplished, but there is still much to be done!  First, and perhaps most important, please send us any additional family records you have.  Second, help us find records on “dead end” lines, especially those close to you.  Third, encourage your relatives to send us their family records.  Fourth, establish a “grandfather” family organization.  The Jared Pratt Family Association has proposed to the Church that changes and additions to the Pratt descendancy in the Ancestral File be cleared through the Association.  We will need “custodians” to perfect or “bluechip” each of the descendancy lines.  If you or your family organization would like to be in charge of one of the lines, please contact us.


Ancestral Search Report
by David H. Pratt and Ronald P. Tilby

It was decided at the Reunion that our first research priority would be to ascertain if the data in the Church’s Ancestral File was in agreement with the records in the possession of the family organization.  Once a firm base has been established and well circulated among family members, we will be ready as a family organization to encourage and coordinate new research.

Accordingly, a volunteer committee was formed under the guidance of Ron Tilby to compare our records with the Ancestral File.  We wish to extend our heartfelt thanks to each who served in this capacity: Ann Brest van Kempen, Weldon Gardner, Rose Harrison, Arthur Lauritzen, Allyson Pratt, C. Ann Smith, and Vilo Westwood.

Unfortunately, our volunteers found a tremendous number of duplications, discrepancies and typographic errors.  Therefore, we decided to wait for the new edition of the Ancestral File, to be released later this year, before attempting to edit and make the necessary corrections.

In the meantime, it was brought to our attention that Amy Cardon Odell of Walnut Creek, California, and David Rey Pratt of Richland, Washington, have spent many years and lots of money gathering all known data in print or in Church files (Family Group Records Collection, Ancestral File, International Genealogical Index, and Temple Index Bureau), plus some original research on the ancestry of Jared Pratt and Charity Dickinson.  The results include over 2,400 direct-line ancestors and over 4,000 of their family members in twelve volumes exceeding 7,000 pages.

The decision of the family organization is to make the Odell-Pratt files available to all descendants of Jared and Charity on IBM-compatible computer disks.  We will consider the Odell-Pratt file (rather than the presently unedited edition of the Ancestral File) as the base or starting point for all future research; thus, this computer version will be identified as “Revision 0 (January 1, 1992)”.  Changes and corrections are welcome, but will be channeled through the family organization before being added to the next version.  Changes should be submitted to the Jared Pratt Family Association, c/o David H. Pratt, Ancestral Search Chairman, 1289 East 700 South, Provo, Utah 84606.  David R. Pratt and Amy Odell will work with David H. Pratt as a standing committee to maintain the database and evaluate proposed changes and additions to Revision 0.  Ron Tilby and his committee will be reactivated when the Church releases the next version of the Ancestral File.

Revision 0 is in the Personal Ancestral File format, but on data backup disks for ease in restoration.  When ordering these disks, a contribution ranging from $5.00 to $25.00 is suggested.  After paying for the cost of materials and postage, any surplus will be used to further the work of the Association.

As you review the disks, we invite you to make suggestions and coordinate any further research through David H. Pratt and these committees.  Further possible research activities might include: editing the Ancestral File; comparing one pedigree chart and its matching family group sheets for such things as omission of children, etc.; doing original research on one of the presently neglected female lines; or conducting research to make or verify the connections across the Atlantic.

As Pratt descendants, we extend our heartfelt appreciation to Amy Odell and David R. Pratt for their years of service in compiling the Pratt’s ancestral records in preparation for this day.  We are richly blessed to have this information available to all of us on disk so that the ancestral work can truly be coordinated and accelerated. 


Mailing List

Over the past 18 months we have compiled a mailing list of approximately 2,000 families.  We need your help in two respects.  First, if you have moved, send us your new address now or we may lose you forever when your forwarding order expires.  Second, please send us the mailing addresses of any individuals or families that you have submitted to us for the Descendants Search database.


In the popular movie “Field of Dreams”, an Iowa farmer heard a voice saying, “If you build it, he will come.”  Although mocked by some, he built a baseball diamond in his corn field, and as a result, was miraculously reconciled to his deceased father.  When we started the Descendants Search in August of 1990, the Spirit whispered that if we would start, many not yet known to us would step forward to help.  Truly the Lord’s promise has been fulfilled by so many of you.  May the Lord bless you and your family as we continue to turn our hearts to our fathers.

Best Regards,

Robert J. Grow, President
9767 Little Cottonwood Place
Sandy, UT 84092
(801) 943-4648

[transcribed and proofread by David Grow, Dec. 2006]

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