Thursday, June 5, 2014

Sylvia Porter Sessions Lyon (Smith) Clark - wife #8

Sylvia Sessions (31 July, 1818 - 12 April, 1882) and her parents converted to Mormonism and left Maine for Missouri in 1837. Sylvia married Windsor Lyon, with whom she would have three children, all of which would die in infancy or childhood. Joseph Smith officiated the marriage. The young couple moved to Nauvoo in 1839 and by the beginning of 1842 Sylvia had joined the secret ranks of Joseph's plural wives.

Sylvia remained with Windsor, who likely did not known of his wife's polygamy.

Within about a month of burying her last surviving child with Windsor, she had a fourth child, Josephine Rosetta Lyon, whom she later claimed was the daughter of Joseph. The results of DNA testing are not available to confirm or discredit Sylvia's claim.

Josephine could be Joseph's. Her nose resemble's Sylvia's 
but her eyes and especially her mouth look more like Joseph's.
Her jaw looks appears to be a nice genetic compromise between the two.

Six years later Sylvia married Ezekiel Clark. They eventually moved to Utah.

With Sylvia's marriage to Joseph we encounter the same problem as seen with other marriages: Sylvia was not an eligible virgin and Emma had probably not given her consent to the marriage. However, this might be the rare marriages that might have actually produced "seed" unto dear Joseph.


  1. The latest DNA tests using autosomal DNA indicates that Josephine is the biological daughter of Windsor Lyon. This information was presented at the latest MHA conference just this June. The DNA evidence does not prove that Joseph Smith was not having sex with Sylvia, but does make it a lot less likely.

    1. Very interesting. Why does it have to be either Joseph was having sex with her or wasn't? If Sylvia has suspicions that Josephine was Joseph's, wouldn't that indicated that she and Joseph were likely had sex even if Josephine was from Windsor?

    2. I don't understand your first question. Maybe you did not phrase it the way it came out. That is an either/or question. Either Joseph was having sexual relations with Sylvia or he wasn't. It is not evident from the little that we have that such was the case. Sylvia was sealed to Joseph Smith twice. The first one was done privately before Josephine was born, which would make her the eternal daughter of Joseph. The second sealing was done publicly after Joseph's death and no one supposed until Sylvia's revelation that Josephine was born under the covenant of the first sealing.

    3. I understood the question perfectly well. If Sylvia thought her daughter was Joseph's, obviously she had her reasons, AKA, they were banging.