LDS Family History Records

LDS family history records are those provided by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (LDS) – also known as the Mormons. They have contributed a great deal to genealogy. Its members believe in baptising their ancestors by proxy into the Mormon church. To help them, they have filmed a huge number of sources. These include parish registers, Bishop’s transcripts, old books, maps and other material.

Scroll down to find out
1) What information is available?
Online information

My great grandfather, Captain Frederick Watkins, was born and brought up in Hellingly in Sussex. However, he was christened miles away, in Kennington, London. Without the LDS’s IGI, I would never have thought to consult that parish register.

LDS family history Capt Frederick Watkin

1) What information is available?

To find out what is available, you can search the LDS family history library catalog by place, surname, key word etc etc. Far more is available than just parish records.

Luckily for non-members, the LDS family history records are open to the general public. If you find something of interest in the catalogue, you can go to your local LDS family history centre to view the microfilm. You need to ring first, as some are more active than others. There are thousands of microfilms, so it is likely that your local centre will have to order the film first, at a small charge.

Besides the online information mentioned below, the LDS also sells information CDs.

2) Online information

Some information is available on the internet, at the LDS’s FamilySearch site. You can search the census index, and BMD information.

a) Census...

The index to the 1881 census for the British Isles is available online. (Note this excludes Scotland.) The LDS also sells discs of this census. These offer a more versatile search, and also include Scotland. When you locate a name in the index, don’t just rely on the LDS transcription. It is important to look at the actual census return for 1881, in case there has been a transcription error.

Note: The 1881 census is also available elsewhere. If you have searched one index, but not found your relative, you might want to try another. A search for Gwatkins on the LDS index also picks up Watkins entries, for example, while allows wildcard entries.

b) BMDs

These online LDS family history records for the UK are:

  • IGI – The International Genealogical Index (IGI) is an index to births, baptisms and marriages that have been collected by LDS members worldwide. Members are less interested in death records. They have filmed the baptism and marriage parish records, but generally only the burials that were in the same parish register. Click here for more information on the IGI.
  • Ancestral File – This is a huge database of pedigree charts and family group records that people have submitted to the LDS since 1978. It includes the names and addresses of those who have submitted the data. The data is only as good as the researcher who submitted it. You must check all the data for yourself.
  • Pedigree Resource File – Another huge database of information submitted to the LDS. You get: a person’s name, date and place of birth/baptism, and marriage details, where appropriate. You also get the submitter’s details and a reference number for a CD. If you find anyone of interest, you can consult the CDs for further information. Again, check all information.
  • Vital Records Index – the LDS used to sell a set of CDs, covering England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, the Isle of Man, and the Channel Islands. These were known as the British Isles Vital Records Index. The most recent edition is the 2nd edition. However, it no longer sells these discs, or updates them. Unfortunately, the discs generally don't install with Windows 7. The good news is that many (if not all) these records are now available on the Familysearch site. Ancestry also has records from these discs on its website. They are called "England & Wales Christening Records 1530-1906" and "England & Wales Marriages 1538-1940".

Bear in mind, it may not be immediately clear from the Mormon's website which group the record falls into.