|Tracing LDS Ancestors|
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 at the Church History Library with a number of them available online.
Index to Church Periodicals
Index to Periodicals of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Salt Lake City, Utah: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1972. (FHL book 289.305 In2). The 1961–1970 edition indexes articles from The Children’s Friend, Church News, Conference Reports, Improvement Era, The Instructor, and the Relief Society Magazine. The 1971 to 1995 editions index articles from the Church News, Conference Reports (for both general and area conferences), The Ensign, The Friend, and The New Era.
- The Elders’ Journal of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was published from October to November 1837 at Kirtland, Ohio, and from July to August 1838 at Far West, Missouri. It is included in the LDS Family History Suite 2 and indexed in:
- Index to Elder’s Journal: Volume 1, 1837–1838. Provo, Utah: [Brigham Young University Library?], 1960. (FHL book 289.3 B768i; film 496411).
- The Ensign of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (FHL book 289.305 C473e) began publication in 1971 and is the current monthly magazine of the Church. It includes many articles on Church members and the history of the Church in areas around the world. It often includes articles on important topics like emigration, pioneer life, and midwives.
- The Evening and the Morning Star was printed from June 1832 to June 1833 at Independence, Missouri and from December 1833 to September 1834 at Kirtland, Ohio. This is included in the LDS Family History Suite 2. It is also indexed in:
- Index to Evening and Morning Star: Volumes. 1–2, 1832–1834. Provo, Utah: [Brigham Young University Library?], 1960. (FHL book 289.3 B768i; film 496411). This index is bound between p. 6 and 7 of the Latter-day Saints’ Messenger and Advocate.
- Latter-day Saints’ Messenger and Advocate was printed at Kirtland, Ohio from October 1834 to September 1837. This is included in the LDS Family History Suite 2. It is indexed in:
- Index to L.D.S. Messenger and Advocate Volumes 1–3 1834–1836. Provo, Utah: [Brigham Young University Library?], 1960. (FHL book 289.3 B768i; film 496411).
- The Latter-day Saints' Millennial Star (FHL book 289.305 M611; films 1402725–63) was the official organ of the Church in Great Britain. It began publication in May 1840 and ran as a weekly until March 1943. It was a monthly from April 1943 to December 1970 when it ceased publication. Indexes include:
- Cache Genealogical Branch Library (Logan, Utah). Index to Entries of Genealogical Value in Volumes of the Millennial Star of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Logan, Utah: The Library, [1967?]. (FHL book 289.305 M611in). This book indexes volumes 1 to 19 (1840–1857). It gives name, vital data and the reference to a volume and page in the magazine.
- Cache Genealogical Branch Library (Logan, Utah). Excerpts of Genealogical Value in Volumes of the Millennial Star of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Logan, Utah: The Library, 1968. (FHL book 289.305 M611ex). This book indexes volumes 20 to 50 (1858–1888). It gives name, vital data and the reference to a volume and page in the magazine.
- Times and Seasons (FHL book 289.305 T482; index on film 007707) was a newspaper issued from November 1839 to February 1846 at Nauvoo, Illinois. This is included in the LDS Family History Suite 2. This is indexed in:
- Index of Times and Seasons, Volumes 1–6, 1839–1846. Independence, Mo.: Independence Press, 1986. (FHL book 289.305 T482 index Volume 1–6).
- Another index is also available on microfiche and in a computer database at the Historical Department—Church Library.
Some missions would also published serials in the languages of the Saints and people they proselyted among. Many of them were later renamed Liahona as they became official international magazines of the Church.
- L’Étoile (French), 1928–2010
- A Gaivota (Portuguese), 1948–2010
- Te Karere (Maori), 1907–1960 (it briefly had an English-language version named Elders’ Messenger, later renamed to simply The Messenger)
- Liahona (Mexico), 1955–2010
- Liahona (Spain), 1978–2010 (from 1988–1993 Spain used another Spanish Liahona and printed their own inserts)
- Skandinaviens Stjerne (Danish), 1851–2010 (it was also known as Den Danske Stjerne and Stjernen)
- De Ster (Dutch), 1896–2010
- Der Stern (German), 1869–2010
Periodicals about the History of the Church and Its Members
The Utah Genealogical and Historical Magazine. 31 Volumes. Salt Lake City, Utah: Genealogical Society of Utah, 1910–1940. (FHL book 979.2 H25u; films 564348–55; the index is on film 1320674 item 43). Each year has an index of subjects and people. This quarterly is also indexed in the Early Church Information File. It has genealogies and research strategies articles. It also includes doctrinal articles about salvation for the dead.
Mormon Heritage Magazine. Denver, Colorado: Publication Printers, 1944–1986. (FHL book 289.305 M828m). This periodical stopped for a while and was restarted as:
Mormon Heritage Magazine. Colorado Springs, Colorado: Mormon Heritage Magazine. 1994-. (FHL book 289.305 M828mh). Includes biographical sketches, lists of baptisms, ward members, history, and census records.
Journal of Mormon History. Salt Lake City, Utah: Mormon History Association; 1974-. (FHL book 289.309 J826). This is an annual publication with articles about the history of the Church and its members.
The Nauvoo Journal. Salt Lake City, Utah: Early Mormon Research Institute, 1989. (FHL book 977.343/N1 H25n). Semi-annual. Dedicated to Church history, biography, and family history articles from 1830 to 1857.
You can find other periodicals about the Church in the Subject Search of the FamilySearch Catalog under:
MORMONS — PERIODICALS
CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS — PERIODICALS
For a list of 49 American, and 38 international periodicals published by the Church see:
"Church Publications." Deseret News 1989–1990 Church Almanac. Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret News, 1988. (FHL book 289.305 D457). See pages 187–91. Lists title, years published, organization or first editor, and place of publication.