February 12, 1996
Dear Pratt Cousin:
The 1996 Pratt Reunion is almost here and we need you! Please plan to join us on Saturday, July 20th, in Salt Lake City!
This letter is being mailed only to family members who attended either the 1991 Pratt Reunion in Salt Lake City or the 1993 Pratt Reunion in Nauvoo, Illinois, or who provided information for the Pratt Descendants Search during the last five years. Without each of you, the work of the Jared Pratt Family Association would not have been possible. We need your help again with both the reunion and the descendants search.
I. Reunion Planning
You are invited to attend an informal reunion planning meeting on March 3. 1996, at 5:00 PM at the Granite View Stake Center at 9675 South 3100 East in Sandy, Utah. (Take the 90th South exit off 1-15 and follow 90th/94th South east to 3100 East. Then turn south for a few blocks.)
At the reunion this year, we hope to have presentations concerning:
* the origins of the Pratt Family in England;
* our first Pratt ancestors in America;
* the progress of the Jared & Charity Pratt Descendants Search;
* the status of the ancestral record;
* hymns and music of the Pratts;
* the lives of each of the five Pratt brothers, etc.
We would also like to have exhibits on each of the five brothers (Anson, William, Parley, Orson, and Nelson) and their wives if there is sufficient interest.
If you can help with any of these presentations or exhibits, or have other ideas or suggestions, and are unable to attend the planning meeting, please contact us by letter or phone ASAP (Robert or Linda Grow at 943-4648 or Margaret or Clark Sevy at 943-0974).
II. Descendants Search
With your help, we now have records on over 24,000 direct descendants of Jared and Charity Pratt, the parents of Anson, William, Parley, Orson, and Nelson. We believe this constitutes the largest descendancy record of any Utah pioneer family. (We also have records of more than 6,000 additional descendants of William Pratt, our first American Pratt ancestor.)
This year we celebrate the Centennial of Utah Statehood. Next year we will celebrate the 150th anniversary (Sesquicentennial) of the arrival of the pioneers in the Salt Lake Valley, with Orson Pratt and Erastus Snow being the first on July 21, 1847. As president of the family organization, I am considering issuing a Sesquicentennial Challenge to the other Utah pioneer families to find and record as many of the descendants of their pioneer ancestors as possible as part of the Sesquicentennial celebration. I would propose calling the challenge:
“The Great Pioneer Descendants Search.”
Can you imagine the record that would be created if the Smiths, Pratts, Youngs, Hinckleys, Cannons, Kimballs, Littles, Snows, etc. completed their own descendants search to be combined into one great record of Utah families? Before issuing such a challenge, however, I am trying to assess the Pratt family^s collective energy level to move our own descendants search forward. To succeed, we would need to "divide and conquer." Remember the pioneer trek organization: wagon trains were organized under the direction of captains of hundreds, fifties, and tens. Are you willing to help? For example, a "captain of a 100" would take responsibility to continue the search for the descendants of a particular grandchild of Jared and Charity; a "captain of 50" would be a major helper on such as line, and a "captain of 10" would help find records out to his or her second cousins or so.
The Pratt family has a great track record of Family History firsts:
* Orson may well have been the first Utah pioneer to go to England and
systematically research the origins of his family.
* Orson was the first prominent pioneer to assist in the publication (in 1864) of a
book of descendants of his first ancestor to come to America, William Pratt of Connecticut.
* The 115 year-old Jared Pratt Family Association was the first such family
association organized in Utah.
* The Pratts were the first pioneer family to attempt to maintain a complete record
of all its descendants in a single written history. This record started in 1880 and continued until the 1930s when the great leather record book given to Orson by his children was delivered to the LDS Church Historian for safe keeping.
* Finally, the Pratts were the first of the large pioneer families to make a massive and well organized effort (with the help of hundreds of family members) to compile a record of all its descendants using the latest computer tools. When donated to the Ancestral File in 1991, I am sure that this record was the single largest collection of the descendants of one family ever contributed.
For your information, according to our records, the five Pratt brothers had 94 children, of which 58 likely have living descendants (the mortality rate among the young was very high in the 1800s). This mailing is being sent to Pratt descendants of 46 of those grandchildren. On a few lines, we are mailing to as many as thirty of you; on many lines, however, we have contact with only one, two, or three. Please don’t assume that someone
else can or will help do this work.
We are in a unique position to kick off a great effort among Utah families to find their descendants and preserve their history. If you feel we should issue this challenge to the other pioneer families, please let us know in the next two weeks how you can help. Will
you be a captain of 100, a captain of 50, or a captain of 10, or a data base compiler, phone
We look forward to hearing from you or seeing you at the March 3rd planning meeting. We need you all.
Robert J. Grow
President, Jared Pratt Family Association
9767 Little Cottonwood Place
Sandy, Utah 84092
[transcribed and proofread by David Grow, Dec. 2006]