Midvale Union Fort
 Multi-Stake Family History Center
540 East 7155 South in Midvale
 (just north of fire station) Please use north door      
Phone: (801) 569-1621 
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Research Tactics Lesson 6
The LDS Church’s Commitment to Family History and Temple Work
“If temple ordinances are an essential part of the restored gospel, and I testify that they are, then we must provide the means by which they can be accomplished. All of our vast family history endeavor is directed to temple work. There is no other purpose for it.”
– President Gordon B. Hinckley, General Conference, April 1998

“Our message is so imperative, when you stop to think that the salvation, the eternal salvation of the world, rests upon the shoulders of this Church. When all is said and done, if the world is going to be saved, we have to do it. There is no escaping from that. No other people in the history of the world have received the kind of mandate that we have received. We are responsible for all who have lived upon the earth. That involves our family history and temple work. We are responsible for all who now live upon the earth, and that involves our missionary work. And we are going to be responsible for all who will yet live upon the earth. No one ever received a greater or more compelling mandate than we of this Church have received, and we’d better be getting at it.”
– President Gordon B. Hinckley, Mission Presidents Seminar, July 1999

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Discussion & Theory
Land and Probate Records
Land, and probate records are an often overlooked, but important part of genealogical research. The records of Land and probate, are among the most important documents available for tying a specific person to a specific place; especially in those cases, where time, place, and circumstances have made vital records unavailable or were never recorded. Nevertheless, vital records and land records should be used together to get the complete picture of a family.

Land Records
In America, land and property records apply to more people than any other type of record. Written evidence of people’s entitlement to land and property goes back in time further than virtually any other type of record a genealogist might use.

There are many types of land records, title abstracts, land purchases, grants, and more. Land records are typically one of the records kept from the very early days of settlement in an area and may be available when other records are not. These records provide information on relationships between individuals, approximate relocation dates, and the financial state of a family.

Land Grants from the Federal Government are relatively easy to locate and use. It is important to know the meaning of land description in order to locate and determine the rightful owner.

A deed is typically a legal document that transfers property rights or grants land ownership to a person. In many cases these records will include information about residences of family members, and in the case of inheritance will include the original owner.

Probate Records
Probate records are created at the time of an individual’s death and are the legal records associated with the dividing up of a deceased person’s property. These records might include information about an individual's financial situation and assets, their occupation, and the names of the heirs.

The family historians who take the time to research these types of legal documents will often be pleasantly surprised by the rewards that are in store. These types of records can help you locate ancestors' residences, determine occupations, find financial information, establish citizenship status, or clarify relationships between people-depending on the type of records that your ancestors’ names appear in.

The will is a legal document in which an individual declares what they want done with their possessions or estate after their death. These might include information about immediate family members or distant relatives.

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Bring to Class This Week:
1. The file for the family you are working on and flash drive for transporting new finds
2. Optional: Your family computer file to work on in class

Lesson Materials:
Print out or download all of this material
1. A Typical Deed
2. Legal Terms in Court Records
3. Blank plat map

Web Links:

Homework for Next Week:
1. Visit the Family History Library downtown to find records about your family.
2. Update your file with land and probate records you found.
3. Read Lesson 7 and study links.

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