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Patty Bartlett Sessions AKA: "Mother Sessions" was born 4 February 1795 in Bethel, Oxford County, Maine, United States to Enoch Bartlett (1742-1825) and Martha Anna Hall (1768-1868) and died 14 December 1892 Bountiful, Davis County, Utah, United States of unspecified causes. She married David Sessions (1790-1850) 28 June 1812 in Newry, Oxford County, Maine. She married Joseph Smith (1805-1844) 9 March 1842 in Nauvoo, Hancock County, Illinois. She married John Parry (1789-1868) 14 December 1851 in Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, Utah.


Patty Bartlett Sessions AKA: "Mother Sessions" was a Mormon midwife. She was one of the wives of Joseph Smith (1805-1844) while still married to her first husband, David Sessions (1790-1850).

She was the mother of Perrigrine Sessions, founder of Bountiful, Utah. She is best known for her diaries, which recorded the daily activities of the Latter Day Saints during the first year of the Mormon migration to Utah, and the earliest days of their settlement there. These diaries document the physical, social, and religious circumstances of the settlers, especially of the women, and are frequently cited by historians. Her records are also a primary source of birth records in the LDS community during this period, and are highly prized for documenting almost 4,000 births.

Mormon Midwife

David’s mother was in the habit of attending obstetrical cases in the vicinity; she was feeble and had to be in bed. A called came to David’s mother to come quickly to a young woman who had suddenly taken ill and thought to be dying. So, Patty, totally unskilled filled in for her mother-in-law. Patty with her abundant nerve force and moral courage delivered the baby and the mother survived. A doctor who checked the baby and mother later was so impressed with the job Patty had preformed that he encouraged her to continue in the business, four months later she delivered another baby and from that time on she followed the profession of midwifery.

LDS Church First Relief Society

Twenty women gathered for the first Relief Society meeting on March 17, 1842, and at the second meeting, President Emma Hale Smith taught the women “to promote union in this society” and encouraged all those who wished to join.1 Counselors Sarah Marietta Kingsley Howe Cleveland (1788–1856) and Elizabeth Ann Smith Whitney (1800–1882) and secretary Eliza Roxcy Snow (1804–1887) contributed to the society’s inclusive and welcoming spirit. By the fifth meeting, held on April 19, 1842, there were 158 members, including Lucy Mack Smith (1775–1856), Elizabeth Davis Goldsmith Brackenbury Durfee (1791–1876), Martha “Patty” Bartlett Sessions (1795–1892), Abigail Calkins Leonard (1795–1880), and others who participated in discussion, testimony, and service.


Extract from Patty's obituary =

Sister Session drove her own team 1030 miles, arriving in Salt Lake valley Sept. 28th, 1847. … She has assisted liberally in the building of temples, done much to send the Gospel to the nations of the earth, and gather the poor, has been a strict observer of the Word of Wisdom, not have dunk tea or coffee for over forty years. … She was ever a true and faithful Latter-day Saint, diligent and persevering, her whole soul, and all she possessed being devoted to the Church and the welfare of mankind. She has gone to her grave ripe in years, loved and respected by all who knew her.

Marriage and Family

June 1860 Diary

A June 1860 handwritten entry the diary of Patty Sessions reported she was sealed “for eternity”:

Patty Bartlett daughter of Enoch and Anne Bartlett was born February 4 1795 Bethel Mane/ and was married to David Session June 28th 1812 who was the son of David and Rachel Sessions, he was born April the 4th 1790 Veshire Vermont I was Batpised into the church of Jesus Christ of later day saints/ July 2 1834 Mr Sessions was Baptised Aug 1735 we received our we received our endowment Dec 16 1845 in Nauvoo. … I was sealed to Joseph Smith by Willard Richards March 9 1842 in Newel K Whitneys chamber Nauvoo for Eternity and I and if I do not live to attend to it myself when there is a place prepared I want some one to attend to it for me according to order Sylvia my daughter/ was present when I was sealed to Joseph Smith.I was after Mr. Sessions death sealed to John Parry senior for time on the 27 of March 1852 G[reat] S[alt] L. City.

1st Marriage: David Sessions

David married seventeen year old Patty Bartlett on June 28, 1812, against her parents opposition. The young couple moved ten miles away to his parent’s home in Ketcham. With David’s mother needing constant care, Patty found herself in constant care of the household. Here Patty stumbled into midwifery quite by accident.

2nd Marriage: Joseph Smith

In the 1860 Diary entry above Patty states that she was sealed “for eternity” to Joseph Smith This is similar to the language found in other eternity-only (not for time) sealings. Seven years later, Patty signed an affidavit providing much of the same information:

3rd Marriage: John Parry


Offspring of David Sessions III and Patty Bartlett (1795-1892)
Name Birth Death Joined with
Perrigrine Sessions (1814-1893) 15 June 1814 Newry, Oxford County, Maine, United States 3 June 1893 Bountiful, Davis County, Utah, United States
Sylvanus Sessions (1816-1832)
Sylvia Porter Sessions (1818-1882) 31 July 1818 Newry, Oxford County, Maine, United States 12 April 1882 Bountiful, Davis County, Utah, United States Windsor Palmer Lyon (1809-1849) Joseph Smith (1805-1844) Windsor Palmer Lyon (1809-1849) Joseph Smith (1805-1844) Ezekiel Clark (1817-1898)
Anna B Sessions (1820-1824)
David Sessions (1823-1896)
Anna B Sessions (1825-1832)
Bartlett Sessions (1827-1828)
Amanda D Sessions (1837-1841)
Athelson Sessions (1841-1842)

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Footnotes (including sources)