Thursday, 28 September 2017

BYU Records of British Morman Immigrants

An article by Rebecca Curtis in the September issue of Genealogists' Magazine mentions four free databases that may be helpful if you're researching someone who disappears from British records in the 19th century. Did they convert to the Mormon religion and move to the USA? Toronto genealogist Linda Reid tells of her surprise in finding someone in her family tree who converted and left the UK for Utah. It's a mistake to assume that didn't happen in your extended family.
These databases are the work of students and staff of Brigham Young University Center for Family History and Genealogy.

Nauvoo Community Project
Nauvoo (Illinois) was established in 1838 by settlers fleeing persecution for their LDS religion. The database has a goal to identify the residents of the Nauvoo area from 1839 to 1846 and follow their later lives. The article states there were 2,479 residents born in England, 386 in Scotland, 221 in Ireland and 163 in Wales. The research is ongoing. Caution. Many entries include the notation that "The record on this page represents traditional data. This person has not yet been researched by the CFHG."

Immigrant Ancestors Project
The project uses emigration registers to locate information about the birthplaces of Mormon immigrants in their native countries, which is not found in the port registers and naturalization documents in the destination countries. There were 417,813 British entries in the database at the time Curtis was writing, including duplicates and multiple records for the same person.

Welsh Mormon Immigrant Project
An estimated twenty percent of the population of Utah is of Welsh descent. CFHG aims to document the Welsh immigrants. Currently there are 5,112 names in this database.

Mormon Migration
Contains information on about 90,000 LDS converts who crossed the oceans during the 19th century.


Chad Milliner said...

Here are a few additional databases that are very helpful for tracing European origins of Mormon converts:

Anonymous said...

I was quite surprised recently to come upon records of a 19th century couple from Jersey, related to the family I was researching some years back, having left Jersey against great family opposition to travel to Salt Lake City. They were actively resisted by well known and powerful family members in maintaining their chosen religious observances that the husband was even imprisoned in France. Finally the couple were able to depart, and one would assume made their way to Utah.
In 2013 I was at a FH conference in Leicestershire and chatted to a lady who was clearly LDS, there to promote and, who noted "oh, you're from Canada." She said her family had spent some time there, but she had never visited Canada herself. When I got home, I realized with some easy research from the notes I took that her Scot ancestors had been neighbours of my family in the original settlement of the Perth Military Settlement circa 1820. As my ancestors found, their land was only going to be marginally profitable as farmland in the Lanark Highlands, and as my ancestors did, they went further to south western Ontario looking for better land. There they were converted to the LDS, and had begun their long trek west as well. I was able to visit her family's land in Lanark, and send her the first photos she had ever seen of it.
It's always a surprise what you come across when you listen and casually hunt and sniff around. Cheers, BT