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Contents

Introduction

Church records and the information they provide vary
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greatly depending on the denomination and the record keeper. They may contain information about members of the congregation, such as age, date of baptism, christening, or birth; marriage information and maiden names; and death date. Records may include names of other relatives who were witnesses or members of the congregation. The members of some churches were predominantly of one nationality or ethnic group.


Major religious denominations were established in North Carolina in the following years: Society of Friends (Quakers) (1672), Anglican (1700), Baptist (1727), Presbyterian (1730), Lutheran (1740), Moravian (1753), and Methodist (1772). The Baptist church was dominant by 1860 and remains so today.

The Family History Library has some church records for the Baptists, Society of Friends, and other groups. The library also has histories of the Baptist, Christian, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Society of Friends, Methodist, Moravian, and Protestant Episcopal denominations.

The Moravians, Lutherans, and Society of Friends kept detailed records, and some of these have been published. Many denominations have collected their records into central repositories. You can write to the following addresses to learn where their records are located:

Baptist

Baptist Historical Collection
Z. Smith Reynolds Library
Wake Forest University
P.O. Box 7777
Winston-Salem, NC 27109-7777 Telephone: 336-758-5089
Fax: 336-758-5605 

Free Will Baptist Historical Collection
Moye Library
Mount Olive College
634 Henderson St.
Mount Olive, NC 28365-1699 Telephone: 919-658-7827
Toll Free: 1-800-653-0854
Fax: 919-658-8934

The Primitive Baptist Library
4023 North Highway 87
Elon College, NC 27244 Telephone: 336-278-2000
(An appointment should be made before visiting.)

For a history of the Baptist churches, see:

  • Paschal, George Washington. History of the North Carolina Baptists. 2 vols. Raleigh, North Carolina: North Carolina Baptist State Convention, 1930–55. FHL Collection 975.6 K2p. There are useful chapters in these volumes concerning the various Baptist associations and groups from the 1600s to about 1860. Mention is made of the various ministers.

There are several inventories that describe the churches and records of Southern Baptist associations, such as:

  • Alleghany Association FHL Collection Book 975.6 K2ha; Film 1320847 item 11
  • Brunswick Association FHL Collection Film 1036844 item 28
  • Central Association FHL Collection Book 975.6 K2hc; Film 1320847 item 4
  • Flat River Association FHL Collection Book 975.6 K2hf; Film 1320847 item 1
  • Raleigh Association FHL Collection Book 975.6 K2hr; Film 1320847 item 5
  • Yancey Association FHL Collection Book 975.6 K2hy; Film 1320847 item 3

A two-volume collection of biographies is:

  • Hamby, Robert P. Brief Baptist Biographies, 1707–1982. 2 vols. Greenville, S.C.: A Press, 1982. FHL Collection 975.6 K2h. The Family History Library has volume 2 only.
  • The South Carolina Magazine of Ancestral Research has an article "Some Baptist Ministers of South Carolina at the Turn of the Century" which is an 1899 directory of Baptist ministers. It lists biographical details about many ministers born or serving in the state.[1]FHL Book 975.7 B2sc v. 32
  • The Ministerial Directory of the Baptist Churches in the United States of America. Oxford, Ohio: Ministerial Directory Co., 1899. Digital version at Google Books.

Church of England (Anglican, Episcopal)

Diocese of North Carolina
200 West Morgan Street
Suite 300
Raleigh, NC 27619

Telephone: 919-834-7474
or 1-800-448-8775
Fax: 919-834-7546


Diocese of Western North Carolina
900-B Central Park Drive
Asheville, NC 28805

Telephone: 828-225-6656
Fax 828-225-6657
E-mail: bishop@diocesewnc.org


Diocese of East Carolina
705 Doctors Drive
P. O. Box 1336
Kingston, NC 28503

Telephone: 252-522-0885
Fax 252-532-5272
E-mail: diocese@diocese-eastcarolina.org

To learn more about the origins of Church of England ministers sent to North Carolina from England during the colonial period, start with these books:

Society of the Descendants of the Colonial Clergy points researchers to many valuable resources.

Church of England ministers sent to North Carolina were often educated at the English universities of Cambridge and Oxford. The website Expert Links: English Family History and Genealogy contains links to many of these university's records available online under the "Occupations" section.

The Clergy of the Church of England website (work in progress) also contains details of many of their ministerial careers before departing for America.

Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons)

Early church records, for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, for North Carolina Wards and Branches can be found on film and are located at the LDS Family History Library in Salt Lake City. The film numbers, for each ward, can be locate through the Family History Library Catalog . Or by refering to Jaussi, Laureen R., and Gloria D. Chaston. Register of Genealogical Society Call Numbers. 2 vols. Provo, Utah: Genealogy Tree, 1982. FHL Book 979.2258 A3j; FHL Fiche 6031507 (2 fiche). These volumes contain the film numbers for many (but not all) membership and temple record films.

Disciples of Christ

Discipliana Collections
Barton College
Wilson, NC 27893

Telephone: 252-399-6352
Toll Free:  1-800-345-4973
(Call for an appointment.)

Lutheran

Archives, North Carolina Synod
Lutheran Church in America
1988 Lutheran Synod Dr.
Salisbury, NC 28144-5700

Telephone: 704-633-4861
Fax: 704-638-0508 

For historical background information, see:

  • Bernheim, Gotthardt Dellmann, and George H. Cox. The History of the Evangelical Lutheran Synod and Ministerium of North Carolina: In Commemoration of the Completion of the First Century of Its Existence. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.: Published for the Synod by the Lutheran Publication Society, 1902. FHL Collection 975.6 K2b. The history of the various congregations is discussed. The ministers to about 1900 are listed with the dates when they served.

Methodist

United Methodist Church Archives
P.O. Box 127 Drew University
36 Madison Ave.
Madison, NJ 07940-3189

Telephone: 973-408-3189
Fax: 973-408-3909
E-mail: research@gcah.org

Records of the Methodist Episcopal Church are at this archive. Searches are limited to obituaries of ordained clergy and can be conducted for a non-refundable fee.

Western N.C. Conference Archives
3400 Shamrock Drive
P. O. Box 18005
Charlotte, NC 28218

Telephone: 704-535-2260, ext. 44
 

Eastern North Carolina Conference Archives
Methodist Building
1307 Glenwood Ave.
P.O. Box 10955
Raleigh, NC 27605

Telephone: 919-832-9560
E-mail: archives_history@ncc.org  

Southern North Carolina Conference Archives Heritage Center
710 N. Lakeshore Dr.
Lake Junaluska, NC 28745

Telephone: 828-452-2881

Mailing address:
Southern North Carolina Conference Archives
P. O. Box 1165
Lake Junaluska, NC 28745

Moravian

Moravian Archives
457 South Church Street
Winston-Salem, NC 27101


Telephone: 336-722-1742
E-mail: moravianarchives@mcsp.org

An extensive set of books about the Moravians in North Carolina is:

  • Records of the Moravians in North Carolina, 1752–1879. 11 vols. Raleigh, North Carolina: Edwards & Broughton, 1922–1969. FHL Collection Book 975.6 F2m; Films 1321198 and 1321210–1321211. Each volume is indexed.

Presbyterian

Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
Presbyterian Historical Society
425 Lombard Street
Philadelphia, PA 19147-1516
Telephone: 215-627-1852
Fax: 215-627-0509
Send queries to: refdesk@history.pcusa.org

Roman Catholic

Two Roman Catholic Dioceses serve North Carolina:

The Diocese of Raleigh serves the following North Carolina counties: Alamance, Beaufort, BertieBladen, BrunswickCamden, Carteret, Caswell, Chatham, Chowan, Columbus, Craven, Cumberland, Currituck, Dare, Duplin, Durham, Edgecombe, Franklin, Gates, Granville, Greene, Halifax, Harnett, Hertford, Hoke, Hyde, Johnston, Jones, Lee, Lenoir, Martin, Moore, Nash, New Hanover, Northampton, Onslow, Orange, PamlicoPasquotank, Pender, Perquimans, Person, Pitt, Robeson, Sampson, Tyrrell, Vance, Wake, Warren, Washington, Wayne, Wilson.[2]

Archives of the Diocese of Raleigh
The Catholic Center
715 Nazareth Street
Raleigh, NC 27603
Telephone: 919-821-9700
Fax: 919-821-9705
(call in advance for an appointment)

The Diocese of Charlotte serves the following North Carolina counties: Alexander, Alleghany, Anson, Ashe, Avery, Buncombe, Burke, Cabarrus, Caldwell, Catawba, Cherokee, Clay, Cleveland, Davidson, Davie, Forsyth, Gaston, Graham, Guilford, HaywoodHenderson, Iredell, Jackson, Lincoln, McDowell, Macon, Madison, Mecklenburg, MitchellMontgomery, Polk, Randolph, Richmond, Rockingham, Rowan, Rutherford, Scotland, Stanly, Surry, Swain, Transylvania, Union, Watauga, Wilkes, Yadkin, Yancey.[2]


Archives of the Diocese of Charlotte
1524 East Morehead St.
P.O. Box 36776
Charlotte, NC 28236

Telephone: 704-377-6871
Fax: 704-358-1208
(An appointment is required.)

Society of Friends (Quakers)

Friends Historical Collection
Hege Library
5800 West Friendly Ave.
Greensboro, NC 27410-4175

Telephone: 336-316-2000
Fax: 336-316-2950
E-mail: mchijiok@guilford.edu

For histories of North Carolina Quakers, see:

  • Anscombe, Francis Charles. I Have Called You Friends: The Story of Quakerism in North Carolina. Boston, Massachusetts: Christopher Publishing House, 1959. FHL Collection 975.6 K2a
  • Bowden, James. The History of the Society of Friends in America. 2 vols. London: W. & F.G. Cash, 1850-1854. Digital version of Vol. 1 at Google Books; FHL Collection 973 F2bj v. 1 [Volume 1 includes Carolina.]

The records of the 33 oldest monthly meetings that belonged to the North Carolina yearly meeting of Friends (dating from the 1680s to as late as 1914 in some cases) are published in volume 1 of:

  • Hinshaw, William Wade. Encyclopedia of American Quaker Genealogy. 6 Vols. Ann Arbor, Mich.: Edwards Brothers, 1936-1950. Volume I covers North Carolina Monthly Meetings. FHL Collection 973 D2he 1969; digital version at Ancestry ($). To locate copies nearest you, use WorldCat.

Another source is:

  • Bjorkman, Gwen Boyer. Quaker Marriage Certificates: Pasquotank, Perquimans, Piney Woods, and Suttons Creek Monthly Meetings, North Carolina, 1677–1800. Bowie, Maryland.: Heritage, 1988. FHL Collection 975.6 K2bg

Church records can be found in the Family History Library Catalog by using a Place Search under:

NORTH CAROLINA, [COUNTY]- CHURCH RECORDS

NORTH CAROLINA, [COUNTY], [TOWN]- CHURCH RECORDS

References

  1. Davis points out that not all ministers participated, see: Robert S. Davis, "Some Baptist Ministers of South Carolina at the Turn of the Century," The South Carolina Magazine of Ancestral Research,Vol. 32, No. 1 (Winter 2004):13-22. FHL Book 975.7 B2sc v. 32
  2. 2.0 2.1 Map of the Roman Catholic Dioceses in the United States of America, Office of Catholic Schools Diocese of Columbus, accessed 3 Nov 2010.

 

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