Papua New Guinea Church Records

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Church Records

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

Church History

Native animist (spirit and ancestor worship) religions continued throughout most of the known history of the Papua and New Guinea areas. Islam had little influence on the population and Chinese immigrants kept their religious practices to themselves. Western missionary activity began in the 1800s as Lutherans, Methodists, Catholics, Anglicans and a host of other missionary societies focused on the area. Schools were established by many of the missionaries and the majority of the population was converted to Christianity.

Religious affiliation currently consists of 58% Protestants (mostly Lutheran), 33% Catholics and 9% native and other religions.[1]

Church Records

Research use: Usually information given is quite complete and identifies parents and often grandparents and other relationships. There are gaps, however, in many parish registers.

Record type: Births or baptisms, marriages, marriage proclamations, deaths or burials, and confirmations.

Time period: 1871-present. Records may exist for the following denominations:

  • Papua Ekalesia (London Missionary Society) 1871-
  • Methodist 1875-
  • Catholic 1881-
  • Lutheran 1886-
  • Anglican 1891-
  • Seventh Day Adventist 1908-
  • Many small Christian groups ca. 1900-

Contents: Baptismal records: Baptism dates; children’s names; parents’ residence and names (sometimes mother's maiden name is given); witnesses’ and godparents’ names, and sometimes their residence and relationship to infants; sometimes grandparents’ names. Marriage records: Candidates’ names; marriage and/or proclamation dates; often birth places, residence, witnesses, former spouses and parents’ names. Death/burial records: Name of deceased; burial date; often age and cause of death; residence; spouse’s name, especially for women; parents’ names for deceased children. Confirmation records: Children were confirmed between the ages of 5 and 15. Candidates name, age, residence and father’s name.

Location: Diocese and parish archives, church archives in Germany and England.

Population coverage: 10% before 1950, 60% after 1950.

Reliability: Good.[1]

Catholic

  • Baptism, Death and marriage records
    • Melegeok, 1923
    • Koror, 1931-1932
    • Richard Flores Taitano Micronesia Area Research Center, University of Guam, Mangliao, Guam.
  • Palau records. Box 1
    • Baptism Records
    • Koror, Melegeok, Tobi, 1931-1943
    • Anguar, Pelelieu, 1935-1937
    • MARC. Palau records. Box 2
  • Confirmation Records
    • Meleogeok 1922-1928
    • Koror 1921-1939
    • MARC. Palau records. Box 4
  • Death Records
    • Koror 1921-1936
    • Meleogeok 1923-1927
    • MARC. Palau records. Box 4

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 The Family History Department of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, “Family History Record Profile: Papua New Guinea,” Word document, private files of the FamilySearch Content Strategy Team, 2000.