Coptic Orthodox Church in the United States

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United States Gotoarrow.png Church Records Gotoarrow.png Coptic Orthodox Church Records

History in the United States[edit | edit source]

St. Mark Coptic Orthodox Church
Englewood, Colorado

Copts, many of whom are adherents of the Coptic Orthodox Church, have begun migrating to the United States of America as early as the late 1940s. After 1952, the rate of Coptic immigration from Egypt to the United States increased. The first Coptic church in the United States, St. Mark's Coptic Orthodox Church, was established in the late 1960s in Jersey City.

There are many Coptic Orthodox churches and congregations in the United States. Estimated numbers of adherents, based on church membership, was between 350,000 and 420,000. Based on the estimates of certain Coptic organizations, the number was between 700,000 and one million in 2002. Currently, there are over 200 parishes in the United States that serve the expanding Coptic Orthodox population.The Church does have a large population when compared to other smaller Christian bodies, yet is one of the least known Christian Churches and the least known of large Orthodox bodies. Source:Wikipedia

Finding the records.[edit | edit source]

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 Sunday.
  • 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.


Information in the Records[edit | edit source]

Births/baptisms[edit | edit source]

Name, dates of birth and baptism, names and age of parents, sometimes including mother's maiden name, and name of godparent. For each person mentioned the name (or initial of) his/her father’s name is given.

Marriages[edit | edit source]

Names of the bride and groom, the date of marriage, names of the parents of the bride and groom, sometimes the ages of the bride and groom and their birthplaces, name of priest performing the marriage, and names of witnesses.

Death/burial[edit | edit source]

Name of the deceased, father's name, date of death, age, marital status, cause of death, place of burial, name of the person who gave the information, and sometimes the name of the attending physician. Death records of married women usually do not give the maiden names.

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.