Church Records

 

  Church records account for some of the most accurate and useful types of records that a genealogist or historian can use for research. The heading of church records would include birth and baptismal records, death records and marriage records. Such records maintained by churches (i.e. by the pastor or a church secretary) may be assumed to be accurate because they would have been accumulated by an unbiased person. Compared to family generated records, which would have been accumulated by a family member who might have been induced to alter the record in order to hide some family embarrassment (e.g. an illegitimate birth), the church record can be considered to be more honest and accurate. Of course, as with all types of records, errors are possible, so you should cross-check a church record with other public records if at all possible. Also, if the church record has been transcribed, the chances of errors being present are greater than if the original record has been photo-reproduced.

  There are some basic types of records which most churches have recorded and kept over the years: birth, baptism, christening, death, marriage and communicant lists. Because of their reliability, church records are one of the more common types of records which are transcribed, published and maintained at local historical and genealogical societies. As is the case with all transcribed records, you must be aware that typographical errors might have been made during the transcription process. If possible, you should cross-check Bible records against public records.

A History Of The Church Of The Brethren In The Middle District Of Pennsylvania
by James A. Sell

Beam German Ref. Church Records (now Mt. Laurel United Church Of Christ), Jenner Twp., And Joint Consistory Of The Beamís Charge
by Mary Pyle Palmer, 1992 (available from Closson Press)

Bedford County Pennsylvania Archives, Volume 2
by James B. Whisker, 1985 (available from Closson Press)

Bedford County Pennsylvania Archives, Volume 4
by James B. Whisker, 1988 (available from Closson Press)

Bedford County Pennsylvania Marriage Records 1852-1854
by Jim Boor, 1999

Bedford Co., PA Marriage Records, October 1885 April 1890
by Michael A. Hengst, 1989 (available from Closson Press)

Berlin Reformed & Lutheran Church, Somerset County
(unpublished, maintained by The Pioneer Historical Society Of Bedford County)

Bethel Methodist Church Cumberland Valley Twp 1892-1927
(unpublished, maintained by The Pioneer Historical Society Of Bedford County)

Bible, Cemetery And Church Records From Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania, Volumes I - XVI
by The Standing Stone Chapter, NSDAR

Births, Deaths & Baptisms Of Rev. G.C. Probst
(unpublished, maintained by The Pioneer Historical Society Of Bedford County)

Catholic Vital Records Of Central Pennsylvania, Volume I, 1793-1839
by Rev. Albert H. Ledoux, 1993

Catholic Vital Records Of Central Pennsylvania, Volume II, 1840-1849
by Rev. Albert H. Ledoux, 1994

Catholic Vital Records Of Central Pennsylvania, Volume III, 1850-1857
by Rev. Albert H. Ledoux, 1994

Catholic Vital Records Of Central Pennsylvania, Volume IV, 1858-1864
by Rev. Albert H. Ledoux, 1996

Catholic Vital Records Of Central Pennsylvania, Volume V, 1865-1869
by Rev. Albert H. Ledoux, 1996

Centreville Lutheran Church 1830-1861
(unpublished, maintained by the Historical and Genealogical Society of Somerset County)

Church Records Of Berlin, Somerset County, Pennsylvania 1788-1856
by E.C. Saylor, 1989

Dry Ridge Church Records (Bedford County)
(unpublished, maintained by The Pioneer Historical Society Of Bedford County)

Dunning Creek Monthly Meeting Minutes 1803-1887, Also Small Book 1795-1887
(unpublished, maintained by The Pioneer Historical Society Of Bedford County)

Early Baptismal Records Of The Sanner Evangelical Lutheran And Reformed Church 1782-1850
(unpublished, maintained by the Historical and Genealogical Society of Somerset County)

Early Church Records - Evangelical Lutheran Churches of Bedford County
(unpublished, maintained by The Pioneer Historical Society Of Bedford County)

Evangelical Lutheran Church Book - For St. Paulís Congregation In Morrisons Cove, Bedford County, Pa - St. Paul (Barley) Lutheran Church of Bakers Summit
by James D. Boor, 1981

Evangelical Lutheran Church - Kennellís Mill 1832-1891
(unpublished, maintained by the Historical and Genealogical Society of Somerset County)

Evangelical Lutheran Church Records, Duncansville, 1847-1968
by Blair County Genealogical Society, 1990

Evangelical Lutheran Church Of Berlin 1788-1856, Vol. II
(unpublished, maintained by the Historical and Genealogical Society of Somerset County)

Evangelical Lutheran Church Of Davidsville, 1847-1901
(unpublished, maintained by the Historical and Genealogical Society of Somerset County)

Evangelical Lutheran Congregation Bloody Run, Pa. Church Book No.1
by Joyce Sheckler Heiss, 1988

Everett Church Of The Brethren 100th Anniversary 1893-1993
by the booklet committee of the church, 1993

Extracts Of Methodist Church Records 1860-1870
by James D. Boor

Family Bible Records (Greenburg, James D. Boor, Manspeaker Collections)
      (unpublished, maintained by The Pioneer Historical Society Of Bedford County)

Finkís German Reformed Evangelical Lutheran Church (formerly Savage Run Church) 1847-1906
(unpublished, maintained by the Historical and Genealogical Society of Somerset County)

First Evangelical Lutheran Church Records, Altoona 1857-1915
by Blair County Genealogical Society, 1991

First United Methodist Church (Metzler)
      (unpublished, maintained by the Historical and Genealogical Society of Somerset County)

Fourth Street Presbyterian Church Records, Altoona 1916-1955
by Blair County Genealogical Society, 1991

Friedens Evangelical Lutheran Church 1782-1890
(unpublished, maintained by the Historical and Genealogical Society of Somerset County)

Fulton County Pennsylvania Births 1895-1905
by William O. Turner

Fulton County Pennsylvania Marriages 1885-1927
by William O. Turner, 1997

Gebhart School House Marriage Records 1795-1803
(unpublished, maintained by the Historical and Genealogical Society of Somerset County)

German Baptist Church Records, Salemville, Woodbury Township, Bedford County
(unpublished, maintained by The Pioneer Historical Society Of Bedford County)

German Evangelical Lutheran Church Records, Tyrone, PA, 1854-1919
by Blair County Genealogical Society, 1998

German Reform Congregation Records 1845-1860
by James D. Boor

German Reformed Church (Yellow Creek)
by James D. Boor

German Reformed Church Of Stoystown - German Reformed 1792-1923
(unpublished, maintained by the Historical and Genealogical Society of Somerset County)

German Seventh Day Baptist Church Records 1760-1885
by James D. Boor

Glade Lutheran Reformed Church 1780-1866
(unpublished, maintained by the Historical and Genealogical Society of Somerset County)

Good Hope Lutheran Church 1788-1945
(unpublished, maintained by Historical and Genealogical Society of Somerset County)

The Historical Memorial Of The Centennial Anniversary Of The Presbytery Of Huntingdon, Held In Huntingdon, PA., April 9, 1895 - 1795-1895
by the Authority Of The Presbytery, 1896

History of Claar Congregation (Blair County)
by David M. Adams, 1908

History Of The Alleghany Evangelical Lutheran Synod Of Pennsylvania
by Rev. W. H. Bruce Carney

History Of The Presbytery Of Huntingdon
by William J.Gibson, 1874

History Of The Schellsburg Circuit Of Methodist Church, Beginning May 10th 1852
by Madeline Fisher (unpublished, maintained by the Pioneer Historical Society of Bedford County)

History Of The Somerset Christian Church Somerset, PA 1812-1973
by Henry F. Koch, 1975

History Of Tonoloway Baptist Church
by Harry Stuart Holman, 1980

Hoffman (Zion) Evangelical Lutheran Church 1814-1950, Vol. 1
(unpublished, maintained by the Historical and Genealogical Society of Somerset County)

Hoffman (Zion) Evangelical Lutheran Church 1814-1950, Vol. 2
(unpublished, maintained by the Historical and Genealogical Society of Somerset County)

Hoffman (Zion) Evangelical Lutheran Church 1814-1950, Vol. 3
(unpublished, maintained by the Historical and Genealogical Society of Somerset County)

Hoffman (Zion) Evangelical Lutheran Church 1814-1950, Vol. 4
(unpublished, maintained by the Historical and Genealogical Society of Somerset County)

Hopewell Methodist Church 1916-1963
(unpublished, maintained by the Historical and Genealogical Society of Somerset County)

Jersey Baptist Church 1775-1866, Volume 1
(unpublished, maintained by the Historical and Genealogical Society of Somerset County)

Jersey Baptist Church 1775-1866, Volume 2
(unpublished, maintained by the Historical and Genealogical Society of Somerset County)

John Hamer Marriage Records 1840-1842
(unpublished, maintained by the Historical and Genealogical Society of Somerset County)

Johnstown Tribune/Democrat Index of Deaths 1886-1896
(unpublished, maintained by the Cambria County Historical Society)

Johnstown Tribune/Democrat Index of Deaths 1897-1905
(unpublished, maintained by the Cambria County Historical Society)

Johnstown Tribune/Democrat Index of Deaths 1906-1910
(unpublished, maintained by the Cambria County Historical Society)

Johnstown Tribune/Democrat Index of Deaths 1911-1914
(unpublished, maintained by the Cambria County Historical Society)

Johnstown Tribune/Democrat Index of Deaths 1915-1920
(unpublished, maintained by the Cambria County Historical Society)

Joint Consistories Of The Martinsburg Charge - Martinsburg, Blair Co. PA 1867-1887
by James D. Boor

Laurel Evangelical Lutheran Church (Weimerís) 1820-1904
(unpublished, maintained by the Historical and Genealogical Society of Somerset County)

Logan Valley Presbyterian Church Records, Bellwood 1837-1934
by Blair County Genealogical Society, 1988

Lohrís Congregation Of The Evangelical Lutheran Church 1839-1875
(unpublished, maintained by the Historical and Genealogical Society of Somerset County)

Lutheran Church, Bedford, Book I, 1842-1849
(unpublished, maintained by The Pioneer Historical Society Of Bedford County)

Lutheran Church, Bedford, Book II, Late 1800-Early 1900
(unpublished, maintained by The Pioneer Historical Society Of Bedford County)

Marriage Records (Greenburg, Fanny Heckerman Cessna, Vaughn Whisker and John Smith Collections) for Bedford, Huntingdon And Somerset Counties
(unpublished, maintained by The Pioneer Historical Society Of Bedford County)

Marriage Records - Presbyterian Church Of Bedford
by Winona W. Garbrick, (unpublished, maintained by The Pioneer Historical Society Of Bedford County)

Marriages And Deaths From The Cambria Tribune 1853-1858, Volume 1
by Patricia Wainwright Collins, 1981 (published by Closson Press)

Marriages And Deaths From The Cambria Tribune 1859-1865, Volume 2
by Patricia Wainwright Collins, 1982 (published by Closson Press)

Marriages And Deaths From The Cambria Tribune 1866-1875, Volume 3 by Patricia Wainwright Collins, 1983 (published by Closson Press)

Marriages And Deaths From The Cambria Tribune 1876-1880, Volume 4
by Patricia Wainwright Collins, 1985 (published by Closson Press)

Marriages And Deaths From The Cambria Tribune 1881-1885, Volume 5
by Patricia Wainwright Collins, 1986 (published by Closson Press)

Marriages & Deaths - Zion Lutheran Church, Williamsburg, PA
by Blair County Genealogical Society

McConnellsburg Reformed, Hebron Reformed, Nazareth Reformed Church Records
(unpublished, maintained by The Pioneer Historical Society Of Bedford County)

Methodist Episcopal Church Alum Bank Charge Comprehensive Church Record
(unpublished, maintained by The Pioneer Historical Society Of Bedford County)

Mt. Carmel Evangelical Lutheran Church 1896-1959
(unpublished, maintained by the Historical and Genealogical Society of Somerset County)

Mt. Tabor Reformed Church (Zimmerman Church) 1778-1920
(unpublished, maintained by the Historical and Genealogical Society of Somerset County)

Mount Union Christian Church Of The United Church Of Christ (Bedford County)
(unpublished, maintained by The Pioneer Historical Society Of Bedford County)

Mullís Lutheran Church 1834-1865
(unpublished, maintained by the Historical and Genealogical Society of Somerset County)

Old Log Church
by James D. Boor

Old Order Amish Directory Of Somerset County
compiled by the Alvin I. Peachy family, 1981 (unpublished, maintained by the Historical and Genealogical Society of Somerset County)

Pattonsville Congregation Church Records
by James D. Boor

Pine Hill Evangelical Lutheran Church (St. Michaelís) 1787-1900
(unpublished, maintained by the Historical and Genealogical Society of Somerset County)

Pleasant Ridge Cem. Records Juniata Township
(unpublished, maintained by The Pioneer Historical Society Of Bedford County)

Presbyterian Church Of Shaverís Creek Manor
(available from the Huntingdon County Historical Society)

The Quakerís Log Meeting House & Cemetery 1795
by Edith Hazlehurst, (unpublished, maintained by The Pioneer Historical Society Of Bedford County)

Records Of Mt. Pleasant Evangelical Lutheran Church (East Providence Twp, Bedford County)
(unpublished, maintained by the Historical and Genealogical Society of Somerset County)

Records Of The Old Log Church At Osterburg, Bedford County Pennsylvania
by James Boor, 1985

The Records Of The Pioneer Churches Of Somerset County, Pennsylvania
by Jesse M. Tomb, 1933, (unpublished, maintained by the Historical and Genealogical Society of Somerset County)

Reformed Lutheran Church Of Berlin - German Reformed Lutheran 1777-1837
(unpublished, maintained by the Historical and Genealogical Society of Somerset County)

The Rise And History Of The Pattonsville Congregation Up To The Adoption Of Her Constitution July 2nd 1853
(unpublished, maintained by The Pioneer Historical Society Of Bedford County) 1984

St. John Gaulbertís Roman Catholic Church, Johnstown, PA
by Blair County Genealogical Society, 1987

St. John (Potter Creek) Lutheran Church
by James D. Boor

St. Johnís Congregation Of The United Church Of Christ
(unpublished, maintained by the Historical and Genealogical Society of Somerset County)

St. Johnís Evangelical Lutheran Church - Addison Twp 1811-1988
(unpublished, maintained by the Historical and Genealogical Society of Somerset County)

St. Johnís Evangelical Lutheran Church, Lambertsville 1861-1913
(unpublished, maintained by the Historical and Genealogical Society of Somerset County)

St. Johnís Evangelical Lutheran Church & Cemetery, Shellytown, Woodbury Township, 1882-1975
by Blair County Genealogical Society, 1991

St. Johnís Lutheran Church, Johnsburg, Volume 1 1857-1939
(unpublished, maintained by the Historical and Genealogical Society of Somerset County)

St. Johnís Lutheran Church, Johnsburg, Volume 2 1857-1939
(unpublished, maintained by the Historical and Genealogical Society of Somerset County)

St. Johnís Lutheran Church - Wills, 1839-1901
(unpublished, maintained by the Historical and Genealogical Society of Somerset County)

St. Johnís Reformed Church Records Martinsburg, Blair Co. PA 1897-1913
by James D. Boor

St. Johnís United Church Of Christ
(unpublished, maintained by The Pioneer Historical Society Of Bedford County)

St. Leo The Great, Roman Catholic Church Records, Altoona 1932-1959
by Blair County Genealogical Society, 1992

St. Maryís Catholic Records: 1862-1888
by Blair County Genealogical Society

St. Matthewís Evangelical Lutheran Church 1879-1943 & Lutheran Chapel Or Clapperís Lutheran Church Records 1859-1860, Martinsburg
      by Blair County Genealogical Society, 1988

St. Patrickís Church Records, Newry, PA
by Blair County Genealogical Society, 1984

St. Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church, Volume 1 1841-1927
(unpublished, maintained by the Historical and Genealogical Society of Somerset County)

St. Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church, Volume 2 1841-1927
(unpublished, maintained by the Historical and Genealogical Society of Somerset County)

St. Paul (Barley) Lutheran Church
by James D. Boor

St. Paulís Lutheran Church, Altoona 1890-1961
by Rachelle & Toby Civils, published by Blair County Genealogical Society, 1997

St. Paulís Reformed Church, German Reformed 1864-1882
(unpublished, maintained by the Historical and Genealogical Society of Somerset County)

St. Thomas Catholic Church, Bedford, 1824-1927
(unpublished, maintained by The Pioneer Historical Society Of Bedford County)

St. Thomas The Apostle Roman Catholic Church
by James B. Whisker, 1992 (available from Closson Press)

Salem Evangelical Lutheran Church 1866-1879
(unpublished, maintained by the Historical and Genealogical Society of Somerset County)

Salisbury Lutheran And Reformed Church 1783-1900
(unpublished, maintained by the Historical and Genealogical Society of Somerset County)

Samuelís Church, Lutheran And Reformed 1784-1793
(unpublished, maintained by the Historical and Genealogical Society of Somerset County)

Shade Evangelical Lutheran Church 1822-1955
(unpublished, maintained by the Historical and Genealogical Society of Somerset County)

Shaffer Lutheran Church 1824-1873
(unpublished, maintained by Historical and Genealogical Society of Somerset County)

Sinking Valley Presbyterian Church & Cemetery 1853-1958
by Blair County Genealogical Society, 1991

Souvenir Of Loretto Centenary
by Ferdinand Kittell, 1899

Stoystown Lutheran Church 1798-1883
(unpublished, maintained by the Historical and Genealogical Society of Somerset County)

Testimonies Of Faithfulness - St. Johnís United Church Of Christ, Bedford, Pennsylvania
by the Anniversary Committee, 1996

Trinity Episcopal Church 1871-1927
(unpublished, maintained by the Historical and Genealogical Society of Somerset County)

Trinity Episcopal Church - Meyersdale, Somerset County, Pennsylvania 1869-1932
by Eleanor R. Karn, (unpublished, maintained by The Pioneer Historical Society Of Bedford County)

Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church, 1870-1970
(unpublished, maintained by the Historical and Genealogical Society of Somerset County)

Trinity Lutheran Church, Bedford, 1916-1949
(unpublished, maintained by The Pioneer Historical Society Of Bedford County)

Trinity Lutheran Church, Bedford, 1920-1929
(unpublished, maintained by The Pioneer Historical Society Of Bedford County)

Trinity Lutheran Church - Somerset 1813-1870
(unpublished, maintained by the Historical and Genealogical Society of Somerset County)

Trinity United Methodist Church, Roaring Spring, 1870-1976
by Blair County Genealogical Society, 1986

Two Centuries Of Brothers Valley Church Of The Brethren 1762-1962
by H. Austin Cooper, 1962

Vicksburg Grace Brethren Church & Cemetery Records 1886-1977
by Blair County Genealogical Society, 1988

Wellsburg Lutheran And Reformed Union Church 1823-1865
(unpublished, maintained by the Historical and Genealogical Society of Somerset County)

West Branch - Monthly Meeting Marriage Certificates 1834-1883
(unpublished, maintained by The Pioneer Historical Society Of Bedford County)

Wolfsburg Old Record - Wolfsburg Methodist Church Book II: Baptisms: April 19, 1891-May 16, 1915 also June 25, 1944 Marriages: April 28, 1891-May 15, 1916
(unpublished, maintained by The Pioneer Historical Society Of Bedford County)

Wolfsburg Methodist Church Book IV, 1944
(unpublished, maintained by The Pioneer Historical Society Of Bedford County)

Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church Records, Hollidaysburg & Frankstown 1824-1923
by Blair County Genealogical Society, 1985

Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church Records, Williamsburg 1832-1929
by Blair County Genealogical Society, 1990