Difference between revisions of "New Mexico Church Records"

From FamilySearch Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search
m (Text replacement - "For others, if you cannot visit in person, you might hire a [https://algensoc.org/main/researchers.html '''researcher.''']" to "For others, if you cannot visit in person, you might hire a researcher.")
 
(89 intermediate revisions by 12 users not shown)
Line 1: Line 1:
Prior to 1900 the largest religious group in [[New Mexico|New Mexico]] was the Roman Catholic Church. Other churches represented in New Mexico include the Methodist Episcopal, Baptist, Presbyterian, and Christian.  
+
{{NM-sidebar}}
 +
{{breadcrumb
 +
| link1=[[United States Genealogy|United States]]
 +
| link2=[[United States Church Records|U.S. Church Records]]
 +
| link3=[[New Mexico, United States Genealogy|New Mexico]]
 +
| link4=
 +
| link5=[[New Mexico Church Records|Church Records]]
 +
}}
 +
<div style="float:right; margin:30px">
 +
{|
 +
|-
 +
|style="border:1px solid DarkBlue; margin:70px; background:GhostWhite; width 15%; padding-right:15px; padding-left:15px; height:50px "|
 +
<center>'''For greater success, use all the Wiki Articles in this series:'''</center>
 +
*[[What Can I Find in U.S. Church Records?|'''What Can I Find in U.S. Church Records?''']]
 +
*[[Determining the Church Your Ancestor Attended|'''Determining the Church Your Ancestor Attended''']]
 +
*[[How to Find Church Records in the United States|'''How to Find Church Records in the United States''']]
 +
*[[United States Church Records#Searching for Church Records by Denomination|'''Searching for Church Records by Denomination''' ]]
 +
*[[United States Church Records#Searching for Church Records by U.S. State|'''Searching for Church Records by U.S. State''']]
 +
|}
 +
</div>
  
The Family History Library has an extensive collection of Roman Catholic Church records from 1694 to 1957 for the areas served by the Archdiocese of Santa Fe and the Diocese of Las Cruces.  
+
==Historical Background==
 +
Prior to 1900 the largest religious group in [[New Mexico Genealogy|New Mexico]] was the Roman Catholic Church. Other churches represented in New Mexico include the Methodist Episcopal, Baptist, Presbyterian, and Christian<ref>Sydney E. Ahlstrom, ''A Religious History of the American People'' (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1972). {{FHL|282712|item|disp=FHL Book 973 K2ah}}.</ref>.
  
From 1678 to 1869 the Catholic Church investigated the blood relationship of couples before they were allowed to marry. Some genealogical information in the records of the Archdiocese of Santa Fe has been extracted and published in Angelico Chavez, ''New Mexico Roots LTD: A Demographic Perspective from Genealogical, Historical, and Geographical Data Found in the Diligencias Matrimoniales or Pre-nuptial Investigations (1678-1869)'', 11 Volumes. (Not Published, 1982;&nbsp; [http://www.familysearch.org/eng/library/fhlcatalog/supermainframeset.asp?display=titledetails&titleno=1399863&disp=New+Mexico+Roots+LTD%20%20&columns=*,0,0 book 978.9 D2ca; fiche 6051367]). This source lists the names of the bride and groom, the date of marriage, and the parents' names.  
+
==Information Found in the Records==
 +
To effectively use church records, become familiar with their content. Click on these links to learn about a specific record type:
 +
{|
 +
|-
 +
|style="vertical-align:top; padding-right:30px"|
 +
*[[What Can I Find in U.S. Church Records?#Baptisms or Christenings|Baptisms or Christenings]]
 +
*[[What Can I Find in U.S. Church Records?#Marriages|Marriages]]
 +
|style="vertical-align:top; padding-right:30px"|
 +
*[[What Can I Find in U.S. Church Records?#Funerals or Burials|Funerals or Burials]]
 +
*[[What Can I Find in U.S. Church Records?#Membership Lists|Membership Lists]]
 +
|style="vertical-align:top; padding-right:30px"|
 +
*[[What Can I Find in U.S. Church Records?#Minutes or Historical Narrative|Minutes or Historical Narrative]]
 +
|}
  
Several histories of the Catholic missions and of early churchmen have been published, such as Francisco A. Dominquez, ''The Missions of New Mexico, 1776'' (Albuquerque, New Mexico: University of New Mexico Press, 1956; Family History Library [http://www.familysearch.org/eng/library/fhlcatalog/supermainframeset.asp?display=titledetails&titleno=157902&disp=The+missions+of+New+Mexico%2C+1776%20%20&columns=*,0,0 book 978.9 K2d]).  
+
==Finding the Records==
 +
===Look for online records.===
 +
'''Ancestry.com, FindMyPast.com, and MyHeritage.com can be searched free of charge at your local [https://familysearch.org/locations/ family history center] or the [https://familysearch.org/wiki/en/Family_History_Library Family History Library] in Salt Lake City, Utah.
 +
<br>
  
You can write to the following addresses for further information about Roman Catholic records:  
+
{|
 +
|-
 +
|
 +
[[File:Caution sign.png|70px]]
 +
|
 +
Online databases are <span style="color:Red">'''incomplete'''</span>. This can lead to two common errors:
 +
#'''Near matches:''' Researchers might <span style="color:Red">'''mistakenly accept an entry very similar to their ancestor'''</span>, thinking it is the only one available. Only use information that matches your ancestor in date, place, relationships, and other details.
 +
#'''Stopping research''': Researchers might <span style="color:Red">'''assume the database proves church records do not exist'''</span>.  Actually the record is still out there, just not in this <span style="color:Red">'''incomplete'''</span> collection of records.  Keep searching!
 +
|}
 +
----
 +
====FamilySearch Indexes====
 +
*'''1726-1918''' - {{RecordSearch|1680839|New Mexico, Births and Christenings, 1726-1918}} Index only.
 +
*'''1751-1918''' - {{RecordSearch|1680844|New Mexico, Marriages, 1751-1918}} Index only.
 +
*'''1788-1798; 1838-1955''' - {{RecordSearch|1680843|New Mexico Deaths and Burials, 1788-1798; 1838-1955}} Index only.
  
=== Roman Catholic  ===
+
====Ancestry.com Indexes====
 +
*'''1727-1900''' - [http://search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=7872 New Mexico Marriages, 1727-1900] Index ($)
  
'''[http://www.archdiocesesantafe.org/ Archdiocese of Santa Fe]<br>'''4000 St. Joseph Place N.W.<br>Albuquerque, NM 87120<br>Telephone: 505-831-8100<br>Fax: 505-831-8345 <br>The Archdiocese website does not include any records.  
+
====Catholic====
 +
*'''1701-1956''' - {{RecordSearch|2341907|New Mexico, Catholic Church Records, 1701-1956}}, index and images.
 +
*'''1678-1869''' - [http://repository.unm.edu/handle/1928/14546 New Mexico Roots Ltd. Diligencias Matrimoniales (1678-1869)], and [http://newmexicoalhn.net/diligencias_matrimonales.htm Terms used in Diligencias matrimonales]  and  [https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/1399863?availability=Family%20History%20Library Index] From 1678 to 1869 the Catholic Church investigated the blood relationship of couples before they were allowed to marry. Some genealogical information in these records, at the Archdiocese of Santa Fe, has been extracted and published in this source. This source lists the names of the bride and groom, the date of marriage, and the parents' names.
 +
*'''1694-1875''' - [https://www.familysearch.org/library/books/records/item/482601-redirection Navajos in the Catholic Church records of New Mexico, 1694-1875], e-book.
 +
====Dutch Reformed====
 +
*'''1856-1970''' - [https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/60524/ U.S., Dutch Christian Reformed Church Vital Records, 1856-1970], index and images, incomplete.($)
 +
*'''1856-1970''' - [https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/60767/ U.S., Dutch Christian Reformed Church Membership Records, 1856-1970], index and images, incomplete.($)
  
The Archdiocese includes the counties of: [[Bernalillo County, New Mexico|Bernalillo]], [[Colfax County, New Mexico|Colfax]], [[Curry County, New Mexico|Curry]], [[De Baca County, New Mexico|De Baca]], [[Guadalupe County, New Mexico|Guadalupe]], [[Harding County, New Mexico|Harding]], [[Los Alamos County, New Mexico|Los Alamos]], [[Mora County, New Mexico|Mora]], [[Quay County, New Mexico|Quay]], [[Rio Arriba County, New Mexico|Rio Arriba]], [[Roosevelt County, New Mexico|Roosevelt]], [[San Miguel County, New Mexico|San Miguel]], [[Santa Fe County, New Mexico|Santa Fe]], [[Socorro County, New Mexico|Socorro]], [[Taos County, New Mexico|Taos]], [[Torrance County, New Mexico|Torrence]], [[Union County, New Mexico|Union]] and [[Valencia County, New Mexico|Valencia]]
+
====Episcopal====
 +
*'''1889-1971''' - [https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/1156203?availability=Family%20History%20Library Episcopal Diocese of Arizona church records : jurisdiction of New Mexico and Arizona, 1889-1971], images.
 +
====Lutheran====
 +
*'''1781-1969'''  - [https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/60722/ U.S., Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Church Records, 1781-1969], index and images, incomplete.($)
  
'''Diocese of Gallup'''<br>711 S. Puerco Drive<br>Gallup, NM 87301<br>Telephone: 505-863-4406<br>Fax: 505-722-9131<br>Mailing Address:<br>P.O. Box 1338<br>Gallup, NM 87301 <br>Internet: http://www.dioceseofgallup.org/  
+
====Methodist====
 +
*'''1870-1970''' - [http://search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=8974 New Mexico and Texas, Select United Methodist Church Records, 1870-1970]($)
 +
====Presbyterian====
 +
*'''1701-1970''' - [https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/61048/ U.S., Presbyterian Church Records, 1701-1970], index and images, incomplete.($)
 +
*[https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/59212?availability=Family%20History%20Library Records of meetings, 1874-1952, Presbytery of Monmouth (New Jersey)]
  
The diocese includes the counties of: [[Bernalillo County, New Mexico|Bernalillo]], [[Catron County, New Mexico|Catron]], [[Cibola County, New Mexico|Cibola]], [[McKinley County, New Mexico|McKinley]], [[Rio Arriba County, New Mexico|Rio Arriba]], [[Sandoval County, New Mexico|Sandoval]], [[San Juan County, New Mexico|San Juan]] and [[Valencia County, New Mexico|Valencia]]  
+
====Other Collections====
 +
*[https://www.theancestorhunt.com/blog/free-new-mexico-online-church-records '''The Ancestor Hunt: Free New Mexico Online Church Records''']
  
'''Diocese of Las Cruces'''<br>1280 Med Park<br>Las Cruces, NM 88004<br>Telephone: 505-523-7577<br>Fax: 505-524-3874<br>Mailing Address:<br>P.O. Box 16318<br>Las Cruces, NM 88004 <br>Internet: [http://www.dioceseoflascruces.org/ http://www.dioceseoflascruces.org/]  
+
===Look for digital copies of church records in the FamilySearch Catalog. ===
 +
[[File:Family History Library.jpg|right|thumb|<center>'''Family History Library'''<br>'''Salt Lake City, Utah'''</center>]]
 +
*The [[Family History Library|Family History Library]] (FHL) has a substantial collection of original church records and transcripts on microfilm for churches in the United States.
 +
*Online church records can be listed in the FamilySearch Catalog under the state, county, or town.
 +
*If you find a record that has not yet been digitized, see [https://beta.familysearch.org/help/helpcenter/article/how-do-i-request-that-a-microfilm-be-digitized '''How do I request that a microfilm be digitized?''']
 +
*Some records might have viewing restrictions, and can only be viewed at a [https://familysearch.org/locations/ '''Family History Center'''] near you, and/or by members of supporting organizations.
 +
*To find records:
 +
:::a. Click on the [https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/results?count=20&placeId=379&query=%2Bplace%3A%22United%20States%2C%20New%20Mexico%22'''records of United States, New Mexico'''].
 +
:::b. Click on '''Places within United States, New Mexico''' and a list of counties will appear.
 +
:::c. Click on your county if it appears.
 +
:::d. Click on the '''"Church records"''' topic. Click on the blue links to specific record titles.
 +
:::e. Click on '''Places within United States, New Mexico [COUNTY]''' and a list of towns will appear.
 +
:::f. Click on your town if it appears, or the location which you believe was the parish which served your town or village. 
 +
:::g. Click on the '''"Church records"''' topic. Click on the blue links to specific record titles.
 +
:::h. Some combination of these icons will appear at the far right of the listing for the record. [[File:FHL icons.png|75px]].  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.
 +
-----
  
The diocese includes the counties of: [[Chaves County, New Mexico|Chaves]], [[Dona Ana County, New Mexico|Dona Ana]], [[Eddy County, New Mexico|Eddy]], [[Grant County, New Mexico|Grant]], [[Hidalgo County, New Mexico|Hidalgo]], [[Lea County, New Mexico|Lea]], [[Lincoln County, Washington|Lincoln]], [[Luna County, New Mexico|Luna]], [[Otero County, New Mexico|Otero]] and [[Sierra County, New Mexico|Sierra]]
+
===Consult available finding aids.===
  
To locate church records see ''Directory of Churches and Religious Organizations in New Mexico, 1940'' (Albuquerque, New Mexico: New Mexico Historical Records Survey, 1940; Family History Library [http://www.familysearch.org/eng/library/fhlcatalog/supermainframeset.asp?display=titlefilmnotes&columns=*%2C0%2C0&titleno=150881&disp=Directory+of+churches+and+religious+orga++ book 978.9 K24n; fiche 6051186]).  
+
'''These aids generally provide lists of records that are known to exist and information on their location.'''
 +
*[https://www.familysearch.org/library/books/records/item/608161-redirection '''''Directory of Churches and Religious Organizations in New Mexico, 1940.'''''] Albuquerque, N.M.: New Mexico Historical Records Survey, 1940.
  
[[Category:New_Mexico|Church]]
+
----
 +
 
 +
===Correspond with or visit the actual churches.===
 +
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|'''Letter Writing Guide for Genealogy''']] for help with composing letters.
 +
*Each [[United States Church Records#Searching for Church Records by Denomination|'''denomination page''']] offers an [[United States Church Records#Searching for Church Records by Denomination|'''online address directory of local churches''']] for that denomination.
 +
 
 +
===Check the church records collections in archives and libraries.===
 +
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.<br>
 +
<br>
 +
<span style="color:DarkViolet">'''Here you will find archive information unique to the state. Many more archives are kept by denomination. For denominational  archives, go to  [[United States Church Records#Searching for Church Records by Denomination|'''Searching for Church Records by Denomination.''']]</span>
 +
 
 +
====Lutheran====
 +
'''South West California Synod / ELCA Region 2 Archives'''<br>
 +
1300 E. Colorado St.<br>
 +
Glendale, CA 91205<br>
 +
Phone:(818) 937-4761<br>
 +
E-mail: archives@socalsynod.org<br>
 +
*Archives hold records for '''closed churches.'''  '''For open churches write directly to [[Lutheran Church in the United States#Correspond with or visit the actual churches.|the local church.''']]
 +
 
 +
====Roman Catholic====
 +
 
 +
[[New Mexico Church Records#Look for digital copies of church records listed in the FamilySearch Catalog.|'''FamilySearch''']] has an extensive collection of Roman Catholic Church records from 1694 to 1957 for the areas served by the '''Archdiocese of Santa Fe and the Diocese of Las Cruces.'''
 +
----
 +
[http://www.archdiocesesantafe.org/Offices/Archives/Archives.html '''Archdiocese of Santa Fe Archives''']<br>4000 St. Joseph Place N.W.<br>Albuquerque, NM 87120<br>Phone: 505.983.3811<br>
 +
*Contact the [http://www.archdiocesesantafe.org/Parishes/ParishDir.html '''local parish'''] for assistance.<br>
 +
*[https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/747447?availability=Family%20History%20Library '''Various parish registers, 1844-1933: Catholic Church. Diocese of Santa Fe'''], images.
 +
The Archdiocese includes the counties of: [[Bernalillo County, New Mexico Genealogy|Bernalillo]], [[Colfax County, New Mexico Genealogy|Colfax]], [[Curry County, New Mexico Genealogy|Curry]], [[De Baca County, New Mexico Genealogy|De Baca]], [[Guadalupe County, New Mexico Genealogy|Guadalupe]], [[Harding County, New Mexico Genealogy|Harding]], [[Los Alamos County, New Mexico Genealogy|Los Alamos]], [[Mora County, New Mexico Genealogy|Mora]], [[Quay County, New Mexico Genealogy|Quay]], [[Rio Arriba County, New Mexico Genealogy|Rio Arriba]], [[Roosevelt County, New Mexico Genealogy|Roosevelt]], [[San Miguel County, New Mexico Genealogy|San Miguel]], [[Santa Fe County, New Mexico Genealogy|Santa Fe]], [[Socorro County, New Mexico Genealogy|Socorro]], [[Taos County, New Mexico Genealogy|Taos]], [[Torrance County, New Mexico Genealogy|Torrence]], [[Union County, New Mexico Genealogy|Union]] and [[Valencia County, New Mexico Genealogy|Valencia]]
 +
----
 +
[https://dioceseofgallup.org/ministries/office-of-archives/ '''Diocese of Gallup Archives''']<br>711 S. Puerco Drive<br>Gallup, NM 87301<br>Phone: (505) 863-4406
 +
<br>
 +
Mailing Address:<br>P.O. Box 1338<br>Gallup, NM 87301 <br>The diocese website does not include&nbsp;family history records.
 +
*Contact the [https://dioceseofgallup.org/parishes/  '''local parish'''] for assistance.
 +
The diocese includes the counties of: [[Bernalillo County, New Mexico Genealogy|Bernalillo]], [[Catron County, New Mexico Genealogy|Catron]], [[Cibola County, New Mexico Genealogy|Cibola]], [[McKinley County, New Mexico Genealogy|McKinley]], [[Rio Arriba County, New Mexico Genealogy|Rio Arriba]], [[Sandoval County, New Mexico Genealogy|Sandoval]], [[San Juan County, New Mexico Genealogy|San Juan]] and [[Valencia County, New Mexico Genealogy|Valencia]]
 +
----
 +
'''[https://rcdlc.org/mission-statement Diocese of Las Cruces Archives]'''<br>1280 Med Park<br>Las Cruces, NM 88004<br>Phone: (505) 523-7577
 +
<br>
 +
Mailing Address:<br>P.O. Box 16318<br>Las Cruces, NM 88004
 +
*Contact the [https://www.rcdlc.org/parishfinder  '''local parish'''] for assistance.
 +
 
 +
The diocese includes the counties of: [[Chaves County, New Mexico Genealogy|Chaves]], [[Dona Ana County, New Mexico Genealogy|Dona Ana]], [[Eddy County, New Mexico Genealogy|Eddy]], [[Grant County, New Mexico Genealogy|Grant]], [[Hidalgo County, New Mexico Genealogy|Hidalgo]], [[Lea County, New Mexico Genealogy|Lea]], [[Lincoln County, New Mexico Genealogy|Lincoln]], [[Luna County, New Mexico Genealogy|Luna]], [[Otero County, New Mexico Genealogy|Otero]] and [[Sierra County, New Mexico Genealogy|Sierra]]
 +
-----
 +
 
 +
===Correspond with genealogical or historical societies.===
 +
Some church records have been given to historical societies. Also, historical societies may be able to tell you where the records are being held. To find a society near you, consult these lists:
 +
*[http://www.daddezio.com/society/hill/SH-NM-NDX.html '''Society Hill List of New Mexico Societies''']<br>
 +
 
 +
==Next, go to the Wiki article for your ancestors' denomination. ==
 +
There are frequently additional, nationwide or regional archives and online collections for each denomination.  Find the article for your ancestors' denomination and follow the instructions there to access these sources.
 +
{{Template:US-church-sidebar}}
 +
<br>
 +
==Carefully compare any record you find to known facts about the ancestor==
 +
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 organizing 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
 +
<br>
 +
 
 +
[[File:Dark_thin_font_green_pin_Version_4.png|50px]]'''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|'''Evaluate the Evidence'''.]]
 +
 
 +
==References==
 +
 
 +
<references />
 +
 
 +
{{New Mexico|New Mexico}}{{USChurch}}
 +
 
 +
[[Category:New Mexico, United States|Church]]
 +
[[Category:U_S_States_Church_records]]

Latest revision as of 20:48, 26 July 2020

New Mexico Wiki Topics
New Mexico flag.png
Beginning Research
Record Types
New Mexico Background
Cultural Groups
Local Research Resources
Moderator
The FamilySearch moderator for New Mexico is James Tanner

Historical Background[edit | edit source]

Prior to 1900 the largest religious group in New Mexico was the Roman Catholic Church. Other churches represented in New Mexico include the Methodist Episcopal, Baptist, Presbyterian, and Christian[1].

Information Found in the Records[edit | edit source]

To effectively use church records, become familiar with their content. Click on these links to learn about a specific record type:

Finding the Records[edit | edit source]

Look for online records.[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.

Caution sign.png

Online databases are incomplete. This can lead to two common errors:

  1. Near matches: Researchers might mistakenly accept an entry very similar to their ancestor, thinking it is the only one available. Only use information that matches your ancestor in date, place, relationships, and other details.
  2. Stopping research: Researchers might assume the database proves church records do not exist. Actually the record is still out there, just not in this incomplete collection of records. Keep searching!

FamilySearch Indexes[edit | edit source]

Ancestry.com Indexes[edit | edit source]

Catholic[edit | edit source]

Dutch Reformed[edit | edit source]

Episcopal[edit | edit source]

Lutheran[edit | edit source]

Methodist[edit | edit source]

Presbyterian[edit | edit source]

Other Collections[edit | edit source]

Look for digital copies of church records in the FamilySearch Catalog.[edit | edit source]

Family History Library
Salt Lake City, Utah
  • The Family History Library (FHL) has a substantial collection of original church records and transcripts on microfilm for churches in the United States.
  • Online church records can be listed in the FamilySearch Catalog under the state, county, or 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:
a. Click on the records of United States, New Mexico.
b. Click on Places within United States, New Mexico and a list of counties will appear.
c. Click on your county if it appears.
d. Click on the "Church records" topic. Click on the blue links to specific record titles.
e. Click on Places within United States, New Mexico [COUNTY] and a list of towns will appear.
f. Click on your town if it appears, or the location which you believe was the parish which served your town or village.
g. Click on the "Church records" topic. Click on the blue links to specific record titles.
h. 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.

Consult available finding aids.[edit | edit source]

These aids generally provide lists of records that are known to exist and information on their location.


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.
  • Each denomination page offers an online address directory of local churches for that denomination.

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.

Here you will find archive information unique to the state. Many more archives are kept by denomination. For denominational archives, go to Searching for Church Records by Denomination.

Lutheran[edit | edit source]

South West California Synod / ELCA Region 2 Archives
1300 E. Colorado St.
Glendale, CA 91205
Phone:(818) 937-4761
E-mail: archives@socalsynod.org

  • Archives hold records for closed churches. For open churches write directly to the local church.

Roman Catholic[edit | edit source]

FamilySearch has an extensive collection of Roman Catholic Church records from 1694 to 1957 for the areas served by the Archdiocese of Santa Fe and the Diocese of Las Cruces.


Archdiocese of Santa Fe Archives
4000 St. Joseph Place N.W.
Albuquerque, NM 87120
Phone: 505.983.3811

The Archdiocese includes the counties of: Bernalillo, Colfax, Curry, De Baca, Guadalupe, Harding, Los Alamos, Mora, Quay, Rio Arriba, Roosevelt, San Miguel, Santa Fe, Socorro, Taos, Torrence, Union and Valencia


Diocese of Gallup Archives
711 S. Puerco Drive
Gallup, NM 87301
Phone: (505) 863-4406
Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 1338
Gallup, NM 87301
The diocese website does not include family history records.

The diocese includes the counties of: Bernalillo, Catron, Cibola, McKinley, Rio Arriba, Sandoval, San Juan and Valencia


Diocese of Las Cruces Archives
1280 Med Park
Las Cruces, NM 88004
Phone: (505) 523-7577
Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 16318
Las Cruces, NM 88004

The diocese includes the counties of: Chaves, Dona Ana, Eddy, Grant, Hidalgo, Lea, Lincoln, Luna, Otero and Sierra


Correspond with genealogical or historical societies.[edit | edit source]

Some church records have been given to historical societies. Also, historical societies may be able to tell you where the records are being held. To find a society near you, consult these lists:

Next, go to the Wiki article for your ancestors' denomination.[edit | edit source]

There are frequently additional, nationwide or regional archives and online collections for each denomination. Find the article for your ancestors' denomination and follow the instructions there to access these sources.

Wiki Articles for Records of Major Religious Denominations



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 organizing 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.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Sydney E. Ahlstrom, A Religious History of the American People (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1972). FHL Book 973 K2ah.