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):
- Cache Stake, Cache Valley quorum of high priests minute book, November 1859 to September 9, 1883
- Chester, Sanpete County, Families who have been members of the L.D.S. Ward there, from 1878-1945
- Corrine, Methodist Church Church Records, 1892-1957
- Herriman, Ward Records in the account book of Ira K. Hillman
- Marysvale, Methodist Church Church Records, 1936-1956
- Ogden 5th Ward, Missionary Record 1888-1923 : Missionary Record of the 5th Ward Weber Stake
- Provo, Congregational Church Church Records, 1883-1981
- Salt Lake City 17th Ward, Stultz, Ruby E.Membership Records 1851-1857
- Salt Lake City, Sixteenth Ward Records, 1853-1900
- Salt Lake City, Trinity Evangelical Church Church Record, 1903-1924
- Springville, Utah Records, A - I
- Utah Births and Christenings, 1892-1941
- Utah, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Church History Library, Perpetual Emigrating Fund Company Financial Accounts, 1849-1886
- Utah, Church Records, 1915-1972
- Utah, FamilySearch, Early Church Information File, 1830-1900
- Utah, LDS Mission Calls and Recommendations 1877-1918
- Utah, Salt Lake City, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Missionary Department, Missionary Registers, 1860-1937
Good Luck and Happy Hunting!