02 March 2009

Church Records

Church records consist of records recorded by a church. In many foreign counties there is a state religion. For example if you are researching in Scandinavia the state religion is Lutheran, in Spain and Italy it is Catholic. In the United States however we do not have a state religion. Church records are kept by many different faiths. The most common religious records found in the United States are: Baptists & Episcopalians, Congregational, Roman Catholic, Methodists, Quakers and Lutherans. Of these religious records the most helpful will be those religions that recorded a christening or baptism shortly after birth.

Baptism or Christening records will include information about the child's name, parents names, residence, date of event and godparents or witnesses.

Marriage records will include the names of both the bride and groom, residence, date of event and witnesses.

Burial records will include a name, age and possibly the cause of death.

Church records are a great source! These are especially valuable for locating key information about an ancestor before vital records and civil registration were kept.

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