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FamilySearch Pioneer Discovery Experience Online

Imagine walking all day exposed to the scorching sun, wind, or rain, and only advancing as few as 8 miles. Ever wonder what circumstances the pioneers in your own family endured to reach Zion (the Salt Lake Valley)? Finding the answer is fun and easy thanks to the free FamilySearch Pioneer Discovery Experience now online. About 1.5 million descendants of pioneers have been identified through millions of worldwide contributions to the FamilySearch Family Tree. Go to FamilySearch.org/Pioneer to make your discoveries.

Just in time for the July 24 celebration of Utah’s Pioneer Day, FamilySearch and the Church History Library (CHL) have partnered to help members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and other descendants of these pioneers find amazing information about their pioneer heritage

The interactive pioneer page shows a snapshot of the life and time line of each ancestor based on available historical records. Fascinating personalized discoveries are compiled using data from the FamilySearch Family Tree mapped against pioneer information found in the Overland Trails database.

The introductory page for each ancestor invites users to discover their pioneer relatives through a personal photo (if available), the name of the pioneer company they were part of, their age at departure, the number of days on the trail, and the city and state they were in when they left. The time line shows how their ancestors’ lives overlapped with key events that likely influenced their lives. If available for their ancestors, patrons will be led to photos, history, and first-hand experiences.

Sample Screenshots from the Free FamilySearch Pioneer Discovery Experience Online

FamilySearch Pioneer Discovery Experience Introduction Page for Mary Saville(See illustration 1) Mary Ann Saville was the first of her family to leave England with the hope her parents and siblings would follow soon. They came slowly over 10 years, with her mother and father being the last to arrive. She travelled by wagon in the Milo Andrus company.





FamilySearch Pioneer Discovery Experience Photos and Document ExampleBy clicking on View Photos and Stories (Illustration 2), the page will open directly to the memories that have been preserved in the Family Tree. In the case of Mary Ann, you find a brief life story and lovely poem written by her mother before she left for "Zion".






FamilySearch Pioneer Discovery Experience for Warren Snow Company 1864By clicking on the Company name, a new page provides all the names of Company members and includes Company Sources that provide fascinating details about the journey (Illustration 3 for Warren Snow Company 1864).

The following excerpt is taken from the journal of Milo Andrus, the captain of Mary Ann's company. (Note: Spelling and punctuation are original from the journal. Words and punctuation in square brackets have been added for clarification.)

Saturday 20th—Cleared off about 9 A.M. Camped moved about half past twelve. road verry heavy. rolling awful[.] Encamped about 4 O Clock P.M. on "Skunk Creek" dist made about 8 miles. Raining all night verry heavey. Capt. however managed to get up a dance between. showers. in the Evening


About FamilySearch

FamilySearch International is the largest genealogy organization in the world. FamilySearch is a nonprofit, volunteer-driven organization sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Millions of people use FamilySearch records, resources, and services to learn more about their family history. To help in this great pursuit, FamilySearch and its predecessors have been actively gathering, preserving, and sharing genealogical records worldwide for over 100 years. Patrons may access FamilySearch services and resources free online at FamilySearch.org or through over 5,000 family history centers in 129 countries, including the main Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Comments 1 - 7 (7)
Thank you for your message.
Deven Jones
I am looking at my pioneer ancestors and It only shows my 20 of them. How do I find more? Thank you
Angela Joan Bate Larsen
I saw a group of 22 missionaries connected to me in the recent familysearch.org campaign. They are gone now from my familysearch.org page. I went to the link but do not seem to be able to locate them again. I did print out each one on paper, but neglected to download them or put them in my album on familysearch.org. I didn't realize they would be taken away again. Is there any way I could get them again to that I can do this? Thank you.
Addison Christensen
Connie Woodfin
Want to find anything about the Woodfins
Carolyn Chance
searching John Smalley and Ann Waldon
Zera Pulsipher
How many of my ancestors came over Wagon train or Handcart co
Kathleen Walker
I love this! It made it so easy to find out how many pioneer ancestors I actually have and also to find out whether they came with a wagon or a handcart company. I was surprised to learn that only two or three of my 20 ancestors came in handcart companies. Thanks so very much!