Learn More about the People in Joseph Smith’s World

Many may not realize that early church member Harriet Howe was the sister of Eber D. Howe, who published Mormonism Unvailed in order to undermine Joseph Smith and the church, or that John C. Bennett—at one time a city and church leader in Nauvoo and later a vocal critic of Joseph—was also a prolific poultry breeder. These lesser-known details, along with thousands of others, can be discovered in the biographical entries on the Joseph Smith Papers website.

Our People page includes information on more than 800 individuals mentioned in the papers—a helpful resource for those wishing to learn more about the lives of early members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and of others who associated with Joseph Smith. For the past fifteen years, project researchers and volunteers have painstakingly researched these individuals in original genealogical and historical sources.

On the People page, you’ll find an alphabetized directory, which you can choose to display either by first or last name. By clicking the link on a name, you’ll be directed to a page containing a summary of significant events in that person’s life. You’ll also find links to Joseph Smith documents referencing the person and, in some cases, a photograph of the individual.

You can access the biographical information when reading document transcripts on the Joseph Smith Papers website. Click on a name mentioned in the transcript to see a brief summary of the person’s life; for more information, click on the link in the summary.

With information that is often difficult to find anywhere else, the People feature can be a worthwhile resource in your historical research.