Blimey, Where did I put those records: Part 5 Church Records

Genealogy Source Checklist

Research This
Research This

Church Records

Today’s blog will list records associated with Church Records. Keep in mind over the years that people were immigrating to the “colonies” to escape religious persecution. You may find them in one type of religious church in their homeland, a different one for the colonies. Some even created their own religion. Note that in the early years that the different religious sectors, that were similar in belief, would share a traveling preacher. Like with the newspapers, look in surrounding towns, counties, states, regional areas and even counties that border where they lived. Boundaries change even in this day and age. In some religions people are not baptized until they are adults. Remember spelling didn’t matter in the beginning.  I have created a list that we should look for in our ancestral search. You will find mention of record types from earlier post listed here. It is a reminder to search multiple locations for your records.  Use the list as a guideline. You may even find or think of records that I haven’t. Add them to your list. Happy Family Researching.


Birth                                                                    Baptismal/Christening

Confirmation                                                     Marriage Banns

Divorce                                                               Annulments

Death                                                                     Burial

Arrivals/Admissions                                        Departure/Removal

Ministerial Journals/Logs                                  Deacon Lists

Service to Church                                             Annual family Booklets

Dedication to Faith                                            Confirmation

Vestry                                                                Disciplinary Actions

Church achieves/Records                                 Church Biography/History

Seminary Records                                            Membership list

Account Books                                                  Town Tax records of payment to church support

Ordination                                                          Missionary service logs

Church activity records                                      Church Bulletins

Church Advertisements                                      Prayer cards

Memorial Cards                                                  Mass logs

Church Bibles                                                     Hymnals

Prayer Books                                                      Photographs of members/church

Activity photographs                                            Synagogue/Rabi records

Seating records                                                   Prayer logs

Holy Day Services                                               Deacon lists


Records from early days of our county formation, may be found in the home or in family records of the traveling pastor/minister. You may, not find those early records at all, except for mention in a town record.


In my own family records, I have encountered documents from various religions: Baptist (Free Will & Southern), Congregational, Unitarian, Methodist, Jewish, Wicca, Catholic, Lutheran, Mormon, Christian Science and Jehovah Witness. I even found an Atheist in the family tree. Who knows what I will find in future research.



Thank you to all genealogist and family researchers for your time and research. I have compiled this list from what records I have encountered in my own research, listening to podcast, Webinars; reading blogs. I wish I could thank everyone individually. In my earlier years of research I did not always document who suggested a record group source. Going forward in my research, I will make every effort to identify and credit who provided the lead.

Dad's Baptism 1984
Nelson William Stearns: Baptism 1984 Lake Saviour, Maine



2 thoughts on “Blimey, Where did I put those records: Part 5 Church Records

  1. Wow! That’s a lot of records! Didn’t know there could be so many…
    Thanks…still working on sorting all my loose papers I’ve gathered into about four families and other, after which I’ll go through and resort & organize each family before putting in binders that are already in my cabinets. Enjoying my new iPad and reducing paper with scanning into the new Evernote app…(how did I live before this app?) Hopefully I won’t let it all get so stacked up in future. After “Hanging Out” with you folks I’m finding that I’m settling down a bit from my “gathering frenzy” and wanting to focus on one or two people and applying what I’m learning about GPS to what I already have. Thanks June…back to sorting now.


    1. When I started to organize my records with the color coding system, Mary Hills’ Legacy Webinar, , that is when I found duplicates and records I didn’t even know I had. I thought a checklist of records would be in order. I was surprised how many records or documents I had in each category. I’m sure there are some I didn’t think of. Especially in different religious groups. I just remembered the “sealing” for LDS that is mention on Family Search. Have fun scanning to Evernote. I love learning from the amazing and supportive genealogy family we are part of.


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