Has anyone used Mormon geneological research tools?


I belong to a local group that is dedicated to preservation and restoration of old public cemeteries, such as the city-owned ones. The group is not affliliated with any religion. Many members of my group are also involved in geneology groups. Two members, one Protestant and the other Jewish, mentioned that the Mormons have some great tools for researching geneology (such as census records, death certificates, etc.) that are available at low cost or no cost. Has anyone here done geneology research using these LDS tools? Does use of the geneology tools serve as an invitation to missionaries?


I’ve used their web site several times, and it never led to any missionary activity. They have a link, and they might send a card inviting missionary activity, but othewise no.


I would advise extreme caution.

Some LDS people have a vendetta against people whose geneaology does not meet with their appproval. See “In Mormon Circles”, by Coates. I guarantee you, by personal experience, that THAT book states the truth. :eek:

If your geneaology meets with their “standards”, there will be no problem. But do you really know, at the point you start your exploration?

I highly recommend exploring your family history. Understanding your family and cultural heritage is an excellent tool for understanding yourself. :thumbsup:


What do they consider to “meet their standards”? Are they biased against certain nationalities?


:eek: Your naivety amazes me. Read that book, and check out exmormon.org/, and read the Book of Mormon, bearing in mind the possibility that the Viking invasion of North America was much more extensive than previously thought. I am sure with those resources, the answer will be clear.


i’ve gone to the local family history center to do research.

about 3 years ago, i slept and breathed my family tree :rolleyes:
i was going to the FHC a couple times a week for 6 months.
not once did anyone try to convert me or anything like that.

the closest i got to even talking about mormonism was when the director of the center asked if anyone in my family was mormon. i said no, and then added ‘not that i know of’. and he said something to the affect of ‘right, you never know’

i was pretty ignorant of the teachings of mormonism at the time, but the people manning the center weren’t missionaries at all.

the director at my FHC has since changed, and isn’t as friendly, but i don’t believe that the non-missionary aspect has changed.

the centers are VERY useful tools to genealogists. i highly recommend using the service.


what are you talking about :confused:


I am just interested in researching my family history. I have no intentions of converting to the Mormon religion. I am a Catholic Christian, and that is all I will ever be. Why would I need to read about getting out of the Mormon religion? I am not in it and never will be.


My cousin was determined, a couple of years ago, to find the graves of 2 of the deceased siblings of his father (mine’s youngest brother). When all else failed, he turned to the Mormons. They indeed were able to help him find the graves of these children, who had died in infancy.
Now, it is true that, without any embarrassment, the gentleman who helped him, did admit to the intent to be baptized for the dead in the names of these 2, in order to make them Mormon.:shrug: It means nothing, of course, and the only 2 remaining of that family of 13 children are relieved that there are no longer siblings in unmarked graves.

I am unaware of what Jerusha is discussing, but I do know that Mormons were, until fairly recently, very much convinced of the superior position of white people…I have no idea how far this goes, nor what it might mean for you.
I am just generally more tahn a little suspicious of Mormons, on general purpuses…


Years ago my secretary, who was Assembly of God, spent hours in the Los Angeles Mormon library doing genealogy searches. She never had any problem and thought their service was great. [In her spare time she prepared four volumes of notes for me on my ancestors.]


Based on what the two of you have posted here, I will check out the website for family history.


Mormons were, until fairly recently, very much convinced of the superior position of white people…I have no idea how far this goes, nor what it might mean for you.

Racism is too deeply ingrained into LDS culture for a person to justifiably include the statement “until fairly recently”. Read the BOM, which is still their sacred scripture. It serves to justify slavery of both blacks and Indians, as a punishment for the “sins of their ancestors”-- which relates to the practice of “baptism for the dead”.

Read those sources, and you can understand MY attitude of extreme caution. For you, there may be no problem.


I have read the Book of Mormon, though I must confess that I had a:cool: good deal of trouble staying awake to do the reading…
It is perfectly true that I may be more than a little unaware of the depths of Mormon prejudices.


I think that is the biggest problem. When I read it, I already had a good understanding of what part of it contains truth, and I just didn’t read the preaching stuff.


I have used the LDS resources often over probably fifteen years. There is no mention, at any time, of anything having to do with the religion, or for that matter, any contact with me other than the records I research or the documents that I have ordered. At one time, when I lived in Atlanta, and also when I lived in Denver, I would go to the LDS library and research records there. No one, at any time, ever talked to me about their religion. I find it to be a great resource.


Have you used the services provided by the LDS church? Sure sounds to me like you have not. I have, and at no time was my religion, or their religion, ever mentioned. Sort of like going to the public library to do research.


I will check out their resources on geneology. Thanks for letting me know that religion is not a part of the geneology research.


I have no interest in reading the BOM. I am interested in researching my family history, not the Mormon religion.

As for prejudice, the only type my family would have been subjected to would be the “no Irish hired” type.


Yes I have! I have been researching my ancestors since 1990. In 1991 someone suggested I visit my local Mormon Church’s Family History Center. I am fortunate that it is only one mile from my home. The people who work there are volunteers, experienced Genealogists who have been so helpful in my search. Most of them are Mormon, but not all of them are. There are wonderful resources there on the premise, and resources that you can send off for too. For example, Salt Lake City has underground vaults that house thousands of documents, films, etc. that you can order for a small fee of about $4.00. They will loan them to your local Family History Center for 3 weeks which gives you plenty of time to view them(you can extend the time for a fee as well) and hopefully get the information you are looking for. In the past I have sent for films from my ancestors town in Italy looking for Marriages in 1901. Of course it was in Italian:rolleyes: :shrug: so I had to have it translated. I have also viewed Baptisms from England during the 1700’s. That one didn’t glean any info for me but it was interesting reading documents from so long ago.
No one from the Mormon Church has ever approached me about their Church, not once. There is a sign up sheet that asks if you belong to that Church, but other than that, no one has ever brought it up. They have been nothing but helpful in my “never-ending”:shrug: search for ancestors. If you have one near you I would highly recommend them as a tool. They also have a website www.familysearch.org. If you have any questions I will be glad to help in any way that I can. There are other tools to use besides them, like obtaining Birth, Marriage & Death Certificates. You need to know proper names, places & dates. As far as the dates go, if you think the year is 1910 but not sure, a search can be done for three including & before or after that date for an extra fee. Last week I sent to NYC archives & records for my Great-Great-Grandmother’s Death Certificate. It cost $10.00 and is well worth the information I hope to get from it (exact birthplace, parents names etc.). I could go on & on as it is a passion of mine, so once again, I’ll be glad to help if I can. Best wishes, it’s addictive! Also, don’t get discouraged if you come to a dead end. That is normal & I can’t tell you how many times I put it down:( and in a few weeks or even a month, picked it back up again! It’s sort of like putting a puzzle together.:slight_smile:


I have used their Personal Ancestry File free downloadable genealogy tracking software for about 7 years now. Great product, easy to use, does not send info back to the church or anything like that, currently supporting over 6000 names in my database, has the capability for extensive notes, multimedia, etc. The base template for entry does include some LDS specific data fields, but those can be easily suppressed, they tell you how to do that. You can also add in customized fields for Catholic specific information if you like. There are options to upload your info to them, but it is something you have to actively choose to do.

I have also frequently used the www.familysearch.org site to look at the free every-name-indexed online 1880 US census. Wonderful tool. I have a young daughter, so I don’t have the opportunities to get to either of the two FHC in our area (though she is getting older, so that may be a possibility in the not too distant future). Regardless of their goals, they are indeed doing a great service to genealogists everywhere through their efforts.

Do be aware that there are limitations on the reliability of things on the website like the pedigree resource file and ancestry file. Take it as a starting point and lead, then verify it for yourself. There have not, as I understand it, been any sort of verification standards for that information to be submitted, so it could be in error. Could also be accurate, the point is that you don’t necessarily have the information on sources available to you to judge the likely reliability for yourself.

I have never received any solicitation from the LDS, either in the form of a personal visit, mail, phone call or email, because of my use of or participation in the information. I even have cousins who are Mormon (who live in a different community) who know that I use this and it has not generated any contact. Frankly, I also don’t see that their deciding to posthumously baptize or seal one of my ancestors even if they found out about them has any effect on that person except in the eyes of the LDS.

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