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Searching the Database

The Mormon Pioneer Overland Travel database, obtained from rosters and other reliable sources, is the most complete listing of Mormon pioneer emigrants and companies who traveled to Utah between 1847 and 1868.

Name Search

Enter the name of the person you are looking for in the appropriate boxes. Include Birth Year and/or Death Year if known. Names may be truncated if you choose to. You can also search by birth or death year without having any information in the name boxes. Name searches only search pioneer records.

    The following search hints may be helpful:
  • Remember that names are frequently spelled differently in original journals and rosters. If you don’t find what you’re looking for on the first search, you might try searching for just the first name or just the last name.
  • Some pioneers traveled using a nickname. For instance, “Polly” is a nickname for “Mary.”
  • Some women traveled under their maiden name (include maiden name in the First Name field if known).

Name search results are arranged in alphabetic order by last name and then first name.

Keyword Search

A keyword search searches all record types, which include; Company, Pioneer, and Sources. Select the Record Type dropdown to limit your search to a specific record type.

Keyword search results are order by relevancy (frequency of the occurrence of the keyword in an individual record).

Refine Search

If your search returns a large number of results you can refine (filter) the result set by selecting an appropriate filter from the left hand column entitled Refine Your Search.

    Filtering by type allows you to view records by:
  • Person
  • Company
  • Source
    Pioneer records can be refined (filtered) by:
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Birth Date
  • Death Date
    Company records can be refined (filtered) by:
  • Company Name
  • Departure Year

Sources cannot be refined (filtered) at this time.

 

Search filters can be turned off by clicking the red box next to the filter that is no longer desired. Clear All will turn off all filters.

 

Company Records

Clicking on the company name opens a page that gives general information about the company including departure and arrival dates, when known, as well as the number of pioneers known to have traveled with the company. Many companies include a company narrative. The company page includes a list of sources used to compile information about the company’s journey. Many of the sources include excerpts from journals or other published sources. You can also view a list of individuals known to have traveled in the company.

Sorting Lists of Individuals in a Company

Individuals in a company may be sorted by Last Name or First Name by selecting a value in the Sort By dropdown box. Name, Age, and Birth Date columns may be sorted in ascending order by clicking on the column heading. Clicking on the column heading a second time will arrange the column in descending order.

Pioneer Records

The individual pioneer page includes information about that pioneer, including; name, birth and death dates, gender and age at the time of their immigration. It also includes a list of sources that were used to place that individual in that particular company. Many of the sources include excerpts from journals or other published sources.

Sources and Trail Excerpts

Pioneer and Company records include lists of sources associated with the individual or company. The sources include information about the location of the original manuscript or publication. Some sources include a trail excerpt that documents the trail experience. Trail excerpts include transcribed text from the original document or manuscript, complete citation, and location of the original materials. Trail excerpts also include a list of persons and companies that reference the excerpt.

Conventions Used in Trail Excerpts

Sources are transcribed as they are written in the document. A minimum of changes have been made in the transcription. These editing changes, placed within square brackets, have been done to more fully identify names or geographic places, provide clarity, or punctuation and capitalization for readability.

Examples:

  • we met on Libent [La Bonte] river
  • Friday the 25th [text missing] ferried John Battice
  • halted for dinner at [illegible] making 7¼ ms

Material written between the lines in a document meant to be inserted into the text is identified by placing that text between carats.

Examples:

  • in the evening <afternoon> the camp came into the valley

Submitting New Information or Corrections

Because our rosters are incomplete, you may know of an ancestor who traveled in a particular company who is not listed in the database or listed in a different company than you would expect. If you notice these or any other corrections or additions that need to be made, click the Submit Information link on the homepage. Doing so will open a page where you can enter the information you think should be added to or changed in the database. You will also be able to attach any images or documentation you might have. We will work to verify the information you submit and, when appropriate, change the database. Acceptable sources are required to justify a change to the database.

Acceptable Sources for Modifying the Database

The following types of sources are listed in order of preference:

  • Primary Sources

    Primary sources are documents that were written during an individual’s lifetime, such as; journals, diaries, autobiographies, newspaper articles, and so on. Usually, only primary sources are accepted as proof that an individual came to Utah.
  • Circumstantial Evidence

    Sometimes circumstantial evidence leads to logical conclusions. For example, if marriage records indicated that a person was east of Utah during a particular year and that person’s name appears on a Utah census the next spring, this can determine the year the person came to Utah. In such a case, the person can be added to the “Unidentified Company” list for that year. If evidence later surfaces that the person traveled with a particular company, he or she will be moved to that company’s roster.
  • Secondary Sources

    Secondary sources are usually histories that have been written at a later time by others, often descendants. They also include local histories, Daughters of Utah Pioneers publications (such as “Pioneer Women of Faith and Fortitude”), and other compilations (such as “Pioneers and Prominent Men”). Generally, secondary sources are not accepted because they frequently contain errors. However, if a publication were to contain direct quotes from a pioneer’s journal or autobiography, or if a history written by a descendant contained a statement such as, “Grandpa told me that…,” such sources would be considered.