Learn more about the Historical Pioneer Research Group's ongoing projects to locate pioneer burial sites with the use of ground penetrating radar and other research.

Early Latter-day Saint Database
Winter Quarters BYU Project

Our goal is to identify the people, places, and events of the early history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints during their sojourn at the Missouri through genealogical and historical research and interactive virtual location experiences. Compiling settlement histories and identifying locations of cemeteries and noting those buried there, we seek to preserve for descendants of the pioneers and all who share in their legacy their story of faith and fortitude.

Information gathered from Nauvoo Land and Records, and original records from Camp of Israel Schedules and Reports, Winter Quarters Wards and Iowa Branches gathered by Ronald G Watt and other primary records from the Church History Library.

First/Given Name:


This data was originally gathered by students and faculty at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. The Winter Quarters Project, is an independent research venture, and has no official affiliation with Brigham Young University or The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Crossroads to the West

We invite you to experience the 1846-1853 pioneer sojourn along the Missouri through this interactive tour on web and mobile. Visit the place where Brigham Young was sustained as the second President of the Church, the 500 men of the Mormon Battalion enlisted, 90+ settlements and camps, 60+ cemetery sites, and more.  We enrich your virtual travels with historic photos, maps, audio and video recording and beautiful artwork.


Visit the Crossroads to the West Tour >>


Mormon Battalion March

Using period journals and other sources, we have - for the first time - created a highly accurate interpretation of all the Battalion routes. The Main Command and all the detachments are represented. It is intended to help people connect events to the places where they happened and to do so with the help of modern technology.


Visit the Mormon Battalion March Tour >>


--- ALL IN 1846!
“Celebrate!" Symposium will held at the Arts Center
of the Iowa Western Community College in
Council Bluffs, Iowa, August 20-21, 2021.

Featuring scholars, local historians,
overland trail experts, archaeologists,
geographers, museum curators,
and many more.

This exciting event will be a
two-track symposium:
Track One: The history of the Latter-day Saints
in Iowa from 1846-1853;
Track Two: Key developments in the history
of Council Bluffs.

Sessions will feature both live and
Zoom-based presentations.
Admission is free and open to the public.
Come and enjoy!

For more information, contact
Richard E. Bennett, Site Director
of the Mormon Trail Center, Omaha, Neb.,
at richard.bennett@churchofjesuschrist.org
Sponsored by the Mormon Trail Center at
Historic Winter Quarters in Omaha, Nebraska
and the Council Bluffs Stake of
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
In collaboration with the City of Council Bluffs.


During the spring and summer of 1846, many pioneer companies of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints … assembled at the Grand Encampment. Here they prepared for their westward trek to the valley of the Great Salt Lake. As more and more wagon trains arrived week after week, they camped further and further east.
When the dry heat of July came, captains of wagon trains started looking for other places to camp. One by one, the wagon trains left Grand Encampment and went where they could find uncontested access to more wood, water, and grass to sustain them until they began their journey to the Great Basin. Some pioneers crossed the Missouri River to prepare for their trip west. But most stayed on this side of the River to organize more than ninety communities scattered throughout southwestern Iowa. Among those settlements were established burial grounds for the many whose lives ended before they could reach the valley.
Along the hills, hollows and prairie land are scattered more than 60 cemeteries. Through the use of ground penetrating radar the Historical Pioneer Research Group have identified five long-lost burial sites.