General Church HistoryNauvoo Era

Nauvoo Era

General Church History Research Guide

Online Resources:

Church History in the Fulness of Times Student Manual

This collegiate religious manual covers the history of the Church from the time of Joseph Smith to the modern church.  Chapters 17–24 discuss topics from taking refuge in Illinois to the leadership of Nauvoo after the martyrdom of Joseph Smith. Each chapter contains photographs, maps, charts, and figures. The manual is available on

Far West and Nauvoo Elders’ Certificates, 1837–1838; 1840–1846

This resource is an index of elders’ (and other priesthood offices) certificates issued by Church conferences that were recorded in Far West, Missouri, and Nauvoo, Illinois.

High Priests of Nauvoo and Early Salt Lake

This record is an index to several Nauvoo and early Salt Lake high priests quorum records. It includes biographical data of quorum members.

Historical Record Book, 1841–1874

This record book includes entries from the Nauvoo Mayor’s Court and City Court from October 1841 to February 1843.

Iowa Branch Index

This is an index of members of 23 branches of the Church in Iowa during the Nauvoo era and the trek west between 1839 and 1859.

Nauvoo Marriage Certificates, 1842–1846

This collection contains actual marriage certificates recorded by James Sloan and Willard Richards.

Nauvoo Marriage Records, February 1842–December 1846

This record book lists marriages recorded by Nauvoo city recorders James Sloan and Willard Richards. It also includes some records of marriages performed by Joseph Smith.

Nauvoo Periodicals: The Wasp and the Nauvoo Neighbor

These are two of the several newspapers published in Nauvoo from 1839 to 1845. These papers include information on day-to-day events in Nauvoo as well as national and global headlines.

Nauvoo Record of Deeds

This record book lists Nauvoo land deeds beginning in 1841 and continuing to 1846 after the death of Joseph Smith and the dissolution of Nauvoo as a corporation.

Nauvoo Records, 1841–1845

This collection contains council proceedings, elections, revenue, treasury, taxation, and judicial records for the city of Nauvoo.

Old Nauvoo Burial Grounds—Early Latter-day Saint Website

This website provides information and maps of the Old Nauvoo Burial Grounds Cemetery. The Early Latter-day Saint database is a project of the Nauvoo Land and Records Office and the Historical Pioneer Research Group of the Winter Quarters, Nebraska, area (this website has not been well maintained but contains valuable information).

Property Transactions in Nauvoo, Hancock County, Illinois, and Surrounding Communities, 1839–1859

This online database lists land transactions that took place in Nauvoo and surrounding areas from 1839 to 1859. The database can be searched by completing search fields or by browsing the alphabetized list. It is hosted by World Vital Records. The seven-volume hard copy of the record is also available at the library (M277.73 B627p v. 1-7 2006).

Times and Seasons (November 1839–February 1846)

This newspaper was published for most of the time that members of the Church lived in Nauvoo. The digitized version is hosted online by Brigham Young University’s Harold B. Lee Library.

William Clayton History of the Nauvoo Temple, 1845

This journal, recorded by William Clayton, is an extensive discussion on the construction of the Nauvoo Temple in the 1840s. It contains a list of temple workmen and autographs of officers of the Church.

William D. Huntington Cemetery and Financial Records

This collection contains records made by William D. Huntington when he was the city sexton from 1839 to 1845. The Nauvoo Death Record contains name, cause of death, age at death, and grave location. It also includes an incomplete plot map of the cemetery.

Textual Resources (Available at the Library):

Annotated Record of Baptisms for the Dead, 1840–1845: Nauvoo, Hancock County, Illinois

This is a seven-volume compilation of individuals who performed proxy baptisms for the dead from 1840 to 1845 in Nauvoo. It contains biographical information for the proxies and the deceased and proxy relationships to the deceased (M277.73 B627a v. 1-7).

List of Bonds and Deeds Filed for Record, 1842 March–1846 February

This collection is a list of bonds and deeds recorded in the Nauvoo Register of Deeds from 1842 to 1846 (MS 3438).

Membership of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1830–1848

This collection lists most of the members of the Church who were baptized between 1830 and 1848, with an emphasis on Church members in Nauvoo. Ask a staff member for assistance (M270 E13m v. 1-50 1984-1988).

Nauvoo City Court Docket Book, 1844 February–1845 May

This is a record of the proceedings of the municipal court relative to public revenue (as well as a list of pioneer emigrants of 1847–1848) recorded by Thomas Bullock for the Church Historian’s Office (MS 3441).


This is a collection of original sources on Nauvoo and Latter-day Saints that are not found elsewhere. There are two volumes available at the library (M277.73 M383n 1979; M277.73 M383n 1978).

Nauvoo Seventies List

This is a three-volume resource on members of Quorums of the Seventy who were called or ordained from 1835 to 1850. It contains biographical information. Ask a staff member for assistance (M270 N314 199-? v. 1-3).

Old Mormon Nauvoo and Southwestern Iowa: Historic Photographs and Guide

The Old Mormon series comprises several books on pre-Utah periods of Church history. These books provide a discussion about general Church history during specific periods as well as a series of related historical photographs (M277.73 H762o 1991).

Seventies’ Autobiographies

This is a compilation of brief autobiographies written by Nauvoo-era members of Quorums of the Seventy. It is located behind the reference desk. Ask a staff member for assistance.