Sunday, September 12, 2010

Church Record Sunday: Exploring the archives of The United Methodist Church

Geneabloggers advertised the new daily blogging themes for Sunday, and I saw the Church Record Sunday from Gena's Genealogy Blog regarding searching for records of Methodist ancestors through the General Commission of Archives & History of The United Methodist Church.  Since I have many ancestors who were members of the pre-cursors to the modern church, I decided to check out this database resource.

The database can be searched through this link.  There is a convenient simple search and a more advanced search, which should be used if your surname is more common.

According to their website, "today's United Methodist Church is the descendant of several predecessors. These denominations are: Methodist Episcopal Church (1784-1939), Methodist Episcopal Church, South (1845-1939), Methodist Protestant Church (1828-1939), Methodist Church (1939-1968), United Brethren in Christ (1800-1946), Evangelical Association (1803-1922), United Evangelical Church (1894-1922), Evangelical Church (1922-1946), Evangelical United Brethren (1946-1968), United Methodist Church (1968-present)."

I began searching for some of the names of ancestors and relatives to see who may have been mentioned in their Annual Conference yearbooks. Copies of the full text of these mentions is available for a $5 research fee.

Here are some of the "hits" that I found when searching for my family:

Name: Lemasters, Philip
Birth: June 10, 1836
Death: May 14, 1915
Denomination: Methodist Episcopal Church
Conference Membership or Lay Status: West Ohio
State or place of Death: OH
Journal Reference: West Ohio Conference Journal for 1915; page(s): 681
Record id Number: 35293 
[This was my paternal 2nd-great granduncle. I knew he was a minister in Spencerville, Ohio]

 Haley, Eli W.
Birth: na
Death: na
Denomination: Evangelical United Brethren Church
Conference Membership or Lay Status: Laity
State or place of Death: na
Journal Reference: Illinois Conference Journal for 1958; page(s): 77
Record id Number: 63998 

[This was my paternal great-grandfather.]

 Haley, Jacob
Birth: na
Death: May 27, 1920
Denomination: Evangelical Association
Conference Membership or Lay Status: Laity
State or place of Death: na
Journal Reference: Indiana Conference Journal for 1921; page(s): 30
Record id Number: 51513 

[Believe this may be my paternal 3rd-great granduncle.]

Name: Chew, Nathaniel D.
Birth: May 2, 1877
Death: April 28, 1949
Denomination: Methodist Church
Conference Membership or Lay Status: Wisconsin
State or place of Death: WI
Journal Reference: Wisconsin Conference Journal for 1949; page(s): 145
Record id Number: 96841 

Name: Chew, Nathaniel D.
Birth: na
Death: April 21, 1949
Denomination: Methodist Church
Conference Membership or Lay Status: Michigan
State or place of Death: MI
Journal Reference: Michigan Conference Journal for 1949; page(s): 169
Record id Number: 76969

[Paternal cousin]

Name: Metzner, J. W.
Birth: Jan 6, 1869
Death: July 24, 1929
Denomination: Evangelical Church
Conference Membership or Lay Status: Indiana
State or place of Death: na
Journal Reference: Indiana Conference Journal for 1930; page(s): 296
Record id Number: 53169 

[Paternal 1st cousin 3 times removed.]

I'm just getting started in researching this resource, and will be interested to find out what information these memorials will contain.

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