Marshall Islands Church Records

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

Historical Background[edit | edit source]

In 2009, major religious groups in the Republic of the Marshall Islands are United Church of Christ (formerly Congregational) (51.5%), Assemblies of God (24.2%), Roman Catholic church (8.4%), The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) (9.5%),[2] Bukot Nan Jesus (also known as Assembly of God Part Two) (2.2%), Baptist (1.0%), Seventh-day Adventists (0.9%), Full Gospel (0.7%), Baha'i Faith (0.6%).[1] Persons without any religious affiliation account for a small percentage of the population.[1] The Jehovah's Witnesses are believed to have a few hundred practitioners. [1]

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 Marshall Islands.
b. Click on Places within Marshall Islands 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]

Earlier records can be held at the diocese, with more recent records still kept in the local parish. To locate the mailing address or e-mail address for a diocese or local parish, consult:

Historical Background[edit | edit source]

The Roman Catholic Apostolic Prefecture of the Marshall Islands is a Latin rite apostolic prefecture in the South Sea Republic of the Marshall Islands. As per 2014, it has 4,975 Catholics (9.5% of 52,500 total population), pastorally served in nine churches in 11 parishes, by 6 priests (1 diocesan, 5 religious), 1 deacon, 15 lay religious (5 brothers, 10 sisters) and a seminarian.[1]

Missionaries from the Order of Missionaries of the Sacred Heart (M.S.C.) arrived in 1898. In 1905, a pre-diocesan jurisdiction was established as Mission sui juris of Marshall Islands, on territory split off from the then Apostolic Vicariate of New Pomerania (mainly New Britain, in the Bismarck Archipelago of Papua New Guinea). On April 5, 1923, the independent mission was suppressed, its territory being merged into the then Apostolic Vicariate of Mariana, Caroline and Marshall Islands. On April 23, 1993, Pope John Paul II split the former Diocese of Carolines-Marshalls into the Apostolic Prefecture of the Marshall Islands and the Diocese of Caroline Islands.[2]

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Records[edit | edit source]

Online Records[edit | edit source]

Online information is available to current members, for 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]

The Marshall Islands are a republic made up of two atoll chains in the South Pacific.

MAJURO Missionaries arrived in Majuro 3 February 1977. By the end of 1977, there were 27 converts on the island. The Laura Branch was created 11 May 1978. By the end of 1979, there were 177 members. Church buildings for the Laura and Rita branches were started in September 1984 and dedicated 13-14 January 1986, respectively. By 1987, Majuro had a district with five branches, and by 1990, Majuro had 1,100 members.

KWAJALEIN/EBEYE The Kwajalein Island Branch in the Marshall Islands was organized in 1978, made up entirely of United States citizens serving in the military or as civil service personnel. Missionaries opened the island of Ebeye on 16 May 1989.

Total Church Membership: 6,576. Congregations: 13. [3]

Assembly of God Church Records[edit | edit source]

Writing for Records[edit | edit source]

Baptist Church Records[edit | edit source]

Writing for Records[edit | edit source]

Full Gospel Church Records[edit | edit source]

Writing for Records[edit | edit source]

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

Writing for Records[edit | edit source]

Salvation Army Church Records[edit | edit source]

Writing for Records[edit | edit source]

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

Writing for Records[edit | edit source]

United Church of Christ (formerly Congregational) Church Records[edit | edit source]

Writing for Records[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Wikipedia contributors, "Religion in Marshall Islands", in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion_in_Marshall_Islands, accessed 7 April 2020.
  2. Wikipedia contributors, "Catholic Church in Marshall Islands", in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catholic_Church_in_Marshall_Islands, accessed 1 April 2020.
  3. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, "Facts and Statistics: Marshall Islands, https://newsroom.churchofjesuschrist.org/facts-and-statistics/country/Marshall-Islands, accessed 7 April 2020.