Thursday, July 17, 2014

FamilySearch and Utah Pioneers

Just in time for Utah’s Pioneer Day (24 July 2014), FamilySearch has created a special page for descendants of Utah Pioneers: https://familysearch.org/campaign/pioneers#/.

FamilySearch has connected the page to the “Mormon Pioneer Overland Travel” database of the Church History Department of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Click on “Your Pioneer Ancestors” to see a list of your ancestors that FamilySearch found in the database. (It found 22 of mine.)

The FamilySearch.org page of Mormon Pioneers and companies

Click on an Ancestor’s name to jump to him or her in FamilySearch Family Tree. Click on the name of a company to see information about that company, links to journal accounts, and a link to a list of everyone in that company. Click on “Trail Experiences (Stories)” to jump to a page on the Mormon Pioneer Overland Travel website that contains a list of sources and links to journal transcriptions and biographies telling the story of your ancestor and his pioneer company.

The database contains all identified Mormon immigrants who travelled to the Utah territory between 1847 and 1868 (the last year before the railroad made it all the way to Utah). Most travelled the Mormon Trail, which paralleled or coincided with the Oregon-California Trail until Fort Bridger. As I recall, the Oregon-California Trail ran along the South side of the North Platte River and the Mormon Trail ran along the North.

For lists of travellers on the Oregon-California Trail, see the website, Paper Trail: A Guide to Overland Pioneer Names and Documents. (A subscription is required.)

6 comments:

  1. Do you know if the URL to this site, now that it is in the FS.org family, is guaranteed to persist through time, as the PAL URLs for FS other sources?
    Also, if I created sources for Family Tree using the Pioneer Overland site before it was added to FS.org, will I have to re-create those sources with the new FS URLs? Or will FS do that and honor those old URLs?
    So far I have not been able to get FS support to respond to this question. Thus I'm asking you. You might have more pull than I do.

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    1. If the URL doesn't have PAL in it, it is not guaranteed to be persistent. URLs to http://history.lds.org are owned and controlled by the Church History Department, not FamilySearch. If the CHD changes their URLs, I doubt FamilySearch can do anything about it. As with any URL that you enter into a source, if the URL changes, you will have to fix it.

      I see no need to re-create any existing sources to the Pioneer Overland Travel pages.

      --The Ancestry Insider

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  2. I clicked on the link, signed in as requested and before I did anything, the site said:
    "We are unable to determine if you have any pioneer ancestors in Family Tree". What am I missing? Should I have gone to familysearch.org and signed in BEFORE I tried to access the Pioneer site?

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    1. I tried both logging in before and after. Both worked. I think the message means that FamilySearch didn't find any matches. I have been told that the match algorithm is not perfect. The wording of the message suggests that you might have pioneer ancestors even though the algorithm didn't find any.

      --The Ancestry Insider

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  3. Worked like a charm for me, thanks for sharing!

    I would also like to highlight a related resource, the "Book of the Pioneers" that celebrated the 50th anniversary in 1897 by having surviving members of the 1847 companies sign their names and be in a group photograph. You can search by name all those who arrived in 1847 at http://archives.utah.gov/digital/14107.htm, or just browse images of the beautifully handcrafted book itself.

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    1. Full color! I'd only seen black and white microfilm images previously! Thanks for sharing.

      --The Ancestry Insider

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