Heritage Gateways

Official Sesquicentennial K-12 Education Project
sponsored by the Utah State Board of Education, the BYU-Public School Partnership and the Utah Education Network


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Foreign Mormon Emigrants

Mormon missionaries first reached Europe in 1837, and from England, missionaries spread to the continent. There were, therefore, many Mormon emigrants from, not only England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales, but also from Denmark, Norway, Iceland, France, Italy, and Germany. Many of these emigrants were at a disadvantage in not knowing English in addition to not being accustomed to life on and beyond the American frontier. Mormon emigration officials tried to reduce this disadvantage through the previously mentioned Perpetual Emigration Fund, by organizing the foreign emigrants in Europe so that they sailed and traveled together all the way to their new Zion, and by always putting leaders in charge who knew the requisite languages. The sources indicate the system worked well.

Source: Historic Resource Study - Mormon Pioneer National By Stanley B. Kimball, Ph.D., May 1991. (The study focuses on the history of the trail from its official beginning in Nauvoo, Illinois, to its terminus in Salt Lake City, Utah, during the period 1846-1869. During that time, thousands of Mormon emigrants used many trails and trail variants to reach Utah. This study emphasizes the 'Pioneer Route' or 'Brigham Young Route' of 1846-1847. The sections on Mormon beliefs and motivations for going west have been omitted. Interested persons can find ample sources for that information. The footnotes, bibliography, maps, pictures, pioneer companies by name and dates for the 22-year period, and historic sites - about 2/3 of the book - have also been left out for space considerations. Thanks to Dr. Kimball and the National Park Service for the availability of this information.)