One of the most difficult tasks in Baptist research in the United States is the congregation was the most important entity. For this reason, records may or may not have been kept depending on the congregation. Another difficulty is determining what happened to a congregation, let alone it records. Types of records which can be helpful would include memberships, transfers in and out, disciplinary, adult baptisms and general minutes. The occasional death, marriage and biographical sketches are always handy.
Congregations are Created and Dissolved
In rural areas, congregations came and went. On the frontier, especially in places such as Mid-South in the 1830s, entire congregations were swept up in the rising tide of the Stone-Campbell Restoration Movement. Thus, a one-time Baptist Church became a Christian Church! In settled areas, such as New England, a Baptist congregation may have been in the same town for several hundred years. Some congregations united with others or changed their names when they moved.
In your search for Baptist records, if you do not live locally in the area of your research, then contact the local genealogical society in the county starting with the links found on sites such as the USGenweb. The local state archive may also have deposited records. Never neglect the microfilm at the Family History Library
Major Baptist Historical Archives
For specific Baptist archives, your search query could use a combination of the word Baptist with Archives, Library or Genealogy. Main repositories are:
If you are wondering about your Baptist ancestry, click here to begin your journey…