About the Pioneer Database

    Background

    It is estimated that between 70,000 and 75,000 people immigrated to Utah between 1847 and 1868. Given this, as of 2015 we are lacking about 15,000 pioneers in the database. In other words, about one-fifth of the pioneers who came to Utah still need to be found and added.

    When the database was first launched, we added all the names from existing rosters as well as names mentioned in trail journals and other contemporary sources. That was easily accomplished, but that identified only about 35 percent of those who came across the plains. For several years we have been systematically adding names of pioneers who are believed to have come in a specific year but for whom the company could not be identified. In many cases, we have been unable to narrow their travel to a single year but have added them to the database within a range of two or more years in a kind of catchall category.

    We have been using creative means and many different sources to find these pioneers. Following are the sources that we have used, are currently using, or have identified as containing names of pioneers. Each name in the source is researched to determine if it is already in the database. Research is conducted for those individuals not found in the database.

    Utah censuses

    • 1850
    • 1852 bishop’s report
    • 1856 territorial
    • 1860
    • 1870

    PEF ledger books

    Record of members

    Tithing schedule indexes

    • 1855
    • 1856
    • 1866

    Consecration deeds

    Tax lists

    Indexes of divorces granted by Brigham Young

    Published and online sources containing biographical information

    • Sons of Utah Pioneers publications
    • Daughters of Utah Pioneers publications (such as Pioneer Women of Faith and Fortitude)
    • Welsh Mormon History
    • History of Tooele County
    • History of Sanpete and Emery Counties
    • Many county and city histories with biography sections