Utah Biography

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The usage of "Mormon" and "LDS" on this page is approved according to current policy.

Online Resources[edit | edit source]

A biography is a history of a person's life. In a biography you may find an individual's birth, marriage, and death information, and the names of his or her parents, children, or other family members. Biographies often include photographs, family traditions and stories, clues about an ancestor's place of origin, places of residence, church affiliation, military service, and activities within the community. The information must be used carefully, however, because there may be inaccuracies. Verify biographical information with original records.

Biographies in Local Histories[edit | edit source]

  • Biographical information is often found in state, county, and town histories.
  • Towards the end of the 19th century, began publishers soliciting short biographical/family histories from local founding families, offering to publish them in an upcoming local history. This then became an incentive for family members to buy a copy of the book.
  • Families represented were not necessarily prominent. Practically everyone living there, especially in the Midwest, counted as an early settler.
  • These biographies often start with the first member of the family to settle in the area, and detail their descendants at the time of publishing. They may tell where the family moved in from. Children's marriages often are given, with maiden names included.

Finding Biographies[edit | edit source]

  • The county Wiki page lists several county histories. It also lists local libraries, and societies which probably have copies of local histories.
  • Many histories are no longer under copyright and can be found in the following online, digitized book collections. Search with keywords "History" and "the name of your locality" (state, county, or town).
  • The FamilySearch library has extensive collections of these local histories. Many are digitized. Search the FamilySearch Catalog under your locality for the topics "Biography" and "History".

Indexes[edit | edit source]

  • LDS Family History Suite 2. Provo, Utah: Infobases, 1999. (Family History Library compact disc Number 205; title number 837165.) This includes 31 indexes and sources of biographies such as Wiggins's Mormons and Their Neighbors. This also includes a large selection of the historical books, journals, and diaries not available elsewhere. To use the suite, first select the database you would like to search. The two databases that include information on Utah families are the Vital Records Library Infoware, and the Pioneer Heritage Library. Both include numerous works. Each database is searchable on every word and allows "wild card" searches. When you find a name, you see the actual entry in the context of the book. These databases are also available for a subscription fee at the Ancestry.com Internet site discussed in Utah Archives and Libraries.
  • Early Church Information File. Salt Lake City, Utah: Genealogical Society of Utah, 1991. FHL films1750655–1750729. This is an alphabetical card index to over 1 million names in more than 1,200 sources. The index usually gives a person's name and date of an event, such as birth, marriage, or death, along with source references. The sources may supply additional family history information. For further details see Early Church Information File.
  • Marvin E. Wiggins, Mormons and Their Neighbors: An Index of over 75,000 Biographical Sketches from 1820 to the Present. Two volumes. Provo, Utah: Brigham Young University, 1984. This is an index to 75,734 biographical sketches from 194 published sources from several states. This is indexed in the Early Church Information File and included in the LDS Family History Suite 2.

Biographical Encyclopedias[edit | edit source]

The Family History Library has copies of published biographical sources. Major biographical encyclopedias are:

  • Esshom, Frank. Pioneers and Prominent Men of Utah. 1913. Reprint. Salt Lake City, Utah: Western Epics Inc., 1966. FHL film 1000617 Item 1 Digitized version of Volume 1 part 1 and 2 is available through FamilySearch Catalog entry. This includes photographs, genealogies, and biographies for pioneers coming to Utah before the railroad and for prominent men of Utah. It is not a complete listing. part one includes the photographs. part two has biographies, names of Mormon Battalion members, and members of the Brigham Young company that came to Utah, July 24,1847. This has been indexed in the Early Church Information File. The information also is included in both The Pioneer Heritage CD-ROM and LDS Family History Suite. The book is also available at Ancestry.com (a subscription site).
  • International Society Daughters of Utah Pioneers, Pioneer Women of Faith and Fortitude. [S.l.]: Publishers Press, 1998. This set of books has portraits, genealogical data, and biographical sketches of Mormon pioneer women submitted by their descendants. It is indexed by the women's maiden names and married names. International Society Daughters of Utah Pioneers International Society of of the Daughters of Utah Pioneers At various libraries (WorldCat)
  • Jakeman, James T. Album Daughters of the Utah Pioneers and Their Mothers N.p.: Western Album, [192-?]. FHL film 1421989 item 2.) This book has biographical sketches that may list parents, birth date and place, spouse, achievements, church callings, pioneer experiences, residences, death information, and portraits of early Latter-day Saint women who came to Utah. This is indexed in the Early Church Information File and included in the LDS Family History Suite and Pioneer Heritage CD-ROM.
  • National Society of the Sons of Utah Pioneers. Conquerors of the West: Stalwart Mormon Pioneers. Four Volumes. Agreka Books, 1999. This includes alphabetical entries, portraits, genealogical data, and a short biographical sketch of Mormon pioneer men submitted by their descendants. Consult the online index to determine if the name of interest might be covered. At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL book 979 D3y
  • Portrait, Genealogical and Biographical Record of the State of Utah. Chicago, Illinois: National Historical Record, 1902. film 446501 This contains biographies of many well-known citizens of the past. It includes an index.
  • Sketches of the Inter-Mountain States: Together with Biographies of Many Prominent and Progressive Citizens Who Have Helped in the Development and History-Making of this Marvelous Region. Salt Lake City, Utah: Salt Lake Tribune, 1909. FHL film 1000614 Item 1 This is indexed by individual names. It gives birth and marriage information and names of parents, spouse, and children. It also lists when they came to the region and major accomplishments. A history of inter-mountain businesses is included.
  • Barnum, Roberta B. and Paul R. Peine. Saint George, Utah, Original Pioneers: December 1, 1861-May 10, 1869. N.p., 1999. FHL book 979.248/S1 H2b This book contains several hundred biographies of early residents with pictures and history of St. George. It is indexed and includes a bibliography.

Utah Pioneers[edit | edit source]

  • Levi Savage, Jr. (23 March 1820 – December 13, 1910) is a prominent figure in the history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He was the second of fifteen children born in Greenfield, Huron County, Ohio to Levi Savage Sr. and Polly Haynes. He grew up in southern Michigan as a farm boy, exposed to some degree of schooling. During his lifetime, he was a teamster, soldier, teacher, pioneer, and missionary to India and Burma. He spent the remaining years of his life as a farmer in southern Utah. Levi kept a detailed journal starting 6 October 1852 to 16 March 1903.
  • For biographies of Utah pioneer families (Anderson, Clark, Duncan, Godfrey, Holmes, Owens, Pitcon, Price, Morgan, Wardrop, Weaver) see www.OurFamilyBiographies.com

Daughters of Utah Pioneers[edit | edit source]

The Family History Library has several serial publications by the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers that contain biographical information. These have been taken from the society's monthly lessons. They include local histories, customs, pioneer listings, and biographies of the early settlers of Utah. Listed in the order they were published.

  • Carter, Kate B. Heart Throbs of the West. 12 Volumes. Salt Lake City, Utah: Daughters of the Utah Pioneers, 1939–1951. FHL book 979.2 H2cah This series has been indexed in the Early Church Information File. These volumes are also included in the LDS Family History Suite 2. Although the compact disc has a search function that should find a name within these volumes, it does not seem to check these lists. Go directly to the article and look for your ancestor's name. Volumes 8 to 12 include the lists of immigrants from 1847 to 1851.
  • Carter, Kate B. Treasures of Pioneer History. Six Volumes. Salt Lake City, Utah: Daughters of the Utah Pioneers, 1952-1957. FHL fiche 6101567-72 This has been indexed in the Early Church Information File. The complete text is included in the LDS Family History Suite 2. It gives names and histories of the immigration from 1852 to 1856.
  • Carter, Kate B. Our Pioneer Heritage. 20 Volumes. Salt Lake City, Utah: Daughters of the Utah Pioneers, 1958-1977. fiche 6049775 (first of 134) Indexed in the Early Church Information File. The complete text is included in the LDS Family History Suite 2. This includes histories of various groups arriving in Utah from 1858 to 1874.
  • Daughters of the Utah Pioneer Lessons. 37 Volumes. Salt Lake City, Utah: Daughters of the Utah Pioneers, 1937-1977. This is also known as Historical Pamphlet. There is some duplication between this record and the three other records listed above. However, not all the information in these lessons is found in the other volumes. This work includes various lists and histories of 1847 to1868 immigrants, and the "Brooklyn" Saints who came with Samuel Brannan through San Francisco in 1846. This has been indexed in the Early Church Information File.
  • An Enduring Legacy. 12 Volumes. Salt Lake City, Utah: Daughters of Utah Pioneers, 1978-1990. FHL book 979.2 H2e Each volume contains an index. This series contains many histories including accounts of coming to Utah.
  • Chronicles of Courage. Eight Volumes. Salt Lake City, Utah: Daughters of Utah Pioneers, 1990-. FHL book 979.2 H2ch Each volume is individually indexed. The celebration of the sesquicentennial is recounted in this series as well as the centennial of the state of Utah.

Church Archives (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints)[edit | edit source]

The Church Archives of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has biographical sketches, manuscripts, photographs, and church records which contain personal data.

  • Guide to the Oral History Program of the Historical Department, 1975. Salt Lake City, Utah: Historical Dept., 1975. FHL book 929.2 C474o. Through an oral history program, personal life stories and insightful recollections were recorded and preserved. Three hundred seventy individuals were interviewed. This guide lists the tapes and transcripts available at the Church Archives. It is indexed by all subjects, the people interviewed, and the person interviewing. One section is devoted to Utah and the biographies of Utahns.

Libraries[edit | edit source]

The Harold B. Lee Library, Marriott Library, Merrill Library, and the Utah State Historical Society Library have important collections of oral histories, journals, manuscripts, and printed materials containing biographical information. Many of their catalogs are now on-line. Please refer to Utah Archives and Libraries and Utah Societies for other repositories with biographical material for Utah.

  • A Guide to the Oral History Collection, Utah State Historical Society. Salt Lake City, Utah: Utah State Historical Society Library, 1980.  It is arranged by subjects, such as, labor, Indians, Japanese, and women. A few localities are listed. The guide gives the subject, date, and accessibility.
  • Utah State Historical Society. Guide to the Women's History Holdings at the Utah State Historical Society. Salt Lake City, Utah: Library, 1985.FHL book 979.2258 H23u The book is arranged alphabetically and gives references to manuscripts, microfilms, and oral histories.
  • To locate biographical material available through the Family History Library, use the Place-names Search for:

Websites[edit | edit source]