Computer Databases and Genealogical Collections

Kip Sperry, Kirtland, Ohio: A Guide to Family History and Historical Sources (Provo, Utah: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 2005) 173–186.

Kirtland Temple

Computer Databases and Genealogical Collections

Kip Sperry

Ancestral File. A computerized database of over thirty-five million lineage-linked names of living and deceased individuals organized into family groups and pedigrees. Ancestral File found on the FamilySearch™ Internet site ( does not show names of living individuals, nor does it show LDS temple ordinance dates. There is a DOS version of Ancestral File available at Family History Centers which shows names of living individuals and LDS temple dates (if temple ordinance dates were included by the person who submitted the data). Ancestral File is a compiled source; it does not show notes and sources, nor does it show where the information originated. Use information found in Ancestral File cautiously. The database does not allow for additions or corrections to Ancestral File. The Pedigree Resource File is more complete and more up-to-date. [1]

Ancestry, Inc. LDS FamilyHistory Suite 2. CD-ROM. Provo, Utah: Ancestry, 1998.

LDS biographical sketches and indexes to biographical sketches; photographs; church histories; periodicals; newspapers; guides; bibliographies; LDS emigration rosters; vital records; cemetery records; Susan Easton Black’s Membership of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1830–1848, 50 volumes; Susan Easton Black’s Early Members of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, 6 volumes; and other Mormon sources. The compact disc is indexed. See also The Pioneer Heritage CD-ROM.

————. The Pioneer Heritage CD-ROM. Orem, Utah: Ancestry, 1998. CD-ROM.

Daughters of Utah Pioneers Collection; histories and early periodicals; guides and indexes to diaries, autobiographies, and manuscripts; pioneer biographies; journals and diaries; photographs; pioneer vital records; and Pioneers and Prominent Men of Utah. For an expanded version, see Ancestry, Inc. LDS FamilyHistory Suite 2. CD-ROM.

Backman, Milton Vaughn, Jr., and Keith W. Perkins, eds. writings of Early Latter-day Saints and Their Contemporaries: A Database Collection. 2nd ed., rev. and enlarged. Provo, Utah: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 1996. Transcriptions of over 200 published and unpublished autobiographies, diaries, and journals of LDS Church leaders and members. Included as part of Ancestry’s LDS FamilyHistory Suite 2 (Ancestry, 1998), CD-ROM. See also Early Membership Historical Records, 1830–1848.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Church History Library. Mormon Pioneer Overland Travel, 1847–1868. Also available online at pioneercompanysearch/1,15773,3966–1,OO.html. This Internet site is one of the first places to check for names of Mormon pioneers migrating to Utah during the nineteenth century, including many former Kirtland residents; this database is updated as new rosters and information are added. Click on “About This Database.”

Early Membership Historical Records, 1830–1848 , is a genealogical and historical database available at the Kirtland Family History Center (Historic Kirtland) and Saints of Kirtland building. A separate but related database is known as The Saints of Kirtland. Compiled by Milton V. Backman Jr. and Keith W. Perkins over many years and with assistance from Nauvoo Restoration, Inc., and the Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah. Contents of early Latter-day Saint records include the following: [2]


Mormons and Their Neighbors, comp. Marvin Wiggins. An index to about 100,000 biographical sketches from 1820 to the present. These records are located in the Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah.

Guide to Mormon Diaries and Autobiographies (1977), comp. Davis Bitton.

Guide to Mormon Manuscripts to 1864 (1977), comp. Andrus and Bennett. All or portions of most records listed in the Bitton and Andrus guidebooks are in this database.


Early Priesthood Holders

Biographical Information from Seventies Records & other sources

Kirtland Elders’ Quorum Record, 1836–1841 (1985). Ed.

Lyndon W. Cook and Milton V. Backman Jr.

Early Seventies, comp. Harvey Black

Seventies Ordained before 1850

Seventies Ordained after 1849

Autobiographies of Early Seventies

Biographical Information from High Priest Records

Index of Minutes from High Council (Nauvoo)

Index of Minutes from Teachers Quorum

Record of Members, 1841–1845

1842 LDS Census

Excerpts from 1842 Personal Property Tax Record

(primary records from townships where many Latter-day Saints gathered)

Nauvoo List of Members

Daily Log o f Persons Entering Nauvoo

Members of Nauvoo Legion

Missouri Petitions

Marriages in the Nauvoo Region

Inscriptions Found on Tombstones and Monuments in Early LDS Burial Grounds Pioneers of 1847

Members of the Mormon Battalion (List)

Ellsworth Handcart Company, 1856

Willie and Martin Handcart Company

Membership of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1830–1848, 50 vols., comp. Susan Easton Black

Most of the information in this collection of Latter-day Saints who lived in Kirtland is not only available in the database but also in separate word processor files.

EARLY RLDS (now Community of Christ), Early Members of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, comp. Susan Easton Black

Early Members of the Community of Christ

BIOGRAPHIES (See also “Writings” Collection)

Latter-day Saint Biographical Encyclopedia (1901–1935), comp. Andrew Jenson

Pioneers and Prominent Men of Utah 1847 to 1868 (1966) comp. Frank Esshom

Daughters of the Utah Pioneers and their Mothers’ Collection. James T. Jakeman [May copy only in electronic text format] (Western Album Publishing)

Our Pioneer Heritage, 1847 to 1868 (19 vols.)

Heart Throbs of the West (19 vols.)

Treasure of Pioneer History (4 vols.)

An Enduring Legacy (12 vols.)

Biographies of Members of the Mormon Battalion (in process)

Biographies of the Prophets

(Biographies of Presidents of the Church from Joseph Smith through Ezra Taft Benson)


“Writings of and about Early Latter-day Saints and Their Contemporaries,” comp. Milton V. Backman Jr. and Keith W. Perkins, is primarily a collection of unpublished records. This collection contains over 550 autobiographies, journals, and diaries kept by early Latter-day Saints. It includes a few letters and many reminiscences (such as reminiscences of Joseph Smith by more than 60 Latter-day Saints). There are also in this collection over 170 biographies of early Latter-day Saints, including seventeen master’s theses and biographical information on “Latter-day Saints who died and were buried in Kirtland, Lake County, Ohio,” by Janet Lisonbee. Nearly all of these records are not only in this database but are also available as separate files.


Doctrine and Covenants

Pearl of Great Price

Joseph Smith Collection (Includes Teachings, Words, Writings, and Papers)

Pioneer Periodicals

Nauvoo Neighbor (May–July 1843) (Excerpts)

Times and Seasons (1839–46)

Elders’Journal (1838)

Messenger and Advocate (1835–38)

Evening and Morning Star (1832–34)

Far West Record, 1830–1844. Ed. Cook & Cannon

History of the Church (7 vols., Joseph Smith)

Selections from the Journal History of the Church (1839–46)

Journal of Discourses (1854–86, 26 vols.)

Collected Discourses Delivered by Wilford Woodruff (1886–98, 5 vols., comp. Brian H. Stuy)

Messages of the First Presidency (6 vols., comp. James R. Clark)

Church Chronology (1808–1913, Andrew Jenson)

Historical Record (8 vols., Andrew Jenson)

Infancy of the Church (Andrew Jenson)

Comprehensive History of the Church (6 vols., B. H. Roberts)

History of Utah (4 vols., Orson F. Whitney)

Family Group Records Collection. Family and Church History Department, Salt Lake City. Microfilm, FHL, and Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah. Also known as the Family Group Records Archives, contains over eight million family group records; some records show documentation while others do not. Some o f the information is now outdated. There are two major sections: Archive Section (records submitted between 1942 and 1969) and Patrons Section (records submitted between 1962 and 1977). Records are alphabetically arranged by the husband’s surname. See the Pedigree Resource File and Ancestral File for updated information before using this collection. The original paper copies of the family group records are no longer available for researchers to use, but the microfilms are available.

Family History Library Catalog. Known as FHLC, this is an automated catalog describing the holdings of the Family History Library in Salt Lake City ( It catalogs over three million rolls o f microfilm, microfiche, books, maps, and other resources and is especially useful for locating surnames and locality records. Some versions are more up-to-date than others. There is also an older CD-ROM version that allows keyword and other searches.

International Genealogical Index. A computerized index of over 750 million names of deceased individuals from throughout the world extracted from records or information was submitted by LDS Church members. Many names in the IGI index vital records and church records (births, baptisms, and marriages). There are two different views of the IGI on FamilySearch Internet ( (1) one view is available to anyone and does not show LDS temple ordinance dates, (2) the second view is only available to LDS Church members who register by supplying their LDS membership number and their date of confirmation; this view shows LDS temple ordinance dates for deceased individuals only. Log onto SHARE (or click on “My Info” or “Sign On”), enter a user name and password, and register. Then return to the HOME page, click on SEARCH FOR ANCESTORS, and then click on the IGI on the left panel. Some 30 million individuals are lineage-linked in family group records and many people are shown in (limited generation) pedigree charts. [3]

Membership Card Index. Microfilm, FHL and BYU.

Also known as the “Minnie Margetts File,” this card file indexes various early LDS Church records, 1839–1915.

Mormon Related Archives from the Lake County Historical Society. Kirtland Hills, Ohio: Lake County Historical Society, 2004. CD-ROM.

Ordinance Index. Ordinance index is available at Family History Centers in an older DOS version of FamilySearch under “ LDS Options.” Although this is an official index to LDS temple ordinances, it is not as up-to-date as the temple ordinances available to LDS Church members and indexed on IGI Internet available online at

Patriarchal Blessing Index.

A computer index to the earliest (1833) patriarchal blessings given to Latter-day Saints to the latest volumes submitted to the LDS Church Archives in Salt Lake City. Upon completion of an application form, a copy of a blessing is available for a small fee to an LDS Church member, spouse, a direct line descendant, or a deceased direct line ancestor. Contact LDS Church Archives, 50 East North Temple Street, Room 215 EW, Salt Lake City, UT 84150–3421. The patriarchal blessing computer index may be searched in person at the LDS Church Archives. If recent blessings have not been forwarded to the LDS Church Archives, they are not recorded in the computer index. An older card index to patriarchal blessings is also available on microfilm (1833–1963).

Pedigree Charts Submitted to the Church Record Archives, 1924–1969. Microfilm, FHL.

Several series of microfilmed pedigree charts. Names of some early Kirtland residents are shown.

Pedigree Resource File (PRF). PRF is a growing computerized database of genealogies containing records that individuals have submitted online through FamilySearch Internet. Unlike Ancestral File, many genealogies show notes and sources. The index is on FamilySearch Internet (; however, lineage-linked pedigree and family group record data are available on CD-ROMs. The PRF contains over 86 million names.

Temple Records Index Bureau, 1846–1969. Microfilm, FHL, and Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah.

Also known as the TIB, or Endowment Index, this card file indexes some thirty million names of living and deceased individuals for whom proxy LDS temple endowments, and other proxy temple ordinances, were performed in LDS temples from 1846 to 1970. Names of many deceased people who were born in or resided in or near Kirtland are listed in this card index. Because the TIB contains names of living individuals and their endowment information, this file is only available to LDS Church members with a current temple recommend. Much of this card file (for deceased persons) has been replaced by and may be found in the International Genealogical Index (IGI) online (


[1] Ancestral File, Pedigree Resource File, International Genealogical Index, and other genealogical databases are described further online at FamilySearch Internet Genealogy Service ( See especially “What’s New on FamilySearch” under News.

[2] Appreciation is extended to Milton V. Backman Jr. and Keith W. Perkins and their assistants for compiling this large genealogical and historical database, providing this information, and making it available to researchers at the Kirtland Family History Center and elsewhere.

[3] For extended ancestral linkages, see Pedigree Resource File, Ancestral File, and various genealogical databases on the Internet, such as (, and other databases.