In the heart of the genealogy world, Salt Lake City, Utah, we observe a State Holiday on the 24th of July called “Pioneer Day”. Not only is this an excuse to enjoy a parade, fire up the BBQ, and light off more fireworks; in Utah we celebrate the first settlers reaching the Salt Lake Valley in 1847.


Pioneers – The Genealogists Headache?

Utah’s pioneers are just one out of countless examples of excursions made by millions of people across uncharted lands in the pursuit of life, opportunity, and freedom. History books in every Nation are filled with countless stories of courageous families trenching into the unknown to build a better future.
So what does this have to do with genealogy? Well, EVERYTHING.

Every genealogist, at some point in their research, must come to understanding that people/families may have moved at some point in their life. Advances in technology or resources at any moment in history have had an enormous effect on the movement and expansion of families. This “mobile era” is a source of frustration for MANY genealogists.


The Secret to Finding Your Pioneering Ancestors 

BillionGraves’ Global Family feature shows you all the people with the same last name everywhere in the world on one map. “How does this help me?” Well, here’s one example. Are you looking for family in the 19th century that lived in the mid-west? Perhaps they were part of one of many excursions west. Were they a part of the Oregon Trail? The California Gold Rush? Manifest Destiny? BillionGraves’ Global Family feature allows you to look at cemeteries along these routes that contain families to any given last name.

For example, here are all the burials of the “Washington” family throughout the United States. Looking at the dates on the headstones you can see that the Washington Family DID travel west. Homesteading in California, Oregon, Arizona, and even some in Utah.


Global Family Is KEY to finding your Pioneers!

Thanks to BillionGraves’ invaluable GPS data, genealogists are connecting families across time AND geography.

So the next time you suspect a pioneering family, use the Global Family feature on BillionGraves to quickly and easily find those elusive family members! Once you find those family members, don’t forget to read the inscription of those stones for any clues to their relationship or any other family members.

You never know what treasures you will find on headstones. Who knows; you could be one search away from finding those elusive family members or breaking through your genealogy “brick walls”!

Don’t take our word for it. Read what EllenRT, a long time genealogist, and BillionGraves volunteer has to say about BillionGraves…


“Thanks to [Global Family] I found the grave of my GGGrandfather in a cemetery that I would have never searched. I have been looking for his gravesite for more than 30 years!”





BillionGraves’ GPS technology shows you the family members you NEED by looking at who is around the world. Thanks to our better GPS data, you just found more family!

Thousands of genealogists around the world use BillionGraves’ Plus services to use better data to find family for them. Upgrade your account today and use BillionGraves’ POWERFUL tools and BETTER data to add family to your family tree!