Genealogy is one of the most popular hobbies in the United States with more and more people interested to know about their ancestors. Mormons are recognized as a leader in genealogy with one of the largest databases in the world.
Why do Mormons do so much genealogy?
There are a couple reasons. First, family is incredibly important to members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. As a result, Mormons enjoy learning more about the lives of their ancestors. However, this is not the most important reason.
As discussed elsewhere on this site, Mormons believe that there are ordinances (such as baptism) that are essential to be saved. Therefore, Mormons seek out the names of their ancestors so that they can perform these ordinances on behalf of their ancestors, if they were not able to receive them while on the earth. For more information about the specific ordinances performed on behalf of these ancestors:
Mormons perform these ordinances as a service to their ancestors.
Can Mormons help me with my genealogy?
Of course. Mormons have Family History Centers at many of their meetinghouses. These centers are staffed by volunteers who are experienced in genealogy. In addition, there is free access to the best databases, including those that you typically have to pay for (e.g., Ancestry, Footnote, World Vital Records, etc.). If you are interested in visiting a Family History Center, find the nearest location and open hours.