Another underutilized genealogy resource is Church Records. We tend to focus our research on civil records, but need to be aware that often church records pre-dated civil records and are a great resource as well. In the BMD Records section of this website, there are about 15,000 collections of civil records that are available online. Yes, that’s a lot, but we need to also search church records as well.
What can we find in church or synagogue records? Here’s just a shortlist of what nuggets we can find:
- Baptisms and Christenings
- Membership lists
- Church Minutes
- Church Directories
- Transfer Letters
- Bar or Bat Mitzvahs
- Sunday School lists
- Church newsletters
In addition, many folks also documented important events in family bibles, so they need to be searched as well if the event information has been digitized.
Here are a couple of articles that you might find useful:
- U.S. Church Records Research Guide
- United States Church Records
- A Genealogist’s Guide to Using Catholic Records in Genealogy Research
There is a large number of Free Online Church Record collections; the links for the state are below:
Note: Some of the links listed take you to a FamilySearch Collection of digital images. Near the bottom of the page under Film/Digital Notes is the name of each sub-collection. If there is a camera icon at the right of the name (in the Format column) then the collections’ images are browsable. If there is a camera with a key icon, it is only available at a Family History Center or affiliated library. If there is a film reel icon, then it is only available in microfilm format, not digital. To take full advantage, please make sure that you are logged in to FamilySearch. The results may be different if you are signed in, rather than not.
(Updated October 2021):
- Aberdeen, St. Paul’s Lutheran Church
- Emmett, Baptist Church : Marriage Register 1919-1946
- Idaho Births and Christenings, 1856-1965
- Idaho Church Marriages, 1864-1976
- Idaho, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Parker Ward Deacons Book, 1909-1920
- Kuna, Methodist Church Baptism Records, 1942, 1946-1947, 1961-1968
- Kuna. Methodist Church Baptism Records, 1954-1968 (1954-1960 incomplete)
- Star, The First Church of Christ in Boise Valley
Good Luck and Happy Hunting!
For other Free Idaho Links, click on the category of interest:
Probate and Wills