Early Church Information File (ECIF)
- 1 What is the Early Church Information File?
- 2 How Can The ECIF Help You?
- 3 What ECIF Does Not Include
- 4 Getting Started
- 5 Can't Find the Source on the Card?
- 6 Can't Find a Name?
- 7 More Information about the File
What is the Early Church Information File?
The Early Church Information File (ECIF) is an alphabetical index of individuals. It occupies 75 rolls of microfilm (FHL films 1,750,655 to 1,750,729) and contains about 1,500,000 entries from over 1,200 sources about Latter-day Saints and their neighbors. The index is international in scope and should be among the first sources checked when searching for Latter-day Saint ancestors or persons living in areas heavily populated by Latter-day Saints. It mainly covers sources from 1830 to the mid-1900s. It indexes information from such sources as
- Latter-day Saint membership records.
- Ward histories.
- Family histories.
- Local histories.
- Collective biographies.
- Priesthood records.
- Missionary records.
- Cemetery records.
- Immigration records.
- Marriage records of Utah and some of Idaho, Wyoming, Nevada, Illinois, and California.
Several major indexes are also referenced in the Early Church Information File. For example, the card in example three refers to Mormons and Their Neighbors, an index to hundreds of books and microfilms. Other indexes in this file include
Entries in the file often refer to an event such as a person's birth, marriage, or death. Entries may also refer to a biographical sketch. The Early Church Information File usually gives a person's name, the date of the event, and a source reference and library call number for the source. The original record may supply additional family history information as well.
How Can The ECIF Help You?
You can use the Early Church Information File to:
- Help you simplify your genealogical research by quickly identifying useful sources.
- Identify possible family connections.
- Find birth, marriage, and death information.
- Find the names of an ancestor's relatives.
- Locate individuals in a specific geographic area.
- Obtain useful biographical information.
What ECIF Does Not Include
The Early Church Information File does not include:
- Every name mentioned in all Latter-day Saint sources that have been indexed.
- All sources about Latter-day Saints.
- Every membership record.
- All Latter-day Saint sources that are available in the Family History Library.
- Every large Latter-day Saint index.
- Information from the Scandinavian LDS Mission Index
- Obituary Card Index
- Journal HistoryMembership Card Index
- Patriarchal Blessing Index. (see the LDS Records Research Outline).
- Information on most living people.
Four Steps to Follow When Using The Early Church Information File
STEP 1. SELECT THE MICROFILM NUMBERS YOU NEED
Microfilm numbers for the Early Church Information File are listed in this Family History Library Catalog link. Names are listed alphabetically by surname and given name. For example, if you want to find index references to Perrigrine SESSIONS, the catalog shows you would look in microfilm 1,750,712.
Note that names that begin with Mc or M' are filed as if they were all spelled with Mac. For example, both McGhie and M'Ghie are filed as if spelled MacGhie. Abbreviated names like St. John are filed as if they were spelled out, for example, Saint John.
STEP 2. LOCATE THE NAME IN THE INDEX
Once you have located the appropriate microfiche, or film, locate the name you are searching for in the Early Church Information File. Names may be typed in any order, but the cards are always arranged alphabetically by surname. For example, a name may appear as Perrigrine Sessions or Sessions, Perrigrine. An individual in the Early Church Information File may be listed on one card or on many cards depending on how much is written on the individual and how much of that material has been indexed.
STEP 3. INTERPRET AND COPY THE INFORMATION
Study and copy the information shown in the Early Church Information File. Although cards may appear in a variety of formats, the name is always near the top. Call numbers for sources listed on the cards are usually on the left or at the bottom of the card. Most sources are described in detail.
STEP 4. OBTAIN THE SOURCE
If you are at the Family History Library, use the call number listed in the Early Church Information File to find the actual source. If the call number is not listed on the card, refer to the section below titled "Can't Find The Source On The Card?"
If you are at a family history center, request a microfilm or microfiche copy of the source. For sources not available on microform, you may be able to get the book(s) through interlibrary loan at a local university or public library. For information on obtaining addresses of libraries and using interlibrary loan, see the United States Research Outline.
Can't Find the Source on the Card?
Updated Call Numbers. About 80 percent of the sources in the Early Church Information file have a valid call number listed on the card. Some sources that list only a book number are now available on microfilm. Also, some call numbers have changed. Check the Family History Library Catalog to find an omitted or updated call number.
Missing Call Numbers. About 20 percent of the cards in the file do not list a call number for sources they reference. This section explains how to find most, but not all, of the missing call numbers.
- County Marriage Records. About half the cards without call numbers are from county marriage records. Most of these marriage records can be found in the Family History Library Catalog by doing a Place Search and reviewing the catalog entries for Vital Records.
Microfilm numbers for marriage records indexed in the Early Church Information File can be found in the Family History Library Catalog for the following counties:
- Box Elder (Utah)
- Sanpete (Utah)
- Franklin (Idaho)
- Sevier (Utah)
- Lemhi, Book 1 (Idaho)
- Summit (Utah)
- Millard (Utah)
- Utah (Utah)
- Morgan (Utah)
- Wayne (Utah)
- Salt Lake (Utah)
NOTE: Cards listing the source as Utah County Marriage Book 8 from November 1919 to 1938 are really for Sanpete County marriages. They are located on microfilm 481,512.
Marriage records for three counties indexed in the Early Church Information File are not available through the Family History Library. You must contact the county clerk for the county marriage records of these counties:
- Lemhi, books 2-3 (Idaho)
- Lincoln (Wyoming)
- Weber (Utah)
Nauvoo Baptisms. If a card does not have call numbers but includes the phrase "Bapt. Nauvoo" or "Nauvoo Bapt.," it refers to the records of baptisms for the dead. These records are on the following microfilms:
- Nauvoo Baptisms Book A 183,376
- Nauvoo Baptisms Book BC 183,378
- Nauvoo Baptisms Book D 183,379
U.S. LDS Ward Records. The following table lists most, but not all, ward records for which call numbers are not provided on the ECIF cards.
- Ward Film Call #s Ward Film Call #s
- 16 Book 1 (Salt Lake) 026585 Mapleton 026071
- 16 Book 2 (Salt Lake) 026679 Marsh 002041
- 16 Book 3 (Salt Lake) 026679 Nauvoo 5th 007646
- 16 Book 4 (Salt Lake) 908218 Odgen 026249
- Ambrosia 001922 Palmyra 007794
- Bedford 034540 Payson 026401
- Burrville 025830 Pleasant Grove 026210
- Cowley 034524 Redmesa 002767
- Daniels 007434 Richfield 1 026446
- Elba 007450 Richfield 2 026448
- Ephraim North 025933 Richfield 3 026449
- Fillmore 025947 Richfield 4 026450
- Glenwood 025980 Riverside 007215
- Granger 025968 Rudy 007252
- Grouse Creek 025693 Second (Richfield) 026448
- Harris Grove 001923 Sigurd 027321
- Hyde Park 025989 Springville 4th 026465
- Koosharem 026059 Springville A-3445 026459
- Lewisville 007240 Venice 027403
- Lynne 026261 Wellington 027414
- Malad 007489 West Weber 026272
Welsh Latter-day Saint Branch Records are listed in the Locality section of the Family History Library Catalog by the town name Look for
WALES [COUNTY] [TOWN] CHURCH RECORDS
Patriarchal Blessings are available only to direct descendants. Write to
Historical Department Member Services
50 East North Temple Street
Salt Lake City, UT 84150
Priesthood Records can sometimes be found in the Family History Library in the following sources:
- Source Listed Film Call #s
- 1 C Seventies 179954
- [Quorum Number] Seventies 179953
- GR Seventies Book B 179953
- Seventies Book B 179953
Historical Library records with the following phrases in the lower left-hand corner of the card are found only at the Historical Department Library.
- High Priest
- High Priest B
- High Priest W
- H O High Priest
- Re Bap 1808
- Seventies Book A
Other Cards without Source Numbers A reference aid is being developed to help find sources for the rest of the cards missing call numbers (less than 3 percent). When the aid is finished it will be microfiched and included in the Author/Title section of the Family History Library Catalog under Early Church Information File Source List
Can't Find a Name?
Before concluding that your ancestor's name is not in the Early Church Information File or in LDS records, consider the following:
The name may be spelled or listed differently (for example, Anne instead of Ann; John A. instead of John Andrew).
The name may be listed under a nickname or middle name (for example, Bill instead of William; Ann instead of Mary Ann).
A woman may be listed under her maiden or her married surname.
The ECIF does not include every name in the sources it indexes. Search the records in which a person's name should appear for entries that may have been accidently omitted in the index.
The index does not include all LDS sources. For example, the Scandinavian LDS Mission Index is not included. See the LDS Records Research Outline for additional LDS records and indexes to search.
Records of LDS ancestors are often found in non-LDS sources such as vital records. Study the research outline of your ancestor's country of origin to learn about other records that may mention your ancestor.
More Information about the File
Generally the quality of indexing in the ECIF has been excellent. Over the years, however, the amount of data placed on the cards has varied greatly, ranging from listing only the name, date, and page(s), to capturing most of the data in the source.