Kenya Church Records

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Church Records

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

How to Find the Records

Online Resources and Websites

Historical Background

The predominant religion of Kenya is Christianity; roughly 80% of the total population are Christians. Islam is the second largest religion in Kenya; roughly 10% of the total population practice Islam. The Christian denominations found in Kenya include: Roman Catholic, Protestant, Anglican, Presbyterian, Reformed, Methodist, Baptist, Lutheran, and Pentecostal.[1] Roman Catholicism was first brought to Kenya in the 1400s by Portuguese sailors and later spread rapidly by missionaries. Records were usually kept by the parish. Dutch migrants brought the Dutch Reformed Church to Africa in the 1600s. Several Reformed denominations emerged throughout Kenya, South Africa, Namibia, Swaziland, and elsewhere.[2] The denomination in Kenya became known as the Reformed Church of East Africa. The records for the Dutch Reformed Church have been maintained in good condition. The records were written in Dutch, Afrikaans, and English.[3][4]

The Anglican Cathedral at Mombasa licensed to perform marriages beginning on 31 May 1905. The Roman Catholic Chapel of the Roman Catholic Mission of Our Lady of Victories at Lyoki, Kyambu district licensed for marriages before 12 January 1920.

Information Recorded in the Records

Dutch Reformed Church

Baptism

Baptism registers usually include:

  • Date and place of baptism
  • Name of the minister
  • Name of the child
  • Date of birth
  • Names of parents, including maiden name of mother
  • Witnesses

Marriage

Marriage registers usually include:

  • Full names and race of bride and groom
  • Date and place of marriage
  • Groom's age, country of birth, occupation, and residence
  • Bride's age, country of birth, occupation, and residence
  • Name of person giving consent to the marriage
  • Name of person solemnizing the marriage

Membership

Membership records usually include:

  • Full name of member
  • Date of birth
  • Date they joined
  • Where they joined
  • Pastor that oversaw joining

References

  1. Wikipedia contributors, "Religion in Kenya," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion_in_Kenya, accessed 21 September 2018.
  2. Wikipedia contributors, "Dutch Reformed Church in South Africa (NGK)," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dutch_Reformed_Church_in_South_Africa_(NGK), accessed 18 September 2018.
  3. Wikipedia contributors, "Reformed Church of East Africa," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reformed_Church_of_East_Africa, accessed 24 September 2018.
  4. Wikipedia contributors, "Dutch Reformed Church," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dutch_Reformed_Church, accessed 24 September 2018.