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Nevada Wiki Topics

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Beginning Research
Record Types
State Background
Cultural Groups
Local Research Resources

Online Resources

Biographies provide useful genealogical information such as a person’s birth date and place; names of family members, including maiden names; education; occupation; and social, political, and religious affiliation. They may also contain a physical description of the person, previous residences, and immigration information. Biographies are the product of family knowledge or previous research about early settlers and prominent citizens of a state, county, or town. Local histories may contain biographical sketches of lesser-known people.

Major collections of biographical materials are at the Nevada Historical Society and the University of Nevada—Reno.

Biographies in Local Histories

  • Biographical information is often found in state, county, and town histories.
  • Towards the end of the 19th century, began publishers soliciting short biographical/family histories from local founding families, offering to publish them in an upcoming local history. This then became an incentive for family members to buy a copy of the book.
  • Families represented were not necessarily prominent. Practically everyone living there, especially in the Midwest, counted as an early settler.
  • These biographies often start with the first member of the family to settle in the area, and detail their descendants at the time of publishing. They may tell where the family moved in from. Children's marriages often are given, with maiden names included.

Finding Biographies

  • The county Wiki page lists several county histories. It also lists local libraries, and societies which probably have copies of local histories.
  • Many histories are no longer under copyright and can be found in the following online, digitized book collections. Search with keywords "History" and "the name of your locality" (state, county, or town).
  • The FamilySearch library has extensive collections of these local histories. Many are digitized. Search the FamilySearch Catalog under your locality for the topics "Biography" and "History".

Family History Library Collections

The Family History Library has few biographical records for Nevada. Some representative sources are:

  • History of Nevada: with Illustrations and Biographical Sketches of Its Prominent Men and Pioneers. Oakland, California: Thompson & West, 1881. FHL film 1000194 item 2.

Two important indexes to biographies found in statewide and regional histories of Nevada are:

  • Parker, J. Carlyle, and Janet G. Parker. Nevada Biographical and Genealogical Sketch Index. Turlock, California: Marietta Publishing, 1986. FHL book 979.3 D32p.
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The usage of "Mormon" and "LDS" on this page is approved according to current policy.


  • Wiggins, Marvin E. Mormons and Their Neighbors: An Index of over 75,000 Biographical Sketches from 1820 to the Present, Two volumes. Provo, Utah: Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University, 1984. FHL book Ref 978 D32w.

Further Reading

See the United States Biography page for information on nationwide biographical collections. See also the Nevada "History" and "Genealogy" sections for additional sources. You may wish to explore biography, history and genealogy sections in the wiki at county levels also.

Biographies can be found on state, county and local levels. The Family History Library has many collected biographies and local or county histories with biographical sketches on residents. Additional resources for Nevada biographies may be found in the Nevada-Biography topic page of the FamilySearch Catalog .