Utah, Territorial Case Files of the U.S. District Courts (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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Utah, Territorial Case Files of the U.S. District Courts, 1870-1896 .
This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
Utah, United States
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Record Description
Record Type Civil Court Case Files
Record Group RG 21: Records of the District Courts of the United States
Collection years 1870-1896
Microfilm Publication M1401. Territorial Case Files of the U.S. District Courts of Utah, 1870-1896. 38 rolls.
Arrangement Alphabetical by the first letter of the defendants' surname and numbered numerically
National Archives Identifier 1116809 350
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites
National Archives and Records Administration

What is in the Collection?

This index corresponds to the 2,593 case files created by the U.S. district courts from 1870 to 1896. The records are arranged by the name of the defendant. The records are from NARA publication M1401 part of Record Group 21 Records of the United States District Courts of the United States.

  • U.S. District Court Case Files, rolls 1-35, Numbers 1-2593
  • U.S. Circuit Court Case Files, rolls 36-38, Numbers 1-95

During the years from 1870 to 1896, the judicial system of Utah consisted of four districts located in Salt Lake City, Ogden, Provo, and Beaver. The records from these four districts have been combined and indexed. The majority of cases in this time period concerned the practice of polygamy, but there were also cases involving mail theft, illegal voting, violations of liquor and tobacco tariff laws, possession of counterfeit coins, and embezzlement.

This index was created to provide easier access to the Utah Territorial case files. The information in this index is quite reliable. However, keep in mind that it still may contain alternate spellings or misinterpretations of names or other information.

What Can these Records Tell Me?

Information in the index includes:

  • Defendant’s full name
  • Case number
  • Fold3 and National Archives Record Administration reference information
  • State
  • Year

How Do I Search the Collection?

To begin your search, it is helpful to know at least some of the following:

  • The name of your ancestor.
  • The place where your ancestor lived.
  • The names of relatives and associates.
  • The case number or court date.

Fill in the requested information in the initial search page. This search will return a list of possible matches. Compare the information in the list to what you already know about your ancestor to determine if it is the correct person. You may need to compare several persons in the list before you find your ancestor.

Search by Name by visiting the Collection Page<br

For tips about searching on-line collections see the on-line article FamilySearch Search Tips and Tricks.

What Do I Do Next?

Whenever possible, view the original records to verify the information and to find additional information that might not be reported. These pieces of information can lead you to additional records and family members.

I Found Who I was Looking for, What Now?

  • Use the year and state to find other records such as birth, christening, census, land and death records.
  • Use the information to find additional family members.
  • Repeat this process with additional family members found, to find more generations of the family.
  • Church Records often were kept years before government records were required and are a good source for finding ancestors before 1900.

I Can’t Find Who I’m Looking for, What Now?

  • Try viewing the original record to see if there were errors in the transcription of the name, age, residence, etc. Remember that there may be more than one person in the records with the same name.
  • Collect entries for every person who has the same surname. This list can help you identify possible relations that can be verified by records.
  • If you cannot locate your ancestor in the locality in which you believe they lived, then try searching records of a nearby locality in an area search.
  • Standard spelling of names typically did not exist during the periods our ancestors lived in. Try variations of your ancestor’s name while searching the index or browsing through images.
  • Remember that sometimes individuals went by nicknames or alternated between using first and middle names. Try searching for these names as well.
  • Search the indexes and records of Utah, United States Genealogy.
  • Search in the Utah Archives and Libraries.

Citing This Collection

Citing your sources makes it easy for others to find and evaluate the records you used. When you copy information from a record, list where you found that information. Here you can find citations already created for the entire collection and for each individual record or image.

Collection Citation:

"Utah, Territorial Case Files of the U.S. District Courts, 1870-1896" Database. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2017. Citing "Territorial Case Files of the U.S. District Courts of Utah 1870-1896." Fold3.com. http://www.fold3.com : n.d. NARA microfilm publication M1401. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1987.

Record Citation (or citation for the index entry):

The citation for a record is available with each record in this collection, at the bottom of the record screen. You can search records in this collection by visiting the search page for Utah, Territorial Case Files of the U.S. District Courts, 1870-1896.

How Can I Contribute to the FamilySearch Wiki?

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