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):
- 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: