Church Records

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Another under utilized 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

  • Marriages

  • Deaths

  • Burials

  • Confirmations​​

  • ​Membership lists

  • Church Minutes

  • Church Directories

  • Transfer Letters

  • Bar or Bat Mitzvahs

  • Sunday School lists

  • Church newsletters​

I recently found a mention for one of my ancestors of date and location of death in a church newsletter in Berlin, Germany. What a find!

​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 accessible by state below:​

Good Luck and Happy Hunting!