Delaware Church Records Research Guide

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State Church RecordsDelaware Church records undoubtedly are a exceptional source for the genealogical and historical researcher. In many parts of Delaware, church records predate civil records. They for this reason document vital occurrences, providing birth, marriage, and death facts that could otherwise be lost. Furthermore providing names and dates, church records may show you relationships between people and show a family’s status in the community. In addition, records of a personal nature are not unheard of, and these can provide a glimpse into an ancestor’s identity or behaviors.

Right before Delaware County and city governments gathered vital records, many people documented significant dates, events, and names in their family Bible. Family Bibles are helpful research resources. Although the dates can’t be guaranteed, Family Bibles are a tangible link with past generations.

Church records from various Delaware churches have been published in different volumes and publications, including the Delaware Genealogical Society Journal. The Historical Society of Delaware and the Delaware Public Archives hold some of the original church records, as well as some that were transcribed by the WPA. Both of those places also hold some of the Quaker records, but other Quaker records can be found in Swarthmore, Pennsylvania, at the Friends Historical Library.

The historical societies and archives in both Maryland and Delaware hold microfilmed records of baptisms from the Catholic Diocese of Wilmington through 1930 and registers through 1960 on microfilm. The reason that both states hold those records is that the nine eastern shore Maryland counties were also included in the Catholic Diocese of Wilmington.

The Public Archives Commission of the State of Delaware published the Directory of Churches and Religious Organizations in Delaware. That can be a good starting point to look up the records of the time, but it is a dated publication.

Delaware Church and Bible Links