The region was first explored for Spain by Franciscan friars Escalante and Dominguez in 1776. In 1824 the famous American frontiersman Jim Bridger discovered the Great Salt Lake.
Fleeing religious persecution in the East and Midwest, the Mormons arrived in 1847 and began to build Salt Lake City. The U.S. acquired the Utah region in the treaty ending the Mexican War in 1848, and the first transcontinental railroad was completed with the driving of a golden spike at Promontory Summit in 1869.
Getting Started with Utah Genealogy and Family Trees
Tips for Searching for Utah Genealogy Information – If there is a single state most often associated with genealogy it is Utah, and that is due to the Mormon centers for family research in places such as Salt Lake City. This doesn’t mean, however, that these places are the only sources for information. This article is going to explain the ways that anyone can find details for Utah genealogy projects.
A Simple Approach for Utah Genealogy Research – To search for Utah genealogy materials requires a basic step or two. The most common is to use the computer to discover where archives or information has been “digitized” and made available. Knowing which of your materials for Utah genealogy are available online, and which demand a trip to a library or archive must be seen as the essential step in beginning the search for Utah genealogy data.
Many museums, libraries, and organizations have made many collections and items available electronically, and it is important that someone beginning a search for Utah genealogy information learn which of these sources can be accessed from their home computer. Should a document or item require a visit to an “offline” location, your computer can still ensure that the materials you need for Utah genealogy are actually at the site in question.
Basic Records for Utah Genealogy Data – The most comprehensive sets of data for Utah genealogy researchers will be the public records listed below:
- Vital Records – these are comprised of the birth, marriage, divorce and death records from county, state, and national archives, and can also contain cemetery or obituary information, newspaper items, military records, census records, immigration and naturalization details, passenger lists and records as well. These are available as online and offline resources for Utah genealogy.
- State Records – ranging from probate information to birth certificates, cemetery information, death records, deeds, estate information, genealogical folders, land records, maps, marriage details, military or veterans information, newspapers, private manuscripts, state census information, surname lists and more. These are available as online and offline resources for Utah genealogy.
- Local Records – those looking for Utah genealogy will start in a county clerk’s office or website, and then head to the local genealogical societies, small local libraries, historical societies, and school or college libraries for Utah genealogy data. These are things that are usually offline and viewable by appointment or special arrangement.
Sources for Utah Genealogy Information and Materials – The following resources can direct you to the information most needed for Utah genealogy research:
- Office of Vital Records and Statistics, Utah Department of Health, 288 North 1460 West, P.O. Box 141012, Salt Lake City, UT 84114-1012;
Website: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/w2w/utah.htm .
This is where you may order birth, death, marriage and divorce records via a written request or even through an online form.
Additional state and local records can be found at the:
- Utah State Archives, 300 South Rio Grande, Salt Lake City, UT 84101; Website: http://archives.utah.gov/index.html .
Also, consider using the Utah state Research Center and Collections homepage at http://history.utah.gov/research_and_collections/collections/family_history_resources.html.
Finally, these websites give researchers a tremendous amount of state-specific details for those in search for Utah genealogy data.
- Utah History Encyclopedia (uen.org)
- RAOGK Volunteers for Utah (raogk.org)
- Utah Genealogy Network Community (plus.google.com)
- Utah State Genealogy Network (facebook.com)
- USGenweb – Utah Genealogy (rootsweb.ancestry.com)
- The Utah Family Group Sheet Project (fgs-project.com)
- Free GenForum Message Boards – Utah (genforum.genealogy.com)
- Free Rootsweb Message Boards – Utah (boards.ancestry.com)
- Cyndis List Utah Links (cyndislist.com)
- Utah Mailing List (rootsweb.ancestry.com)
- Utah American History and Genealogy Project (usgennet.org)
- Utah (wikipedia.org)
- Utah Genealogy Look Ups (geneasearch.com)
- USGenWeb Archives Project for Utah (usgwarchives.net)
- Utah History Encyclopedia (uen.org