Ohio Congregational Church Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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This article describes a collection of records scheduled to become available at FamilySearch.org.
United States
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Location of the United States of America
Record Description
Record Type Church Records
Collection years 1840
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites


What is in the Collection

This information pertains to church records created 1840-1930. Entries are recorded in register books in columns or in paragraphs without columns. Records are preserved under varying conditions. Many are subject to deterioration or destruction. Some are well preserved in archives. Some denominations have established record gathering and preservation programs.

Church records in the United States began in the early 1600s. They can be found in the churches, church archives, or university archives. They normally records christenings, confirmations, marriages, and deaths.
An infant’s christening usually took place within a few days or few weeks of the birth, depending on the religion. Some churches, such as the Baptists, baptized only adults not infants. Members of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints blessed their infants when they were a few weeks or a few months old.
Many religions tested the church knowledge of those that had been baptized as infants and then confirmed them a member of that religion. Frequently, a person’s age at confirmation was between 14 and 20. Church records in Ohio cover about 33% of the population.

To know who were members, Churches were required to record the date a person was baptized into the Christian religion. Many churches also recorded the date of birth along with the date of baptism. Church were also required to record the burial and marriage dates of the members of the local congregation. Only some churches performed confirmations and were required to record the names of those that were confirmed members of the church.


What Can These Records Tell Me?

Genealogical information in church birth and christening records is:

  • Birth and christening dates and places
  • Names of parents and children, witnesses and godparents

Genealogical information in church confirmation records:

  • Names of parents and children
  • Birth and christening dates and places
  • Ages of children confirmed

Genealogical information in church death and burial records is:

  • Names of persons, their parents, spouses and children
  • Birth, death and burial dates and places
  • Ages of persons
  • Places of residence

Genealogical information in church marriage records:

  • Names of husbands and wives, parents and witnesses
  • Birth, marriage and divorce dates and places
  • Ages of husbands and wives
  • Places of residence

What Do I Do Next?

Indexes and transcriptions may not include all the data found in the original records. Look at the actual image of the record, if you can, to verify the information and to find additional information.

I Found Who I was Looking for, What Now?

  • Copy the citation below, in case you need to find this record again later.
  • Use the age or estimated birth date to find other church and vital records such as birth, baptism, marriage, and death records.
  • Use the information found in the record to find land, probate and immigration records.
  • Use the information found in the record to find additional family members in censuses. Witnesses were usually family members.
  • Repeat this process with additional family members found, to find more generations of the family.
  • Church Records were kept years before counties began keeping records. They are a good source for finding ancestors before 1900.

I Can’t Find the Person I’m Looking For, What Now?

  • If your ancestor does not have a common name, collect entries for every person who has the same surname. This list can help you find possible relatives.
  • If you cannot locate your ancestor in the locality in which you believe they lived, then try searching records of a nearby town or county.
  • Try different spellings of your ancestor’s name.
  • Remember that sometimes individuals went by nicknames or alternated between using first and middle names. Try searching for these names as well.
  • Check the info box above for additional FamilySearch websites and related websites that may assist you in finding similar records.

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How Can I Contribute to the FamilySearch Wiki?

We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. We are looking for additional information that will help readers understand the topic and better use the available records. We also need translations for collection titles and images in articles about records written in languages other than English. For specific needs, please visit WikiProject FamilySearch Records.

Please follow these guidelines as you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide.


Sources of Information for This Collection:

Ohio Congregational Church Records, database, FamilySearch (http://familysearch.org/); from various congregations throughout Ohio. FHL microfilm, Family History Library Salt Lake City, Utah