Ohio Congregational Church Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)Edit This Page

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FamilySearch Record Search This article describes a collection of historical records scheduled to become available at FamilySearch.org.

Contents

Collection Time Period

This information pertains to church records created 1840-1930.

Record Description

Entries are recorded in register books in columns or in paragraphs without columns. Records are preserved under varying conditions. Many are subject to deterioration or destruction. Some are well preserved in archives. Some denominations have established record gathering and preservation programs.

Record Content

Genealogical information in church birth and christening records is:

  • Birth and christening dates and places
  • Names of parents and children, witnesses and godparents

Genealogical information in church confirmation records:

  • Names of parents and children
  • Birth and christening dates and places
  • Ages of children confirmed

Genealogical information in church death and burial records is:

  • Names of persons, their parents, spouses and children
  • Birth, death and burial dates and places
  • Ages of persons
  • Places of residence

Genealogical information in church marriage records:

  • Names of husbands and wives, parents and witnesses
  • Birth, marriage and divorce dates and places
  • Ages of husbands and wives
  • Places of residence

How to Use the Records

Use christening and birth records of christenings (baptisms) to identify a person’s birth date and place. They are an excellent substitute for civil birth information.
Use church records of confirmations to identify a person’s birth date and place or his or her age. If only the age is given, use it to calculate the person’s birth date.
Use church records of deaths or burials to identify a person’s birth date and place. Use age at death or burial to calculate a person’s birth date. They are an excellent substitute for civil death information.
Use church records of marriages to identify a couple, the marriage date and place, and to begin compiling a family group. They are an excellent substitute for civil marriage information.

Record History

Church records in the United States began in the early 1600s. They can be found in the churches, church archives, or university archives. They normally records christenings, confirmations, marriages, and deaths.
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 the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints blessed their infants when they were a few weeks or a few months old.
Many religions tested the church knowledge of those that had been baptized as infants and then confirmed them a member of that religion. Frequently, a person’s age at confirmation was between 14 and 20. Church records in Ohio cover about 33% of the population.

Why This Record Was Created

To know who were members, Churches were required to record the date a person was baptized into the Christian religion. Many churches also recorded the date of birth along with the date of baptism. Church were also required to record the burial and marriage dates of the members of the local congregation. Only some churches performed confirmations and were required to record the names of those that were confirmed members of the church.

Record Reliability

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.

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Contributions to This Article

We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. Guidelines are available to help you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide. If you would like to get more involved join the WikiProject FamilySearch Records.

Sources of Information for This Collection:

Ohio Congregational Church Records, database, FamilySearch (http://familysearch.org/); from various congregations throughout Ohio. FHL microfilm, Family History Library Salt Lake City, Utah


 

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  • This page was last modified on 27 August 2014, at 22:29.
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