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Tanzania Church Records

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For information about records for non-Christian religions in Tanzania, go to the Religious Records page.

Online Resources and Websites[edit | edit source]

Ancestry.com, findmypast.com, and MyHeritage.com can be searched free of charge at your local family history center or the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.


Historical Background[edit | edit source]

A 2010 Pew survey found 61.4 percent of respondents to be Christian. These are also the figures in the CIA World Factbook. A 2008-09 Pew survey found that 51 percent of Tanzanian Christians described themselves as Roman Catholic, and 44 percent described themselves as Protestant. Among Protestants, Lutherans (13 percent of Tanzanian Christians), Pentecostals (10 percent), Anglicans (10 percent), and adherents of African initiated churches (5 percent) dominate. The Orthodox Church claims an estimated 60,000 adherents in Tanzania. The United Methodist Church claims 8,371 members in Tanzania.[1][2]

Information Recorded in the Records[edit | edit source]

Different denominations, different time periods, and practices of different record keepers will effect how much information can be found in the records. This outline will show the types of details which might be found (best case scenario):

Baptisms[edit | edit source]

In Catholic and Anglican records, children were usually baptized a few days after birth, and therefore, the baptism record proves date of birth. Other religions, such as Baptists, baptized at other points in the member's life. Baptism registers might give:

  • baptism date
  • the infant's name
  • parents' names
  • father's occupation
  • status of legitimacy
  • occasionally, names of grandparents
  • names of witnesses or godparents, who may be relatives
  • birth date and place
  • the family's place of residence
  • death information, as an added note or signified by a cross

Marriages[edit | edit source]

Marriage registers can give:

  • the marriage date
  • the names of the bride and groom
  • indicate whether the bride and groom were single or widowed
  • their ages
  • birth dates and places for the bride and groom
  • their residences
  • their occupations
  • birthplaces of the bride and groom
  • parents' names (after 1800)
  • the names of previous spouses and their death dates
  • names of witnesses, who might be relatives.

Burials[edit | edit source]

Burial registers may give:

  • the name of the deceased
  • the date and place of death or burial
  • the deceased's age
  • place of residence
  • cause of death
  • the names of survivors, especially a widow or widower
  • deceased's birth date and place
  • parents' names, or at least the father's name



How to Find Records[edit | edit source]

Digital Copies of Church Records in the FamilySearch Catalog[edit | edit source]

Watch for digitized copies of church records to be added to the collection of the FamilySearch Library. 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:

a. Click on the records of Tanzania.
b. Click on Places within Tanzania and a list of towns will appear.
c. Click on your town if it appears, or the location which you believe was the parish which served your town or village.
d. Click on the "Church records" topic. Click on the blue links to specific record titles.
e. 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.

Writing for Records[edit | edit source]

You will probably need to write to or email the national archives, the diocese, or local parish priests to find records. See Letter Writing Guide for Genealogy for help with composing letters.

Catholic Church Records[edit | edit source]

Writing to a Local Parish[edit | edit source]

To locate the mailing address or e-mail address for a local parish, consult:

Historical Background[edit | edit source]

The Catholic Church in Tanzania is part of the worldwide Catholic Church, under the spiritual leadership of the Pope in Rome. There are more than 10 million Catholics in the country - about a quarter of the total population. There are 34 dioceses, including 7 archdioceses.[3][4]

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Records[edit | edit source]

Online Records[edit | edit source]

Online church information is available to current members, deceased members, and immediate family members who are still living. Sign in to FamilySearch and then select Family Tree in the drop-down menu.

Historical Background[edit | edit source]

Two families from the United States and Canada living in Dar-es-Salaam began holding meetings in 1991. Tanzania was included in the newly formed Kenya Nairobi Mission, which was created in July 1991, and in 1992 the Church was legally recognized in Tanzania. In February 1992 the first missionary couple arrived, and in December of that year a branch (a small congregation) was created in Dar-es-Salaam. Today there are three branches there. Total Church Membership: 1,726. Congregations:6.[5]

Anglican (Episcopal) Church Records[edit | edit source]

Writing for Records[edit | edit source]

Historical Background[edit | edit source]

The Anglican Church of Tanzania (ACT) is a province of the Anglican Communion based in Dodoma. It consists of 28 dioceses (27 on the Tanzanian mainland, and 1 on Zanzibar) headed by their respective bishops. It seceded from the Province of East Africa in 1970, which it shared with Kenya. The church's origins lie in the Diocese of Eastern Equatorial Africa (Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania) founded in 1884, with James Hannington as the first bishop; however, Anglican missionary activity had been present in the area since the Universities' Mission to Central Africa and the Church Missionary Society began their work in 1864 and 1878 at Mpwapwa.[6]

Assembly of God Church Records[edit | edit source]

Writing for Records[edit | edit source]

Dutch Reformed Church Records[edit | edit source]

Writing for Records[edit | edit source]

Lutheran Church Records[edit | edit source]

Writing for Records[edit | edit source]

Historical Background[edit | edit source]

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania (ELCT) is the federation of Lutheran churches in Tanzania and one of the largest Lutheran denomination in the world with more than 6 million members. The church is led by a presiding bishop and twenty-five diocesan bishops. In 1938, seven Lutheran churches founded a federation known as the Federation of Lutheran Churches in Tanganyika. On June 19, 1963, the churches merged to become a single church known as the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania. [7]

Methodist Church Records[edit | edit source]

Writing for Records[edit | edit source]


Tanzania Methodist Church
PO Box 60586
Dar-Es-Salaam
Tanzania

Work Phone: 255 222 781 076
Work Email: byamungu85@hotmail.com

Orthodox Church Records[edit | edit source]

Writing for Records[edit | edit source]


The Archdiocese of Mwanza
P.O. Box 1113
Mwanza, TANZANIA

Telephone: +255-28-2561161
Fax: +255-28-2561163
E-mail: orthodoxtz@yahoo.com

Pentecostal Church Records[edit | edit source]

Writing for Records[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Wikipedia contributors, "Christianity in Tanzania", in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christianity_in_Tanzania, accessed 22 March 2020.
  2. Wikipedia contributors, "Religion in Tanzania", in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion_in_Tanzania, accessed 22 March 2020.
  3. Wikipedia contributors, "Religion in Tanzania", in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion_in_Tanzania, accessed 22 March 2020.
  4. Wikipedia contributors, "Catholic Church in Tanzania", in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catholic_Church_in_Tanzania, accessed 22 March 2020.
  5. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, "Facts and Statistics: Tanzania, https://newsroom.churchofjesuschrist.org/facts-and-statistics/country/Tanzania, accessed 22 March 2020.
  6. Wikipedia contributors, "Anglican Church in Tanzania", in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anglican_Church_in_Tanzania, accessed 22 March 2020.
  7. Wikipedia contributors, "Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania", in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evangelical_Lutheran_in_Tanzania, accessed 22 March 2020.