North Carolina Church Records
Church records and the information they provide vary 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 Historical Collection
Z. Smith Reynolds Library
Wake Forest University
P.O. Box 7777
Winston-Salem, NC 27109-7777 Telephone: 336-758-5089
Free Will Baptist Historical Collection
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 Website: www.moc.edu/fwbhc
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. (Family History Library book 975.6 K2p; fiche 6049246–247.) 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 (Family History Library book 975.6 K2ha; film 1320847 item 11.) *Brunswick Association (Family History Library film 1036844 item 28.) *Central Association (Family History Library book 975.6 K2hc; film 1320847 item 4.) *Flat River Association (Family History Library book 975.6 K2hf; film 1320847 item 1.) *Raleigh Association (Family History Library book 975.6 K2hr; film 1320847 item 5.) *Stanly Association; *Yancey Association (Family History Library 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, South Carolina: A Press, 1982. (Family History Library book 975.6 K2h.) The Family History Library has volume 2 only.
Disciples of Christ
Wilson, NC 27893
Toll Free: 1-800-345-4973
(Call for an appointment.)
Diocese of North Carolina
200 West Morgan Street
Raleigh, NC 27619
Diocese of Western North Carolina
900-B Central Park Drive
Asheville, NC 28805
Diocese of East Carolina
705 Doctors Drive
P. O. Box 1336
Kingston, NC 28503
Archives, North Carolina Synod
Lutheran Church in America
1988 Lutheran Synod Dr.
Salisbury, NC 28144-5700
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. (Family History Library book 975.6 K2b.) The history of the various congregations is discussed. The ministers to about 1900 are listed with the dates when they served.
United Methodist Church Archives
P.O. Box 127 Drew University
36 Madison Ave.
Madison, NJ 07940-3189
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
1307 Glenwood Ave.
P.O. Box 10955
Raleigh, NC 27605
Southern North Carolina Conference Archives Heritage Center
710 N. Lakeshore Dr.
Lake Junaluska, NC 28745
Southern North Carolina Conference Archives
P. O. Box 1165
Lake Junaluska, NC 28745
457 South Church Street
Winston-Salem, NC 27101
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. (Family History Library book 975.6 F2m; films 1321198 and 1321210–11.) Each volume is indexed.
Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
Presbyterian Historical Society
425 Lombard Street
Philadelphia, PA 19147-1516
Send queries to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Archives of the Diocese of Raleigh
The Catholic Center
715 Nazareth Street
Raleigh, NC 27603
(call in advance for an appointment)
Archives of the Diocese of Charlotte
1524 East Morehead St.
P.O. Box 36776
Charlotte, NC 28236
(An appointment is required.)
Society of Friends (Quakers)
Friends Historical Collection
5800 West Friendly Ave.
Greensboro, NC 27410-4175
A useful history of the Society of Friends is:
Anscombe, Francis Charles. I Have Called You Friends: The Story of Quakerism in North Carolina. Boston, Massachusetts: Christopher Publishing House, 1959. (Family History Library book 975.6 K2a.)
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:
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. (Family History Library book 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