Resources for Tracing Pioneers
To see these books or films you need to visit a LDS Family History Center.
All of these are available at the main library in Salt Lake City, but you can order some of the films and/or fiche.
For a larger selection of reference books including many on handcart companies see the Family History Catalog under Utah/Emigration and Immigration. Another great place to look is under your ancestor's native land and Emigration and Immigration e.g. Denmark, Emigration and Immigration or Norway, Emigration and Immigration.
The Ship Resources page has some specific information related to the voyage across the ocean and finding ship rosters.
Special resources are available for those who emigrated from England, Scandinavia, Australia, or South Africa.
Mormon Pioneer Companies Crossing the Plains (1847-1868) by Marvin Lee Bashmore
US/CAN Book Area 289.3016 B29/m, US/CAN Fiche Area 6105191, US/CAN Film 1592752 item 6
1) List of Pioneer Companies
2) Names of company leaders
3) Size of company
4) Date/Location of Departure
5) Arrival date in Salt Lake City
6) Bibliography of trip from Midwest to Salt Lake e.g. references to journals, diaries, accounts, etc.
Utah Immigration Card Index a.k.a. Crossing the Plains Index
Contains names of those who traveled as part of a pioneer company 1847-1868.
Note: These films are on permanent loan to many branch libraries.
1) Names (listed by surname) of individuals and families who crossed the plains
2) Name of company they traveled with e.g. Robert F. Neslen company
3) Arrival date to Salt Lake City
4) The following are sometimes on the index
European Emigration Card Index 1840-1925 a.k.a Crossing the Ocean Index
Contents: Alphabetic card index of many LDS Church members who emigrated from European countries to the United States. Contains names, ages, nationality of emigrant; number of persons in group; name of ship; date and place of departure and arrival.
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. European Mission. Emigration records, European Mission; 1849 - 1874. See the Family History Catalog for additional years beyond 1874.
Contents: Record of departures from the Liverpool Office. Includes name, age, sex, occupation, marital status, and nationality of the emigrant, conference, address, or residence, name of ship, departure date, and destination. Partially indexed by European Emigration Card Index.
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Emigration from the Scandinavian Mission.
INTL Film 25696
See also Scandinavia Book Area 948 w2ca vol 1. and 2., which is a printed transcript of the above film.
This microfilm has been transcribed by Auerelia Clemons. and is available online
Contents: Lists of LDS Church Members who emigrated from the Scandinavian Mission between 1853 and 1881; organized by conference under each year. Sometimes the ship the people were eventually on is also listed.
The years of 1854-1868 are on their own page and are in alphabetical order. See the Emigration from the Scandinavian Mission page to search on this page. The people are listed by surname, first name.
History of the Scandinavian Mission by Andrew Jenson.
Scandinavia Book Area 948 k2j; INTL Film 896938 Item 2 ; INTL Fiche 6030136
Contents: Contains a history of the mission beginning in the 1850's.
What is of use to many researchers are details that are given about emigration trips sponsored by the mission and the church. The sub-page Narratives of the Emigration from the Scandinavian Mission 1852-1868 contains all the information contained in the table below.
World-wide LDS Ship Registers 1840-1913
US/CAN 973 W33-t; US/CAN Film 1592753 Item 1
Contents: Lists ships by name, company leader, departure date/port, arrival date/port, number LDS passengers on the ship and lists microfilm numbers where to find an LDS and/or US roster of those on the ship.
Millennial Star: an official publication of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Great Britain.
Contents: News from the states and abroad along with explanations of church doctrine, policy and gospel principles along with letters from members abroad and in Salt Lake City. These letters can illustrate many details of a particular voyage. Keep in mind that it may be many weeks or months after the actual voyage before a particular letter is printed. Also occasionally you will see a little paragraph or two about preparing for upcoming emigration or mentions of a particular company arriving in the states or Salt Lake City. Be patient in searching this resource by glancing over all the letters and correspondence after the date of an emigration and you will be well rewarded. A cross reference table is available for emigration during 1848-1860 showing years of a voyage and references in the Millennial Star.
Swedish Mormon Pioneers by Roy Albert Spsut
Scandinavia 948.5 w2s, Microfilm 1059483
Contents: Swedish Mormons who emigrated to America. One page per person with some or all of the following information: birth date, birth place, marriage date and place, death date, information extracted from Emigration from the Scandinavia and British Missions (some of this information includes dates of departure and which ship they were on) and the arrival port in the U.S. Each page is typed with handwritten annotations for many entries. There are 10 volumes to this great resource. The volumes are in alphabetical surname sequence. Volume 1 (A); Volume 2 (B-C); Volume 3 (D-G); Volume 4 (H); Volume 5 (J-K); Volume 6 (L); Volume 7 (M-N); Volume 8 (O-P); Volume 9 (Q-S) and Volume 10 (T-Z).
Mormons on the High Seas: Ocean Voyage Narratives to America (1840-1890) by Melvin L. Bashore and Linda L. Haslam, Historical Department, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1990.
Microfilm 1592752 item 5.
Contents: At the front it lists LDS emigrant ships by year from 1840-1890
along with departure date/port and arrival date/port. The bulk of the book is a bibliography of the ocean voyage. The book is arranged alphabetically and by year of the voyage. This book is useful in learning about what happened along the voyage including the day-to-day activities.
Daughters of the Utah Pioneers various publications
Contents: Contains information concerning immigration to Utah from 1847 to 1868 including personal histories, first hand accounts, dates of emigrant ship crossings, dates of plain crossings, and sometimes names of pioneers in companies, etc. that were submitted by members of the organization. This resource is useful for getting an overview of pioneer immigration for a given year.
To see a reference of most volumes see the newly created index of DUP publications, which lists topics covered in the various volumes.
The entire set of Our Pioneer Heritage volumes are available on microfiche.
Journal History (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) Note: These films are not distrubited Family History Centers (only available at Salt Lake City).
Contents: Daily events of the Church arrange chronologically and compiled by Andrew Jenson, Joseph Fielding Smith, other members of the Church Historian's Office staff, and the staff of the Historical Department. It is a diary of sorts of the day to day activities in the church. It is useful to researchers as it gives a day by day account of the original 1847 pioneer trek and contains the names of the pioneer companies that came to Salt Lake City. It is invaluable for researching the 1847 to 1850 period prior to the creation of the Deseret News. Only the years for 1844-1868 are listed here. Many more years are covered not shown here and there are 248 total microfilms. See the Family History Catalog for film numbers for years beyond 1868.
An Index to Journal History is available.
Deseret News. This newspaper was published weekly, but sometimes it was published two or three times in a week and during some time periods it was not printed at all.
Contents: Day to day events in Salt Lake City and the surrounding area that was settled by Mormon pioneers. Some national and international news was also printed, however it was often weeks or months after the events took place. The most interesting thing that is of interest to researchers looking for Mormon pioneers that it contained the following items
I have learned that not all companies had a roster, so some may have came to Salt Lake City unaccounted for. The rosters sometimes just said something like "John Smith and family", so if you had a child in the family that was your ancestor you need to do additional research to see if he traveled with the family.
The Journal History is the main source for rosters of pioneer companies, however you should know that many entries were just newspaper clippings of rosters that were printed in the Deseret News. To find an entry of a pioneer company roster in the Deseret News first look in Mormon Pioneer Companies Crossing the Plains and then look for it. All known printed rosters have been included in Mormon Pioneer Search.
The table below only shows microfilm numbers up to 1870. See the Family History Catalog for film numbers beyond this time period.
A index of 1850-1900 to the Deseret News weekly edition has been created, which is useful when looking for a reference to a particular pioneer. The microfilm number for that is US/CAN Film 26586 item 1.
Church Chronology : A record of important events pertaining to the history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Andrew Jenson created this volume which gives a very high level month to month day to day diary of events in the LDS church starting in 1805 to about 1899. An index at the back is useful when looking for small references to names of people.
The call number for this book is US/CAN Book 289.309 J453c 1899
The book is also comes on four microfiche with a number of US/CAN Fiche 6053255.
Last updated: January 20, 2002