FamilySearch Partnership Announcement
by Lyndie Jackson
On July 25th you may have received a notification from FamilySearch with the news that your ancestor is one of the 8,000 individuals included in Wilford Woodruff’s records.
The Wilford Woodruff Papers Foundation is partnering with FamilySearch.org to allow users to mine information about their ancestors’ lives, including their baptisms, marriages, missions, and other important events recorded by Wilford Woodruff between 1828 and 1898.
Wilford Woodruff served as the Church Historian and Assistant Church Historian for decades and is known as one of the most thorough record keepers of the Restoration. The Wilford Woodruff Papers Project encompasses his daybooks and journals, the letters he sent and received, his autobiographies, and thousands of other documents and discourses Wilford Woodruff wrote and delivered over the course of his life. All of his documents are being transcribed and made universally accessible at wilfordwoodruffpapers.org.
Jennifer Mackley, Executive Director of the Foundation, commented, “This campaign will introduce the Wilford Woodruff Papers to thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of people who are connected to the 8,000+ participants in his Restoration narrative.”
The new feature at FamilySearch.org will allow users to type in the name of an ancestor and access their biographical information from the Wilford Woodruff Papers, as well as links to the documents they are mentioned in, similar to the campaign highlighting individuals in The Joseph Smith Papers.
“To add context to Wilford Woodruff’s writings, our Research Team has prepared biographical sketches highlighting thousands of the individuals we have identified in his unmatched chronicle of Church history in the nineteenth century,” said Mackley.
The Foundation is working in conjunction with volunteers from BYU-Idaho’s Family History Research Certification Program, and skilled interns pursuing undergraduate degrees in Family History to accomplish this task.
Learning about Wilford Woodruff and his connection to their ancestors has already blessed the lives of many people, and the Foundation is hopeful this will continue.
Michael Pulsipher is a descendant of Zerah Pulsipher, the missionary who baptized Wilford Woodruff in 1833. After beginning his work on the Wilford Woodruff Papers Project and taking the opportunity to read about his ancestor’s role in Wilford’s conversion experience, Michael felt a stronger desire to be an instrument in the hands of the Lord, as Zerah was.
Mackley believes this collaboration with FamilySearch is “an amazing step toward our purpose of making Wilford Woodruff’s faithful records not only universally accessible, but personally valuable.” She continued, “Our hope is that Wilford’s testimony and experiences will inspire people to increase their faith in our Savior and recognize their role in His plan of salvation and exaltation for themselves and their families. Wilford Woodruff played a pivotal role in the development of temple doctrine and our understanding of sealing ordinances. FamilySearch.org is key to preparing for service in the temple and connecting families in eternity.
The Foundation is thrilled to add these valuable personal assets to the multitude of resources that currently exist on FamilySearch.org and knows that Wilford’s insights will provide a valuable opportunity for people who are interested in learning more about their predecessors.
To discover your ancestors in Wilford Woodruff’s records please visit https://www.familysearch.org/campaign/journeyoffaith and https://www.wilfordwoodruffpapers.org/search.
To learn more about the Wilford Woodruff Papers Project and contribute to this historically significant effort, please visit us at https://wilfordwoodruffpapers.org.