Welcome! MormonPlaces is an interactive database (a gazetteer) of the geographic locations that are significant to the history of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and its sister churches of Joseph Smith's Restoration movement. This will eventually include congregations, settlements, cemeteries, buildings, and even historical events.

Mapping Mormoinism coverMormonPlaces is an outgrowth of our research in producing Mapping Mormonism: an Atlas of Latter-day Saint History, in which we collected information on thousands of places from various regions, eras, and topics. However, these initial datasets were only portrayed in a general way in the maps in the atlas, and we found the available information about them to be incomplete.

Thus, this project aims to build on our initial research by creating a website with the following goals:

In Phase I (2012-2013), we created a prototype website and database, into which loaded much of the data from the atlas, including early branches and western settlements. Currently, we are in Phase II of the project, with a new database model, a new website design, and in which we are trying to document every ward and branch that existed in the LDS Church between 1830 and 1930. In our first year of research, we have documented over 6,000 of them!

You can view our current database using a map interface, or browse a text list of all of the places. The earlier version had an editing feature that allowed anyone to make contributions, but this is not in the new system yet. Please remember, this site is experimental for the time being, as most of our research focus is on the data, not the interface; we encourage you to try them out and give us your feedback, but don't expect them to be industrial strength or beautiful yet.

What's New

The Team

MormonPlaces is the brainchild of Dr. Brandon Plewe, an associate professor of Geography at Brigham Young University, who has been mapping the history of the LDS Church for the past 20 years. Thanks to generous funding from the BYU Mentored Environment Grant program, the Religious Studies Center, and the BYU Center for Family History and Genealogy, we have had students do much of the necessary research:

2017 Brandon Plewe, Brigham Young University Geography