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RESEARCHING FOUNDERS AND PIONEERS

Useful information for hunting down historic provo people through local newspapers, biographical resources, cemetery records, and local histories.

LOCAL NEWSPAPERS

Newspaper databases and websites for Provo and surrounding areas:

The Daily Herald and its predecessors and competitors are on microfilm at the Library.

See Our Microfilm Holdings

The Utah County Obituary Index - An online index that can help you determine when and where an obituary actually appeared. Indexing Utah County newspapers from the 1870s through the year prior to the present year, the index will only name the newspaper and give the date the obituary appeared—to actually locate the obituary it will generally be necessary to consult the newspaper on microfilm.

BIBLIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION: DATABASES AND BOOKS

Mormons and Their NeighborsDatabase of over 100,000 biographical sketches in over 236 published volumes includes persons who were Mormons as well as others who had association with the Mormons in the West. Provides an index for the following paper-copy resources in the Provo City Library:

  • Pioneers and Prominent Men of Utah (Salt Lake City: Utah Pioneers Book Publishing Co., 1913). , Special Collections 979.2 Es76
  • Heart Throbs of the West (SLC: DUP, 1939-1947) 12 vols., Special Collections 979.2 C245h
  • Our Pioneer Heritage / compiled by Kate B. Carter (Salt Lake City: Daughters of the Utah Pioneers, 1958-1977, Special Collections 979.2 CAR
  • Treasures of Pioneer History (SLC: DUP, 1957- ) 6 vols., Special Collections 979.2 C24t

Conquerors of the West: Stalwart Mormon Pioneers ([Salt Lake City]: Sons of Utah Pioneers, 1999) 4 vols.; Special Collections 929.3792 C763 - Information on 1,500 men who trekked to Utah prior to 1869. Each entry generally provides birth and death statistics, parents' names, the date of arrival in the Salt Lake Valley, marriage information, birth and death information on the spouse, a brief biographical sketch, and a list of the children with their birth, death, and marriage information. Many entries are accompanied by a photograph of the pioneer.

Index to Conquerors of the West


Pioneer Women of Faith and Fortitude ([Salt Lake City]: International Society Daughters of the Utah Pioneers, 1998) 4 vols.; Special Collections 979.2092 PIO 1998 - Collection of biographical sketches of over 6,000 women who came and settled in Utah prior to 1869. Each entry includes birth, death, and marriage information as well as parentage, date of their arrival in Utah, their children, and a brief biographical sketch.

Utah History Suite (Provo, Utah: Historical Views, 2001) 1 CD-ROM, Provo City Library's Special Collections Room; 979.2 Ut1 2001 - Includes 68 volumes of the Utah Historical Quarterly, History Blazer, Beehive History, and all 29 centennial county histories.

BIBLIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION ONLINE

Mormon Pioneer SearchThis index gives basic information on Mormon pioneers identifying the year they came and the source of that information. Not comprehensive, but a quick place to get started.

Mayors of Provo TimelineList of the mayors of Provo from 1851 to present. List the dates each mayor was in office and the birth and death dates when available.

Mormon Pioneer Overland Travel, 1847-1968The most complete listing of individuals and companies in which Mormon pioneer emigrants traveled west to Utah from 1847 through 1868. It is an incomplete listing, as rosters have not been found for all companies. Sources are provided for follow up research on the experiences of each company.

Daughters of Utah Pioneers “History Card Index”Name index to the 100,000+ pioneer histories on file at the DUP Museum in Salt Lake City, Utah.

FamilySearch Digital LibraryAn ever growing collection of digitized family, town, and other histories.

Provo Oral History ProjectA collection of recorded and transcribed interviews by longtime residents of Provo.

Historical PeopleBrief biographical sketches of important Utah people.

CEMETERY RECORDS

Utah Burials Database - Includes 322 cemeteries and 600,00 burials throughout Utah, including the burials from the Provo City Cemetery as of November 2005.  This is an ongoing project that focuses obtaining records from every cemetery rather than keeping the database updated with the most recent burials.

Access Older Provo Cemetery Records

A majority of Provo City Cemetery Records are held on-site in our Special Collections room or in our First-Floor Microfilm Cabinet.

Reources located in our Special Collections room include:

  • Current Provo Cemetery Index - An alphabetical listing of those who are buried in the Provo City Cemetery. The index is printed off once a year, and deposited in two binders located in the John E. Booth Special Collections room. The index provides you with the deceased's birth date, birthplace, death date, block and lot number. A large wall map showing the layout of the cemetery accompanies the binders.
  • The Chronological Burial Record of Provo City Cemetery (1849-1972), Special Collections Call No. 929.5097 C468c 1972 - Listed by burial date, the entries include the name of the deceased, their birth date and birth place, and the block and lot where their plot is located in the cemetery.

Resources located in our Microfilm Cabinet:

  • "Sexton's Record," 4 Jan 1849-10 Dec 1938 - This handwritten, chronological record includes name, date of birth, place of birth, parents' names, where died, date of death, location of grave, physician (often blank), and remarks (mostly blank).
  • "Sexton's Record," 10 Dec 1938-28 Jun 1982 - Handwritten, chronologically arranged record which includes the name, age at death, place of birth, physician (often blank), place of death, date of death, location of grave, cause of death, and remarks (mostly blank).
  • "Cemetery Records," 1849-30 Dec 1995 - Typewritten, chronologically arranged record which includes the burial date, name, birth date, birth place, block, and lot.

LOCAL HISTORIES

There are a number of publications featuring the local history of Provo housed in our Special Collections. Here is a brief list of the most useful. While most of these sources include an index, they are often not very thorough:

  • Cannon, Kenneth L. Provo & Orem: A Very Eligible Place: An Illustrated History (Northridge, Calif.: Windsor Publications, 1987), Special Collections 979.224 CAN 1987
  • Carter, D. Robert. Founding Fort Utah: Provo's Native Inhabitants, Early Explorers, and First Year Settlement ([Provo]: Provo City, 2003), Special Collections 979.224 CAR 2003
  • Carter, D. Robert. From Fort to Village: Provo, Utah, 1850-1854 (Provo: Provo City, 2008), Special Collections 979.224 CAR 2008
  • Carter, D. Robert. Tales from Utah Valley: Spellbinding and Sometimes Strange Selections from the Daily Herald's History Page ([Provo]: Daily Herald, 2005-2007) 2 vols., Special Collections 979.224 CAR 2005 & 979.224 CAR 2007
  • Christensen, N. LaVerl. Provo's Two Tabernacles and the People Who Built Them (Provo: Provo Utah East Stake, 1983)., Special Collections 277.9224 C462p
  • Foote, Merle S. Pleasant Views: A History of the Early Pleasant View Area of Northeast Provo, Utah (S.l.: S.n., [1974?]),  Special Collections 979.224 PROVO F739p
  • Holzapfel, Richard Neitzel. A History of Utah County (Salt Lake City: Utah State Historical Society, 1999), Special Collections 979.224 HOL 1999
  • Jensen, J. Marinus. History of Provo, Utah (Provo: Published by the Author, 1924),  Special Collections 979.2 JEN
  • Memories That Live: A Centennial History of Utah County (Springville: Art City Publishing, 1947), 979.224 MEM 1947
  • Miller, Marilyn M. and John C. Moffitt. Provo: A Story of People in Motion (Provo: Brigham Young University Press, 1974),  Special Collections 979.224 PRO 1974
  • Moffitt, John C. The Story of Provo, Utah (Provo : John C. Moffitt, 1975), Special Collections 979.2 MOF

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