To request editing rights on the Wiki, click here.

Uganda Church Records

From FamilySearch Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Uganda Wiki Topics
Flag of Uganda.svg.png
Beginning Research
Record Types
Uganda Background
Local Research Resources

For information about records for non-Christian religions in Uganda, 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]

According to the national census of 2014, Christians of all denominations comprised 85 percent of Uganda's population. The Roman Catholic Church had the largest number of adherents (39.3 percent of the total population). The largest Protestant church was the Anglican Church of Uganda, a part of the worldwide Anglican communion, at 32 percent. The category of Pentecostal/Evangelical/Born Again made up 11.1% of the population, while Seventh-Day Adventists made up 1.7%, Baptists 0.3% and Eastern Orthodox 0.1%.

Jehovah's Witnesses operate in Uganda under the International Bible Students Association name and are working in a total of ten languages, including Swahili and Luganda. Followers of William M. Branham and Branhamism claim numbers in the tens of thousands, thanks in large part to translation and distribution efforts by Voice of God Recordings.

The Presbyterian Church in Uganda has 100-200 congregations. The Reformed Presbyterian Church in Uganda was a result in a split in the Presbyterian church.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints claims more than 14,000 members in 27 congregations in Uganda. They also have two family history centers.

The Society of Friends has two yearly meetings, Uganda Yearly Meeting, part of Friends United Meeting and Evangelical Friends Church. There were about 3,000 members between the two in 2001.[8]

A 2015 study estimated some 35,000 believers in Christ from a Muslim background residing in the country at the time. [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 Uganda.
b. Click on Places within Uganda 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 Uganda is part of the worldwide Catholic Church, under the spiritual leadership of the Pope in Rome. There are an estimated 13.4 million Catholics — 39.3% of the total population, estimated at about 34.1 million in 2014. [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]

In Uganda, expatriate Latter-day Saints were living and holding meetings as early as the 1960s. The first Ugandan to join the Church was Charles Osinde, who was baptized in Scotland and returned to his homeland. A couple arrived in the country in March 1990 as part of a USAID program. Meetings were then held in their home. A branch (a small congregation) was soon created in Kampala, and in December 1990 the first missionary couple arrived in Uganda. By March 1991 an average of 30 to 35 people attended branch meetings. The first Church-built chapel, in the Kololo Branch was dedicated in 1997, and a second chapel, in Jinja, was dedicated in 1998. Total Church Membership: 16,823. Congregations: 33.[5]

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

Writing for Records[edit | edit source]

Historical Background[edit | edit source]

The Church of Uganda is a member province of the Anglican Communion. Currently there are 37 dioceses which make up the Church of Uganda, each headed by a bishop. Shergold Smith and C. T. Wilson of the Church Missionary Society (CMS) were the first European Anglican missionaries to Uganda when they arrived in June 1877. They, along with others who arrived later, were based in the court of the Kabaka of Buganda near present-day Kampala. Alfred Robert Tucker was made the third bishop of Eastern Equatorial Africa in 1890 and in 1899, the Diocese of Uganda was created and Tucker became the first Bishop of Uganda. In 1893, the first Ugandans were ordained and Buganda was established as a centre for evangelization in the Great Lakes Area. Anglican growth in Uganda thrived by the turn of the 20th century and among the most notable contribution of the Anglican church was in the area of education. In the 1950s, the emergence of a generation of Ugandan Church leaders began to replace the expatriate hierarchy.[6]

Baptist Church Records[edit | edit source]

Writing for Records[edit | edit source]

Eastern Orthodox Church Records[edit | edit source]

Writing for Records[edit | edit source]

Historical Background[edit | edit source]

Eastern Orthodoxy in Uganda refers to adherents and religious communities of Eastern Orthodox Christianity in Uganda. Majority of Eastern Orthodox Christians in Uganda are under ecclesiastical jurisdiction of the Eastern Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria and all Africa. The founders of Orthodoxy in Uganda were four men, one of them Obadia Basajjakitalo. In the year 1919, they began to send letters all over the world with the questions on Orthodoxy. Father Spartas and his supporters found a priest from the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople who traveled through Africa and baptized and chrismated (anointed) Greek children. He came to Uganda and stayed for about 18 months teaching Father Spartas, Irenaeus Magimbi, Theodoros Nankyama and his friends in Orthodox Faith. It was in the beginning of the 1930s. He advised them to place themselves under the Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria in order to be in Canonical Communion. In the year 1946, Orthodox communities of Uganda and Kenya were accepted to join the Patriarchal Throne in full canonical contact. [7]

Jehovah's Witnesses Church Records[edit | edit source]

Writing for Records[edit | edit source]

Pentecostal/Evangelical Church Records[edit | edit source]

Writing for Records[edit | edit source]

Presbyterian Church Records[edit | edit source]

Writing for Records[edit | edit source]

Historical Background[edit | edit source]

Presbyterian Church in Uganda is a conservative Reformed Calvinistic denomination in Uganda with almost 100 churches in 5 presbyteries in the late 2000s. The Presbyterian Church in Uganda was founded in the 1970s by the Ugandan pastor Keefa Sempangi. Keefa had to emigrate from Uganda because of persecution and fled to the Netherlands where he was introduced the Reformed faith and later he was invited to study in the United States, become a student of the Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He returned home in 1979 with help of American missionaries began to start the Presbyterian church. The first church was organized in that year in Kampala, Uganda. This was the First Presbyterian Church in Kampala, Uganda. [8]

Seventh-day Adventist Church Records[edit | edit source]

Writing for Records[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Wikipedia contributors, "Uganda", in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uganda, accessed 22 March 2020.
  2. Wikipedia contributors, "Religion in Uganda", in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion_in_Uganda, accessed 22 March 2020.
  3. Wikipedia contributors, "Religion in Uganda", in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion_in_Uganda, accessed 22 March 2020.
  4. Wikipedia contributors, "Catholic Church in Uganda", in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catholic_Church_in_Uganda, accessed 122 March 2020.
  5. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, "Facts and Statistics: Uganda, https://newsroom.churchofjesuschrist.org/facts-and-statistics/country/Uganda, accessed 22 March 2020.
  6. Wikipedia contributors, "Church of Uganda", in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Church_of__Uganda, accessed 22 March 2020.
  7. Wikipedia contributors, "Eastern Orthodoxy in Uganda", in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eastern_Orthodoxy_in_Uganda, accessed 22 March 2020.
  8. Wikipedia contributors, "Presbyterian Church in Uganda", in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Presbyterian_Church_in_Uganda, accessed 22 March 2020.