Genealogy from the perspective of a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon, LDS)

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Church History and Genealogy: Part Two -- Beginning to Search

Susan Easton Black, now a retired professor of Church History at Brigham Young University and some of her associates researched LDS historical resources and compiled a 50-volume set of information on early members of the church. This is the citation to the set.

Black, Susan Easton. Membership of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, 1830-1848. Provo, Utah: Religious Study Center, Dept. of Church History and Doctrine, Brigham Young University, 1989.

It is a good beginning point to research the available information and sources for an early LDS ancestor. It is available in hard copy in the Family History Library and Brigham Young University collections and is also available digitally.

While this compilation is extensive, it is not complete. An index of the set is available in the Early Church Information File or ECIF.

  Another source of early Church membership information is the Nauvoo Temple endowment register: 10 December 1845 to 8 February 1846.

As the statement in red notes, the Nauvoo records are indexed in the Early Church Information File, 1830-1900. However, access to some of the early Church temple records in the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah may be restricted to members with current temple recommends.

If you have the time to make a visit to Nauvoo, Illinois, you need to visit the Historic Nauvoo Land and Records office. Quoting from the website:
The Land and Records Research Center (Office/Site) has records on those individuals who were in Nauvoo between 1839 and 1846. We have information on where they lived, their families, their church and community involvement, their properties, their occupation, and more. Much of our information is not accessible anywhere else.

Here are some additional references to the early Church members living in Nauvoo:

Ward, Maurine Carr, A Partial List of Church Members Living in Nauvoo, PDF file online,

University of Utah, Libraries, and Manuscripts Division. The Nauvoo Temple Sealing Records., 1849.

Black, Susan Easton. Latter-Day Saints in Adams County, Illinois (1839-1846). Accessed January 14, 2017.

If you keep searching, you will find even more records. In the next part in this series, I will examine

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