Serbian Orthodox Church in the United States

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History in the United States[edit | edit source]

Serbian Orthodox Cathedral of St. Sava
Manhattan, New York

The Serbian Orthodox Church in North and South America is the name for the jurisdiction of the Serbian Orthodox Church (SPC) in the Americas. It has five eparchies (dioceses), that were reorganized in 2009. It also has a central church council made up of diocesan bishops, and almost 220 churches, chapels, monasteries and sketes in the United States, Canada, and South and Central America.

The eparchies (dioceses) in the United States:

  • Serbian Orthodox Eparchy of Eastern America
  • Serbian Orthodox Eparchy of New Gračanica and Midwestern America
  • Serbian Orthodox Eparchy of Western America

The arrival of first Serbian Orthodox Christian emigrants to the Americas began in the first half of the 19th century. Those were mainly Serbs from the Austrian Empire (later Austria-Hungary), and also, by the end of the century, from the Kingdom of Serbia and Principality of Montenegro. Emigration was mainly directed to the United States. Among emigrants, there were several Serbian Orthodox priests, and by the end of the 19th-century first parish communities were established and churches built. Source: Wikipedia

Finding 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.


Eparchy Addresses[edit | edit source]

Bishop of Eastern America
The Serbian Orthodox Church
65 Overlook Circle
New Rochelle, NY 10804

Telephone: 914-633-9000

Bishop of Western America
The Serbian Orthodox Church
1621 W Garvey Avenue
Alhambra, CA 91803


Bishop of New Gracanica-Midwestern America
The Serbian Orthodox Church
New Gracanica Monastery
35240 W Grant Ave.
Third Lake, IL 60046

P.O. Box 371, Grayslake, IL 60030

Phone:847 223 4300
Fax: 847 223 4312

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.