The Utah Territorial Militia Records document the administration and activities of various segments of the territorial militia, also known as the Nauvoo Legion. They were brought together by archives staff in the late 1950s and early 1960s in an effort to collect all documents about Utah veterans from any source and to serve as a state repository for those documents.
The Military Records Center acquired the documents from the late 1950s into the early 1960s, rearranging and grouping them by document type, date, and/or military district. Indexes were prepared for most of the correspondence, but plans to index all documents were never completed. These card indexes were later microfilmed and provided one of the primary ways to access these records, even with partial coverage. That microfilm has now been digitized and posted online with full text searching of the typed name information.
The death certificate collection was first released online in December 2006, covering 1904-1956 through a partnership with FamilySearch. Since then, the Utah State Archives has added more years when they become public 50 years after the date of death. This may be done initially with browsing by county and date, similar to traditional research on microfilm. The final goal is always to be able to search by name and retrieve for free a digital copy of the death certificate record. The Archives updates the index continually based on comments and suggestions from users, ensuring that it is complete and accurate.
All public records at the Utah State Archives are accessible through the Research Center. However, once processed the records are easier to use with proper storage and fuller descriptions, including online series inventories. The following list includes record series that were processed during the month of April 2016:
Birth certificates issued by the Utah Office of Vital Records and Statistics in 1909 are now online and freely available to the public. The searchable index and digital images may be accessed from archives.utah.gov/research/indexes/81443.htm.
And that means it’s time to see the most popular baby names that were given in 1909 (see 1905, 1906, 1907, and 1908).
All public records at the Utah State Archives are accessible through the Research Center. However, once processed the records are easier to use with proper storage and fuller descriptions, including online series inventories. The following list includes record series that were processed during the month of March 2016:
“Only by full help of the public can Utah’s warriors be honored.”
– Joan Geyer, Tribune
In the midst of World War II on September 12, 1942, Governor Maw issued a proclamation creating the Department of War History and Archives within the Utah State Historical Society. A call was issued to all citizens to help document the military service of all veterans in Utah within this new office, along with copies of records from the U.S. Selective Service and various military branches. In 1957, the Utah State Archives was officially created within the Utah State Historical Society. One of its first tasks was to register the graves of all veterans buried in Utah.
The man in charge of this registration was Robert W. Inscore. A World War II veteran, he was also the son, grandson, and great-grandson of Utah war veterans. In a 1950 Salt Lake Tribune article, he described himself as a “connoisseur of graveyards.” He combed through graveyards up and down Utah, from well-tended to severely overgrown. Along with uncovering headstones, he came across poison ivy, hornets, and one angry rattlesnake. Working with Mrs. Lee Eire, information was gathered from city directories and other sources, he would then write or call upon families to confirm details.
In addition to the compiled data on Utah veterans (now available online), Inscore also assisted families with the process of obtaining the free grave markers or headstones for veterans who perished either in service or following honorable discharge. Today, extensive correspondence survives in the thousands of pages documenting inquires to other states (for previous or subsequent military service), individuals and families, and various offices and branches of the Federal government (Series 17529). By 1959, it was reported in the Utah Historical Quarterly that over 250,000 separate records had been filed on the project. Inscore worked at this task until 1965, possibly fulfilling his promise to the Tribune’s reporter fifteen years previous that “[if] this job ever gets routine, I’ll quit it.” Ultimately Inscore left behind a legacy of valuable hard-won information on thousands of Utah veterans.
Do you have relatives with military service who lived in Utah? Consult these research guides to find out more information on finding records compiled for or created by the Military Records Section.
Birth certificates issued by the Utah Office of Vital Records and Statistics in 1909 are now online and freely available to the public. The searchable index and digital images may be accessed from the Utah Birth Certificate Index. As all birth certificates at least 100 years old are public, browse 1910-1915 online.
In addition to identity and proof of citizenship, the registration of births assists with monitoring public health issues and the programs created to alleviate them. The original permanent records were transferred from Vital Records to the Utah State Archives and Records Service in 2006, prompted by the Inspection of Vital Records Act passed in 1998 making historical records public. The name index is a collaborative effort of the staff of Vital Records, volunteers and staff of the State Archives, and includes the child’s full name, parents’ full names, date of birth, sex and county.
The Utah State Digital Archives provides over a million images of historical records online and free to the public, including death certificates from 1904-1961. With worldwide online access, patrons have the ability to do research from anywhere while the State Archives efficiently fulfills its mission “to provide quality access to public information.”
All public records at the Utah State Archives are accessible through the Research Center. However, once processed the records are easier to use with proper storage and fuller descriptions, including online series inventories. The following list includes record series that were processed during the month of February 2016:
Birth certificate images for 1915 are now online at archives.utah.gov/digital/81443.htm. Although they are not indexed by name yet, if one knows the birth date and county it should not be difficult to locate the correct folder and browse through a few images for the time being. Free saving and printing of images is available.
Would you like to help index birth certificates? Or other records? Join our team of volunteers for a rewarding experience handling, describing, or making accessible original records from throughout Utah’s history. Read more about our Volunteer Program.