United States, Church Records Index (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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United States

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This article describes a collection of records scheduled to become available at FamilySearch.org.
United States, United States
United States flag.png
Flag of United States
Location of United States
Record Description
Record Type Church
Collection years 1764-1982
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites



What Is in the Collection?

The collection consists of an index to selected records from various churches for the years 1764 to 1982. The states represented are: Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee.

Collection Content

What Can This Collection Tell Me?

The index generally lists:

  • Names of primary individuals
  • Religion
  • Event date and place

How Do I Search the Collection?

To begin your search it is helpful to know:

  • The name of your ancestor.
  • The date an event took place.
  • The place where the event happened.
  • The names of family members and their relationships.

Search by Name by visiting the Collection Page (Hyperlink to (Landing Page):
Fill in the requested information on the 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 wiki article FamilySearch Search Tips and Tricks.

What Do I Do Next?

When you have located your ancestor’s church record in the index, carefully evaluate each piece of information given. Download a copy of the record, or extract the genealogical information needed.

I Found Who I Was Looking For, What Now?

  • Use the information found in the index to search the actual church records.
  • Use the information found to search for the family in census records.
  • Use the information found to search for the family in additional county and state records.

I Can't Find Who I'm Looking For, What Now?

  • Look for variant spellings of the names. You should also look for nicknames and abbreviated names.
  • Look for another index. Local genealogical and historical societies often have indexes to local records. If you know where your ancestor lived, check with the societies in that area.
  • Search the indexes and records of nearby counties.
  • Try alternative search methods such as only filling in the surname search box (or the given name search box) on the landing page leaving the other box empty and then click on search. This should return a list of everyone with that particular name. You could then browse the list for individuals who may be part of your family.


Citing This Collection

When you copy information from a record, you should list where you found the information; that is, cite your sources. This will help people find the record again and evaluate the reliability of the source. 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. Citations are available for the collection as a whole and each record or image individually.

Collection Citation:

“United States, Church Records Index, 1764-1982. ” Database. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2017. Citing Church and Historical Clerks and Archivists. Multiple archives throughout the United States.


Record Citation (or citation for the index entry):

The citation for a record will be available with each record once the collection is published.


How Can I Contribute to the FamilySearch Wiki?

We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. We are looking for additional information that will help readers understand the topic and better use the available records. We also need translations for collection titles and images in articles about records written in languages other than English. For specific needs, please visit WikiProject FamilySearch Records.

Please follow these guidelines as you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide.