Difference between revisions of "Pennsylvania Church Records"

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''[[United States|United States]]  [[Image:Gotoarrow.png]]  [[Pennsylvania]]  [[Image:Gotoarrow.png]]  [[Pennsylvania Church Records|Church Records]]''  
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''[[United States|United States]] [[Image:Gotoarrow.png]] [[Pennsylvania Genealogy|Pennsylvania]] [[Image:Gotoarrow.png]]'' '''Church Records''' {{PA-sidebar}}
  
[[Image:Yocum Church.JPG|thumb|right|400px]]  
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{{TOC left}}[[Image:Yocum Church.JPG|right|300px|Yocum Church.JPG]]  
  
[[Pennsylvania]] was founded as a place of refuge and religious freedom for many diverse groups from Great Britain and Europe. Important religious groups in colonial Pennsylvania were the [[Society of Friends (Quakers) in the United States|Society of Friends (Quakers)]], the German [[Lutheran Church in the United States|Lutheran]], German Reformed, [[Presbyterian Church in the United States|Presbyterian]], [[Episcopal Church in the United States|Episcopal]], [[Baptist Church in the United States|Baptist]], and [[Roman Catholic Church in the United States|Catholic]] churches, and the German Pietist groups, including the Brethren (Dunkard), [[Mennonite Church in the United States|Mennonites]], and [[Moravian Church in the United States|Moravians]]. [http://net.lib.byu.edu/fslab/researchoutlines/US/Pennsylvania.pdf Before 1900 the major religious groups in Pennsylvania were the ][[Lutheran Church in the United States|Lutheran]], [[Methodist Church in the United States|Methodist]], [[Presbyterian Church in the United States|Presbyterian]], Reformed, [[Episcopal Church in the United States|Episcopal]], and [[Roman Catholic Church in the United States|Roman Catholic]] churches.  
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[[Pennsylvania Genealogy|Pennsylvania]] was founded as a place of refuge and religious freedom for many diverse groups from Great Britain and Europe. Important religious groups in colonial Pennsylvania were the [[Society of Friends (Quakers) in the United States|Society of Friends (Quakers)]], the German [[Lutheran Church in the United States|Lutheran]], German Reformed, [[Presbyterian Church in the United States|Presbyterian]], [[Episcopal Church in the United States|Episcopal]], [[Baptist Church in the United States|Baptist]], and [[Roman Catholic Church in the United States|Catholic]] churches, and the German Pietist groups, including the Brethren (Dunkard), [[Mennonite Church in the United States|Mennonites]], and [[Moravian Church in the United States|Moravians]]. [http://files.lib.byu.edu/family-history-library/research-outlines/US/Pennsylvania.pdf Before 1900 the major religious groups in Pennsylvania were the ][[Lutheran Church in the United States|Lutheran]], [[Methodist Church in the United States|Methodist]], [[Presbyterian Church in the United States|Presbyterian]], Reformed, [[Episcopal Church in the United States|Episcopal]], and [[Roman Catholic Church in the United States|Roman Catholic]] churches.  
  
 
Because the keeping of vital records began late in the history of Pennsylvania, church records play a  major roll in family history research. It is important that the researcher know the religious affiliation of their ancestor and be able to identify the church or churches their ancestor attended. County histories can help identfy extinct and extant churches in the locality where the ancestor lived.  
 
Because the keeping of vital records began late in the history of Pennsylvania, church records play a  major roll in family history research. It is important that the researcher know the religious affiliation of their ancestor and be able to identify the church or churches their ancestor attended. County histories can help identfy extinct and extant churches in the locality where the ancestor lived.  
  
Ministers assigned to a particular church may have "rode the circuit' to outlying areas to perform various ordinances for their parishoners. Records for itinerant (circuit riders) ministers may be recorded in their personal records or the records of the church where they are assigned. County histories may help to identify pastors who served in particular counties and what churches they were assigned too.  
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Ministers assigned to a particular church may have "rode the circuit' to outlying areas to perform marriages, etc. for their followers. Records for itinerant (circuit riders) ministers may be recorded in their personal records or the records of the church where they are assigned. County histories may help to identify pastors who served in particular counties and what churches they were assigned too.  
  
 
If the records can only be viewed at the church, make an appointment with the minister or secretary to examine the records. Remember, the records are the property of the church. There may be instances when the minister or a representive will not allow you to view the record but will look at the record for you.  
 
If the records can only be viewed at the church, make an appointment with the minister or secretary to examine the records. Remember, the records are the property of the church. There may be instances when the minister or a representive will not allow you to view the record but will look at the record for you.  
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A detailed Historical Records Survey inventory of church records available at the State Library of Pennsylvania is ''Inventory of Church Archives in Pennsylvania'', also available in the {{FHL|384182|item}}. To check for a copy nearest you, use [http://www.worldcat.org/title/inventory-of-church-archives/oclc/68150025&referer=brief_results WorldCat.] It lists many Pennsylvania churches existing in the 1930s. It is arranged by county and can help you identify extant churches for that time period.  
 
A detailed Historical Records Survey inventory of church records available at the State Library of Pennsylvania is ''Inventory of Church Archives in Pennsylvania'', also available in the {{FHL|384182|item}}. To check for a copy nearest you, use [http://www.worldcat.org/title/inventory-of-church-archives/oclc/68150025&referer=brief_results WorldCat.] It lists many Pennsylvania churches existing in the 1930s. It is arranged by county and can help you identify extant churches for that time period.  
  
The [https://familysearch.org/#form=catalog Family History Library] has extensive collections of church records for the Lutheran, Presbyterian, Reformed (United Church of Christ), and Society of Friends denominations. Many transcripts of local church records have been published.  
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The [https://familysearch.org/catalog-search Family History Library] has extensive collections of church records for the Lutheran, Presbyterian, Reformed (United Church of Christ), and Society of Friends denominations. Many transcripts of local church records have been published.  
  
 
The [[Family History Library|Family History Library]] also has histories of the Church of the Brethren, the Society of Friends, and the Baptist, Schwenkfelder, Evangelical Lutheran, Reformed, Presbyterian, Moravian, and Catholic churches in Pennsylvania.  
 
The [[Family History Library|Family History Library]] also has histories of the Church of the Brethren, the Society of Friends, and the Baptist, Schwenkfelder, Evangelical Lutheran, Reformed, Presbyterian, Moravian, and Catholic churches in Pennsylvania.  
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Many denominations have deposited their records in central repositories. You can write to the following addresses for more information. Additional copies of church records may be located at the county historical or genealogical societies. Records at local societies may be more accessible.  
 
Many denominations have deposited their records in central repositories. You can write to the following addresses for more information. Additional copies of church records may be located at the county historical or genealogical societies. Records at local societies may be more accessible.  
  
=== Baptist  ===
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== Baptist  ==
  
[[Image:Pennsylvania churches.png|thumb|right|400px]] [http://www.50states.com/college-details/eastern-baptist-theological-seminary-212124.htm The Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary]<br>6 Lancaster Ave<br>Wynnewood, PA 19096-34<br>Telephone: (610) 896-5000
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[[Image:Pennsylvania churches.png|thumb|right|400px|Pennsylvania churches.png]] [http://www.abhsarchives.org/ American Baptist Historical Society]<br>3001 Mercer University Dr<br>Atlanta,​ GA 30341<br>Telephone: (678) 547-6680
  
=== Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) ===
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== Episcopal ==
  
Early church records, for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, for Pennsylvania 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 [https://www.familysearch.org/#form=catalog 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; fiche 6031507). These volumes contain the film numbers for many (but not all) membership and temple record films.
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[http://www.diopa.org/ Diocese of Pennsylvania]<br>The History Committee<br>240 S. 4th Street<br>Philadelphia, PA 19106<br>Telephone: (215) 627-6434<br>Fax: (215) 627-7550
  
=== Episcopal  ===
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This diocese has records for churches that are now closed for [[Bucks County, Pennsylvania Genealogy|Bucks]], [[Chester County, Pennsylvania Genealogy|Chester]], [[Delaware County, Pennsylvania Genealogy|Delaware]], [[Montgomery County, Pennsylvania Genealogy|Montgomery]], and [[Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania Genealogy|Philadelphia]] counties only. Churches that are not closed should be contacted for their records. The appropriate diocese holds the records for other counties.
  
[http://www.diopa.org/ Diocese of Pennsylvania]<br>The History Committee<br>240 S. 4th Street<br>Philadelphia, PA 19106<br>Telephone: (215) 627-6434<br>Fax: (215) 627-7550
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Only a small percentage of Colonial Pennsylvania's population belonged to the Church of England.<ref>Frank J. Klingberg, "The Anglican Minority in Colonial Pennsylvania with Particular Reference to the Indian," ''The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography,'' Vol. 65, No. 3 (Jul. 1941):276-299. For free online access, see [http://www.werelate.org/wiki/Source:Historical_Society_of_Pennsylvania._Pennsylvania_Magazine_of_History_and_Biography WeRelate].</ref> Of 26 Episcopalian churches established in Pennsylvania before 1800, 12 have surviving parish registers covering that period.<ref>Philip Syng Physick Conner, "Registers of the Anglican Church in Pennsylvania prior to 1800," ''The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography,'' Vol. 12 (1888):341-349. For free online access, see [http://www.werelate.org/wiki/Source:Historical_Society_of_Pennsylvania._Pennsylvania_Magazine_of_History_and_Biography WeRelate].</ref>  
  
This diocese has records for churches that are now closed for [[Bucks County, Pennsylvania|Bucks]], [[Chester County, Pennsylvania|Chester]], [[Delaware County, Pennsylvania|Delaware]], [[Montgomery County, Pennsylvania|Montgomery]], and [[Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania|Philadelphia]] counties only. Churches that are not closed should be contacted for their records. The appropriate diocese holds the records for other counties.
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== Latter-day Saints (Mormons)  ==
  
Only a small percentage of Colonial Pennsylvania's population belonged to the Church of England.<ref>Frank J. Klingberg, "The Anglican Minority in Colonial Pennsylvania with Particular Reference to the Indian," ''The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography,'' Vol. 65, No. 3 (Jul. 1941):276-299. For free online access, see [http://www.werelate.org/wiki/Source:Historical_Society_of_Pennsylvania._Pennsylvania_Magazine_of_History_and_Biography WeRelate].</ref> Of 26 Episcopalian churches established in Pennsylvania before 1800, 12 have surviving parish registers covering that period.<ref>Philip Syng Physick Conner, "Registers of the Anglican Church in Pennsylvania prior to 1800," ''The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography,'' Vol. 12 (1888):341-349. For free online access, see [http://www.werelate.org/wiki/Source:Historical_Society_of_Pennsylvania._Pennsylvania_Magazine_of_History_and_Biography WeRelate].</ref>
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Early church records for '''The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints''' in Pennsylvania 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 [https://www.familysearch.org/#form=catalog FamilySearch 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; fiche 6031507). These volumes contain the film numbers for many (but not all) membership and temple record films.  
  
=== Lutheran  ===
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== Lutheran  ==
  
 
A. R. Wentz Library<br>Lutheran Theological Seminary<br>61 Seminary Ridge<br>Gettysburg, PA 17325<br>Telephone: (717) 334-6286<br>Email: [mailto:info@ltsg.edu info@ltsg.edu]  
 
A. R. Wentz Library<br>Lutheran Theological Seminary<br>61 Seminary Ridge<br>Gettysburg, PA 17325<br>Telephone: (717) 334-6286<br>Email: [mailto:info@ltsg.edu info@ltsg.edu]  
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[http://www.thiel.edu/library/Archives1.htm#trisynod Tri-Synod Archives]<br>Thiel College<br>75 College Avenue<br>Greenville PA 16125<br>Phone: (724) 589-2131  
 
[http://www.thiel.edu/library/Archives1.htm#trisynod Tri-Synod Archives]<br>Thiel College<br>75 College Avenue<br>Greenville PA 16125<br>Phone: (724) 589-2131  
  
The archives has the records for the local congregations that have disbanded in the eastern third of [[Pennsylvania|Pennsylvania]] and in [[New Jersey|New Jersey]], [[New England|New England]], and upstate [[New York|New York]]. Those congregations still active will have&nbsp;their records or will know where their older records are located.  
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The archives has the records for the local congregations that have disbanded in the eastern third of [[Pennsylvania Genealogy|Pennsylvania]] and in [[New Jersey Genealogy|New Jersey]], [[New England|New England]], and upstate [[New York Genealogy|New York]]. Those congregations still active will have&nbsp;their records or will know where their older records are located.  
  
A helpful source is Frederick S. Weiser, ''Pennsylvania Lutheran Church Records'', 4 vols. included in the {{FHL|284545|item}}. This includes records from [[Adams County, Pennsylvania|Adams]], [[Columbia County, Pennsylvania|Columbia]], [[Cumberland County, Pennsylvania|Cumberland]], [[Franklin County, Pennsylvania|Franklin]], [[Fulton County, Pennsylvania|Fulton]], [[Lebanon County, Pennsylvania|Lebanon]], [[Northumberland County, Pennsylvania|Northumberland]], [[Snyder County, Pennsylvania|Snyder]], and [[York County, Pennsylvania|York]] counties.  
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A helpful source is Frederick S. Weiser, ''Pennsylvania Lutheran Church Records'', 4 vols. included in the {{FHL|284545|item}}. This includes records from [[Adams County, Pennsylvania Genealogy|Adams]], [[Columbia County, Pennsylvania Genealogy|Columbia]], [[Cumberland County, Pennsylvania Genealogy|Cumberland]], [[Franklin County, Pennsylvania Genealogy|Franklin]], [[Fulton County, Pennsylvania Genealogy|Fulton]], [[Lebanon County, Pennsylvania Genealogy|Lebanon]], [[Northumberland County, Pennsylvania Genealogy|Northumberland]], [[Snyder County, Pennsylvania Genealogy|Snyder]], and [[York County, Pennsylvania Genealogy|York]] counties.  
  
 
[http://www.genealoger.com/lutheran/church%20records/luth_chrec_pennsylvania.htm Genealoger.com ]has a bibliography of Pennsylvania Lutheran Church Records and Histories  
 
[http://www.genealoger.com/lutheran/church%20records/luth_chrec_pennsylvania.htm Genealoger.com ]has a bibliography of Pennsylvania Lutheran Church Records and Histories  
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:*Dubbs, Joseph Henry. "The Founding of the German Churches of Pennsylvania," ''The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography,'' Vol. 17 (1893):241-262. For free online access, see [http://www.werelate.org/wiki/Source:Historical_Society_of_Pennsylvania._Pennsylvania_Magazine_of_History_and_Biography WeRelate].
 
:*Dubbs, Joseph Henry. "The Founding of the German Churches of Pennsylvania," ''The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography,'' Vol. 17 (1893):241-262. For free online access, see [http://www.werelate.org/wiki/Source:Historical_Society_of_Pennsylvania._Pennsylvania_Magazine_of_History_and_Biography WeRelate].
  
=== Mennonite  ===
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== Mennonite  ==
  
[http://www.mhep.org/index.php The Mennonite Heritage Center]<br> 565 Yoder Road<br> Harleysville PA 19438-1020<br> 215-256-3020<br>[mailto:library@mhep.org library@mhep.org]<br> Hours: Tuesday thru Friday, 10am–5pm, Saturday, 10am–2pm<br>  
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[http://www.mhep.org/index.php The Mennonite Heritage Center]<br> 565 Yoder Road<br> Harleysville PA 19438-1020<br> (215) 256-3020<br>[mailto:library@mhep.org library@mhep.org]<br> Hours: Tuesday thru Friday, 10am–5pm, Saturday, 10am–2pm<br>  
  
The Mennonite Historians of Eastern Pennsylvania support the John L. Ruth Historical Library and Museum at the Mennonite Heritage Center. Located in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania the records and resources of this treasure also cover the counties of Bucks, Chester, Berks, Lehigh, Northampton, and Philadelphia. The website provides a comprehensive overview of library resources, online cemetery database, manuscript collections, photo collections, archival collections, and more.
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The Mennonite Historians of Eastern Pennsylvania support the John L. Ruth Historical Library and Museum at the Mennonite Heritage Center. Located in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania the records and resources of this treasure also cover the counties of Bucks, Chester, Berks, Lehigh, Northampton, and Philadelphia. The website provides a comprehensive overview of library resources, online cemetery database, manuscript collections, photo collections, archival collections, and more.<br><br> [http://www.lmhs.org/ Lancaster Mennonite Historical Society]<br>2215 Millstream Road<br>Lancaster, PA 17602-1499<br>Phone: (717) 393-9745<br>Fax: (717) 393-8751<br>E-mail: lmhs@lmhs.org<br><br> This Society has a genealogy card file which has been filmed and is available on [http://search.ancestryinstitution.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=60592 Ancestry.com] $. It covers the counties of Adams, Berks and Lancaster.
  
=== Moravian  ===
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== Moravian  ==
  
 
[http://www.moravianchurcharchives.org/general.php The Moravian Archives]<br>41 West Locust Street<br>Bethlehem, Pennsylvania 18018<br>United States of America<br>Phone: (610) 866-3255<br>Fax: (610) 866-9210  
 
[http://www.moravianchurcharchives.org/general.php The Moravian Archives]<br>41 West Locust Street<br>Bethlehem, Pennsylvania 18018<br>United States of America<br>Phone: (610) 866-3255<br>Fax: (610) 866-9210  
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Mission records are also available in the {{FHL|301362|item}}. The records are indexed in the {{FHL|53079|item}}Book 970.1 F642i.  
 
Mission records are also available in the {{FHL|301362|item}}. The records are indexed in the {{FHL|53079|item}}Book 970.1 F642i.  
  
=== Presbyterian  ===
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== Presbyterian  ==
  
 
[http://www.history.pcusa.org/ Presbyterian Historical Society]<br>425 Lombard Street<br>Philadelphia, PA 19147<br>Telephone: (215) 627-1852<br>Fax: (215) 627-0509  
 
[http://www.history.pcusa.org/ Presbyterian Historical Society]<br>425 Lombard Street<br>Philadelphia, PA 19147<br>Telephone: (215) 627-1852<br>Fax: (215) 627-0509  
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''Inventory of the Church Archives of Pennsylvania Presbyterian Churches''. Works Progress Administration, compiled from 1936-1940 and is available in the {{FHL|98833|item}}. Also try Candace Belfield's book [http://www.worldcat.org/title/inventory-of-the-church-archives-of-pennsylvania-presbyterian-churches/oclc/8298386&referer=brief_results ''Inventory of the church archives of Pennsylvania&nbsp;: Presbyterian churches.'']''<br>''  
 
''Inventory of the Church Archives of Pennsylvania Presbyterian Churches''. Works Progress Administration, compiled from 1936-1940 and is available in the {{FHL|98833|item}}. Also try Candace Belfield's book [http://www.worldcat.org/title/inventory-of-the-church-archives-of-pennsylvania-presbyterian-churches/oclc/8298386&referer=brief_results ''Inventory of the church archives of Pennsylvania&nbsp;: Presbyterian churches.'']''<br>''  
  
=== Reformed  ===
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== Reformed  ==
  
 
[http://www.erhs.info/Home.html Archives of the Evangelical and Reformed Church]<br>Philip Schaff Library<br>Evangelical and Reformed Historical Library<br>555 W. James Street<br>Lancaster, PA 17603<br>Telephone: (717) 290-8734  
 
[http://www.erhs.info/Home.html Archives of the Evangelical and Reformed Church]<br>Philip Schaff Library<br>Evangelical and Reformed Historical Library<br>555 W. James Street<br>Lancaster, PA 17603<br>Telephone: (717) 290-8734  
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A guide to the records in the above&nbsp;named archive is, Florence M. Bricker, comp. and ed., ''Church and Pastoral Records in the Archives of the United Church of Christ and the Evangelical and Reformed Historical Society, Lancaster, PA'' Lancaster, PA: The Society, 1982; and is available in the {{FHL|44871|item}}. To locate the book nearest you, search [http://www.worldcat.org/title/church-and-pastoral-records-in-the-archives-of-the-united-church-of-christ-and-the-evangelical-and-reformed-historical-society-lancaster-pa/oclc/9732056&referer=brief_results WorldCat].&nbsp;  
 
A guide to the records in the above&nbsp;named archive is, Florence M. Bricker, comp. and ed., ''Church and Pastoral Records in the Archives of the United Church of Christ and the Evangelical and Reformed Historical Society, Lancaster, PA'' Lancaster, PA: The Society, 1982; and is available in the {{FHL|44871|item}}. To locate the book nearest you, search [http://www.worldcat.org/title/church-and-pastoral-records-in-the-archives-of-the-united-church-of-christ-and-the-evangelical-and-reformed-historical-society-lancaster-pa/oclc/9732056&referer=brief_results WorldCat].&nbsp;  
  
=== Roman Catholic  ===
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== Roman Catholic  ==
  
 
The beginning of the Catholic faith in Pennsylvania can be dated back to French explorers who visited the area in the seventeenth century. The first Catholic church was a chapel built in Fort Duquesne in 1754. In 1808, the Diocese of Philadelphia was organized. It covered the entire state. It was split in 1843 when the Diocese of Pittsburgh was erected to oversee Western Pennsylvania. Other dioceses were erected at later dates.<ref name="pitt">"100 Years of the Pittsburgh Catholic Diocese 1843–1943," ''Western Pennsylvania Genealogical Society Quarterly'', Vol. 17, No. 1 (Summer 1990):9-33. {{FHL|151821|item|disp=FHL Book 974.8 B2wg}}.</ref>  
 
The beginning of the Catholic faith in Pennsylvania can be dated back to French explorers who visited the area in the seventeenth century. The first Catholic church was a chapel built in Fort Duquesne in 1754. In 1808, the Diocese of Philadelphia was organized. It covered the entire state. It was split in 1843 when the Diocese of Pittsburgh was erected to oversee Western Pennsylvania. Other dioceses were erected at later dates.<ref name="pitt">"100 Years of the Pittsburgh Catholic Diocese 1843–1943," ''Western Pennsylvania Genealogical Society Quarterly'', Vol. 17, No. 1 (Summer 1990):9-33. {{FHL|151821|item|disp=FHL Book 974.8 B2wg}}.</ref>  
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[http://www.allentowndiocese.org/ '''Diocese of Allentown''']<br>P.O. Box F<br>Allentown, PA 18105-1538  
 
[http://www.allentowndiocese.org/ '''Diocese of Allentown''']<br>P.O. Box F<br>Allentown, PA 18105-1538  
  
The diocese consists&nbsp;of&nbsp;the counties of&nbsp;[[Berks County, Pennsylvania|Berks]], [[Carbon County, Pennsylvania|Carbon]], [[Lehigh County, Pennsylvania|Lehigh]], [[Northampton County, North Carolina|Northampton]] and [[Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania|Schuylkill]].<ref name="rc">[http://www.cdeducation.org/oym/connections/dioceseusmap.htm Map of the Roman Catholic Dioceses in the United States of America], Office of Catholic Schools Diocese of Columbus, accessed 3 Nov 2010.</ref>  
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The diocese consists&nbsp;of&nbsp;the counties of&nbsp;[[Berks County, Pennsylvania Genealogy|Berks]], [[Carbon County, Pennsylvania Genealogy|Carbon]], [[Lehigh County, Pennsylvania Genealogy|Lehigh]], [[Northampton County, North Carolina|Northampton]] and [[Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania Genealogy|Schuylkill]].<ref name="rc">[http://www.cdeducation.org/oym/connections/dioceseusmap.htm Map of the Roman Catholic Dioceses in the United States of America], Office of Catholic Schools Diocese of Columbus, accessed 3 Nov 2010.</ref>  
  
 
[http://www.ajdiocese.org/ '''Diocese of Altoona''']<br>927 S. Logan Boulevard<br>hollidaysburg, PA 16648<br>Phone: (814) 695-5579  
 
[http://www.ajdiocese.org/ '''Diocese of Altoona''']<br>927 S. Logan Boulevard<br>hollidaysburg, PA 16648<br>Phone: (814) 695-5579  
  
The diocese consists of the counties of [[Bedford County, Pennsylvania|Bedford]], [[Blair County, Pennsylvania|Blair]], [[Cambria County, Pennsylvania|Cambria]], [[Centre County, Pennsylvania|Centre]], [[Fulton County, Pennsylvania|Fulton]], [[Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania|Huntingdon]] and [[Somerset County, Pennsylvania|Somerset]].<ref name="rc" />  
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The diocese consists of the counties of [[Bedford County, Pennsylvania Genealogy|Bedford]], [[Blair County, Pennsylvania Genealogy|Blair]], [[Cambria County, Pennsylvania Genealogy|Cambria]], [[Centre County, Pennsylvania Genealogy|Centre]], [[Fulton County, Pennsylvania Genealogy|Fulton]], [[Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania Genealogy|Huntingdon]] and [[Somerset County, Pennsylvania Genealogy|Somerset]].<ref name="rc" />  
  
 
[http://www.eriercd.org/ '''Diocese of Erie''']<br>St. Mark Catholic Center<br>429 East Grandview Blvd.<br>Erie, PA 16504  
 
[http://www.eriercd.org/ '''Diocese of Erie''']<br>St. Mark Catholic Center<br>429 East Grandview Blvd.<br>Erie, PA 16504  
  
The diocese coonsists of&nbsp;the of&nbsp;counties of [[Cameron County, Pennsylvania|Cameron]], [[Clarion County, Pennsylvania|Clarion]], [[Clearfield County, Pennsylvania|Clearfield]], [[Crawford County, Pennsylvania|Crawford]], [[Elk County, Pennsylvania|Elk]], [[Erie County, Pennsylvania|Erie]], [[Forest County, Pennsylvania|Forest]], [[Jefferson County, Pennsylvania|Jefferson]], [[Mercer County, Pennsylvania|Mercer]], [[McKean County, Pennsylvania|McKean]], [[Potter County, Pennsylvania|Potter]], [[Venango County, Pennsylvania|Venango]] and [[Warren County, Pennsylvania|Warren]].<ref name="rc" />  
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The diocese coonsists of&nbsp;the of&nbsp;counties of [[Cameron County, Pennsylvania Genealogy|Cameron]], [[Clarion County, Pennsylvania Genealogy|Clarion]], [[Clearfield County, Pennsylvania Genealogy|Clearfield]], [[Crawford County, Pennsylvania Genealogy|Crawford]], [[Elk County, Pennsylvania Genealogy|Elk]], [[Erie County, Pennsylvania Genealogy|Erie]], [[Forest County, Pennsylvania Genealogy|Forest]], [[Jefferson County, Pennsylvania Genealogy|Jefferson]], [[Mercer County, Pennsylvania Genealogy|Mercer]], [[McKean County, Pennsylvania Genealogy|McKean]], [[Potter County, Pennsylvania Genealogy|Potter]], [[Venango County, Pennsylvania Genealogy|Venango]] and [[Warren County, Pennsylvania Genealogy|Warren]].<ref name="rc" />  
  
 
[http://www.dioceseofgreensburg.org/Pages/default.aspx '''Diocese of Greensburg''']<br>723 East Pittsburgh St.<br>Greensburg, PA 15601<br>Phone: (724) 837-0901  
 
[http://www.dioceseofgreensburg.org/Pages/default.aspx '''Diocese of Greensburg''']<br>723 East Pittsburgh St.<br>Greensburg, PA 15601<br>Phone: (724) 837-0901  
  
The diocese consists of the counties of [[Armstrong County, Pennsylvania|Armstrong]], [[Fayette County, Pennsylvania|Fayette]], [[Indiana County, Pennsylvania|Indiana]] and [[Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania|Westmoreland]].<ref name="rc" />  
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The diocese consists of the counties of [[Armstrong County, Pennsylvania Genealogy|Armstrong]], [[Fayette County, Pennsylvania Genealogy|Fayette]], [[Indiana County, Pennsylvania Genealogy|Indiana]] and [[Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania Genealogy|Westmoreland]].<ref name="rc" />  
  
 
[http://www.hbgdiocese.org/ '''Diocese of Harrisburg''']<br>4800 Union Deposit Road<br>Harrisburg, PA 17111<br>Phone: (717) 657-4804  
 
[http://www.hbgdiocese.org/ '''Diocese of Harrisburg''']<br>4800 Union Deposit Road<br>Harrisburg, PA 17111<br>Phone: (717) 657-4804  
  
Archive houses many records of genealogical value. Website includes guide [http://www.hbgdiocese.org/archives/geneology-research-for-families-2/ Genealogy Research for Families]. Professional look-up services are available.
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Archive houses many records of genealogical value. Website includes guide [http://www.hbgdiocese.org/archives/geneology-research-for-families-2/ Genealogy Research for Families]. Professional look-up services are available.  
  
The diocese of Harrisburg consists of&nbsp;the counties of [[Adams County, Pennsylvania|Adams]], [[Columbia County, Pennsylvania|Columbia]], [[Cumberland County, Pennsylvania|Cumberland]], [[Dauphin County, Pennsylvania|Dauphin]], [[Franklin County, Pennsylvania|Franklin]], [[Juniata County, Pennsylvania|Juniata]], [[Lancaster County, Pennsylvania|Lancaster]], [[Lebanon County, Pennsylvania|Lebanon]], [[Mifflin County, Pennsylvania|Mifflin]], [[Montour County, Pennsylvania|Montour]], [[Northumberland County, Pennsylvania|Northumberland]], [[Perry County, Pennsylvania|Perry]], [[Snyder County, Pennsylvania|Snyder]], [[Union County, Pennsylvania|Union]] and [[York County, Pennsylvania|York]].<ref name="rc" />  
+
The diocese of Harrisburg consists of&nbsp;the counties of [[Adams County, Pennsylvania Genealogy|Adams]], [[Columbia County, Pennsylvania Genealogy|Columbia]], [[Cumberland County, Pennsylvania Genealogy|Cumberland]], [[Dauphin County, Pennsylvania Genealogy|Dauphin]], [[Franklin County, Pennsylvania Genealogy|Franklin]], [[Juniata County, Pennsylvania Genealogy|Juniata]], [[Lancaster County, Pennsylvania Genealogy|Lancaster]], [[Lebanon County, Pennsylvania Genealogy|Lebanon]], [[Mifflin County, Pennsylvania Genealogy|Mifflin]], [[Montour County, Pennsylvania Genealogy|Montour]], [[Northumberland County, Pennsylvania Genealogy|Northumberland]], [[Perry County, Pennsylvania Genealogy|Perry]], [[Snyder County, Pennsylvania Genealogy|Snyder]], [[Union County, Pennsylvania Genealogy|Union]] and [[York County, Pennsylvania Genealogy|York]].<ref name="rc" />  
  
 
[http://archphila.org/home.php '''Archdiocese of Philadelphia''']<br>222 North 17th Street,<br>Philadelphia, PA 19103-1299<br>Phone: (215) 587-3600  
 
[http://archphila.org/home.php '''Archdiocese of Philadelphia''']<br>222 North 17th Street,<br>Philadelphia, PA 19103-1299<br>Phone: (215) 587-3600  
Line 121: Line 121:
 
:[http://www.pahrc.net/ '''Philadelphia Archdiocesan&nbsp;Historical&nbsp;Reseach Center''']<br>100 E. Wynnewood<br>Wynnewood, PA 19096<br>Telephone: (610) 667-3394<br>
 
:[http://www.pahrc.net/ '''Philadelphia Archdiocesan&nbsp;Historical&nbsp;Reseach Center''']<br>100 E. Wynnewood<br>Wynnewood, PA 19096<br>Telephone: (610) 667-3394<br>
  
The diocese (erected 1808) consists of the counties&nbsp;of&nbsp;[[Bucks County, Pennsylvania|Bucks]], [[Chester County, Pennsylvania|Chester]], [[Delaware County, Pennsylvania|Delaware]], [[Montgomery County, Pennsylvania|Montgomery]] and [[Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania|Philadelphia]].<ref name="rc" />  
+
The diocese (erected 1808) consists of the counties&nbsp;of&nbsp;[[Bucks County, Pennsylvania Genealogy|Bucks]], [[Chester County, Pennsylvania Genealogy|Chester]], [[Delaware County, Pennsylvania Genealogy|Delaware]], [[Montgomery County, Pennsylvania Genealogy|Montgomery]] and [[Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania Genealogy|Philadelphia]].<ref name="rc" />  
  
 
[http://www.diopitt.org/ '''Diocese of Pittsburgh'''] <br>111 Blvd. of the Allies<br>Pittsburgh, PA 15222<br>Phone: (412) 456-3000  
 
[http://www.diopitt.org/ '''Diocese of Pittsburgh'''] <br>111 Blvd. of the Allies<br>Pittsburgh, PA 15222<br>Phone: (412) 456-3000  
  
The diocese (erected 1843) consists of&nbsp;the counties of [[Allegheny County, Pennsylvania|Allegheny]], [[Beaver County, Pennsylvania|Beaver]], [[Butler County, Pennsylvania|Butler]], [[Greene County, Pennsylvania|Greene]], [[Lawrence County, Pennsylvania|Lawrence]] and [[Washington County, Pennsylvania|Washington]].<ref name="rc" />  
+
The diocese (erected 1843) consists of&nbsp;the counties of [[Allegheny County, Pennsylvania Genealogy|Allegheny]], [[Beaver County, Pennsylvania Genealogy|Beaver]], [[Butler County, Pennsylvania Genealogy|Butler]], [[Greene County, Pennsylvania Genealogy|Greene]], [[Lawrence County, Pennsylvania Genealogy|Lawrence]] and [[Washington County, Pennsylvania Genealogy|Washington]].<ref name="rc" />  
  
 
The Diocese of Pittsburgh originally included Catholic churches throughout Western Pennsylvania, including: Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Bedford, Butler, Cambria, Clarion, Clearfield, Crawford, Elk, Erie, Fayette, Greene, Huntingdon, Indiana, Jefferson, McKean, Mercer, Potter, Somerset, Venango, Warren, Washington, and Westmoreland counties.<ref name="pitt" />  
 
The Diocese of Pittsburgh originally included Catholic churches throughout Western Pennsylvania, including: Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Bedford, Butler, Cambria, Clarion, Clearfield, Crawford, Elk, Erie, Fayette, Greene, Huntingdon, Indiana, Jefferson, McKean, Mercer, Potter, Somerset, Venango, Warren, Washington, and Westmoreland counties.<ref name="pitt" />  
Line 135: Line 135:
 
[http://www.dioceseofscranton.org/ '''Diocese of Scranton''']<br>300 Wyoming Avenue<br>Scranton, PA 18593<br>Phone: (570) 207-2238  
 
[http://www.dioceseofscranton.org/ '''Diocese of Scranton''']<br>300 Wyoming Avenue<br>Scranton, PA 18593<br>Phone: (570) 207-2238  
  
The diocese consists of the counties of [[Bradford County, Pennsylvania|Bradford]], [[Clinton County, Pennsylvania|Clinton]], [[Lackawanna County, Pennsylvania|Lackawanna]], [[Luzerne County, Pennsylvania|Luzerne]], [[Lycoming County, Pennsylvania|Lycoming]], [[Monroe County, Pennsylvania|Monroe]], [[Pike County, Pennsylvania|Pike]], [[Sullivan County, Pennsylvania|Sullivan]], [[Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania|Susquehanna]], [[Tioga County, Pennsylvania|Tioga]], [[Wayne County, Pennsylvania|Wayne]], [[Wyoming County, Pennsylvania|Wyoming]].<ref name="rc" />  
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The diocese consists of the counties of [[Bradford County, Pennsylvania Genealogy|Bradford]], [[Clinton County, Pennsylvania Genealogy|Clinton]], [[Lackawanna County, Pennsylvania Genealogy|Lackawanna]], [[Luzerne County, Pennsylvania Genealogy|Luzerne]], [[Lycoming County, Pennsylvania Genealogy|Lycoming]], [[Monroe County, Pennsylvania Genealogy|Monroe]], [[Pike County, Pennsylvania Genealogy|Pike]], [[Sullivan County, Pennsylvania Genealogy|Sullivan]], [[Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania Genealogy|Susquehanna]], [[Tioga County, Pennsylvania Genealogy|Tioga]], [[Wayne County, Pennsylvania Genealogy|Wayne]], [[Wyoming County, Pennsylvania Genealogy|Wyoming]].<ref name="rc" />  
  
 
<br>  
 
<br>  
  
For a listing of many vital records, see Albert H. Ledoux. ''Catholic Vital Records of Central Pennsylvania'', 4 vols. (Altoona, PA: A. H. Ledoux, 1993-1996; see {{FHL|644078|item}}. Also check [http://www.worldcat.org/title/catholic-vital-records-of-central-pennsylvania/oclc/29179250&referer=brief_results WorldCat] for a copy of the book nearest you.
+
For a listing of many vital records, see Albert H. Ledoux. ''Catholic Vital Records of Central Pennsylvania'', 4 vols. (Altoona, PA: A. H. Ledoux, 1993-1996; see {{FHL|644078|item}}. Also check [http://www.worldcat.org/title/catholic-vital-records-of-central-pennsylvania/oclc/29179250&referer=brief_results WorldCat] for a copy of the book nearest you.  
  
=== Society of Friends (Quakers)  ===
+
== Russian Orthodox Churches ==
 +
 
 +
Orthodox Church in America
 +
Diocese of Eastern Pennsylvania [https://oca.org/parishes/state/PA]
 +
<br>
 +
 
 +
== Society of Friends (Quakers)  ==
  
 
'''For Hicksite records:'''  
 
'''For Hicksite records:'''  
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An important resource for Eastern Pennsylvania is Jack Eckert, ''Guide to the Records of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting'' (Philadelphia, PA: Haverford College, Records Committee of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting, Swarthmore College, 1989; available in the {{FHL|363543|item}}. It also contains a bibliography, a glossary, and the record location for the other yearly meetings throughout the United States and Canada. The yearly meeting includes the monthly and quarterly meeting records, etc., under its jurisdiction. To locate a copy of the book nearest&nbsp;you, use [http://www.worldcat.org/title/guide-to-the-records-of-philadelphia-yearly-meeting/oclc/21324848&referer=brief_results WorldCat].&nbsp;  
 
An important resource for Eastern Pennsylvania is Jack Eckert, ''Guide to the Records of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting'' (Philadelphia, PA: Haverford College, Records Committee of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting, Swarthmore College, 1989; available in the {{FHL|363543|item}}. It also contains a bibliography, a glossary, and the record location for the other yearly meetings throughout the United States and Canada. The yearly meeting includes the monthly and quarterly meeting records, etc., under its jurisdiction. To locate a copy of the book nearest&nbsp;you, use [http://www.worldcat.org/title/guide-to-the-records-of-philadelphia-yearly-meeting/oclc/21324848&referer=brief_results WorldCat].&nbsp;  
  
Many sources are also listed in the Place Search of the [https://familysearch.org/#form=catalog Family History Library Catalog] under PENNSYLVANIA - CHURCH HISTORY.  
+
Many sources are also listed in the Place Search of the [https://familysearch.org/catalog-search FamilySearch Catalog] under PENNSYLVANIA - CHURCH HISTORY.  
  
 
A few&nbsp;church records have been indexed for most Pennsylvania Counties in the [http://www.idreamof.com/church/pa.html I Dream of Genealogy] website.&nbsp; They are indexed by County, Township and then Church.<br>  
 
A few&nbsp;church records have been indexed for most Pennsylvania Counties in the [http://www.idreamof.com/church/pa.html I Dream of Genealogy] website.&nbsp; They are indexed by County, Township and then Church.<br>  
Line 169: Line 175:
 
:*Levick, James J. "The Early Welsh Quakers and Their Emigration to Pennsylvania," ''The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography,'' Vol. 17 (1893):385-413. For free online access, see [http://www.werelate.org/wiki/Source:Historical_Society_of_Pennsylvania._Pennsylvania_Magazine_of_History_and_Biography WeRelate].
 
:*Levick, James J. "The Early Welsh Quakers and Their Emigration to Pennsylvania," ''The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography,'' Vol. 17 (1893):385-413. For free online access, see [http://www.werelate.org/wiki/Source:Historical_Society_of_Pennsylvania._Pennsylvania_Magazine_of_History_and_Biography WeRelate].
  
{{Template:Pros-PA}}
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See also:  
  
=== References  ===
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:*'''[[U.S. Quaker Research (Society of Friends)]]'''
 +
:*'''[[Society of Friends (Quakers) in the United States]]'''
 +
:*'''[[Pennsylvania, Schuylkill County Digital Church Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)]]'''
  
{{reflist}}  
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{{Template:Pros-PA}}  
  
{{Place|Pennsylvania}}
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== References ==
  
<br>
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{{reflist}}
  
[[Pennsylvania, Schuylkill County Digital Church Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)]]
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{{Place|Pennsylvania}}{{USChurch}}
  
[[Category:Pennsylvania|Church Records]]
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[[Category:Pennsylvania,_United_States|Church Records]] [[Category:U_S_States_Church_records]]

Latest revision as of 20:59, 23 May 2016

United States Gotoarrow.png Pennsylvania Gotoarrow.png Church Records

Pennsylvania Wiki Topics
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Beginning Research
Record Types
Pennsylvania Background
Ethnicity
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The FamilySearch moderator forPennsylvania Genealogy is GoAncestry
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Pennsylvania was founded as a place of refuge and religious freedom for many diverse groups from Great Britain and Europe. Important religious groups in colonial Pennsylvania were the Society of Friends (Quakers), the German Lutheran, German Reformed, Presbyterian, Episcopal, Baptist, and Catholic churches, and the German Pietist groups, including the Brethren (Dunkard), Mennonites, and Moravians. Before 1900 the major religious groups in Pennsylvania were the Lutheran, Methodist, Presbyterian, Reformed, Episcopal, and Roman Catholic churches.

Because the keeping of vital records began late in the history of Pennsylvania, church records play a  major roll in family history research. It is important that the researcher know the religious affiliation of their ancestor and be able to identify the church or churches their ancestor attended. County histories can help identfy extinct and extant churches in the locality where the ancestor lived.

Ministers assigned to a particular church may have "rode the circuit' to outlying areas to perform marriages, etc. for their followers. Records for itinerant (circuit riders) ministers may be recorded in their personal records or the records of the church where they are assigned. County histories may help to identify pastors who served in particular counties and what churches they were assigned too.

If the records can only be viewed at the church, make an appointment with the minister or secretary to examine the records. Remember, the records are the property of the church. There may be instances when the minister or a representive will not allow you to view the record but will look at the record for you.

A detailed Historical Records Survey inventory of church records available at the State Library of Pennsylvania is Inventory of Church Archives in Pennsylvania, also available in the FHL Collection. To check for a copy nearest you, use WorldCat. It lists many Pennsylvania churches existing in the 1930s. It is arranged by county and can help you identify extant churches for that time period.

The Family History Library has extensive collections of church records for the Lutheran, Presbyterian, Reformed (United Church of Christ), and Society of Friends denominations. Many transcripts of local church records have been published.

The Family History Library also has histories of the Church of the Brethren, the Society of Friends, and the Baptist, Schwenkfelder, Evangelical Lutheran, Reformed, Presbyterian, Moravian, and Catholic churches in Pennsylvania.

Two of the largest groups were the German Lutheran and Reformed churches. For excellent information on the various congregations and their histories and records, see Charles H. Glatfelter, Pastors and Peoples, 2 vols. (Breingsville, PA: Pennsylvania German Society, 1980 and 1981) as vols. 13 and 15 of The Publications of the Pennsylvania German Society in the FHL Collection. To check for a copy nearest you, search WorldCat.

Many denominations have deposited their records in central repositories. You can write to the following addresses for more information. Additional copies of church records may be located at the county historical or genealogical societies. Records at local societies may be more accessible.

Baptist

Pennsylvania churches.png
American Baptist Historical Society
3001 Mercer University Dr
Atlanta,​ GA 30341
Telephone: (678) 547-6680

Episcopal

Diocese of Pennsylvania
The History Committee
240 S. 4th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106
Telephone: (215) 627-6434
Fax: (215) 627-7550

This diocese has records for churches that are now closed for Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia counties only. Churches that are not closed should be contacted for their records. The appropriate diocese holds the records for other counties.

Only a small percentage of Colonial Pennsylvania's population belonged to the Church of England.[1] Of 26 Episcopalian churches established in Pennsylvania before 1800, 12 have surviving parish registers covering that period.[2]

Latter-day Saints (Mormons)

Early church records for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Pennsylvania 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 FamilySearch 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; fiche 6031507). These volumes contain the film numbers for many (but not all) membership and temple record films.

Lutheran

A. R. Wentz Library
Lutheran Theological Seminary
61 Seminary Ridge
Gettysburg, PA 17325
Telephone: (717) 334-6286
Email: info@ltsg.edu

The A. R. Wentz Library records are not available to the general public, but the Family History Library has filmed many of their church records.

Krauth Memorial Library
Lutheran Archives Center at Philadelphia
Seminary Ridge
Gettysburg PA 17325
Phone: (717) 334-6286, ext 2131

Tri-Synod Archives
Thiel College
75 College Avenue
Greenville PA 16125
Phone: (724) 589-2131

The archives has the records for the local congregations that have disbanded in the eastern third of Pennsylvania and in New Jersey, New England, and upstate New York. Those congregations still active will have their records or will know where their older records are located.

A helpful source is Frederick S. Weiser, Pennsylvania Lutheran Church Records, 4 vols. included in the FHL Collection. This includes records from Adams, Columbia, Cumberland, Franklin, Fulton, Lebanon, Northumberland, Snyder, and York counties.

Genealoger.com has a bibliography of Pennsylvania Lutheran Church Records and Histories

For an index to birth (baptism) information for Colonial Pennsylvania Lutherans, see:

  • Humphrey, John T. Birth Index; Southeastern Pennsylvania, 1680-1800. n.p.: Brøderbund, 1998. FHL Collection CD-ROM no. 9 pt. 196.

For a history of colonial German Lutheran churches, read:

  • Dubbs, Joseph Henry. "The Founding of the German Churches of Pennsylvania," The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. 17 (1893):241-262. For free online access, see WeRelate.

Mennonite

The Mennonite Heritage Center
565 Yoder Road
Harleysville PA 19438-1020
(215) 256-3020
library@mhep.org
Hours: Tuesday thru Friday, 10am–5pm, Saturday, 10am–2pm

The Mennonite Historians of Eastern Pennsylvania support the John L. Ruth Historical Library and Museum at the Mennonite Heritage Center. Located in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania the records and resources of this treasure also cover the counties of Bucks, Chester, Berks, Lehigh, Northampton, and Philadelphia. The website provides a comprehensive overview of library resources, online cemetery database, manuscript collections, photo collections, archival collections, and more.

Lancaster Mennonite Historical Society
2215 Millstream Road
Lancaster, PA 17602-1499
Phone: (717) 393-9745
Fax: (717) 393-8751
E-mail: lmhs@lmhs.org

This Society has a genealogy card file which has been filmed and is available on Ancestry.com $. It covers the counties of Adams, Berks and Lancaster.

Moravian

The Moravian Archives
41 West Locust Street
Bethlehem, Pennsylvania 18018
United States of America
Phone: (610) 866-3255
Fax: (610) 866-9210

For information concerning missions to the American Indians visit Moravian Missions Among American Indians. For a map and list of missions visit Early Moravian Missions in Eastern Pennsylvania and Surrounding Areas 1740-1773.

Mission records are also available in the FHL Collection. The records are indexed in the FHL CollectionBook 970.1 F642i.

Presbyterian

Presbyterian Historical Society
425 Lombard Street
Philadelphia, PA 19147
Telephone: (215) 627-1852
Fax: (215) 627-0509

The society and the FHL Collection have "Miscellaneous Biographical Collection". This collection contains information from the 1600s up to 1960s. It includes obituaries, funeral discourses, memorial sermons, newspaper clippings, records of ministerial service, published genealogies, histories, golden anniversary of work in the ministry, church newsletters with biographical information, ordination service bulletins, installation service bulletins, biographical sketches and photographs. The collection is national in scope.

Inventory of the Church Archives of Pennsylvania Presbyterian Churches. Works Progress Administration, compiled from 1936-1940 and is available in the FHL Collection. Also try Candace Belfield's book Inventory of the church archives of Pennsylvania : Presbyterian churches.

Reformed

Archives of the Evangelical and Reformed Church
Philip Schaff Library
Evangelical and Reformed Historical Library
555 W. James Street
Lancaster, PA 17603
Telephone: (717) 290-8734

A guide to the records in the above named archive is, Florence M. Bricker, comp. and ed., Church and Pastoral Records in the Archives of the United Church of Christ and the Evangelical and Reformed Historical Society, Lancaster, PA Lancaster, PA: The Society, 1982; and is available in the FHL Collection. To locate the book nearest you, search WorldCat

Roman Catholic

The beginning of the Catholic faith in Pennsylvania can be dated back to French explorers who visited the area in the seventeenth century. The first Catholic church was a chapel built in Fort Duquesne in 1754. In 1808, the Diocese of Philadelphia was organized. It covered the entire state. It was split in 1843 when the Diocese of Pittsburgh was erected to oversee Western Pennsylvania. Other dioceses were erected at later dates.[3]

At present there are eight dioceses in Pennsylvania:

Diocese of Allentown
P.O. Box F
Allentown, PA 18105-1538

The diocese consists of the counties of Berks, Carbon, Lehigh, Northampton and Schuylkill.[4]

Diocese of Altoona
927 S. Logan Boulevard
hollidaysburg, PA 16648
Phone: (814) 695-5579

The diocese consists of the counties of Bedford, Blair, Cambria, Centre, Fulton, Huntingdon and Somerset.[4]

Diocese of Erie
St. Mark Catholic Center
429 East Grandview Blvd.
Erie, PA 16504

The diocese coonsists of the of counties of Cameron, Clarion, Clearfield, Crawford, Elk, Erie, Forest, Jefferson, Mercer, McKean, Potter, Venango and Warren.[4]

Diocese of Greensburg
723 East Pittsburgh St.
Greensburg, PA 15601
Phone: (724) 837-0901

The diocese consists of the counties of Armstrong, Fayette, Indiana and Westmoreland.[4]

Diocese of Harrisburg
4800 Union Deposit Road
Harrisburg, PA 17111
Phone: (717) 657-4804

Archive houses many records of genealogical value. Website includes guide Genealogy Research for Families. Professional look-up services are available.

The diocese of Harrisburg consists of the counties of Adams, Columbia, Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin, Juniata, Lancaster, Lebanon, Mifflin, Montour, Northumberland, Perry, Snyder, Union and York.[4]

Archdiocese of Philadelphia
222 North 17th Street,
Philadelphia, PA 19103-1299
Phone: (215) 587-3600

Philadelphia Archdiocesan Historical Reseach Center
100 E. Wynnewood
Wynnewood, PA 19096
Telephone: (610) 667-3394

The diocese (erected 1808) consists of the counties of Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia.[4]

Diocese of Pittsburgh
111 Blvd. of the Allies
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
Phone: (412) 456-3000

The diocese (erected 1843) consists of the counties of Allegheny, Beaver, Butler, Greene, Lawrence and Washington.[4]

The Diocese of Pittsburgh originally included Catholic churches throughout Western Pennsylvania, including: Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Bedford, Butler, Cambria, Clarion, Clearfield, Crawford, Elk, Erie, Fayette, Greene, Huntingdon, Indiana, Jefferson, McKean, Mercer, Potter, Somerset, Venango, Warren, Washington, and Westmoreland counties.[3]

For a centennial history, see:

  • "100 Years of the Pittsburgh Catholic Diocese 1843–1943," Western Pennsylvania Genealogical Society Quarterly, Vol. 17, No. 1 (Summer 1990):9-33. FHL Book 974.8 B2wg. Chronology, map, county-by-county information.

Diocese of Scranton
300 Wyoming Avenue
Scranton, PA 18593
Phone: (570) 207-2238

The diocese consists of the counties of Bradford, Clinton, Lackawanna, Luzerne, Lycoming, Monroe, Pike, Sullivan, Susquehanna, Tioga, Wayne, Wyoming.[4]


For a listing of many vital records, see Albert H. Ledoux. Catholic Vital Records of Central Pennsylvania, 4 vols. (Altoona, PA: A. H. Ledoux, 1993-1996; see FHL Collection. Also check WorldCat for a copy of the book nearest you.

Russian Orthodox Churches

Orthodox Church in America Diocese of Eastern Pennsylvania [1]

Society of Friends (Quakers)

For Hicksite records:

Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College
Swarthmore College
500 College Avenue
Swarthmore, PA 19081
Telephone: (610) 328-8496
Email: friends@swarthmore.edu

For Orthodox records:

Quaker Collection
Haverford College
James P. Magill Library
370 Lancaster Avenue
Haverford, PA 19041-1392
Telephone: (610) 896-1000

A card index to Quaker records is William Wade Hinshaw, The William Wade Hinshaw Index to Quaker Meeting Records in the Friends Library in Swarthmore College, Pennsylvania can be found in the FHL Collection.

For help in finding Quaker records, see:

  • Inventory of Church Archives, Society of Friends in Pennsylvania. Philadelphia, PA: Historical Records Survey, 1941, can be searched in the FHL Collection.
  • Hinshaw, William Wade. Encyclopedia of American Quaker Genealogy. 6 Vols. Ann Arbor, Mich.: Edwards Brothers, 1936-1950. Volume II covers Pennsylvania Monthly Meetings. FHL Collection; digital version at Ancestry ($). To locate copies nearest you, use WorldCat.
  • The William Wade Hinshaw Index to Pennsylvania Quaker Meeting Records. 8 vols. (Kokomo, Indiana: Selby Publishing & Printing, 1990; available in the FHL Collection. To locate copies nearest you, use WorldCat.

An important resource for Eastern Pennsylvania is Jack Eckert, Guide to the Records of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting (Philadelphia, PA: Haverford College, Records Committee of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting, Swarthmore College, 1989; available in the FHL Collection. It also contains a bibliography, a glossary, and the record location for the other yearly meetings throughout the United States and Canada. The yearly meeting includes the monthly and quarterly meeting records, etc., under its jurisdiction. To locate a copy of the book nearest you, use WorldCat

Many sources are also listed in the Place Search of the FamilySearch Catalog under PENNSYLVANIA - CHURCH HISTORY.

A few church records have been indexed for most Pennsylvania Counties in the I Dream of Genealogy website.  They are indexed by County, Township and then Church.

For a history of Welsh Quakers in Pennsylvania, read:

  • Levick, James J. "The Early Welsh Quakers and Their Emigration to Pennsylvania," The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. 17 (1893):385-413. For free online access, see WeRelate.

See also:


References

  1. Frank J. Klingberg, "The Anglican Minority in Colonial Pennsylvania with Particular Reference to the Indian," The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. 65, No. 3 (Jul. 1941):276-299. For free online access, see WeRelate.
  2. Philip Syng Physick Conner, "Registers of the Anglican Church in Pennsylvania prior to 1800," The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. 12 (1888):341-349. For free online access, see WeRelate.
  3. 3.0 3.1 "100 Years of the Pittsburgh Catholic Diocese 1843–1943," Western Pennsylvania Genealogical Society Quarterly, Vol. 17, No. 1 (Summer 1990):9-33. FHL Book 974.8 B2wg.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7 Map of the Roman Catholic Dioceses in the United States of America, Office of Catholic Schools Diocese of Columbus, accessed 3 Nov 2010.