LDS Church Records Class Handout

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Courtesy of Jill Shoemaker, Riverton Family History Library

Why Search Records of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?[edit | edit source]

There are many LDS Church records to study as you try to find information about an LDS ancestor. Some reasons to look at these records are:

To verify and document what is already known about an ancestor.
To add new or missing genealogical information about an ancestor.
To findnew individuals in your ancestral family.
To write a history about an LDS ancestor.
To learn more about the immigration, migration, and role in settling an LDS town of an ancestor.
To learn what LDS ordinances have already been completed for an individual and what more needs to be done.

Survey Secondary Sources[edit | edit source]

  • Before looking at the original LDS church records of an ancestor find out what is already known about an ancestor. You need to know a place where the ancestor lived and at least an approximate time period when the ancestor lived there to be able to search for them in LDS church records.
  • Ask family and extended family what stories, pictures, or other information they may have about an LDS ancestor.
  • The Ancestral File, Pedigree Resource File, and International Genealogical Index (IGI) are at FamilySearch.org. Go to FamilySearch.org, click on “Search” at the top, and then click on “Genealogies.” Remember—information from Ancestral File, Pedigree Resource File, and IGI is not always accurate and will need to be verified.
  • Do a Google search for an LDS ancestor to find out what information about that ancestor has been placed online—again be certain to verify any information you might find online about an ancestor.
  • Gather geographical and historical information such as Church unit boundaries (branch, ward, stake, or mission) by searching gazetteers, church history, and FamilySearch Wiki before you begin searching records. This can save time and effort by focusing research in the correct place and time.

Family History Library[edit | edit source]

  • The Family History Library has more the 40,000 microfilms and hundreds of microfiche containing information about people who were members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints or who have received LDS ordinances by proxy. These records include:
Baptisms

Marriage records
Biographies
Immigration/Migration records
Blessings of babies
Missionary records'
Church census records
Confirmation records
Priesthood records

Temple Endowments
Temple Sealings
Ordinance index
LDS Church history
Ward, branch, stake, and mission histories
Biographical collections and individual biographies
Periodicals
Family histories

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Church History Library[edit | edit source]

The Church History Library has a multitude of records to help research an LDS ancestor who was a member from the 1830s to the present.

The collection includes:[edit | edit source]

  • Church history books and articles;
  • Biographies and autobiographies;
  • LDS membership records;
  • Minutes to Sacrament meetings, Priesthood meetings, Relief Society meetings, and others;
  • Pictures of people and historical buildings;
  • Periodicals, letters and journals of early church members;
  • Mission and missionary information;
  • Patriarchal Blessings - How to request a copy
  • Many other interesting items;
You can look at the online catalog by clicking here.

The address for the Church History Library is 15 East North Temple Street, Salt Lake City, Utah. To get the most out of visiting the Church History Library, see the General LDS Church History Research Guide and the LDS Family History Research Guide.

Journal History[edit | edit source]

The Church History Library houses the Journal History, compiled by Andrew Jenson, a day-by-day history of the Church from 1830 to present day taken mostly from newspapers, but also from some minutes and diary entries. It is arranged by date, with the page numbers restarting with each date. It contains valuable historical and biographical data. It may contain information about when a pioneer arrived in Utah, when a bishop was called, or when a ward or stake was organized. To see the index to the Journal History, click on Journal History of the Church.

Historical Geography for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints[edit | edit source]

The following resources give background information about LDS ward and stakes, to help find where your LDS ancestor resided so LDS Church records for that location can be found and searched.

  • Andrew Jenson, Encyclopedic History of the Church, a searchable version at BYU Harold Lee Library Digital Collections. This book gives the creation dates and boundaries or LDS ward and stakes through 1930 and original settlement names along with brief histories of the early wards and branches. It covers Utah and the mountain west in great detail, and other places in a more general way. It is indexed in the Early Church Information File.
  • Jill Anderson Ward, LDS Place Names Gazetteer, Family History Library book 289.3 W213L or film 1059499, item 5. Many obsolete ward and branch names are given with their new names in this book which includes many references not found in the Encyclopedic History of the Church.
  • Andrew Jenson, Church Chronology: Click here. This book lists the establishment dates of new wards.
  • Laureen R. Jaussi and Gloria D. Chaston, Register of Genealogical Society Call Numbers (2 volumes, call #979.2258 A3j v1). Volume I contains call numbers for gazetteers and maps, international genealogical index (IGI) supplements, Temple records index bureau (TIB), family group records and pedigree charts, and temple recorders records, and Volume II (979.2258 A3j v2) contains reference books, indexes, biographical records, vital records, and film numbers of LDS church records of membership.

Early Church Information File[edit | edit source]

  • The Early Church Information File is an alphabetical index of individuals containing about 1,500,000 entries from over 1,200 sources about Latter-day Saints and their neighbors. It quickly identifies useful sources, identifies possible family connections, helps find birth, marriage, and death information, finds the names of an ancestor's relatives, locates individuals in specific geographical area, and contains useful biographical information.
  • The Early Church Information File has been digitized and can be browsed at FamilySearch.org. Click here. The digitized record is divided into alphabetical groups and is easy to search.
  • Several major indexes are referenced in the Early Church Information File. Some of these sources include:
    • Mormons and Their Neighbors (digitized version at BYU Harold Lee Library Digital Collections)
    • Guide to Mormon Diaries and Autobiographies,
    • Membership of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (1830-1848) available online at Ancestry.com
    • Mormon Manuscripts to 1846
    • Nauvoo Temple Endowment Register, and
    • Genealogical Surveys of LDS members : Autobiographies and Ancestors (34 volumes, at FHL).
  • Also indexed in the Early Church Information File are the records of Living Endowments that took place from December 1845 to February 1846 and Sealings to Spouse and Parents from January through February 1846 in the original Nauvoo Temple. These records are available at the Family History Library on Films #183371 and 183372 and fiche #103397.
  • The sources covered in the Early Church Information File are from the 1830s to the middle 1900s and include records of Latter-day Saint membership records; ward, family, and local histories; journals; biographies; priesthood and missionary records; periodicals; cemetery records; immigration records; and western states marriages. It does not include every name mentioned in all sources about Latter-day Saints, every membership record, or information on living people. It does not include every large LDS index such as the Scandinavian LDS Mission Index, the Obituary Card Index, the Journal History, the Membership Card Index, or the Patriarchal Blessing Index.

Family Group Records Collection[edit | edit source]

Family Group records have been submitted to the Church either for temple work or filing since 1924. The collection is arranged alphabetically by the name of the father of the family. These records can be used to identify previous research done on an ancestor, but will need to be verified using original records.

Patron Section (1924 – 1979)[edit | edit source]

The Patron Section has three million records submitted for filing only. These are on microfilm and can be found by typing “Family Group Records Collection Patron Section” in the Title search of the FamilySearch Catalog.

Archive Section (1942-1969)[edit | edit source]

The Archive Section has five million family group records submitted for proxy temple work and includes temple ordinance dates on the family group records. This collection has been digitized and can be browsed at FamilySearch.org. The collection is divided by first letter of the surname. (You will need to be signed in to view the collection.)

Emigration and Immigration:[edit | edit source]

In the early years of the Church, all members were exhorted to gather to Zion. Records of those who immigrated may contain births, marriages, and deaths that occurred during the migration. Sources for the voyages on the seas include:

  • (Note: Migration of LDS Immigrants from Europe began as early as 1840, when the gospel was first preached there, and lasted to the early 1900s.)

Early Church Information File indexes many LDS migration sources:[edit | edit source]

  • Worldwide LDS Ship Register (1840-1913)
  • Mormons on the High Seas: Ocean Voyage Narratives to America (1840-1890)
  • Mormon Pioneer Companies Crossing the Plains (1847-1868)
  • Church Almanac.
  • Ships, Saints, And Mariners: A Maritime Encyclopedia of Mormon Migration, 1830-1890 / by Conway B. Sonne; foreword by Leonard J. Arrington. Available through the Salt Lake County Library System.
  • Mormon Migration (1840-1932) includes passenger lists, general information about the voyage to America, and journals kept by various individuals during the voyage.

Sources for the trek across the United States include:[edit | edit source]

  • Mormon Pioneer Companies Crossing the Plains (1847-1868)
  • Index to the Deseret News Weekly 1850–1900, by Andrew Jenson. This indexes several immigrant rosters not available elsewhere. The full citation is in Latter-day Saint Newspapers.
  • Mormon Pioneer Overland Travel, which gives rosters for the various companies coming west, as well as journal entries and newspaper articles the give details of the individual treks.
  • See the Wiki article Latter-day Saint Emigration and Immigration.

Perpetual Emigration Fund (PEF), 1849 – 1887.[edit | edit source]

This is an index to members who borrowed money from the PEF for emigration. Related records include ledgers, promissory notes, lists of indebtedness, etc. Notations in records may list all family members’ names who emigrated and sporadically other important information such as death date or place of residence. There are a few of these records at the Family History Library, but most of them are kept at the Church History Library.

Pioneers and Prominent Men of Utah[edit | edit source]

Has been digitized and can be found at FamilySearch.org. You can also view the digitized version the California Digital Library‎. This book has thousands of pictures and biographies of male pioneers.

Daughters of Utah Pioneers[edit | edit source]

  • This organization has gathered about 100,000 pioneer histories and thousands of photos, and copies of these histories and photos are available. It is easy to search the history card index and the photograph index online. The main DUP museum is located at 300 North Main Street, Salt Lake City, Utah, and there are DUP museums and organizations scattered in towns throughout Utah, Idaho, Nevada, and Wyoming with valuable information and artifacts.
  • The Sons of the Utah Pioneers also keeps histories of pioneers at their website.
  • Women of Faith and Fortitude, by the International Society Daughters of Utah Pioneers, is a four volume set filled with thousands of pictures and biographies of female pioneers. A set of this work can be found at the Riverton FamilySearch Library. It is also available at the Family History Library, call #979 D36p.

LDS Membership Records[edit | edit source]

LDS Membership Records are available from 1830 to the present. They include records of names, birthplace, birth date, names of parents, spouses, and children, baptisms and confirmations, blessings of babies, marriages, deaths, priesthood ordinations, tithes and offerings, and movement in and out of wards. The Family History Library has membership records through 1948. The Church History Library has additional membership records of 1949-1983. The earliest official LDS Church membership records from 1830 to 1870 were kept in bound books of plain paper provided by the clerk himself. Information that was recorded could include baptisms and confirmations, blessings of babies, marriages, deaths, priesthood ordinations, tithes and offerings, and emigrants. Most of the early records are not indexed and not all of them have survived.

Since 1877 the Church has prepared printed books to record membership information. The Long Book, which was about four feet wide (long) when opened, was used from 1877 to1900. In the 1870s many members were rebaptized to renew their covenants. The long book format was created to record these rebaptisms and reconfirmations. These records were indexed and included the following information: name; birth date and place; parents’ names; date of baptism, confirmation, rebaptism, reconfirmation, priesthood ordinations; date the person was received into and removed from the ward; death date; and remarks.

From 1900 to 1920 a three-part form was used. Part I recorded baptized members and gave each member’s name, birth date and place, parents’ names, date of baptism and confirmation, and by whom performed, membership record numbers, and remarks, which often include arrival, removal, and death. Part II recorded priesthood ordinations and included the name, date of ordination, to what office, by whom, and reference to the membership number where this person can be found in part I, and remarks. Part III recorded children who had not yet been baptized. It listed the name of the child, date and place of birth, parents’ names, date of blessing and by who blessed, and remarks.

From 1920 to 1941 the box type of form was used. Four to six boxes were printed on each page. The index in the front showed the number assigned to the box rather than being a page number. Each box had a space for the member’s name, sex, date and place of birth, parents’ names, dates of blessing, baptism, and confirmation and by who performed, dates of priesthood ordinations and office, and by who performed, date of death, arrivals and removals, spouse’s name, marriage date and place, and whether it was a civil or temple ceremony.

Starting in 1941 each member’s record was kept on an individual card. When a member left the ward, the card was returned to Church headquarters and then, upon request, sent to the member’s new Church unit. These records are not available for research. If the member died, however, the card was placed in the Deceased Members File.

Since the mid-1970s the computerized membership records have been kept the United States and Canada. To view your membership record, contact your ward clerk.

Annual Reports E or Form 42FP (1907 – 1983) The Church began using these forms in 1907 and kept them concurrently with the membership records. These forms only include entries about people who were blessed, baptized, ordained to priesthood offices, sent or returned from missions, married, divorced, or died during the year. Form E was used by stakes and Form 42FP was used in the mission field. Form 42FP included yearly sections for members who immigrated to Zion and full-time missionaries who worked in the area during the years from 1911 to 1962. You must search the Annual Genealogical Reports year by year because they are not indexed. In the FamilySearch Catalog, do a “keyword” search typing in “annual report form e.”

Deceased Members File[edit | edit source]

Since 1941 when a Church member has died, the ward clerk sent the person’s membership record to the Presiding Bishop’s Office, where it is placed in the Deceased Members File. The Membership Department keeps these records for ten years. After ten years the Membership Department transfers the names to the Church History Library.

If the person died between 1941 and 1988, search the microfilms titled Deceased Membership Records, 1941 to 1988 at the Family History Library. These films are not circulated to Family History Centers and photocopies are not allowed. However, you may transcribe the information by hand. The microfilms are also available at the Church History Library.

If the person died after 1988, and the Church has proof of the person’s death, the Membership Department will provide birth, marriage, baptism, priesthood ordination, endowment, and sealing information.

The Historian's Office record of members: known as the*"Minnie Margetts" file or The Membership Card Index. This card file indexes most, but not all, early English branch records 1839-1913, arranged alphabetically by surname (women may be listed under their maiden or married names). Cards may give: name, date and place of birth, parent's names, date and place of baptism, by who baptized priesthood ordinations, residence, emigration and remarks. Film #415443 gives a list of the branches indexed, which include a few church units outside of England.

Temple Records[edit | edit source]

Temple records were created to document completed ordinances and these records sometime show important clues about LDS Church members and their ancestors that cannot be found in other records. This includes the names, birth dates, and birthplaces of parents, grandparents, and other relatives. By looking at temple records, you can verify information about an endowment, sealing to parents, and sealing to spouse.

Temple records are accurate registers of most ordinance dates but baptism dates on temple records may be wrong if the person who provided the date gave it from memory. Be sure to verify baptism dates found in temple records with membership records. If you have multiple ordinance dates for the same individual, you may wish to use the earliest date that can be verified in an original membership or temple record. You can list subsequent ordinances in you research notes.

About 75 percent of temple records have no restrictions and microfilms of these records can be viewed at the Family History Library and at Family History Centers. You can find film numbers for original temple records in the Subject Search of the FamilySearch Catalog under: TEMPLE RECORDS [TEMPLE]. Then look for the ordinances you want to check.

Only about 20 percent of temple records are restricted, especially those records that include information about living people. Restricted temple microfilms can only be viewed in the Special Collections room in the Family History Library and do not circulate to Family History Centers. To use the Special Collections room Latter-day Saints must have a current temple recommend (a limited use temple recommend is also approved) or a letter from their Bishop stating they are a member in good standing.

  • Restricted temple records include the Endowment Index (TIB), Proxy Sealings to Spouse (Pre-1940's), Proxy Sealings to Parents (Pre-1940's), Proxy Sealings to Spouse and to Parents (1940's–1969), Living Sealing to Spouse Records (1841–1996), Living Sealings to Parents Records (1846, 1877–1996), and Living Endowments (1845-present).
  • Temple ordinances done for the deceased since the 1970s have been added to FamilySearch Family Tree at FamilySearch.org.

Endowment Index, 1846-1970 (Temple Records Index Bureau (TIB))[edit | edit source]

The Endowment Index, 1846-1970 or Temple Records Index Bureau (TIB) is an index of 3,081 films containing the names of over 30 million people who received their endowments in life or by proxy from 1842 to 1970. It also serves as an index to the Family Group Records Collection Archive Section because it supplies some children's parents' names. The Endowment Index is available on films in the Special Collections room at the Family History Library and only to LDS Church members with temple recommends.

Missionary Records[edit | edit source]

Missionary records provide information about a member’s missionary service. They also provide some genealogical information. Information in the film index includes name of missionary, birth date and place, parents’ names, home ward and stake, date set apart, name of person performing setting apart, mission, reference to missionary records, and sometimes release date. The Missionary Record Index, 1830-1971, is available at the Family History Library on films #1913079 through 1913102.

Priesthood Records[edit | edit source]

In the early days of the Church, only adult males were ordained to the Aaronic or Melchizedek priesthood. Priesthood holders meet with other members holding the same priesthood office in a group called a quorum. Each priesthood quorum record may show the member’s birth date, birthplace, parents, baptism, confirmation, ordination, and when they moved in or out of the quorum. Originals and microfilms of priesthood records and quorum minutes are available only at the Church History Library.

Only a few priesthood quorum records are indexed. The Early Church Information indexes selected quorum records for seventies and high priests before 1876. To find priesthood ordination information about an ancestor, look for individual certificates given to the priesthood holder, LDS Church census records, Church membership records, Deceased Members File, early Temple Records, and missionary records. Priesthood records are available only at the Church History Library. One online collection that can be found at World Vital Records is the Seventy Quorum Membership, 1835-1846.

Priesthood Line of Authority[edit | edit source]

These records are usually found in the personal records of a Melchizedek priesthood holder. The lineages may have been prepared by the members themselves, or by the Historical Department at the request of the priesthood holder. Once the priesthood lineage is traced to a General Authority, use the 1976 Church Almanac (FHL book 289.305 D457) to determine the rest of the line. If an Apostle was ordained after 1976 use the current Church Almanac. If you wish to request your priesthood line of authority, include your full legal name, birth date, membership record, the name of the individual who ordained you to the office of elder or high priest (if known), and your return address and telephone number or email address. Send your request to:

Priesthood Line of Authority
Global Service Center
120 North 200 West
Salt Lake City, Utah 84103-1514

Or send an email to lineofauthority@ldschurch.org with PLA in the subject line. In return you’ll receive a form to fill out and return. See the June 2013 Ensign article “Members Can Request Priesthood Line of Authority”.

Patriarchal Blessing Records[edit | edit source]

A patriarchal blessing is a blessing given to members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints by an ordained patriarch. Included with the blessing is the person’s complete name, birth date, birthplace, and parents’ names. When requesting a patriarchal blessing, always check for women under both their maiden and married names. Some early Saints had more than one blessing.

You may request copies of patriarchal blessings for yourself, your spouse, a direct line descendant, or a deceased direct line ancestor. To obtain a copy of a patriarchal blessing, go to LDS.org. There is no charge.

Periodicals[edit | edit source]

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has published periodicals since 1832. These serials often contain notices of births, deaths and removals of families. Periodicals also provide obituaries, biographical sketches, and historical information that may help you in your family history research. Most Church periodicals are available in the Church History Library.

The periodicals that are indexed in Early Church Information File have been digitized by BYU Digital Collections—Mormon Publications: 19th and 20th Centuries.

  • Evening and Morning Star (1832 – 1833, MO) (1833 – 1834, OH)
  • Messenger and Advocate (1834 – 1837, OH)
  • Times and Seasons (1839 – 1846, IL)
  • Millennial Star (1840 – 1970, England)
  • LDS Church Periodical Index (1976-present)

LDS Church Census[edit | edit source]

Searching the LDS Church censuses is one of the easiest ways to locate in what ward or branch an ancestor lived and what time period they lived at that location, so that the family’s church records and other types of civil records may searched to learn more about them.

In the winter of 1852–1853 the bishops of Utah took a type of church census. Although it is incomplete, this names the head of each family alphabetically and lists which ward they attended. It is indexed in the Early Church Information File and has been digitized. Go to FamilySearch.org, click on “Search,” and click on “Books.” Type in the title Registry of Names of Persons Residing in the Various Wards as to Bishops’ Reports, 1852-1853 and click on the book to view it.

The Church took censuses to track members and Church growth throughout the world. The first Church wide census was taken in 1914. Beginning in 1920, the Church took a census every five years until 1960, except 1945. These census records were compiled into 651 films and labeled Church Census Records, 1914-1950. They are arranged alphabetically by the name of the head of the household. There is a supplement for cards sent in late.

The 1914, 1920, 1925, 1930 and 1935 church censuses were microfilmed together and can be found on films #025708 through #245307 and supplemental films #367404 through # 367412. The information for each of these years included each family in a ward or branch, each person in the household, gender, age, priesthood office, and marital status.

  • In addition to the basic information, the 1914 church census shows the geographical region where each person was born; the family’s address; the name of the ward or branch, stake, or mission the person attended; and date of the census.
  • The 1920 church census added the maiden name of married women, the year of birth of each person, and the Church auxiliaries each person attended.
  • The 1925 church census included the complete birth date and the columns for auxiliaries were deleted.
  • The 1930 church census added the exact place of birth. Cards for Kentucky, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, and parts of Maryland also provide the baptism date and place and the name of the person who performed the baptism.
  • The 1935 church census added the previous ward or branch the family attended.
  • The 1940 Church Census, found on films #367353 through #367400 (including supplemental) and missions on films #245308 through #245313, added the family’s previous street address, and the date when the family moved to their present address.
  • No church census was taken in 1945 because of World War II.
  • The 1950 church census is on films #271409 through #380122. The 1955 and 1960 church censuses were microfilmed together on films #427814 through #471656. These censuses show the same information as the 1940 census.

If you cannot find a family on a Church census try looking for variant spellings of the surname, for the wife as the head of household, and check the supplemental films. Be aware that some Church units did not participate and the census taker may have missed the family.

Internet Sites with LDS Information[edit | edit source]

  • Ancestry.com—(can be used at anyFamilySearch Library for free)—At the ancestry homepage, scroll to the bottom of the “Search” tab and click on “Card Catalog.” Type “LDS” into the keyword box and click on “Search.” Also follow the same procedure but type “Utah” in the title box and click on “Search.” There are many records listed pertaining to LDS ancestry.
Collections include An Enduring Legacy, Daughters of Utah Pioneers and Their Mothers, Daughters of Utah Pioneers Obituary Scrapbook, Early history of Duchesne County : preserved by the Duchesne Chapter of the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers, From Kirtland to Salt Lake City, Heart Throbs of the West, Vol. I-XII, by Kate Carter, History of the LDS Church, 1830-1930, LDS Biographical Encyclopedia, LDS Member Name Index, 1830-45, Latter-day Saint Military Records, 1840-47, LDS Redress Petition Listing, 1843, Memories that live : Utah County centennial history, Monuments to Courage: a history of Beaver County, Nauvoo, Illinois Tax Index, 1842, Our strip of land : a history of Daggett County, Utah, Pioneer Immigrants to Utah Territory, Sons of the Utah Pioneers: Biography Files (A-Z); Sons of the Utah Pioneers-Ancestor Histories, presented by members of the East Mill Creek Chapter; Sons of the Utah Pioneers-Ancestor Histories, Salt Lake City Chapter, Sons of the Utah Pioneers-Ancestor Histories, Sugarhouse Chapter, Sons of the Utah Pioneers-Knight's History of England, Vol. 1-8, Sons of the Utah Pioneers-Personal Histories, Beehive Chapter, Sons of the Utah Pioneers-Utah, Pioneer Companies, Sons of Utah Pioneers - Card Index, 1847-50, Sons of Utah Pioneers Membership Applications, Sons of Utah Pioneers Memorial Gallery Index Cards, Tales of a triumphant people : a history of Salt Lake County, Utah, 1847-1900, Treasures of Pioneer History, Tullidge's histories, Utah and Idaho cemetery records, Utah History, Utah Pioneers and Prominent Men, Utah Pioneers, 1847-50, Utah Since Statehood, Volumes 1-4, and Utah, Our Pioneer Heritage.


  • Fold3—(free at any FamilySearch Library.)
Fold3 has the Utah Territorial Case Files, records of those who served time in the State Penitentiary for polygamy. A case file contains the complaint stating a plaintiff’s cause of action, an answer by the defendant, and summons. More information can be found on these individuals sent to the penitentiary by going to the Utah State Archives and looking at the full penitentiary collection.
Also at Fold3 are the Mormon Battalion Pension Files, which are arranged alphabetically by name of the veteran and contain survivor pension documents, affidavits by the claimant and witnesses, correspondence, medical reports, and related documents supporting each claim.


  • Google—Doing a Google Search (google.com) for a pioneer ancestor could result in some very interesting findings. Many family organizations or individuals have created websites where they can share their pioneer ancestor’s stories. Verify information about an ancestor that is found on the internet.
  • Utah Digital Newspapers –This is a great place to find biographical and genealogical information about an LDS ancestor. The collection holds over 1,000,000 pages of historic Utah newspapers and can be browsed by issue or searched by keywords, article titles, weddings, deaths, and births. For other states where your LDS ancestor may have lived, check NewspaperArchive.com.
  • Utah State Archives –The Utah State Archives mission is to assist Utah government agencies in the efficient management of their records, to preserve those records of enduring value, and to provide quality access to public information, such as birth and death certificates, cemetery records, animal brands, local military service, probate records, court records, and more. They have some searchable databases.
  • Utah State Historical Society –The Utah State Historical Society provides services, technical assistance, and streamlined information access--through online databases and published and unpublished sources--to a variety of businesses, industries, and individuals. Their collection includes historical manuscripts, photos, books, maps, city directories, yearbooks, newspapers, the Utah State Historical Quarterly, and more.
  • World Vital Records —(free at any FamilySearch Library—also free at the Salt Lake County Library website if you have a library card). From the home page, click on “Popular Collections,” under the “Search” tab. Scroll down to select LDS Collection. Some of the collections include Marriages in the Nauvoo Region 1839-1845; Inscriptions Found on Tombstones and Monuments in Early Latter-day Saint Burial Grounds; Property Transactions in Nauvoo, Hancock County, Illinois, and Surrounding Communities, 1839-1859; LDS Biographical Encyclopedia; Pioneers of 1847: A Sesquicentennial Remembrance; Members of the Willie and Martin Handcart Companies of 1856; and Members of the Ellsworth and McArthur Handcart Companies of 1856.
LDS Membership Records
Records of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
LDS Research Sources at Ancestry.com
Temple Records of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Latter-day Saint Emigration and Immigration
Latter-day Saint Vital Records
Priesthood Records of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Tracing Latter-day Saint Ancestors
Ward Membership Records

Summary[edit | edit source]

There are many LDS Church records to search for information about an LDS ancestor. More and more records are appearing online. Many records can be found at the Family History Library. Even more records can be found at the Church History Library. Searching these records will give you more genealogical and historical information about your ancestor.