Merlin Blackmore was born on the same day as two of his brothers but they are not triplets. The three boys share a father but have different mothers and this is only the start of their very unusual story.
The world’s largest polygamist family
Merlin is one of the many sons of Winston Blackmore. Winston is the patriarch of the world’s largest polygamous family, based in Bountiful, British Columbia, Canada. Winston, along with a very large family, lives on a massive property in BC.
He’s had 27 wives over the years, 22 of which he’s had kids with, and 16 that remain with him today.
At one stage the Blackmores were part of the Fundamental Church of the Latter-Day Saints (run by child sexual assault offender Warren Jeffs who is currently serving a life sentence in prison). Eventually, the Blackmores split to form their own religious cult which includes Merlin and his 149 siblings.
Yes. 150 kids. Born to 22 different mums over 43 years.
Merlin and his siblings have grown up in Bountiful, which basically only consisted of the Blackmore family and another polygamist family. There are a whole lot of legal issues involved in both of these churches and considering polygamy isn’t okay in Canada, you can imagine the dramas this would have caused.
However, Merlin doesn’t go into the illegal and unorthodox elements of his upbringing. Instead, he focuses on what life was like with so many siblings and answers plenty of questions people have on his TikTok account, @MagikMerlin.
‘I’ve wanted to talk about this for years’
For most of his life, Merlin and his siblings didn’t speak about their upbringing and being raised in a huge polygamous cult. It wasn’t until 2020 that Merlin, then 19, and two of his brothers, Warren, then 21 and Muray, then 19, decided to share their stories on TikTok.
Merlin lives in the US now and said, “’I’ve wanted to talk about this for years. Now I’m in a position I can, the world is going to know.”
Merlin has since posted dozens of videos highlighting life in a cult.
Two mums per household plus a motel house for teens
Merlin and his brother Warren explain that the housing situation was definitely a bit strange. Basically, the property consists of several houses, which seem like pretty average homes. In each house, there would be two mums and their kids, one mum and her kids on the top floor, and one on the bottom floor.
When the kids became teens, they would move to a “motel house” together.
For food, the Blackmores grew most of it themselves including potatoes, corn, and tomatoes. The kids also helped farm the land and, it would appear they sold their produce as a way to pay for the upkeep of the children.
Birthday guest lists for 150 children
Now, with 150 siblings, you’d expect that you’d be celebrating a birthday pretty much every second day. Merlin has said they have a birthday 51/52 weeks a year.
But not everyone attended every birthday party. Parties were more for just your true biological siblings and closest half-sibling friends that were closest to you in age.
In terms of Christmas and Easter, each biological family would celebrate together. We’re assuming the dad would just go around to every household, perhaps for an hour each. On New Year, the 150 siblings and 27 wives would all get together for a massive party.
Their own school
The Blackmores had their own school in Bountiful, which was run by Merlin’s father.
Merlin’s brother, Muray, however, left the family school in his final year and went to a public high school. It’s here he learned about his own polygamist family in a law lesson.
During my last year of high school, I went to a public school nearby in my nearest town and I signed up for a law class And I’m there, minding my own business, doing my law s**t, and we come across this chapter about polygamy.
There is an entire section in the law book about my family. And everybody knows I’m from that family. So yeah, I learned about it too.”
Crazy, right? Here are a few more facts we’ve uncovered from Merlin and Muray’s TikTok tales:
- Merlin called his mum “mum.” Well, probably “mom” cause they are Canadian. But, anyhow, Merlin had a “mom” and then all the other “mothers” were known as “mother” followed by their first name. So like Mother Sally. Mother Carol. Mother Jane. You get the drift.
- Merlin was born in 2001 as were 11 other children. Three were born on the same day as him. Every child born in that year has an M name.
- Children born the year above have an R name. Children the year before that? – a W name. This continued every year. We’re not sure if, once they hit the 26th letter, they just restarted or what.
- Merlin has eight full siblings – these are the children he lived with in the same house.
- NONE of the 150 children are multiples. However, plenty of the kids were born on the same day to different mothers, including six all born on the same day in September.
- Merlin’s first sibling was born in 1976 and the final child was born in 2019. There were a few years in between that Winston and his many wives didn’t have any children, but, for the most part, they were breeding several babies every year.
- Out of the 150 children, 78 are females and 72 are male.
- Merlin’s brother, Jared, passed away from suicide in 2020.
It would appear many of Merlin’s siblings have since left the cult to start their own lives and Merlin still keeps in touch with quite a few of them. You can follow more of their fascinating story over at @MagikMerlin.
@magikmerlin My family pictures over the last few years. #polygamy #famof150 #brothers #sisters #blackmore #fyp #foryoupage #foryou ♬ Whatcha Say – Jason Derulo