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Genealogy Search

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An archivist holds a book listing early Methodists. Photo by Kathleen Barry, United Methodist Communications.

Many of us want to know more about our connection to our church families. The United Methodist Church has an agency which covers all areas of the denomination's history, the General Commission on Archives and History.
Some records are held by local churches or annual conferences. Read more below to determine which steps you will want to take on your search. 

Clergy Information

If you have a clergyperson in your family tree the United Methodist Commission on Archives and History may be able to provide some biographical information about them. You will want to read about the agency's clergy research service in order to understand what is offered and how to make a request. You should first check the Index to Conference Memoirs to see if your ancestor is listed.

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Baptism and Local Church Membership

Baptism and local church membership records are the two most frequently requested materials. The General Commission on Archives and History does not hold such records. In United Methodist practice these records are kept at the local church. If the local church has closed and merged with another church then the records should be transferred to the new church. If a church closes and there is no successor then the records are transferred to the annual conference archives - the regional depository. When searching for such records the best place to start is with the annual conference archivist. The Directory of Annual Conference Archives for The United Methodist Church will list the appropriate contact person. Look for the contact information for the archivist, historian or researcher.

Conference Archives Directory