New Tools for Looking Up Pioneer Ancestors

Jul 22, 2014

  Descendants of Utah’s Mormon pioneers have a new way to connect with the stories of their ancestors’ adventures on the trek to Utah.  

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints operates the FamilySearch genealogy database.  And it’s also compiled records of the pioneers’ overland travel to Utah in a database that links to journals, photos and other records. 

Now those two systems are linked, and they will connect users with information about pioneer ancestors based on what they’ve entered in FamilySearch.

Mal Bashore is a retired historian who worked for decades to compile the Overland Travel database.

Bashore tells KUER, "People can look up the name of their ancestor and read in the journals a mention of their ancestor’s name, if it was mentioned.  So it’s very helpful to people.  They can do it in their own home.”

The Overland Travel database is organized by the wagon and handcart companies that traveled from Winter Quarters, Nebraska to Utah over the period from 1848 to 1868.  Use of the system is free for both members and non-members of the LDS church.