The Church History Department of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is pleased to announce an exciting collaborative effort between their Overland Travel website and the FamilySearch website.
Overland Travel is an extensive database of early Church members who crossed the plains, with extensive information collected from rosters, journals, letters, and other primary sources. This program allows you to search for an ancestor and identify not only what wagon or handcart company they travelled with, but also journal entries and other records where they may be mentioned.
For years, the Family History Department has worked to make FamilySearch a faster and more user-friendly way of collecting family history information. It maintains basic information like dates, places, and relations, but does not provide many trail journals and pioneer company information.
However, this summer, the two departments have collaborated on a way to connect the two experiences. Just in time for Pioneer Day, Overland Travel and FamilySearch are launching a new site (maintained by FamilySearch) which will provide access to both programs. It will take the Overland Travel lists and compare them with your family tree on FamilySearch, which will provide you with links and information from both sites. Overland Travel does not show family relations, so this provides a way to see if you are related to other pioneer families in the companies. It also provides a way for FamilySearch to give a more personal experience by connecting you to documents that help paint the picture of your ancestors journey.
By signing in with your FamilySearch login, the site automatically cross-references what is already housed in your FamilySearch account to the Overland Travel database and pulls up any other relations you may have had in the pioneer companies. From there, you can navigate through primary sources and references to learn about what they may have experienced along the trail. This may be especially helpful to those who have researched their family and have found that the trail goes cold around the time of the migration west.
The new site is accessible at https://familysearch.org/campaign/pioneers#/