Baptism and Confirmation Information in Early Records Research Guide Overview
Welcome to the research guide for finding baptism and confirmation information for members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints between 1830 and the 1970s. This guide will provide you with how-to tips and tools, contextual information, and valuable resources for your research. It will help you navigate the complex and nuanced process of researching early Church records.
When searching for an original baptism or confirmation date for early members, it is important to consider the following factors:
- Membership information may not have been recorded, because of neglect or oversight.
- Records may have been lost or destroyed over time. Records can be lost when they are moved from place to place or damaged by water or weather.
- Records may be held in private ownership or by other libraries or archives that host Latter-day Saint document collections. Some records are kept as family heirlooms or donated to other institutions.
- Many early Church members were rebaptized and reconfirmed as a sign of recommitment to the gospel. This practice caused many congregational clerks to disregard the original dates and record only subsequent dates.
This guide contains online and on-site resources. Online resources are digitized content that you can access from your computer by clicking on the title. You may need to sign in to the catalog to view the online resource. At the Church History Library, historians and technicians digitize thousands of images every month. If a collection is not currently available digitally, it could be soon. You can request digitization through the Ask Us inquiry form. Some collections are digitized but, because of copyright law, require that you be logged in to view the digital images and will require permission to download.
On-site resources can be viewed at the Church History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah. You can access the item or collection information in the online catalog and request to see the source when you visit the library.