When people think of the experience of the Mormon Pioneer, often what comes to mind are stories of hunger, deprivation, and suffering. However, more often than not, the experience of the average traveler was quite the opposite. There are many accounts of pioneers describing their journey as a great adventure as they saw new landscapes and wildlife. Other stories are lighthearted and full of hope and humor as they embarked on a new life in the West with the people of Zion. For example, in this account, John Clark Dowdle tells the story of a young girl in his train and her encounter with a fresh buffalo chip.
The Overland Travel Database project began more than 30 years ago as staff at the Church History Library began to explore ways to help people better understand the experience of their pioneer ancestors as they crossed the plains to the Great Basin.
Use this tutorial pages to learn about the different search capabilities of the database, various features on the pages, and how you can help us better tell the story of your ancestor's overland experience.