United Brethren in Christ in the United States
- 1 History in the United States
- 2 Finding Records
- 3 Correspond with or visit the actual churches.
- 4 Information in the Records
- 5 Carefully compare any record you find to known facts about the ancestor
History in the United States[edit | edit source]
The Church of the United Brethren in Christ is an evangelical Christian denomination with churches in 17 countries. It is Protestant, with roots in the Mennonite and German Reformed communities of 18th-century Pennsylvania, as well as close ties to Methodism. It was organized in 1800 and is the first American denomination that was not transplanted from Europe.
In 1889, a controversy over membership in secret societies such as the Freemasons, the proper way to modify the church's constitution, and other issues split the United Brethren into majority liberal and minority conservative blocs. Both groups continued to use the name Church of the United Brethren in Christ.
The majority faction, known as the Church of the United Brethren in Christ (New Constitution), merged with the Evangelical Church in 1946 to form a new denomination known as the Evangelical United Brethren Church (EUB). This in turn merged in 1968 with The Methodist Church to form the United Methodist Church (UMC).
The Church of the United Brethren in Christ, Old Constitution, continues today as the denomination of about 550 congregations, with 47,300 members in fifteen countries. The US National Conference consists of about 200 churches and 25,000 members in the United States, plus mission districts in Haiti and India. The United States national office is located in Huntington, Indiana, as is the denomination's only college, Huntington University. Source: Wikipedia
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 United Brethren in Christ church 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. . 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.
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.
Check the church records collections in archives and libraries.[edit | edit source]
Some church records have been deposited for preservation in government archives or in libraries. Watch for links to digitized, online records offered by the archives. Some archives provide research services for a fee. For others, if you cannot visit in person, you might hire a researcher.
For United Brethren Old Constitution congregations:[edit | edit source]
- United Brethren in Christ Historical Center
- RichLyn Library
- Huntington University
- 2303 College Avenue
- Huntington, IN 46750
- Phone: 260.359.4062
- Keeps records for original, undivided church and the current (Old Constitution) church. Collection seems to be based on newspaper clippings of birth, marriage, and death events.
For United Brethren New Constitution congregations:[edit | edit source]
- Historical Society of the United Methodist Church
- PO Box 127
- Madison, NJ 07940
- Promotes interest in the study, preservation, and dissemination of the history and heritage of The United Methodist Church and its antecedents.
- This collection of folders is available for researchers at the United Methodist Archives Center at Drew University, Madison, New Jersey,USA. The Wilson Reading Room is open from 9AM–5 PM Monday through Friday with the exception of some holidays. For questions about access and/or availability please contact Christopher Anderson, Methodist Librarian &Coordinator of Special Collections, firstname.lastname@example.org or 973.408.3910.
Information in the Records[edit | edit source]
Baptisms[edit | edit source]
Baptism registers might give:
Marriages[edit | edit source]
Marriage registers can give:
Burials[edit | edit source]
Burial registers may give:
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
- military service details
Carefully 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.