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Tips for researching United Church of Christ records

The character and organization of records of United Church of Christ congregations varies depending on the denomination in which they originated. 

German Evangelical Synod of North America and Reformed Church records (merged in 1934 to become the Evangelical and Reformed Church)

Microfilm contents vary according to the congregation. They typically include the official pastoral acts of baptism, confirmation, marriage and burial. Baptism, confirmation and marriage records usually include the names of parents. Confirmation usually occurred at age 12 to 14, when young adults became full communicant members of the church. Burial and death records can include various information, sometimes including birth date and place and names or number of remaining family members. Membership rosters and communion records are commonly included among the records. Most records created prior to World War I (and often later) are in German. Little if any indexing was done within the registers.

Congregational Christian Church records

Early congregational records include the official pastoral acts of baptism, marriage and burial recorded in narrative-type formats such as minutes. Later records are organized into discrete sections in ledgers. Confirmation was not typically practiced in Congregational churches until the mid-20th century. The amount and kind of information included in records varies from church to church. Records of infant baptism usually give the name of the parents but marriage records typically do not.

Denominational archives

United Church of Christ archives are specific to each predecessor denomination:

Reformed Church in the United States

Evangelical and Reformed Historical Society
Lancaster Theological Seminary
555 W. James St.
Lancaster, PA USA 17603
(717) 290-8734
erhs@lancasterseminary.edu

Evangelical Synod of North America

Eden Theological Seminary Archives
975 E. Lockwood Ave.
St. Louis, MO 63119
(314) 252-3140
sholl@eden.edu

Congregational Church

Congregational Library
14 Beacon St
Boston, Massachusetts 02108
(617) 523-0470

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