LDS Record Selection Table
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 Family History Library 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 Family History Library 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.
For Further Reading
You can find more information about members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in:
Barton, Noel R. "Latter-day Saint Sources for Tracing Early British Mormons." In World Conference on Records: Preserving Our Heritage, Volume 6 of British Family and Local History, Part II, series 424. [Salt Lake City, Utah]: Corporation of the President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1980. (FHL book 929.1 W893 1980 Volume 6 pt. 1; fiche 6085745). This includes branch and conference membership records, minutes of councils and conferences, the Millennial Star, financial records, Church and US passenger lists and registers, patriarchal blessings, correspondence, British Mission manuscript history, the Journal History, and more.
Clement, Russell T. Mormons in the Pacific: A Bibliography. Laie, Hawaii: Institute for Polynesian Studies, 1981. (FHL book 289.39016 C591m). This is a bibliography about the Church and its members in Polynesia, Micronesia, and Melanisia. In includes holdings at Brigham Young University-Hawaii campus, the Brigham Young University-Utah campus, and the Historical Department. Asian cultures were not included. The references include personal diaries, journals, mission histories, books, periodicals, and periodical articles.
Jaussi, Laureen R. Genealogy Fundamentals. Provo, Utah: Jaussi Publications, 1994. (FHL book 929.1 J327g). This is a basic family history research handbook. Several chapters deal with history and use of ordinance records and indexes, the Family History Library Catalog, Ancestral File, and Family Group Records Collection.
Jaussi, Laureen R., and Gloria D. Chaston. Register of Genealogical Society Call Numbers.Two volumes'. Provo, Utah: Genealogy Tree, 1982. (FHL book 979.2258 A3j; fiche 6031507). These volumes contain the film numbers for many (but not all) membership records and the temple films.
Utah Research Outline. Third Edition. Salt Lake City, Utah: Family History Library, 2000. Describes major sources of information about families from Utah. Wiki articles for the states of Illinois, Idaho, Arizona, Nevada, and Wyoming may also list many sources with information about Latter-day Saints. NOTE: All of the information from the original research outlines has been imported into the FamilySearch Wiki and is being updated as time permits.Young, Stephen Charles. "Alternate Genealogical and Historical Sources for Early LDS Families from Ontario." Genealogical Journal 18, no. 1 (1990): 5–16. (FHL book 973 D25gj Volume18). This is a combination history, bibliography, and list of early Church members in Ontario.