Pennsylvania, Schuylkill County Digital Church Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)
- 1 What is in the Collection?
- 2 Collection Content
- 3 What Can this Collection Tell Me?
- 4 How Do I Search the Collection?
- 5 What Do I Do Next?
- 6 Citing this Collection
- 7 How Can I Contribute to the FamilySearch Wiki?
What is in the Collection?
The collection consists of births and christenings, deaths and burials, marriages,.and miscellaneous records (such as donations, minutes, and church directories), which cover the time period 1809 to 2006 from the following churches in Schuylkill County:
- Barnesville - Delano United Church Of Christ Charge (Barnesville, Pennsylvania)
- Tremont Area Methodist Charge (Hegins, Pennsylvania)
- St. Peter's United Church Of Christ (Tremont, Pennsylvania)
- Christ Lutheran Church (Mahanoy City, Pennsylvania)
- St. John's Evangelical Lutheran Church (Tremont, Pennsylvania)
- Aurand Memorial United Methodist Church (Ringtown, Pennsylvania)
- St. John's Evangelical Lutheran Church (Ringtown, Pennsylvania)
The records are arranged by township, record type, and then date.
To see a coverage map of FamilySearch's holdings of Pennsylvania marriages click here.
Most church congregations begin keeping records as soon as they are organized. The records may list names of members, monies donated, church ordinances and communions, and vital events in the member’s lives. In some cases church records are the only record of an individual’s birth, marriage, or death.
What Can this Collection Tell Me?
Church records include the following genealogical information:
- Event dates and places
- Names of parents, children, other family members, and witnesses
- Places of residence
How Do I Search the Collection?
To begin your search you will need to know:
- The name of your ancestor
- The religion or sect
- The location of the congregation or parish
- The approximate date of the event such as the christening or baptism
- The names of family members and their relationships
[ Search Instructions ]
If you do not have this information you will need to look for clues in other records. These suggestions may be helpful to you.
- Look at the officiator at your ancestor’s wedding or burial. They are often clergymen. Check with local congregations or a local historical society to see if they help you determine the sect from clergyman’s name.
- Many individuals attended the closest Christian church. This is especially true in small, rural communities where there may be only one church in the area. Search the records of that church.
- Immigrants usually kept the same religion after migrating and may have banded together to form their own congregation. This is especially true if they did not speak English. If the country of origin is known that may also be a clue as some countries had a state church.
- Check with local historical societies for indexes to church records. Be aware that as with any index, transcription errors may occur.
What Do I Do Next?
Once you have located your ancestor in a church record compare the information in the record to what you already know about your ancestors to determine if this is the correct person. You may need to compare the information of more than one person to make this determination.
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.
I Found Who I was Looking for, What Now?
- 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 or residence to find the family in census records and land records.
It is often helpful to extract the information on all children with the same parents. If the surname is unusual, you may want to compile entries for every person of the same surname and 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.
I Can't Find Who I'm Looking for, What Now?
- Look for variant spellings of the names.
- Check the records of other congregations in the area or nearby communities.
- There is also some variation in the information given from record to record.
Be aware of the following:
- 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.
- 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 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.
Citing this Collection
Citing your sources makes it easy for others to find and evaluate the records you used. When you copy information from a record, list where you found that information. Here you can find citations already created for the entire collection and for each individual record or image.
- "Pennsylvania, Schuylkill County, Digital Church Records." Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2016. Citingchurches, Schuykill County, Pennsylvania.
|The image citation will be available 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.