• Jeff Alldredge joined “Seeking Sister Wife” in season one and had three children with Vanessa Thompson and four children with Sharis Alldredge.
• He had previously been married to Cynthia and had eight children with her.
• Jeff and Vanessa Thompson were looking for a third wife to join their family dynamic, but Jennifer Linnerth and Melina eventually didn’t make it.
• Donna entered the family in July 2020, but left in November 2020.
• The Alldredge family chose not to appear in season three of “Seeking Sister Wife” and are continuing to live a polygamous lifestyle in South Dakota, home-schooling their children and hosting activities like Play-Doh nights.
Jeff, Vanessa, and Sharis Alldredge captivated the viewers’ attention in “Seeking Sister Wife” seasons one and two with their unconventional polygamous lifestyle. Some fans noticed that the two women looked alike, with a similar physical shape, hair and eye color, and body language. This added an interesting aspect to the family dynamic and led to speculation about who the potential third wife may be and what she would look like. The family introduced Donna, whom Jeff later married, satisfying the audience’s curiosity a bit. But before they had time to adjust, to everyone’s dismay, Donna left the plural family.
Online discussions spiraled out of control again when fans discovered that Jeff had a family he broke ties with before the first season aired. They got even more heated when the Alldredge family declined to appear in season three with other couples. But what led to the breakdown of the family unit that seems so functional? What will happen to Jeff’s publicly known eight children and seven away from the spotlight? We studied the situation to see if we can predict how their lives may develop and if there are chances of an on-screen comeback.
- 1 Who is Jeff Alldredge and how many kids does his family have?
- 2 Jeff’s previous family
- 3 Jeff and Vanessa’s marriage
- 4 Vanessa has links to the Brown family
- 5 Failed marriage to Jennifer Linnerth
- 6 Donna enters the plural marriage and leaves in less than a year
- 7 Why didn’t the Alldredge family appear in season three?
- 8 What is the Alldredge family doing after their show exit?
Who is Jeff Alldredge and how many kids does his family have?
Jeff Alldredge joined the cast of “Seeking Sister Wife” during the first season, and stood out from other patriarchs for not showing jealousy, remaining emotionally available to his family, and being highly likable. He showed equal interest in all his wives and made sure to spend as much time in all his children’s lives.
Although the audience believed a TV show presence would give them a deeper insight into his life, he managed to keep most details to himself. The viewers learned his plural family began with his marriage to Vanessa Thompson in April 2008 and they had three children, son Dain, daughter Zahra, and son Sebastian, from oldest to youngest. He married Sharis a year later, in March 2009, forming a plural family. The two had four children while the show aired, from oldest to youngest, sons Daniel and Dalinar and daughters Misty and Serenity.
Jeff’s previous family
Before Jeff entered the family union he is known for, he was married to a woman named Cynthia and the two had eight children. However, he was already in the process of getting divorced during season one of “Seeking Sister Wife” so that fact was largely left out. Plus, the family’s Facebook post revealed that ‘Sadly that marriage is dissolving… out of respect for them we try not to talk about them.’ Additionally, his former family was uninterested in appearing in the TV show and perhaps even following his journey. Therefore, the media never got even a glimpse of his previous life or the family’s opinion on his plural marriage and eventual turmoil.
Jeff and Vanessa’s marriage
Vanessa was introduced to the audience during the TV show’s debut as Jeff’s first wife, although she was technically his second. She was a big proponent of the polygamous lifestyle because of its ability to stabilize the family dynamic. According to her, ‘Because there’s three of us, if one of us is down, there’s the other two who can step in and keep the family going and support the children.’
Vanessa didn’t shy away from the fact that she still felt jealous at times but considered it a normal human emotion. To combat the complicated feelings, she chose to view Sharis as a close friend. That way, she didn’t see her as a competitor for Jeff’s affection, time, and energy, and instead could easily ‘want the best for her, too.’
A little-known fact is that the Alldredges and the Brown family from “Sister Wives” are linked in more ways than one. First, Vanessa met Jeff at the house of Kody Brown, the star of the “Sister Wives” TV show that featured a family of four wives and 18 children. The two male family heads are long-time friends, lead the same lifestyle, and had a monthly routine of watching UFC fights at night, one of which changed Jeff’s life.
Second, Kody’s daughter with Christine, Aspyn Brown, married Vanessa’s brother Mitch Thompson in 2018 in Sandy, Utah. Although the families aren’t extremely close, they have had contact, primarily through attending the same church, and can be considered family friends. Fans speculate that the fact Aspyn and Mitch said they won’t live in a plural marriage contributed to the lowered interest in a tight family bond. Interestingly, both Sharis and Vanessa come from polygamous families, and both feared their family unit would be torn through legal prosecution since bigamy is illegal.
— John Yates (@JohnYates327) March 18, 2019
Failed marriage to Jennifer Linnerth
The Alldredge family was actively looking for a third wife to join their family dynamic during season one of “Seeking Sister Wife”. Jennifer Linnerth was someone Jeff considered marrying and including in the family as the third publicly known wife in 2019. She was from Canada and commented on a Facebook post that Sharis was interested in, which is how she noticed her. Jennifer sent the family a Facebook message introducing herself, but because they didn’t notice it, she contacted an acquaintance who told Jeff she was interested in joining the family. She claimed to have grown up in FLDS (Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints), a polygamous religious sect.
While describing herself, she told the family she was a model whose husband died a year before and wanted to quit her job at a bar and stop smoking. The family gave her a chance after a long period of texting, calling, and FaceTiming, but had suspicious about her story despite her social media profile looking credible.
Following her approval to be filmed, the family and the production network scheduled a meeting. This Niagara Falls meet-up included a picnic and ice skating, among other things, and Jeff enjoyed it in particular, raising hopes she would join the plural marriage.
WHAT WERE THE ALLDREDGES THINKING? Over the last several weeks we have heard this and many other questions about our…
Unfortunately, an apparent family emergency and several other suspicious things made the family lose trust in her. The final nail in the coffin was her claiming she had a ruptured appendix and had to go to a hospital instead of meeting the family, which they confirmed to be false. The family quickly established that the message from her sister claiming Jennifer died in the hospital was fake, too. Ultimately, her constant lying and unsuitable lifestyle ended any chances of her becoming a cast member. The family also briefly tried to make things work with a woman named Melina who stood them up at the airport.
Donna enters the plural marriage and leaves in less than a year
In July 2020, Jeff Alldredge spiritually married Donna, who brought her daughter Evelyn into the fold. Unfortunately, that led to a string of legal troubles for the family who wanted to win custody of Evelyn. At one point, Jeff revealed that the court battle began draining their family fund far too much and launched a GoFundMe campaign to let the public help.
Unfortunately, a Facebook post from the family in on 2 June 2021 crushed all hopes of a happy ending with Donna. Jeff stated that they parted ways physically in November 2020, and decided to spiritually divorce her after a lot of consideration in April 2021. They preferred not to specify why but stated they ‘had their reasons’ and ended the post with a sad emoji, signifying it was a difficult update to make.
Why didn’t the Alldredge family appear in season three?
According to their Facebook post in April 2021, the Alldredge family decided against coming back to the third season of “Seeking Sister Wife” for multiple reasons. However, the primary one is that the direction the TV show was taking didn’t match their family values. Sharis stated that the show began focusing on sex a lot more, which didn’t go hand in hand with the goals they had and the message they wanted to send.
She added that the family took their fans’ opinions seriously, too, and that many shared their displeasure with the format change, and agreed with their views. Their explanations also suggest that the show’s producers were also disinterested in renewing their contract and ‘looking for different kinds of families to feature’ and possibly didn’t even offer them a chance to return. Additionally, the family was reluctant to join to begin with, and even said no at first. However, they changed their answer giving it some thought.
The main reason for the initial rejection was Utah’s anti-bigamy laws that would bring publicity. However, Sharis decided to be brave and lead by example. She said on Facebook that ‘people don’t like what they don’t understand’, and added that it was ‘her moment [to decide] between what was right and what was easy’. She asked herself who she’d be if she turned down the opportunity to stand up for something she believes in out of fear. Agreeing to do the show would ensure her kids don’t grow up with that fear and help them understand why she chose to live a polygamous lifestyle, she realized. The family moved from Utah to South Dakota in 2019, after their on-screen run ended, and started a farm, calling the state ‘friendlier’ toward polygamists.
What is the Alldredge family doing after their show exit?
Unfortunately, the Alldredge family did not keep updating their fans about their daily lives. However, social media posts provide enough insight into their activities. Most importantly, they home-school their kids and are all still devoted to their faith, Apostolic United Brethren (AUB), although only in private. The religion stems from the Council of Friends that has origins in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
Vanessa has been sharing Instagram updates, showing her interest in explaining the Alldredge family history and future to their fans. She also went to the beach wearing a one-piece swimsuit in 2019, shortly after the filming ended, despite dressing very modestly in the show. The two wives continue to share cooking recipes and images and videos of their children having fun preparing food, especially Daniel. The family also hosts Play-Doh nights, where kids form foods out of colorful clay and the parents judge their creations. They also share updates about money-making in a large family, such as creating custom furniture.
Jeff has also been diligent at sharing physical activities he does alone and with his wives and children, including woodworking, yoga, fishing, kayaking, skiing, and biking. He sprinkles in enthralling children’s interests such as Daniel’s devotion to wrestling and gymnastics, and incidents such as him breaking his arm on 1 July 2019. He also updates the fan base with additions to their farm, such as expanding their garden plot, planting their vegetable garden, welcoming baby goats, and getting two kittens, Penny and Yahtzee, in August 2019.
Additionally, they share important news. For instance, in October 2020, over a year after they last appeared on TV, Sharis and Jeff announced that she was pregnant and the birth was due in February 2021. In April of that year, they revealed their baby daughter Chloe Chloe Vienna Esther Alldredge was born recently.