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
Bar or Bat Mitzvahs
Sunday School lists
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:
There is a large number of Free Online Church Record collections; the links for the state are below:
Note: Some of the links listed below 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.
(Updated March 2020; recently added links are in BOLD):
- Astoria, Grace Episcopal Church Church Records, 1864-1934
- Early Catholic Church Records in the Northwest
- Jackson County, Catholic Baptism Index – Jacksonville
- Jackson County, Catholic Baptism Records for the Roseburg Parish
- Jackson County, Catholic Marriage Records for the Jacksonville Parish
- Jackson County, Catholic Marriage Records for the Roseburg Parish
- Jackson County, Early Presbyterian Church Records Index
- Jackson County, Medford Methodist Records – Baptism Index
- Jackson County, Medford Methodist Records – Marriage Records
- Multnomah County, Miscellaneous Church Records
- Oregon, Church Records, 1853-1874
Good Luck and Happy Hunting!
For other Free Oregon Links, click on the category of interest: