2016 by Donald R. Snow
This page was last updated 2016-10-03.  Return to the Utah Valley Technology and Genealogy Group Home Page or Don's Class Listings Page .
ABSTRACT:  The LDS Church has been a record keeping Church since its inception and there is a wealth of records now available online for anyone with LDS and/or Utah ancestry. These include early membership information, vital records from various Mormon locations, emigration records, newspapers, county and state records, journals and diaries, the database, and the WPA (Works Project Administration) interviews of Utahns during the Great Depression in the 1930s. This presentation will show how to find and use some of these records. These class notes and other related notes and articles, all with active Internet links, are posted on .


  1. Instructors are Donald R. Snow ( of Provo and St. George, Utah and Linda Snow Westover ( of Orem, Utah.
  2. These notes and other related notes and articles, including Don's  LDS AND UTAH RECORDS: SUPPLEMENTARY NOTES  are posted on , all with active Internet links.
  3. Tips:  (1)  To put an icon on your desktop for these notes, or any webpage, just drag the icon from in front of the address in your browser onto your desktop.  (2)  To open a link, but keep your place in these notes, hold down the Control key while clicking the link.
  4. Problem for today:  How to find online LDS and Utah records and sources to verify and document your ancestors.

  6. Early LDS Members database from 1830 to Utah period -- 
    1. 57,000 people, many sources and much information , but has errors and is not complete
    2. The Snows helped produce this database while serving in the Illinois Nauvoo Mission and have updated it several times since
    3. For Don's description search for "Intro" as Given Name -- description is in Notes for Person #1
  7. Susan Easton-Black's "Membership of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints 1830-1848"-- 50 vols of LDS and 6 vols of RLDS (now Community of Christ)
    1. Very helpful, many sources and much information, but has errors and is not complete 
    2. Includes information later than 1848 -- Early Church Membership by Susan Easton-Black
    3. Searchable and downloadable on -- also available there is SEB's Annotated Baptisms for the Dead in Nauvoo 1840-1845 (7 vols) and Property Transactions Nauvoo 1839-1859 (7 vols) 
    4. Available as a searchable TEXT file in the Nauvoo Databank (available in selected FHCs), on FH Suite CDs, LDS Historical Library CDs, etc.  (See below)
    5. Available as a non-searchable IMAGE file at  at FHCs and to LDS
    6. Also available on 95 microfiche that many FHCs have -- FHL #6031596
  8. LDS Church Historical Department -- -- many databases
    1. Joseph Smith Papers project -- -- many volumes in print and online, searchable by name for your ancestors
    2. Early Mormon Missionaries 1830-1930 database -- -- searchable in various ways; gives ages of birth, death, mission dates and places; constantly being updated 
    3. Pioneer Overland Travels --
      1. See FamilySearch Wiki at 
      2. Includes names, companies, quotes from many documents and journals; being updated -- Parentheses after names are ages at that time
      3. Melvin L. Bashore's "Crossing the Plains Index Database" -- info at
    4. Selected Collections of the Church Historian's Office -- collection of 74 DVDs produced in 2002, most is online now at -- see additional information at -- 400,000 images (so not text searchable) of personal journals, documents, and histories from Church Historian's Office -- contains the "Journal History of the Church", a day-to-day scrapbook of information about the Church -- Index for 1830-1972  is now online -- was done from Index Card File, filmed copy is listed in FamilySearch Catalog at
  9. Early Church Information File (ECIF) -- Wiki article
    1. Card file of 1.5 million references to early Church members from histories, journals, etc.; filmed on 75 rolls of microfilm in 1991; additions since are only available in the FHL
    2. Filmed cards through about 1900 are now online -- 
    3. These are the references, not the articles themselves.
  10. LDS Member Autobiographies and Ancestors (1924-1929) -- FamilySearch Catalog entry
    1. 4-page form that all Church members were to complete in 1924-1929
    2. Indexed in Early Church Information File (ECIF) -- see above
    3. Completed forms are on 10 microfilms (FHL #1059454-1059463)
  11. FamilySearch --
    1. FamilySearch Catalog -- many helpful entries, search for things like "lds california"
    2. FamilySearch Books -- 300,000 digitized books -- completely every-word searchable -- also see Dallan Quass's  GenGophers  website for searching FamilySearch Books
    3. FamilySearch Wiki -- see  Tracing LDS AncestorsInternational Genealogical Index , and  LDS Biography .
    4. LDS Membership Records -- click here for Wiki article -- see more information below
    5. International Genealogical Index (IGI)  has many Deceased LDS Membership Records -- online on FamilySearch > Search > Genealogies > IGI -- has two parts, Community Contributed and Community Indexed -- see Wiki articles on IGI Batch Numbers -- here  and  here .
    6. Ancestral File and Pedigree Resource Files -- online at FamilySearch > Search > Genealogies -- may give starting points for research
  12. Marvin Wiggins' "Mormons and Their Neighbors" -- -- references to more than 100,000 individuals
  13. Mountain West Digital Library -- -- portal to many libraries with lots of online (digital) Mormon info and collections -- Searches: "Mormon" gives more than 13,000 hits, "lds" gives more than 10,000 hits; each has many specialized collections listed at left side of page
  14. Cyndi's List -- -- Search syntax requires caps where needed, so search for "LDS", not "lds"
  15. LDS-Hist: Historical Resources on the Internet - old website now available on the Internet Archive Wayback Machine -- LDS-Hist
  16. LDS Immigration
    1. Mormon Migration project at BYU Center For Family History and Genealogy -- -- LDS companies of converts immigrating to America -- includes names, companies, ships, dates of immigration, and quotes from documents and journals of fellow passengers; constantly being updated -- search brings back passenger name, as well as quotations from documents and journals mentioning him or her; earlier version was produced on CD and sold at LDS Church Distribution Centers 
    2. FamilySearch Wiki article on LDS immigration -- 
  17. Trails of Hope: Overland Diaries and Letters, 1846-1869 -- journals and letters in BYU Library -- -- completely searchable for any names 
  18. Early LDS periodicals online -- see Don's "LDS and Utah Supplementary Notes" on 
  19. Bill Smith's collection of journals, diaries, and early writings -- -- completely searchable
  20. BYU Digital Collections -- includes books, newspapers, photographs, and much more -- 
  21. BYU Idaho Family History Center -- -- includes personal histories, photographs, vital records indices, Idaho history, and Western States Marriage Index (see below)
  22. Two LDS digital items of interest not online 
    1. Nauvoo Databank -- in a few FHCs; parts are online; see Don's Class Notes about Nauvoo Databank at  
    2. LDS FH Suite CDs -- -- details on Supplementary Notes


  23. Mountain West Digital Library (mentioned above) -- -- portal to many libraries with lots of info on Utah -- searching for "utah" gives more than 305,000 hits with specialized collections listed at left side of page
  24. Utah Digital Newspaper collection 1850s-1950s -- -- completely text searchable
  25. FamilySearch Wiki articles on Utah --  and -- Helpful info about online databases 
  26. Linkpendium for Utah -- -- 6,300 links
  27. USGenWeb project - Utah --
  28. --
  29. ( --
  30. -- 
  31. Utah Vital Records information, application forms, costs, addresses, etc. --
  32. Older vital records at Utah History Research Center, Rio Grande Building, SLC -- Utah State Archives and Utah State Historical Society --
  33. County clerks and record offices for Utah counties --
  34. Utah births
    1. Mostly recorded by counties; many available at FHL and in the State Bureau of Vital Records
    2. Search Utah Births and Christenings, 1892-1941 on FamilySearch Historical Records and Learn More
    3. Utah Birth Certificates (FamilySearch Historical Records) 1903-1910
  35. Utah marriages
    1. Search Utah Marriages 1887-1966 on FamilySearch Historical Records and Learn More
    2. Most Utah marriage records are recorded by counties, so check counties, State Bureau of Vital Records, and Utah State Archives
    3. Index of newspaper references for marriages and deaths from the Deseret News Weekly from 1852-1888 on Utah GenWeb -- and the Deseret News Semi-Weekly from 1865-1900 --
    4. BYU-I Western States Marriage Record Index -- -- Project to index all western states marriages
    5. Early Washington County Marriage Index 1862-1919 by Wesley W. Craig
  36. Utah deaths and burials
    1. Search Utah Death Certificates, 1904-1956 on FamilySearch Historical Records -- slider changes size of image of certificate -- Learn More
    2. Additional info and also searchable at -- type in name at and see if name is in the Death Certifcate database
    3. Search Utah Deaths and Burials, 1888-1946 on FamilySearch Historical Records and Learn More
    4. Utah Burials Index from Utah State Historical Society -- 
    5. Index of newspaper references for marriages and deaths from the Deseret News Weekly from 1852-1888 -- and the Deseret News Semi-Weekly from 1865-1900 --
    6. Online Utah Death Records and Indexes --
    7. Washington County cemeteries --
    8. For Idaho deaths the BYU-I FHC will find and copy death certificates for free --
  37. Utah State Archives and Utah State History Research Center, Rio Grande Building, SLC -- -- Utah State Historical Society -- -- and Utah State Archives -- -- has many records of courts, civil, naturalization, land
  38. Deseret News Archive --  and
  39. Washington County Utah WPA Manuscripts -- -- many interesting interviews
  40. Utah Photo Collections
    1. Utah State Historical Society Photo Collection -- 
    2. BYU Harold B. Lee Library Photo Collection --
    3. Google Images -- -- search by name, e.g. Erastus Snow, or St. George Utah; or search Google for utah+photos+people

  42. See many more LDS and Utah resources and links on Don's FH Class notes page .
  43. Also do Google searches for LDS, Utah, LDS indexes, Utah indexes, etc.
  44. Using these resources "turns your heart to your fathers" as you check, verify, and find new information for your LDS and Utah ancestors.

Return to the  Utah Valley Technology and Genealogy Group (UVTAGG) Home Page  or  Don Snow's FH Class Notes Page .