Church Records

Why Visit Churches for Records?

Many churches have kept remarkable records over the centuries: including marriage, baptisms, funerals, etc.  Consider how long religious institutions have been in place. 

Who should I talk to?  Most churches have a receptionist or secretary that knows where all of their records are kept, most likely in a library.  He or she can give you the times available to visit.  You should also try and make an appointment to speak with the minister.  The minister may not necessarily be from the area, but likely has information on the history of the area that may give you other research ideas.

What Church Records Can I Request?

Looking for any records with your family name and surnames with the date periods you have narrowed.  Churches keep records for:

  • Weddings
  • Funerals
  • Baptisms
  • Christenings 

These can show you possible birth and death dates, as well as spouse and children names.

What Other Information do Churches Have?

The older churches will likely have cemeteries.  By walking through and looking for your family name and surname, you can get the birth and death dates.  You can also learn other family member names by looking at surrounding plots.

Can I speak with modern churches?  Absolutely. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, for example, has a well-renowned genealogical database. It can be found online at  Their website has free software downloads and search capabilities, along with some paid software options. 

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