Genealogy Resources from the LDS Church

Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (also called Mormons) make certain promises, known as covenants, they believe can unite families after death. Since ancestors must be identified before these covenants can be made, genealogy is very important to Church members. You can learn more by reading Why Family History? 

A friend of mine shared with me that her mother grew up in the LDS Church. Although she converted to another religion when she married, the mother treasured the genealogical research she had done on her family at the age of 12-13 (in 1937 and 1938).  She had completed a family tree going back to the mid-1800s. The pages are brittle and yellowed, but the little book her mother made is a cherished legacy for my friend and her siblings.

Because family history is so important to it, the LDS Church has developed the largest genealogical library in the world in Salt Lake City, Utah. There are also more than 4000 local family history centers in 88 countries, all staffed by volunteers. Although the library started in 1894 to help Latter-Day Saints with research on family history and genealogy, the Church now offers its genealogy services free to anyone. The Family Search Web site states it gives access to “the largest collection of free family history, family tree and genealogy records in the world.”

Although I am not Mormon, I have benefited greatly from the LDS genealogy resources. For the third book in The Westward Sagas, I have gained a lot of insight into life in Texas during the time period of the story from a journal by a LDS clergyman. This minister took one of my ancestors (one of many Margarets in my ancestral line) into his home after she was widowed. I have done research at the two family history centers in San Antonio and appreciate the great help I have found there.

If you haven’t used the resources of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, I recommend you visit Family Search to research online or to find the location of the family history center nearest you.

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