What Records Can I Get From LDS? (2023)

Overheard in GenForum, September 13, 2001

by Rhonda R. McClure

Q: On Familysearch.org when you find your ancestor's baptism or marriage record listed on a microfiche, what does that mean? If I order the microfiche to view, will I only be looking at the same thing I saw online or will I be able to make a copy of the actual certificate? I would like to know before I make the trip to a History Center. Thanks. -- Leslie

A: Information comes to Family Search from many different places. Sources range from fellow researchers to programs established by the Family History Department and Church of Jesus Christ Latter-day Saints. There are clues in each entry as to where the information came from.

Once you have determined how the information found its way into the FamilySearch databases, you can then decide if ordering the microfilm will be beneficial to your own research.

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Ordering microfilm may prove useful.

What's In FamilySearch

FamilySearch is made up of a number of different databases. Sources for the information that you'll find online includes the International Genealogical Index, Ancestral File, and the Pedigree Resource File. Both Ancestral File and Pedigree Resource File are compiled databases of information submitted by fellow researchers in the form of GEDCOMs. The International Genealogical Index, though, is comprised of some information compiled by fellow researchers, but also information extracted from the original records.

Ancestral File and the Pedigree Resource File display the information in a lineage-linked manner. Of the two, only the Pedigree Resource File supplies any source citations, should the compiler have included them. While you can view the names, dates, and places from the Pedigree Resource File online, you cannot download a GEDCOM file, nor can you view the information in a pedigree format as you can with the Ancestral File. The Pedigree Resource File will give you the name of the individual, his or her birth, marriage and death dates, the names of known parents, and the submitter information. If you want to see the entire pedigree, it is necessary to purchase the appropriate CD or set of CDs in the Pedigree Resource File.

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The International Genealogical Index (IGI), on the other hand, is not lineage linked. Entries are categorized by birth or marriage and are displayed as individuals. In the case of a birth, you will be given the name of the individuals, his or her birth date and place, the name of the parents, if known, and then the identifying codes of where the information came from. The IGI entries do not directly display source citations, but it is possible that the entry came from an original source.

Many people stop when they see an entry in the IGI, but if you take the time to first determine the source of the IGI entry and then get the film, you may find that your can continue further on your ancestry.

Information from Where?

The online version of the IGI includes the film number along with other codes (usually known as the batch number and serial sheet). Sometimes, though, if you know the codes you can save time because you don't always have to click on the film number link, which takes you out of the IGI and into the Family History Library Catalog.

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Below is a list that details the beginning character or characters to a batch number and an accompanying description for batch numbers beginning with those letters or numbers.

  • A : LDS temple sealing, only available in Special Collections. Original record open only to certain LDS members
  • C : Birth and christenings from LDS extraction work - records usually on microfilm
  • D : Patron notification, should have another Batch number listed, which is the one you would actually concentrate on
  • E : Marriages from LDS extraction work - records may be available on microfilm
  • F : Family group records that are available on microfilm
  • H : LDS church membership records of deceased individuals
  • J, K : Birth and christenings from LDS extraction work - records may be on microfilm
  • L : LDS temple originated record
  • M : Marriages from LDS extraction work - records usually on microfilm (with the exception of M17 and M18)
  • M17, M18 : Early LDS temple sealing records
  • P : Births and christenings from LDS extraction work - records may be on microfilm
  • T : Information comes from family group records, work done by the special groups, such as work on Royalty, and information from the Temple Records Index Bureau (TIB)
  • 0000001 to 0000023 : Patron submissions to temples outside the United States
  • 500: Similar to F above, family group records
  • 60 to 68999999 : Patron submission that were automated through PAF
  • 694: Early LDS ward and branch records available on microfilm
  • 6940405 to 69449426 : Card index to early LDS ward and branch records
  • 69407: Early LDS ward and branch records from Scandinavia
  • 69409: Family group records
  • 696: Records not open to the public
  • 725: Marriages from England indexed by J.S.W.
  • 744: Several extraction projects
  • 745, 754 : Extraction from statewide vital records indexes
  • 766: Patron submissions on Marriage Entry form or entries from extraction (requires the 766 Batch Cross Index to get the actual batch number)
  • 8-4 to 8-9 : Patron submissions

What's On the Microfilm

If the batch codes and the microfilm allude to a patron submission form, then it is possible you will find information about other family members, submitted on that specific form or nearby forms. Many LDS members who submitted these forms did so with multiple forms. These forms are often grouped together allowing you to see other family members, descendants, or ancestors on the line. You might also get some source citations on the forms. Once in a while the patron will cite a book, probate file or other source that you may have been unaware of.

If the batch codes and the microfilm allude to a temple book, then you will find no additional information. Temple books include the name of the deceased individual, the birth or marriage date as seen in the IGI, and then the name of the LDS individual doing the Temple proxy work. Some of these films are still restricted, due to living individuals being listed in them, so even if you did want to get the film, you may not be able to.

(Video) When You Can't Find a Birth Record | Ancestry

Finally, if the batch codes and the microfilm numbers allude to extraction work, then you definitely want to order the microfilm. The original records may indeed have more information on the individual listed in the IGI. If it is birth records, it could be a birth register, which may include information on the parents of the child, such as age at the time of the birth of the child, or the parents' places of birth. Usually a researcher will find that additional family members are located in these original records.

In Conclusion

With an understanding of what you can expect to find on the film, you are in a much better position when deciding whether or not to order the microfilm. The only time I have ever felt that I ordered a film in vain was when my ancestors didn't show up at all in the record. It sounds like, in your situation, this won't be the case.

Rhonda R. McClure is a professional genealogist specializing in celebrity trees and computerized genealogy. She has been involved in online genealogy for fifteen years. She is an award-winning author of several genealogy how-to books, including The Complete Idiot's Guide to Online Genealogy, The Genealogist's Computer Companion, and Finding Your Famous and Infamous Ancestors. She may be contacted at [emailprotected].

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See more advice from Rhonda in her columns Expert Tips, Tigs and Trees, and Overheard in the Message Boards.


How do I access Mormon records? ›

Online Records

Visitors to FamilySearch.org can search over two billion digital images and indexes of records from all over the world. These records include government and church records for births, marriages, and deaths; censuses; probate records, land records, draft cards; and so forth.

Is Find My Past free for LDS? ›

It has a significant collection of records from the U.S. and other countries as well. Now members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints with a FamilySearch account can access FindMyPast for free.

Does the LDS Church still excommunicate? ›

After changes to handbook terminology, LDS Church members no longer 'excommunicated'

Where are the LDS Church archives? ›

The Church History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah, is the primary archive of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Located on the northeast corner of North Temple and Main Street, it is a state-of-the-art facility designed to collect and preserve materials about the Church, its history, and its members.

Do Mormons keep records? ›

Yes, we do. FamilySearch is committed to preserving historical records related to the human family.

Why do Mormons collect DNA? ›

The LDS church actively promotes DNA testing for its members to help them discover unknown branches of their family tree, and many of the first popular genetic testing kit companies were created by Mormons.

Is ancestry com owned by the LDS Church? ›

Today, Ancestry is considered a major technology company rather than a genealogical company. Though the company has done numerous amount of collaborations with the LDS church's non-profit organization Familysearch.org, it has never been owned by the church itself.

Can non LDS use FamilySearch? ›

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints provides FamilySearch free of charge to everyone, regardless of tradition, culture, or religious affiliation. Originally intended for Church members, FamilySearch resources help millions of people around the world discover their heritage and connect with family members.

Is Find My Past worth it? ›

Findmypast markets itself as the best family history website for British research and there's certainly a lot going for it. Like Ancestry it holds all the main records that family historians rely on such as census and birth, marriage and death records and there is quite a lot of overlap between the two sites.

Can LDS be cremated? ›

Generally, Latter-day Saints in the Western world have felt that nothing should be done which is destructive to the body. That should be left to nature. Church leaders have counseled that only in unusual circumstances or where required by law should cremation take place.

Who was the last LDS apostle to be excommunicated? ›

Richard Roswell Lyman (November 23, 1870 – December 31, 1963) was an American engineer and religious leader who was an apostle in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) from 1918 to 1943. Lyman is often noted as the most recent LDS Church apostle to have been excommunicated.

What is serious sin LDS? ›

These sins include adultery, fornication, other sexual transgressions, and other sins of comparable seriousness” (p. 179). If you are uncertain whether a personal transgression lies within this definition, you should discuss it with your bishop. He will give you wise counsel and keep confidences.

How do I find my church records? ›

Look for published books with transcripts of church records.
  1. Google Books.
  2. Internet Archive.
  3. Digital Public Library of America.
  4. HathiTrust Digital Library.
  5. FamilySearch Digital Library.
11 Oct 2022

What's in the Mormon vault? ›

The Utah-based Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints does actually have a vault in the canyon, though. It was built in 1965 mostly to hold family history records. According to Family Search, stored inside the Granite Mountain Records Vault are 3.5 billion images on microfilm.

Does the LDS Church have a vault? ›

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints built the Granite Mountain Records Vault in 1965 to preserve and protect records of importance to the Church, including its vast collection of family history microfilms.

Do Mormons have birth certificates? ›

The records include vital records (birth, death and marriage certificates), wills and probate records, land records, town or county records, church records and more.

What is forbidden in Mormonism? ›

Alcohol, tobacco, tea, coffee and drugs

These are all specifically banned in the Word of Wisdom, except for drugs. The prophets have made it clear that drugs, other than for medical use, are also banned. Mormons are also strongly discouraged from drinking soft drinks containing caffeine.

What Bible version is Mormon? ›

Since the days of the Prophet Joseph Smith, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has used the King James Version of the Bible for English-speaking members. The Bible, as it has been transmitted over the centuries, has suffered the loss of many plain and precious parts.

What ethnicity are most Mormons? ›

A majority of U.S. Mormons are white and non-Hispanic (84 percent). Most Mormons are distributed in North and South America, the South Pacific, and Western Europe.

Can Mormons get blood transfusions? ›

The Mormon Church advocates self-denial, and holds a fast day once a month. BLOOD TRANSFUSION/ORGAN DONATION/TRANSPLANT - There are no religious objections to these. Contact with other members of the Church is important, and the local church would supply a Bishop who will give blessings and minister to the sick.

Do Mormons vape? ›

Originally Answered: Are Latter Day Saints (Mormons) allowed to vape and/or use e-cigarettes? Nope. While the Word of Wisdom have some personal choice aspects there are some addictive substances that we are certain to abstain from, and I'm pretty sure vape and e-cigs fall into that category.

What companies does the LDS Church own? ›

Deseret Management Corporation
DivisionsDeseret Digital Media Deseret Media Companies KSL Broadcast Division
SubsidiariesBeneficial Financial Group Bonneville International Corp. Deseret News Deseret Book Hawaii Reserves Temple Square Hospitality
WebsiteDeseret Management Corporation
6 more rows

Is FamilySearch run by the Mormons? ›

FamilySearch is a nonprofit organization and website offering genealogical records, education, and software. It is operated by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church), and is closely connected with the church's Family History Department.

What companies does the LDS Church invest in? ›

The portfolio owns thousands of stocks, and its top holdings show little difference from the S&P 500, with Apple, Microsoft, Alphabet, and Amazon among its largest positions.

What is the 110 year rule FamilySearch? ›

If the person was born within the last 110 Years you will be required to submit a form verifying your permission from one of the closest living relatives.

Are condoms allowed in Mormonism? ›

McConkie's popular book Mormon Doctrine stated that all those using condoms or other artificial contraception are "in rebellion against God and are guilty of gross wickedness." The BYU Honor Code in 1968 stated that "the Church does not approve of any form of birth control." In 1969 the first and only First Presidency ...

What happened to FamilySearch? ›

The new.FamilySearch.org website was recently closed down because, among other things, it no longer allowed us to provide the best possible service and data resources to our users. The few users who were still using the new.FamilySearch.org site were redirected to the current FamilySearch Family Tree website.

What's better ancestry or Findmypast? ›

Ancestry vs Find My Past: Which looks best? Both FMP and Ancestry have unique ways of displaying search results. Generally, Ancestry provides a much easier 'quick glance' view of results. A search of the 1861 census records on Ancestry will provide a list showing names, approx.

Which genealogy site has the most records? ›

Genealogy records
  • Ancestry.com counts more than 30 billion records, a figure that appears to include more than 13 billion tree profiles and other user-submitted content.
  • FamilySearch reports 10.7 billion names searchable from old records. ...
  • Findmypast reports 3.6 billion records, accounting for around 12 billion names.

What's better MyHeritage or ancestry? ›

There is only one fundamental difference between the services – MyHeritage has more European records, whereas Ancestry has more North American records. So, based on where you believe the majority of your family comes from you may find an advantage in one database over the others.

How do I get rid of LDS garments? ›

How do I appropriately discard old ceremonial clothing? “To dispose of worn-out temple ceremonial clothing, members should destroy the clothing by cutting it up so the original use cannot be recognized” (Handbook 2: Administering the Church, 21.1. 42, ChurchofJesusChrist.org).

Do Mormons allow embalming? ›

Mormon funeral traditions

Generally, organ donation and embalming are accepted practices within the Church of Latter-Day Saints. Cremation, although not forbidden, is discouraged and burial is always preferred.

Do Mormons use birth control? ›

In keeping with the Mormon belief that heaven is full of millions of spirits awaiting an earthly body, birth control and abortion are also forbidden.

Who was the longest serving LDS prophet? ›

List of presidents of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
No.President of the ChurchLength
14Howard W. Hunter9 months
15Gordon B. Hinckley12 years, 10 months
16Thomas S. Monson9 years, 11 months
17Russell M. NelsonCurrent; 4 years, 10 months (as of today)
16 more rows

How much do LDS Church leaders make? ›

A second newly leaked document, from a more recent year, is a 2014 memo from the church's Presiding Bishopric (which handles all financial issues for the faith), noting that the "base living allowance" for all Mormon general authorities was being raised from $116,400 to $120,000.

Who would be the next LDS prophet? ›

The office falls to the longest-serving member of the faith's Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, which means Russell M. Nelson is next in line to replace current president Thomas S.

What does petting mean LDS? ›

Instead of remaining in the field of simple expressions of affection, some have turned themselves loose to fondling, often called 'necking,' with its intimate contacts and its passionate kissing. Necking is the younger member of this unholy family. Its bigger sister is called 'petting.

What 3 conditions make a mortal sin? ›

Three conditions must together be met for a sin to be mortal: "Mortal sin is sin whose object is grave matter and which is also committed with full knowledge and deliberate consent." The sin against the Holy Ghost and the sins that cry to Heaven for vengeance are considered especially serious.

What is the unpardonable sin in Mormonism? ›

The unpardonable sin is to willfully deny and defy the Holy Ghost after having received His witness. No man can sin against light until he has it; nor against the Holy Ghost, until after he has received it by the gift of God through the appointed channel or way.

How far back do church records go? ›

Church or parish records are some of the best resources you can use to take your family tree back further. In many cases, you'll be able to go as far back as the 1500s, when King Henry VIII was on the throne.

How many years does a church need to keep financial records? ›

Financial Records are traditionally kept for seven years. This relates to the laws of tax audits and the number of years back the IRS is allowed to look when determining an organization's tax liability.

What information is on church records? ›

It lists Anglican churches and gives the date range and locations of the baptismal, marriage and burial registers. It will give a general reference if registers are held in this office.

What is the LDS Liahona password? ›

The password for accessing the new network is “alma3738” — a reference to the Book of Mormon verse that names the compass used by Lehi and his family as the “Liahona.” Users will be required to accept the terms of use each day they access the network, but they only need to enter the password on their device once.

Why do Mormons wear temple undergarments? ›

Garments are required for any adult who previously participated in the endowment ceremony to enter a temple. The undergarments are viewed as a symbolic reminder of the covenants made in temple ceremonies and are seen as a symbolic and/or literal source of protection from the evils of the world.

Where are the Mormon gold plates kept? ›

Smith eventually obtained testimonies from 11 men who said that they had seen the plates, known as the Book of Mormon witnesses. After the translation was complete, Smith said that he returned the plates to the angel Moroni; thus they could never be examined.

Can you carry a gun in an LDS Church? ›

They are acceptable only when carried by law enforcement. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has prohibited nearly all parishioners from carrying lethal weapons on church property.

Can Mormons have 2 piercings? ›

Latter-day prophets strongly discourage the piercing of the body except for medical purposes. If girls or women desire to have their ears pierced, they are encouraged to wear only one pair of modest earrings. Those who choose to disregard this counsel show a lack of respect for themselves and for God.

Are LDS allowed to have beards? ›

“Thankfully, the LDS Handbook and church newsroom have no negative guidelines regarding facial hair,” it states. “Leaders have long known that becoming a global church involves multiple cultures, realizing that a beard holds different meanings around the world.”

Can you view parish records online? ›

You will usually find parish registers at the local County Record office, or at websites like TheGenealogist that offer searchable transcripts and original images.

Are parish records available online? ›

Although many parish records are available online, and this number is constantly increasing, many registers are only accessible in the local county record office. Some registers are still in use, so are still held by that church.

Where can I find Mormon Messages? ›

To access Mormon Messages visit the Web sites: mormonmessages.org or lds.org.

Is ancestry com free to LDS members? ›

Free memberships to Ancestry® are available to members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Over 99% of the 33,000 collections on Ancestry are available with the Church of Jesus Christ-Ancestry Membership.

Does find my past have parish records? ›

Findmypast has over 400 million parish records, in the categories: births & baptisms, marriages & divorces, deaths & burials, and wills & probate.

Does ancestry have parish records? ›

From Banbury to Bicester and Woodstock to Waterstock, our new Oxfordshire parish records cover the entire county right back to Tudor times. Whether your ancestors were drawn here by the famous university or to work the farmland, you can search 2 million baptisms, marriages and burials up to the mid-20th Century.

How far back do parish records go? ›

Church or parish records are some of the best resources you can use to take your family tree back further. In many cases, you'll be able to go as far back as the 1500s, when King Henry VIII was on the throne.

Who holds parish records? ›

London Metropolitan Archives (LMA) holds parish registers from over 800 churches within the City of London and the former counties of London and Middlesex except for parishes in the ancient City of Westminster. Registers for these parishes are held by the City of Westminster Archives Centre, 10 St.

Do churches keep baptismal records? ›

Records of all baptisms are kept by the local church. The church maintains the record of the event. The baptismal record is what the local church will have on file.

What dating apps do Mormons use? ›

Mutual is the largest and fastest growing dating app for members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS/Mormon)!

What religious text do Mormons use? ›

Mormons use the Book of Mormon alongside the Bible in teaching and study. They believe that the Book of Mormon tells the story of God's dealings with the ancient inhabitants of the American Continent, including a visit by the risen Jesus to the people of the New World.

Is Ancestry owned by LDS? ›

Today, Ancestry is considered a major technology company rather than a genealogical company. Though the company has done numerous amount of collaborations with the LDS church's non-profit organization Familysearch.org, it has never been owned by the church itself.

Is FamilySearch just for Mormons? ›

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints provides FamilySearch free of charge to everyone, regardless of tradition, culture, or religious affiliation. Originally intended for Church members, FamilySearch resources help millions of people around the world discover their heritage and connect with family members.


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