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Family History Information

Baptist church and denominational records are usually not very helpful to family historians and genealogists. This is particularly true for information on Baptist church members and ministers.

Where to look:
If you are seeking information on Baptist churches, members, or ministers, the state Baptist historical collections can usually be more helpful than the Southern Baptist Historical Library and Archives. See the Links page for information.

Not Available: List of members of local churches
The congregational records we hold are indexed only by the name of the local church, not by the names of its members.

Not Available: List of individual Baptists
There is no national, state, associational, or county membership list of individual Baptists. Membership in Baptist churches is recorded only by the local church. Birth, baptism, marriage, or death records are not included in Baptist church records. Church membership records usually show when individuals joined the church and how they were received. They sometimes will show how they left the church (moved, death, expelled, etc.) and when. If you do not know the name of the church where your ancestor attended, we have no way of determining that for you. If you do know the name of the church, and if the records of that church have been deposited here, the most information we might find is that your ancestor belonged to a given church at a given time. While the collection includes man church records, this is only a small percentage of Southern Baptist churches in the United States.

Possibly Available:
If your ancestor played a prominent role in Baptist life at a statewide or, better yet, a national level, there is a chance we might find a brief obituary in one of the Baptist periodicals in our collection. If your ancestor served as a Southern Baptist foreign or home missionary, there is a good chance that the collection contains some biographical information files and perhaps some correspondence.

Search requests. For a family history request about a prominent Southern Baptist leader, the staff will check several basic sources. If the search does not locate any information, the search will end and the requester will be notified. The more specific the request, the more likely information can be located. The minimum charge for a search that results in any sent (letter, fax or email) information is $20

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