What Is Mormon Ancestry?


Quick Answer

Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, frequently called Mormons, trace their family lines to find the names of ancestors who died without receiving saving ordinances, such as baptism. For members, tracking Mormon ancestry is a way of saving souls and strengthening family units.

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Full Answer

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has about 2.4 million rolls of microfilm, containing 2 billion names that have been traced, locked away in the Wasatch mountain range, behind 14 ton doors. The facility, Granite Mountain Records Vault, is a climate-controlled repository designed to withstand a nuclear impact. Copies of the original microfims are available at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah. They can also be ordered to smaller, regional Family History Centers. The church created an index for every person counted in the 1880 U.S. census, the 1881 Canadian census and the 1881 British census, which is freely available online.

In 2001, the Mormon church collaborated with the Ellis Island Foundation to build the American Family Immigration History Center and the Ellis Island Web site, which has the names of 22 million passengers and crew members who arrived in New York through Ellis Island between 1882 and 1924.

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