Saturday, June 14, 2014

The faith of our fathers

Search Screen - Trinity Lutheran Church, Sangamon County, Illinois
Father's Day may find you humming "Faith of our fathers, holy faith, We will be true to thee till death!"  Knowing the faith of your fathers can be very helpful in understanding their stories, as well as finding their records.  Church records can be a rich source of family information: births, baptisms, confirmations, marriages, transfers to other parishes/locations, deaths and burials.

Journal of the ... Session, Northwest Indiana
Annual Conference, the ...

 By Methodist Church (U.S.). Northwest Indiana Conference, 1909
Some denominations centralize their records, while others may be kept by individual congregations. Older records might be housed in a local public library or private archive. Church records that have been published into books (annual church directories, quarterly conference reports) may be available digitally on Google Books.

Some churches have websites that provide easy access to their records (particularly burial indexes). To find out if there are church records that might be useful to you, read the FamilySearch wiki article for the county where your ancestor lived, search the Family History Library Catalog, call the local public library reference desk, and/or try a Google search for the church (location + denomination +  church records). 

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