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Theodore M. Burton
Full name Theodore Moyle Burton
Born March 27, 1907(1907-03-27)
Place of birth Salt Lake City, Utah
Died December 22, 1989 (aged 82)
Place of death Salt Lake City, Utah
LDS Church General Authority
Assistant to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
Called by David O. McKay
Start of term October 8, 1960 (aged 53)
End of term October 1, 1976 (aged 69)
End reason Position abolished
First Quorum of the Seventy
Called by Spencer W. Kimball
Start of term October 1, 1976 (aged 69)
End of term September 30, 1989 (aged 82)
End reason Granted general authority emeritus status
Emeritus General Authority
Called by Ezra Taft Benson
Start of term September 30, 1989 (aged 82)
End of term December 22, 1989 (aged 82)
End reason Death

Theodore Moyle Burton (March 27, 1907 – December 22, 1989) was a general authority of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) and one of the main leaders of the Genealogical Department of the church in the 1960s. Under his direction the department expanded its operations, largely through the opening of many more Family History Centers.

Burton was born in Salt Lake City, Utah. From 1927 to 1930 he served as a missionary in the Swiss-German Mission of the LDS Church. In 1933 he married Minnie Susan Preece.

In 1934, Burton received a masters degree from the University of Utah, where he became a Sigma Chi [1]. He worked for the treasury attache at the U.S. embassies in both Vienna and Berlin. He later taught at Carbon College and Utah State Agricultural College. He then went to Purdue University where he earned a Ph.D. in chemistry in 1951. He returned to Utah State, but in 1957 was called as president of the West German Mission of the church.

In 1960, Burton was called as an Assistant to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. He served in this position until it was disbanded in 1976; at this time he was transferred to the First Quorum of the Seventy.

Burton served as president of the European Mission of the church and later as the Area Supervisor in Europe.

As director of the Genealogical Department, Burton initiated the translation of materials into languages other than English. He held the title of Executive Director of the Family History Department from 1972 to 1978. He also negotiated the contracting out of microfilming work to a private company in 1967 and then its later resumption as a function of the church department.


  • Allen, James B., Jessie L. Embry and Kahlile B. Mehr. Hearts Turned to the Fathers: A History of the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1894-1994. Provo: BYU Studies, 1995.
  • Encyclopedia of Latter-day Saint Church History, p. 156-157
  • 2005 Deseret News Church Almanac, p. 79.

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