Salt Lake County, Utah Genealogy

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United States Gotoarrow.png Utah Gotoarrow.png Salt Lake County

Salt Lake County, Utah
Map of Utah highlighting Salt Lake County
Location in the state of Utah
Map of the U.S. highlighting Utah
Location of Utah in the U.S.
Founded 1849
County Seat Salt Lake City
Address Salt Lake City and County Building
451 South State Street
Salt Lake City, UT
Named for: Great Salt Lake
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NOTE: Unless otherwise mentioned, the below events were gleaned from Wikipedia for Salt Lake county.

  • 1825 - The first US explorer in the Salt Lake area is believed to be Jim Bridger.
  • 1843 - U.S. Army officer John C. Frémont surveyed the Great Salt Lake and the Salt Lake Valley.
  • 1846 - The Donner party, a group of ill-fated pioneers, traveled through the Great Salt Lake Valley in August.
  • 1847 - Salt Lake County was settled when Mormon pioneers of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, arrived in the Salt Lake Valley.
  • 1847 - On July 29, 1847 a group of Mormon pioneers, known as the Mississippi Company, among them John Holladay of Alabama, entered the Salt Lake Valley. Within weeks, they discovered a free-flowing, spring-fed stream, which they called Spring Creek, now known as Holladay.
  • 1849 - Herriman was established by Robert Dansie, Henry Harriman, and Thomas Jefferson Butterfield. A monument in the Herriman City Cemetery lists the original four families of Herriman as the Thomas Jefferson Butterfield, John Jay Stocking, Robert Cowan Petty, and Henry Harriman families.
  • 1849 - The Mormon pioneers organized a new state called Deseret and petitioned for its recognition.
  • 1850 - The U.S. Congress rebuffed the settlers petition and established the Utah Territory, and designated Fillmore as its capital city.
  • 1853 - Construction started on The Salt Lake Temple.
  • 1857 - The territorial capital was moved to Great Salt Lake City, when the name was shortened to Salt Lake City.
  • 1862 - Fort Douglas was established on the east bench, near the University of Utah, to make sure that the territory maintained its allegiance during the American Civil War.
  • 1865 - Alta was founded.
  • 1878 - An 1878 fire and an 1885 avalanche destroyed most of the original mining town of Alta.
  • 1885 - The army established Camp Murray to house several companies of the Ninth Infantry Regiment.
  • 1935 - In 1935, Norwegian skiing legend Alf Engen was hired to help develop the area, and Alta opened its first ski lift in 1938. 
  • 1942 - Camp Kearns, a massive military installation created for World War II, was created in what is now Kearns and Taylorsville on the western side of the valley.

Historical Facts

Wikipedia has more about this subject: Salt Lake County, Utah

The area that was to become Salt Lake County was settled in 1847 when Mormon Pioneers of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, fleeing persecution in the East, arrived in the Salt Lake Valley after traveling through Emigration Canyon. Brigham Young, their leader, declared "This is the right place" after seeing the valley, which was at the time arid, dry, and unpromising. However, they soon developed a flourishing, self-sufficient city, Great Salt Lake City, through extensive irrigation techniques. Thousands of Mormons from around the world followed in the next several decades. The county was officially formed on January 31, 1850, with just over 11,000 residents recorded.

Original County

1849: Salt Lake County was created as an original county. [1]

Boundary Changes

Record Loss

Marriage registers from 1887 through 1950's microfilmed and then destroyed. Microfilm copy available at the Family History Library and centers.




There are many cemeteries in Salt Lake County. To view a list, visit the following links:


The 1850 [1851], 1860, 1870, 1880, 1900, 1910, 1920, and 1930 U.S. federal population schedules of Salt Lake County are available online. For tips on accessing census records online, see Utah Census. If you're having trouble finding your ancestors in national indexes, try checking local indexes. Created by experts familiar with the area's families, these indexes are often transcribed more accurately than nationwide indexes.

See Utah Population Schedule Indexes: Fiche, Film, or Book for more information about statewide printed indexes.

  • 1850 (1851)
  • 1856
  • 1860
  • 1870
  • 1880
  • 1890
  • 1900
  • 1910
  • 1920
  • 1930


Court Records

In  the UTGenWeb | Salt Lake County link you will find Indexes and files containing:

  • Petition for Naturalization
  • Vitals, Cemeterys
  •  Census
  •  Obits
  • Marriages
  • Misc Records.


A FamilySearch Community Tree is available for this place.


The History of Salt Lake City and its Founders,  By Edward William Tullidge 1886

Land and Property



Early migration routes to and from Salt Lake County, Utah Genealogy for emigrant settlers included:




  • One major resouce for newspapers throughout Utah is the University of Utah's Utah Digital Newspapers project "with more than 600,000 pages of digitized Utah historical newspapers." Ten newspapers from Salt Lake County are included in this digital project, the Valley Tan, Union Vedette, Salt Lake Tribune, Deseret News (Weekly Edition), Deseret Evening News (Daily Edition), Salt Lake Herald, American Eagle, Salt Lake Mining Review, Murray Eagle, and the Broad Ax. Read more... about using Utah newspapers for your family history research.

Probate Records


Archives, Libraries, Museums
Family History Centers


Vital Records


Original marriage registers microfilmed by the Family History Library in the 1950's.  Originals were then destroyed.  Microfilm copy is not available at the county clerk's office. 

58,919 marriages from 1847 to 18 September 1929 are listed on the Western States Marriage Index. Index is incomplete as there are few civil government recorded marriages in Salt Lake County prior to 1887. Some early divorce records were also indexed and included. This is not a complete database.


Websites for death records in the state of Utah and specifically for Salt Lake County include:

  • Utah, Salt Lake County Death Records, 1908-1949. This title is misleading, because all the deaths were recorded in the City of Salt Lake City. There are no deaths recorded in any other places within the county in this County Death Records group.
  • Utah Death Certificates 1904 - 1956 -A free internet access to the 1904-1956 death certificates can be viewed at . Utah requires a death certificate before a burial is completed. A death certificate may contain information as to the name of the deceased, date of death, and place of death, as well as the age, birthdate, parents, gender, marital status, spouse and place of residence.

Utah State Burial Index for death before 1904

In this link Salt Lake City Deaths Jan 1 to Nov 1, 1892:  you will find: 

  •  List of deaths in Salt Lake of person eighteen years of age
  •   Upward from Jan 1 - Nov 1, 1892

Societies and Libraries


The Family History Library is located in Salt Lake County and is the largest repository of family history records in the world.

The Salt Lake County Library system offers free access to and Heritage Quest.

Web Sites



  1. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).
  2. "Oregon California Trails Association" at (accessed 18 July 2011).
  3. "The Pioneer Story: The Mormon Pioneer Trail" in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at (accessed 18 July 2011).
  4. "Jefferson Hunt" in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia at (accessed 6 September 2011).
  5. "Central Overland Route" in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia at (accessed 13 September 2011).
  6. Wikipedia contributors, "Union Pacific Railroad" in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia at (accessed 14 September 2011).
  7. Wikipedia contributors, "Central Pacific Railroad" in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia at (accessed 14 September 2011).
  8. Wikipedia contributors, "Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad" in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia at (accessed 14 September 2011).