Overview

Learn about the Biographical Database’s authoritative datasets and methodology for describing the lives of early Church members.
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The Church History Biographical Database is a deeply researched repository of biographical information on Latter-day Saints who lived during the first 110 years of the restored Church. It includes data from authoritative primary sources on over 61,000 pioneers who immigrated to Utah between 1847 and 1868, as well as information on over 44,000 missionaries who served between 1830 and 1940.

In addition to basic biographical information for a given Latter-day Saint—such as birth and death dates, with their corresponding locations—the database also displays information such as the following, if it is available:

• A photograph of the individual.
• Parents’ names.
• Baptism date, along with its location and the person who performed the ordinance.
• If the person was a pioneer, their pioneer company and traveling companions will be listed.
• If the person served a mission (or missions), the name of the mission(s) and their dates of service.
• A list of sources used to gather the individual’s information, such as censuses, pioneer company rosters, and the Journal History of the Church.

This information comes from the merger of two databases previously hosted by the Church History Library: the Pioneer Overland Travel Database and the Missionary Database. Now, with both databases combined, a single search enables researchers to find results in the combined data without having to switch from one research tool to another. Additionally, results are now also available in a timeline view, giving researchers a chronological representation of this data.

More improvements are coming, including information about participants in the Mormon Battalion and residents of Nauvoo. Once added, this data will also be presented alongside missionary and pioneer data in each individual's timeline. Our historians continue to refine the data as new facts are discovered through their research and tips from our users of the database. Our goal is to present a rich understanding of the lives of early Latter-day Saints and their contribution to the history of the Church.

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