Adventist Churches in the United States

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History in the United States[edit | edit source]

Seventh-day Adventist Church
Takoma Park, Maryland
  • Adventism is a branch of Protestant Christianity that originated in the 1830s in the United States during the Second Great Awakening. Baptist preacher, William Miller, first publicly shared his belief that the Second Coming would occur at some point between 1843 and 1844. His followers became known as Millerites. The Millerite movement split up and was continued by a number of groups known collectively as the Adventist movement.
  • In 2010, Adventism claimed some 22 million believers scattered in various independent churches. The largest church within the movement—-the Seventh-day Adventist Church-—had more than 19 million baptized members in 2015.
  • Other Adventist groups include:
  • Christadelphians
  • Advent Christian Church
  • Seventh Day Adventist Reform Movement
  • Davidian Seventh-day Adventist Association
  • Church of God (Seventh Day)
  • Church of God and Saints of Christ
  • Church of God General Conferencet
  • Creation Seventh Day Adventist Church
  • United Seventh-Day Brethren

Source: Wikipedia

Adventism Religion Family Tree[edit | edit source]

This Adventist Religion Family Tree diagrams all the different branches of Adventism.

Information in Records[edit | edit source]

Membership Lists: Name of member, received how and when (by baptism or letter), baptism date, dismissed how and when (by death, moving, or disfellowshipment), death date. Family members listed together.

Church Minutes: Establishment of church, business meetings, financial records, Baptisms, deaths, admissions, positions in organization such as treasurer, disciplinary actions.

Finding Records[edit | edit source]

Look for digital copies of church records listed in the FamilySearch Catalog.[edit | edit source]

  • There are some entries of digitized Adventist records listed in the FamilySearch Catalog:
  • Online church records can be listed in the FamilySearch Catalog state-wide, county-wide, or for a town.
  • If you find a record that has not yet been digitized, see How do I request that a microfilm be digitized?
  • Some records might have viewing restrictions, and can only be viewed at a Family History Center near you, and/or by members of supporting organizations.


  • To find records statewide records:
a. Enter your state name in the "Place" search field of FamilySearch Catalog. You will see a list of topics and, at the top, the phrase "Places within United States, [STATE]".
b. Click on "Church records" in the topic list. Click on the blue links to specific record titles.
  • To find county-wide records:
c. From the original page, click on Places within United States, [STATE] and a list of counties will appear.
d. Click on your county.
e. Click on the "Church records" topic. Click on the blue links to specific record titles.
  • To find town records:
f. From the list of counties, click on Places within United States, [STATE], [COUNTY] and a list of towns will appear.
g. Click on your town if it appears, or the location which you believe was the parish which served your town or village.
h. Click on the "Church records" topic. Click on the blue links to specific record titles.
i. Some combination of these icons will appear at the far right of the listing for the record. FHL icons.png. The magnifying glass indicates that the record is indexed. Clicking on the magnifying glass will take you to the index. Clicking on the camera will take you to an online digital copy of the records.

Check the church records collections in archives and libraries.[edit | edit source]

James White Library
Berrien Springs, Michigan
James White Library
Andrews University
4190 Administration Drive
Berrien Springs, MI 49104-1440


Phone: (269) 471-3209
Email: car@andrews.edu
Location: Ground floor of James White Library on the campus of Andrews University

Correspond with or visit the actual churches.[edit | edit source]

Some records are still held in the local churches. Contact the current minister to find out what records are still available.

  • Make an appointment to look at the records. Or ask the minister of the church to make a copy of the record for you.
  • To find church staff available, you might have to visit on Saturday.
  • Ask for small searches at a time, such as one birth record or a specific marriage. Never ask for "everything on a family or surname".
  • A donation ($25-$40) for their time and effort to help you would be appropriate.
  • If the church has a website, you may be able to e-mail a message.
  • See the Letter Writing Guide for Genealogy for help with composing letters.

Address lists:

Carefully compare any record you find to known facts about the ancestor[edit | edit source]

You will possibly find many different people with the same name as your ancestor, especially when a family stayed in a locality for several generations, and several children were named after the grandparents or aunts and uncles. Be prepared to find the correct church records by gathering in advance as many of these exact details about the ancestor as possible:

  • name, including middle name and maiden name
  • names of all spouses, including middle and maiden name
  • exact or closely estimated dates of birth, marriage, and death
  • names and approximate birthdates of children
  • all known places of residence
  • occupations
  • military service details


Dark thin font green pin Version 4.pngCarefully evaluate the church records you find to make sure you have really found records for your ancestor and not just a "near match". If one or more of the details do not line up, be careful about accepting the entry as your ancestor. There are guiding principles for deciding how to resolve discrepancies between records that are seemingly close. For more instruction in evaluating evidence, read the Wiki article, Evaluate the Evidence.