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
- 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 accessible by state 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):
- Arizona Births and Christenings, 1909-1917
- Eastern Arizona Stake of Zion and of the establishment of Snowflake Stake, History
- Episcopal Diocese of Arizona Church Records : jurisdiction of New Mexico and Arizona, 1889-1971
- Little Colorado Stake of Zion, Arizona (northern),, Records, 1878 - 1888
- Mormon Settlement in Arizona
- Mormon settlements in Arizona, Register of the records
- Phoenix, Bethel Church, Methodist Episcopal Church, South, Church Register 1929-1950
- Phoenix, Bethel Methodist Church, Church Membership Register, 1948-1974
- Phoenix, Bethel Methodist Church, Official Membership and Church Record, 1948-1963
- Santa Cruz County, Mission Los Santos Ángeles de Guevavi, Jesuit, Records, 1739-1767
- Show Low, Ward Records
- Tumacacori. Records of Mission San José de Tumacáori, Franciscan, 1769-1825
Good Luck and Happy Hunting!