New Church History Database Lists Early Missionaries from 1830 to 1930

  • 4 February 2016

Historical photos of missionaries. A new Church history database titled “Early Mormon Missionaries” features information about all known full-time proselytizing missionaries serving between 1830 and 1930.

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  • A new database features information about all known full-time proselytizing missionaries serving between 1830 and 1930.

“These documents have power to connect us to our ancestors in an exciting way.” —Matthew McBride of the Church History Department

Church Historian Elder Steven E. Snow announced the release of a new database titled “Early Mormon Missionaries” at the RootsTech family history event today.

The database features information about all known full-time proselytizing missionaries serving between 1830 and 1930. In addition to basic information such as names, dates of service, and mission locations, it includes links to thousands of documents—journals, letters, newspaper articles, photographs, and more—that will help researchers better understand the experience of early missionaries for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

“Products like this help us connect to our ancestors in a deeper way by understanding the sacrifices they made for their faith,” said Elder Snow, a member of the Seventy. This database also documents the fulfillment of the Savior’s charge to ‘go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature’ (Mark 16:15).”

The Early Mormon Missionaries database can be found at history.lds.org/missionary.

“We are committed to providing better access to the records in our collection,” stated Keith Erekson, director of the Church History Library. “What better way than to connect the descendants of 40,000 missionaries to documents relating to their mission service?”

Those visiting the website can also contribute information and sources about their ancestors.

“I was touched to read the letter by which my great-grandfather accepted his mission call,” said Matthew McBride of the Church History Department. “These documents have power to connect us to our ancestors in an exciting way.”

Tracy Y. Cannon and his brother George J. Cannon, British Mission, 1901.

The database was created by the Church History Department, in partnership with FamilySearch and the Harold B. Lee Library at Brigham Young University. It is one of several products produced by the Church History Department that cater to family historians, including the Mormon Pioneer Overland Travel database, the premier source for information about the 19th-century Mormon migration.

Lizzie Souter, British Mission, 1910.

S. B. Talmage, British Mission.

Fred C. Parker, British Mission.

British missionaries. Ezra Taft Benson is on the far right next to his mission president, David O. McKay, and his wife, 1922.

M. Wheeler, Elbert R. Curtis, George Albert Smith, Fred Pingree, Junius F. Wells, Liverpool Office, Durham Housen.