Alaska Russian Orthodox Church Books (FamilySearch Historical Records)Edit This Page
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|This article describes a collection of historical records scheduled to become available at FamilySearch.org.|
The collection consists of an index to baptisms, marriages, and burials of Russian Orthodox church members living in Alaska when it was part of the Russian Empire and later after it was sold to the United States. The collection covers the years 1816 to 1936.
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The baptism records include:
- Child's name
- Birth date and place
- Christening date
- Names of parents
- Birth place of parents
The death and burial records include:
- Name of deceased
- Death date
- Burial dates and places
- Cause of death
The marriage records include:
- Names of bride and groom
- Marriage date
- Birth date and place
- Names of parents
How to Use the Record
To begin your search you will need to know the following information:
- The ancestor’s name
- The approximate date of the event such as the christening or baptism
Search the Collection
To search the collection fill in the requested information in the boxes on the initial search page. This search will return a list of possible matches. Compare the information about the individuals in the list to what you already know about your ancestors to determine if this is the correct family or person. You may need to look at the information on several individuals comparing the information about them to your ancestors to make this determination. Keep in mind:
- There may be more than one person in the records with the same name.
- You may not be sure of your own ancestor’s name.
- Your ancestor may have used different names, or variations of their name, throughout their life.
- If your ancestor used an alias or a nickname, be sure to check for those alternate names.
- Even though these indexes are very accurate they may still contain inaccuracies, such as altered spellings, misinterpretations, and optical character recognition errors if the information was scanned.
For tips about searching on-line collections see the on-line video at FamilySearch Search Tips.
Using the Information
When you have found your ancestor in the records, carefully evaluate each piece of information in the record. These pieces of information may give you new biographical details that can lead you to other records about your ancestors. For example:
- Use christening and birth records of christenings (baptisms) to identify a person’s birth date and place. These are an excellent substitute for civil birth records.
- Use confirmation records to identify a person’s birth date and place and his or her age. If only the age is given, use it to calculate the person’s death date.
- Use death or burial records to identify a person’s birth date and place. Use age at the time of death or burial to calculate the person’s birth date. These are an excellent substitute for civil death records.
- Use marriage records to identify a couple and the marriage date and place and to begin compiling a family group. These are an excellent substitute for civil marriage records.
- Use church records in general to identify other family members who may have served as witnesses to an event.
- Use the date of the event along with the locality to find the family in census and land records.
- Use the residence and names of the parents to locate church and land records.
Tips to Keep in Mind
- You may need to compare the information of more than one family or person to make this determination.
- An infant’s christening usually took place within a few days or few weeks of the birth, depending on the religion. Some churches, such as the Baptists, baptized only adults not infants. Members of other sects blessed their infants when they were a few weeks or a few months old.
- Church records are considered a primary source. They are usually reliable because they are kept by the minister, or a clerk appointed by the minister, who usually recorded an event at or very near the time it occurred.
- It is often helpful to extract the information on all children with the same parents. Or, if the surname is unusual, you may want to compile entries for every person of the same surname and then sort them into families based on the names of the parents. Continue to search the birth records to identify siblings, parents, and other relatives in the same or other generations who were born in the same county or nearby.
Unable to Find Your Ancestor?
- Look for variant spellings of the names or for nicknames.
- Check the records of other congregations in the area or nearby communities.
|Don't overlook FHL Keyword Alaska, Church Records items in the FamilySearch Library Catalog. For other libraries (local and national) or to gain access to items of interest, see the wiki article Alaska Archives and Libraries. For additional information about this state see the wiki article Alaska.|
General Information About These Records
In 1794 the Russian Orthodox Church established its first mission in North America on Kodiak Island in southeastern Alaska. In 1799, the Church appointed the first American Bishop. By 1808, the capital of Alaska was moved to Novoarkhangelsk (Sitka), where in 1848, the Cathedral of St. Michael was built.
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Contributions to This Article
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Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections
When you copy information from a record, you should list where you found the information. This will help you or others to find the record again. It is also good to keep track of records where you did not find information, including the names of the people you looked for in the records.
Citation for This Collection
The following citation refers to the original source of the information published in FamilySearch.org Historical Record collections. Sources include the author, custodian, publisher and archive for the original records.
- "Alaska Russian Orthodox Church Books, 1816-1936." FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org). Citing National Archives, Washington D.C.
- This page was last modified on 1 August 2014, at 17:01.
- This page has been accessed 1,241 times.
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