13 October 2010

Workshop Wednesday: Beyond the Basics-Church Records

Church records can be a great help in your genealogical journey.  The only church records I have used are those that are on the family search website.  Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne, Indiana recently held a two day workshop:  Beyond the Basics.  It was an excellent workshop that I was glad I attended. 

Steven W. Myers M.L.S presented the session on church records.  Steve stated, "research is incomplete if you haven't checked church records."  He talked about the importance of these underutilized and valuable records. 

The types of church records kept include baptisms, marriages, burials, confirmation and communion.  Other church business related records may be found also, ie. meeting minutes, membership, financial, etc. 

Before you can identify church records you need to determine your ancestor's church affiliation.  Are your ancestors buried in a church cemetery?  Do you have a memorial card?  Check their obituary.   Does their marriage certificate list a minister?  These are all ideas of how to identify church affiliation.

Lastly, the workshop reminded us of etiquette when using church records.  If you are going to a specific church, it is a good idea to make an appointment, be courteous and make a donation.

What tips do you have for using church records?

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