For members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, families are an
eternal unit and central to God's plan. Mormons perform ordinances in their temples
to link families together eternally.
Because of this emphasis on family, Mormons are also very concerned with their ancestors.
They believe that they can perform ordinances for their ancestors after they have
passed away, including being baptized into the Mormon faith. This practice is called
baptism for the dead.
The Family History Library
In an effort to promote genealogy efforts all over the world, The Church of Jesus
Christ of Latter-day Saints founded the Family History Library in Salt Lake City,
- It was founded in 1894 to gather genealogical records from all over the world.
- It is the largest genealogical library in the world, containing more than 2.4 million
rolls of microfilmed records and 727,000 microfiche.
- All services and resources are available free of charge to Mormons and non-Mormons
- It is visited by more than 1,900 patrons per day.
Family History Centers
For those who wish to use Mormon genealogy resources but cannot travel to Salt Lake,
there are local Family History Centers that circulate microfilms and other materials
from the Family History Library:
- There are more than 4,500 family history centers operating in more than 100 countries.
- About 100,000 rolls of microfilm are circulated to family history centers each month.
The Mormon genealogy website, www.FamilySearch.org, is one of the eminent
genealogical websites available today, offering access to many different records
collections free of charge:
- The Ancestral File database contains more than 36 million names that are linked
- The International Genealogical Index database contains over 725 million names; some
are patron submitted and some have been extracted directly from birth, christening,
and marriage records.
- The Pedigree Resource File database contains more than 100 million names that have
been linked into families.
In recent years, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has switched to
digitization of records instead of microfilming of records. The records that have
already been digitized are available free on pilot.FamilySearch.org. One of the
most exciting projects the Church has taken is the digitization of United States
census records. Within a few years, all U.S. federal census records will be available
free of charge at