The Church of Christ of Latter-Day Saints has amassed a wealth of genealogical resources for Mormon and non-Mormon genealogists alike; in fact, the Church's Genealogical Society of Utah has been collecting genealogical data for over 100 years!
The original church was organized in 1830 by Joseph Smith, Jr. and Oliver Cowdery and 30 followers in the Palmyra/Manchester district of New York. Over the course of time, there were various divisions and sects, but Brigham Young unified the church and incorporated it in 1851 under the title of Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints in Salt Lake City, Utah, where the church remains to this day.
Most Mormons live in Utah, but the Church indicates that the bulk of their followers do not reside in the United States at all. Consequently, the Church provides centers full of genealogical resources all over the world.
The former Genealogical Society of Utah is now known as FamilySearch and provides all types of genealogical records on their website. You can key in the name of your ancestor in their database, and you can search for information from the vital records index, social security death index, pedigree resource file and a host of others. FamilySearch has working relationships with governments, libraries, societies and churches, which is how they can provide access to so much detailed information.
Not only can you search digitized records on FamilySearch's website, but you can also order records held in the Family History Library in Utah. These records can be shipped to any Family History Center in the world for a marginal fee. Many of the records are in microfiche form and are not yet digitized. There are Family History Centers worldwide, and they contain all kinds of church records and documents that are useful to genealogists.
The Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah is the place where almost all of the genealogical information that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints has collected resides. There are also numerous Family History Centers worldwide (approximately 3,500 of them). These history centers help decrease the necessity for families researching their histories to travel all the way to Salt Lake City. The majority of the electronic data collections are available at history centers worldwide. No charge is required to use the history center or the Family History Library. They are staffed by volunteers who gladly assist visitors in finding information on their families.
With a rich and lengthy history, the Mormon faith and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints can offer fascinating information to descendents of this faith, and to those not of this faith. By following the potential leads generated in this article, you can create a valuable ancestral history that you can keep in your family for generations. Getting started on your journey is the hard part. Once you do, however, you won't be able to stop.
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