2017 by Donald R. Snow
This page was last updated 2017-08-16.  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 beginning and a wealth of records are now available online for anyone searching for 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, 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.  The notes for this class and related articles, all with active Internet links, are on Don's website .


  1. Instructor is Donald R. Snow ( of Provo and St. George, 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 the URL for these notes, or any webpage, just drag the icon in front of the address in your browser to your desktop.  (2)  To open a link while keeping your place in the original page, hold down the Control key while clicking the link so it opens in a new tab.
  4. Problem for today:  How to find LDS and Utah records and sources online to document and find your relatives.

  6. 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. Early Church Membership by Susan Easton-Black -- Includes information later than 1848
    2. Very helpful, with much information and many sources, but is not complete and has errors
    3. Searchable and downloadable as pdf's on -- her  Annotated Baptisms for the Dead in Nauvoo 1840-1845 (7 vols) and Property Transactions Nauvoo 1839-1859 (7 vols)  are also available to download on FamilySearch Books
    4. Available as a earchable TEXT file in the Nauvoo Databank in selected FHCs, on FH Suite CDs, LDS Historical Library CDs, and elsewhere -- See below
    5. Available as a non-searchable IMAGE file at  at FHCs and to LDS
  7. Early LDS Members database from 1830 to Utah period -- 
    1. 57,000 people, many sources and much information -- very helpful, but is not complete and has errors
    2. Don and Diane Snow helped produce this database while serving in the Illinois Nauvoo Mission and have updated it several times since
    3. Description of what it contains and how it was compiled is in the database itself in Notes for Person #1 -- search for "Intro" as Given Name
  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; constantly 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
      1. 74 DVDs produced in 2002 with 400,000 images (so not text searchable) of personal journals, documents, and histories from Church Historian's Office
      2. Most is online now at -- see additional information at
      3. Contains the "Journal History of the Church", a day-to-day scrapbook of information about the Church and members -- Index for 1830-1972  was done on Index Cards and filmed, is now online and images can be downloaded as pdf's, then OCR'd to be searchable (click on View Digital > Download as PDF) -- information about Index is in FamilySearch Catalog at -- can be linked as sources on FamilySearch Family Tree
  9. Early Church Information File (ECIF) -- Wiki article
    1. Card file of 1.5 million references (not the articles) 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 -- -- can be linked as sources on FamilySearch Family Tree 
  10. LDS Member Autobiographies and Ancestors (1924-1929) -- FamilySearch Catalog entry
    1. 4-page form that all Church members were asked 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)-- not online, but available in some FHCs
  11. FamilySearch --
    1. FamilySearch Catalog -- many helpful entries, search for things like "lds california"
    2. FamilySearch Books -- more than 325,000 digitized books, every-word searchable -- see also 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 collections at many libraries with online Mormon info -- 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 up 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 -- books, newspapers, photographs, and much more -- 
  21. BYU Idaho Family History Center -- -- personal histories, photographs, vital records indices, Idaho history, and Western States Marriage Index (see below)
  22. Utah State University Collection -- Mormon Diaries, 1820-1936 -- -- WPA (Works Project Administration of U.S. Government during the Depression) collection of diaries, journals, and interviews of early Mormons
  23. Two electronic 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 -- -- old CDs, but with much data; details on Don's Supplementary Notes


  24. Mountain West Digital Library (mentioned above) -- -- portal to collections at many libraries with Mormon information online -- search for "utah" gives more than 305,000 hits with specialized collections listed at left side of page
  25. Utah Digital Newspaper collection 1850s-1950s -- -- goal is to post all Utah newspapers online in pdf searchable format; already has hundreds of pages
  26. FamilySearch Wiki articles on Utah --  and -- Helpful info about online databases 
  27. Linkpendium for Utah -- -- 6,300 links
  28. USGenWeb project - Utah --
  29. --
  30. ( --
  31. -- 
  32. Utah Vital Records information, application forms, costs, addresses, etc. --
  33. Older vital records at Utah History Research Center, Rio Grande Building, SLC -- Utah State Archives and Utah State Historical Society --
  34. County clerks and record offices for Utah counties --
  35. 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
  36. 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
  37. 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 --
  38. 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
  39. Deseret News Archive --  and
  40. Washington County Utah WPA Manuscripts -- -- many interesting interviews -- Also see collection and history of Mormon Diaries in Utah State University Special Collections (link above in Mormon section)
  41. 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

  43. Many more LDS and Utah resources and links are on Don's FH Class notes page under Supplementary Notes -- .
  44. Search Google and other search engines for LDS, Utah, LDS indexes, Utah indexes, etc., to find more. 
  45. These resources "turn your heart to your fathers" as you check, verify, and find new information about 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 .