Best LDS Websites

Key Family History Web Sites

Many new and exciting digital records are being made available on the Internet in recent years at an ever-increasing rate.

However, Latter-day Saint web sites are not as easy to find but can be very helpful in your research. The following collection is not meant to be a comprehensive listing of all LDS web sites available. There are more comprehensive sources available that is covered inside. Rather, this is an easy-to-use selection of pre-screened, key LDS web sites to save you valuable time and empower you with this knowledge.

Online Directories of LDS Web Sites

Here are some online web site directories (or portals) that provide web links specifically for LDS family history; some web sites also provide links for a wide variety of subjects pertinent to Latter-day Saints.

Cyndi’s List of LDS Records -
A comprehensive list of LDS related websites organized by the following topics: Family History Centers, Family History Library, FamilySearch, history of the LDS Church, Mailing Lists, Miscellaneous Genealogy Resources, Professional Researchers, Publications/Software, Queries and Lists. Web Links - > Free Online Resources (Listed under Start Your Family History). - Web links to Census records, Vital records, Immigration records, Military records, and Other Key Web Resources.

Genealogy -
Contains many LDS/Utah references including information on history, genealogy, and immigration.

Mormon - > Links
LDS Web links created by Allen Leigh on a wide variety of different topics, including some genealogy.

LDS and Utah Records -
Web links and notes by Donald Snow, family history instructor, categorized under the following headings: Major web sites, Utah and Arizona Vital Records, LDS Church records, LDS family history CD, and Misc.

My LDS -
Another web portal of LDS Web Links organized by specific topics.

Book: A Guide to Mormon Family History Sources - $16.95
A comprehensive list of LDS family history websites, databases, and much more in one book by Kip Sperry, an author, lecturer, and Professor of family history at BYU. Available to purchase online from

Directory of a wide variety of LDS Websites including some genealogy.

Another directory of LDS related web sites.

LDS Internet Resource -
Ideas, activities, talks, lessons, clipart and more for many LDS subjects, including family history.

Where Do I Start? -
You need to register as a member of the LDS Church to access the temple ordinance info. Then click on the International Genealogical Index (IGI) and search for your ancestor. See more details under Directory of Software.

Tracing Mormon Pioneers - Tips for tracing Mormon Pioneer ancestry from Europe, Scandinavia, Australia, and South Africa to Salt Lake City, Utah. Includes an index of thousands of references of those who migrated to Utah during 1847-1868, plus an index search tool for Utah Census Records.

Tracing LDS Families - > Search for ‘Tracing LDS Families’
A research outline detailing the strategies and records that can help you learn more about your ancestors from around the world who were members of the LDS Church. It helps you decide which types of records to search. In addition to this outline, you will also need to use the research outlines available for the state, province, and nation where your ancestor lived. For example, the Utah Research Outline and the United States Research Outline would help locate many records about Church members in those places. Go to > Research Helps > Articles, and click on ‘PDF’ under each article.

Early Latter-day -
This site provides information about the lives and families of pioneer Latter-day Saints (over 61,000 names) who lived in the more than 90 settlements of Latter-day Saints in the Missouri Valley, across the state of Iowa, and Winter Quarters in Nebraska between 1830–1868. You will find individual and family information in family group, pedigree and descendant reports some with photographs as well as biographies, settlement histories, maps, cemeteries, and timelines that will help you understand their lives and times. It also contains an index of over 100 books found in the Pioneer Research Library at the Mormon Trail Center at Historic Winter Quarters, and links to Census records and other research sites. Click ‘Help’ to view the introductory information.

123 - $
Family history tutorial videos focusing on methodology, software, internet and research topics. The best genealogy experts become your personal tutors as you learn step-by-step the ins and outs of family history.

Early LDS Church Membership - > Collection > LDS Collection   $
A database of birth, marriage, and death records comprised of a 50-volume list (about 113,000 names) of people who were members of the LDS Church from 1830 to 1848 and who lived in the United States, Canada or Great Britain. The database created by Susan Black was compiled using more than 300 primary and secondary sources on early Latter-day Saints, but it does not necessarily include every member of the Church who lived during the time period. This site includes other LDS databases of value and allows you to browse the list for free. But at Family History Centers you can also browse and view the actual databases for free.

PBS Ancestors TV Series -
The companion web site to the PBS family history and genealogy television series featuring: beginning your research, helpful resources, online tools, inspiring video clips about personal stories, and recommended links.

Adding New Branches to Your Family Tree

Early Church Information File - > (Perform a Search)
An alphabetical index of individuals on 75 rolls of microfilm. It contains about 1,500,000 entries from over 1,200 sources about Latter-day Saints and their neighbors. The index is international in scope and should be among the first sources checked when searching for Latter-day Saint ancestors or persons living in areas heavily populated by Latter-day Saints. It mainly covers sources from 1830 to the mid-1900s; includes LDS Church records, LDS immigration records, cemetery records, biographies, journals, and some published books. Microfilm numbers for each individual are listed in the Family History Library Catalog.

BYU Immigrant Ancestors Project -
An ongoing project sponsored by BYU’s Center for Family History and Genealogy uses emigration registers to locate information about the birthplaces of immigrants in their native countries, which is not found in the port registers and naturalization documents in the destination countries.

Mormon Pioneer Overland Travel - >About the Church > Church History > Library > Resources Available Online. Or try:,15773,3966-1,00.html
The most complete index of individuals and companies that crossed the plains to Utah between 1847 and 1868. Includes transcribed excerpts from trail diaries, letters, and newspaper reports.

Membership Card Index -
This unique card index (also known as the "Minnie Margetts File") indexes selected LDS Church membership records, primarily in the United States and England from 1839-1915.

Nauvoo Records of Baptisms - A 7-volume set of over 15,000 baptisms, not found elsewhere, that have been extracted from faded holographic baptismal records, including information on work done in the Mississippi River.

Mormon Immigration Index - > (do a quick search)
The newly-released Index on compact disk documents the journeys of over 94,000 LDS Church converts who crossed the Atlantic or Pacific oceans to gather in Nauvoo, Illinois, or other frontier outposts, between 1840 and 1890.

Includes the name, age, and country of origin of each passenger, ports of departure and arrival, approximate number of passengers on each ship, the assigned company leaders, often a brief history of the voyage, plus autobiographies, journals, diaries and letters of approximately 1,000 immigrant converts. These accounts provide a compelling view of those who crossed the oceans and then by land, rivers, and rails gathered in Salt Lake City, and will be available online in the future at

Danish and Scandinavian Immigration -
Contains web links for a Research Outline for Denmark, emigration from Scandinavia, listing of Parishes, Census and Probates, place lists, maps, surnames lists, helps and tips.

Web Links for Specific Utah Resources - > Utah Genealogy (listed under Localities: USA)  
A good statewide directory of about 4,500 family history web links.

Cyndi’s / Utah -
Another good directory of about 1,500 web links.

Death and Marriage Notices -
Abstracts of Deaths and Marriages Notices in the Deseret News Weekly of Salt Lake City, Utah (1852-1900).

Utah Digital Newspapers -
Contains over 600,000 pages of Utah historical newspapers and other digital collections.

Utah Research Center -
Research Utah Death Certificates from 1904-1956, and state and local government records from 1850 to today; and research manuscripts, photographs, books, maps, and online resources about Utah and the West.

Utah State History / Cemeteries -
Explore Utah’s history and its place in the West, search thousands of photographs, and find many of Utah’s cemetery records online.

Utah Census Search -
An index for Utah Census records from 1850-1880.

Western States Marriage Index -
A current ongoing project that contains about 700,000 marriage records to date from selected counties in California, western Colorado, Montana, Oregon, Utah, eastern Washington, Wyoming and New Mexico.

Washington County Pioneer Index -
An index of the names and vital information of Utah Pioneers who entered Washington County, Utah up to 1870. The resources include: U.S. 1860 and 1870 Censes, early LDS Ward membership records, cemetery records, local histories, family group sheets, and indexes of land deeds.

Washington County Early Marriage Index -
Contains over 2,000 marriages in Washington County, Utah from 1862-1919.

Salt Lake City Directories -
Links to early residential directories.

Utah Digital Collections and Indexes -
Salt Lake County death certificate images, 1905-1956

Daughters of Utah Pioneers -
The members of the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers (DUP) have prepared and collected thousands of biographies of early pioneers (1847-1869). A pioneer is an ancestor who came to the Utah Territory/State of Deseret; died crossing the plains; or was born in the Utah Territory/State of Deseret before May 10, 1869, the coming of the railroad. Also available are photographs of many of the early LDS church members. You can search for a pioneer on their website and then request a copy of their biography.

Finding Your Family Stories,                                              Traditions, and Photos                                                              Adding Historical Context

BYU Family History Archive -
One of the greatest online genealogy resources available that is still relatively unknown. It currently includes a collection of about 20,000 diaries, biographies, family histories, Elders journals, oral histories, gazetteers, and a medieval section.

However, they continue to add new volumes each week, and they are targeting over 100,000 published family histories and thousands of local histories, city directories and other related records all of which can be easily searched by surname, geographic area, book title, or author. The best way to quickly find the histories most likely to be of use to you is to use the Keyword searches.

Trails of Hope: Overland Diaries and Letters -
A collection of the original writings of 49 voyagers on the Mormon, California, Oregon, and Montana pioneer trails who wrote while traveling on the trail; includes maps, trail guides, photographs, watercolors and art sketches between 1846-1869.

Mormon Missionary Diaries -
A superb collection of over 63,000 pages of missionary diaries including some individuals fairly prominent in the LDS Church. It provides an opportunity to read and understand the missionary experiences, the joys, the sorrows, the struggles that can change lives. The earliest missionary diary in the collection is a one–volume diary penned in 1832 by Hyrum Smith.

Journals of Early Members of the Church -
Journals, diaries, biographies and autobiographies of some early Mormons and others who knew Joseph Smith, Jr. and/or his contemporaries.

Biography and Journal Excerpts -
Some biography and journal excerpts, and resources on different topics about Utah, Mormonism and the West including the full text of some out-of-print books.

Mormon Biographical Registers -
A list of people in selected Mormon biographical registers.

Mormon Biographical Sketches -
A website devoted to the life and times of Joseph Smith from 1831 to 1839 (the Ohio/Missouri period); includes biographical sketches of his contemporaries.

LDS Biographical Encyclopedia - > All Collections > Misc. Books.
A compilation of over 5000 biographical sketches and more than 2000 photographs of prominent men and women in the LDS Church. It comprises 4-volumes between 1901-1936 available on line in the special books collection at BYU. This work is particularly valuable in providing brief histories of Church units from their beginnings up to 1930.

Joseph Resource Center -
Contains historical digitized documents from the life and times of Joseph Smith, photographs of many of the sites of the Restoration, and the Joseph Smith Papers.

Mormons and Their Neighbors -
An index of over 100,000 biographical sketches appearing in 236 published volumes; includes people living between 1820 and 1981 in northern Mexico, New Mexico, Arizona, southern California, Nevada, Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, and southwestern Canada. It is not a name index, only published works containing actual biographical information were indexed. Most of the titles are housed in the BYU Library.

Welsh Mormon -
Contains journal excerpts, vital information, biographies, and photos. This site seeks to preserve and share information about the early converts to Mormonism in Wales.

Mormon Publications -
Or try
A digital collection in the BYU Library of early Mormon publications which includes books, missionary tracts, doctrinal treatises, hymnals and periodicals which helped define the doctrinal development and historical movements of the Mormon people in the 19th and 20th centuries.

Studies in Mormon History -
An online indexed bibliography that includes articles, books, theses, dissertations, and diaries dealing with the history of the Church written from the time of its inception in 1830 to the present.

Encyclopedia of Mormonism -
A digital collection in the BYU Library of the out-of-print Macmillan’s 1992 publication in full, searchable form, complete with original pagination and illustrations. It remains the most encyclopedic coverage of Mormonism ever produced. It broadly covers the basic elements and enduring features of Mormon history, doctrine, scripture, organization, and culture.

Mormon -
Contains a brief history of the U.S. Mormon Battalion along with a documented, researched roster, photographs, and maps.

LDS Families Info - > Family Website Links
Biographical information on many well-known LDS families.

Historical Documents of the LDS Church -
From the Evening and Morning Star, Messenger Advocate, and Times and Seasons.

Far West -
Interactive map and history of Far West.

Mormon Frontier Foundation -
History of early settlements in Missouri.

BYU Winter Quarters Project -
Searchable pioneer database and information on the settlements in Nebraska.

Mountain West Digital Library -
An aggregation of digital collections from universities, colleges, public libraries, museums, and historical societies in Utah, Nevada, and Idaho.

Early Mormon History Articles -
Old newspaper articles on the Mormons indexed by region.

Utah State Historical Society -
Thousands of photographs, books, manuscript collections, maps, newspapers and periodicals on Utah’s history.

BYU Library Photo Collection -
Over 30,000 historic photographic collections.

Isle of Man Mormon Coverts -
Biographies of some Mormon converts.

Patriarchal Blessings -
To order copies through the mail of patriarchal blessings of all your LDS ancestors (limited to four at a time) from the Church Historian's office.

Perpetual Emigrating Fund - > (do a search)
Names of persons and sureties indebted to the Perpetual Emigrating Fund Company from 1850 to 1877. Images Search - > Images
Comprehensive web image search.


Register your purchase

Please register your book/eBook purchase with us to receive information on updates.

Register now

Sign-up For FREE Updates, Discounts, and Tips