Posted in Census, Church records, FamilySearch Wiki, Friday Finds, LDS Church Censuses, Research tips

New LDS Census images posted

I recently posted about a little-used resource for researchers who had LDS church members in their family 1914-1960. This is the collection of LDS Church Censuses on microfilm. The FamilySearch Wiki lists the contents of the censuses for each year. Each family in the worldwide church was counted beginning 1914, continuing every 5 years after 1920. 1945 there was no census taken because of the war.

I had known about this collection but never accessed it until this week. Here are images of the Franklin Thomas Pomeroy family in the 1914, 1925, and 1935 LDS Censuses.

Franklin Thomas Pomeroy family, 1914 LDS Census, FHL microfilm 245255

There are columns for age, gender, priesthood office, marital status, and church record number. There is a category for “where born” with columns for Utah, Arizona, Europe, Asia, Islands of Pacific, and Unclassified. The Ward and Stake is also identified, which can lead one to other LDS church membership records, such as records of ordinances, minutes of meetings, and genealogical surveys.

Since U.S. federal censuses were taken every 10 years–1910, 1920, 1930, 1940–the LDS Censuses falling in-between those years are nice to have. Here is the 1925 census:

Franklin Thomas Pomeroy family, 1925 LDS Census, FHL film 245,255

Notice that Sarah Matilda Pomeroy is enumerated with the family—she is Franklin’s mother—and the additional detail for “when born.” We also now have evidence of Sophia Isadora’s maiden name—Morris.

Here is the 1935 LDS Census:

Franklin Thomas Pomeroy family, 1935 LDS Census, FHL film 245, 255

Included in this census is the city or town of birth, and a street address. You might consider marking a map in Google Earth to show all the places where a family is known to have lived. Also, use the street view to take a walk around their neighborhood! It may have changed, but then again it may not have. At the bottom of each census for every year is, “checked with ward record by [signature].”

I am pretty enthused about this record group and plan to use them to launch into ward minutes and membership records next time I am in Salt Lake City at the library. I expect to find details of my ancestors’ lives, such as service in callings and various ordinances received. If you have any LDS ancestry these church censuses might lead you down some interesting trails!

Posted in Archives and Libraries, Census, FamilySearch Wiki, Friday Finds, LDS Church Censuses, Research tips, Websites

Friday Finds: LDS Church Censuses 1914-1960

Here is an excerpt from the FamilySearch Wiki  regarding a source that is not widely known about—LDS Church Censuses.  If you are researching anyone who was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who lived anywhere in the world between 1914-1960, you will want to access these records by renting the microfilm at your local LDS Family History Center.  Clicking on Church Census Records, 1914–1960  will take you to a list of 651 microfilms.  Search alphabetically within certain years.  I have ordered the film for “Pomeroy” 1914-1935 and will let you know what I find.  I am excited to see entries for my mom, grandparents, and great-grandparents.

This article is copied from the FamilySearch Wiki LDS Census page:

LDS Census

A census is a count and description of a population. A well-indexed census is one of the easiest ways to locate where ancestors lived and to identify the dates when they lived there so that you can search other records. Church census records give the name of the ward or branch where a family’s Church records or civil records may be found.

Church Censuses (1914–1960)

 The Church took censuses to track members and Church growth throughout the world. The first Church wide census was taken in 1914. Beginning in 1920, the Church took a census every five years until 1960, except 1945. These census records were compiled in:

Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Church Census Records, 1914–1960. Salt Lake City: Genealogical Society of Utah, 1962. (On 651 Family History Library films starting with 025708). Arranged alphabetically by the name of the head of the household. The five censuses for 1914 to 1935 were combined and microfilmed. There is a supplement for cards sent in late. The 1940 census was filmed separately with two supplemental films. The 1950, 1955, and 1960 censuses were filmed together.

Information in Church censuses consists of a card with information about each family in a ward or branch. Each person in the household is listed on the family card with their gender, age, priesthood office, and marital status. Each time the census was taken, additional information was included:

  • 1914 This census shows the geographical regions that were marked to show where each person was born; the family’s address; the name of the ward or branch, stake, or mission the person attended; and date of the census.
  • 1920 This census added the maiden name of married women, year of birth of each person, and the Church auxiliaries each person attended.
  • 1925 The complete birth date is included. The columns for auxiliaries are deleted.
  • 1930 This census adds the exact place of birth. Cards for the Kentucky, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, and parts of Maryland also provide the baptism date, the name of the person who performed the baptism, and place of baptism.
  • 1935 This census adds the previous ward or branch the family attended.
  • 1940 This census adds the family’s previous street address, and the date when the family moved to their present address.
  • 1945 No Church census was taken because of World War II.
  • 1950, 1955, and 1960 These censuses show the same information as the 1940 census.

If you cannot find a family on a Church census try these strategies:

  • Look for variant spellings of the surname.
  • Look for the wife as the head of household.
  • Check the supplemental films.

If you still cannot find the family, it may be because:

  • Some Church units did not participate.
  • The census taker may have missed the family.