LDS Record Finder
This article introduces the strategies and records that can help you learn more about your ancestors from around the world who were members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It teaches terminology and describes the contents, uses, and availability of major records of genealogical value for Latter-day Saints. It helps you decide which types of records to search. It will assist you in finding temple ordinance dates. You can use this information to identify names that need to be submitted for temple work, to Ancestral File, the Pedigree Resource File, or provide details about your family history. In addition to this article, you will also need to use the FamilySearch Wiki articles available for the state, province, and nation where your Latter-day Saint ancestor lived. For example, the Utah and the United States pages link to articles that help locate many records about Church members in those places.
Using this Article
The "Introduction," "Basic Search Strategies," and "Records Selection Table" describe the records at the library and suggest ways to do research effectively. The "Introduction" briefly describes major collections of records available at the Family History Library, how to use FamilySearch™, and the FamilySearch Catalog to help you find Latter-day Saint ancestors. The "Records Selection Table" helps you choose records to search based on the kind of information you want to find about an ancestor.
After the "Records Selection Table," this article lists in alphabetical order the major record types used to find information about Latter-day Saints and their family history, such as "Emigration and Immigration," "Genealogy," "Membership Records," and "Temple Records." The names of articles in the FamilySearch Wiki are often the same as the locality topics used in the FamilySearch Catalog. However, records about Church members have been cataloged many different ways, and you may have to search several places to find all the appropriate records.
At the end of this article you will find a short bibliography of sources under "For Further Reading." This includes books with more detailed descriptions of how to do research for ancestors who were Church members, and important reference books which cover collections regarding Latter-day Saints.
This article emphasizes the records created by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or records primarily about its members. The civil and private records created about the lives of Church ancestors are explained in more detail in other FamilySearch Wiki articles.
The Table Can Help You Decide Which Records to Search
- In column 1 find your research goal.
- In column 2 are the types of records that will likely have the information you need. Each record type is linked to additional information about the record you should search.
- More records that may also be useful are listed in column 3.
The Early Church Information File is an important index to many of these records and their family history information.