Teenager Merlin Blackmore had a different upbringing to most, inside a family of 150 and his dad’s 27 wives.
Merlin, 19, was born into ‘Canada’s largest’ polygamist family and opened up about his childhood on TikTok.
The teen, and his two brothers, Muray, 19 and Warren, 21, are the sons of 64-year-old Winston Blackmore, who lives in a huge polygamous family in Bountiful, British Columbia.
Merlin’s oldest brother is 44, while his youngest is an infant and only one.
Merlin, speaking on his TikTok account, @merlins.life, revealed he tried to hide his childhood but has decided to speak out.
He said: “I’ve wanted to talk about this for years. Now I’m in a position I can, the world is going to know.”
The family was so large they had their own school, and the teenagers lived in a ‘motel house’ instead of their mothers.
Each child referred to their biological mother as “mum”, and called the rest of their 27 mums ‘Mother’ followed by their first name.
Only 22 of the 27 wives had children with Winston, and 16 of those women remain married to him.
Older brother Warren said: “Typically there would be two mums and their kids per house, one on the top floor and one on the bottom.”
He added: “There was two groups of three different sisters and there was four groups of four different sisters from another family. “
Merlin says he is a ‘triplet’ born on the same day as two other family members to different mothers. Murray had 12 siblings with the same birth year, all who have a name beginning with the letter ‘M’.
Large gatherings like thanksgiving parties or family reunions were held in a huge hall with the entire family attending.
Warren said: “Me and Merlin are full brothers and actually best friends. And then Murray we grew up in the exact same house and did everything together, our moms are sisters.
“Instead of hating each other like a lot of siblings do, we build each other up and we let each other know we could do whatever we put our minds too.”
The family would grow their own food and kids would help with farming duties.
Merlin also said he supported and tried to win the approval of his dad for years but the pair are no longer in touch.
In 2017, Winston Blackmore was charged with practising plural or ‘celestial’ marriage in the fundamentalist community and sentenced to six months house arrest.
All three of the borders have now left the community and remain on good terms with their siblings.