Virginia Church Records Research Guide

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State Church RecordsVirginia Church records tend to be a good resource for the genealogical and historical researcher. In many parts of Virginia, church records predate civil records. They therefore record vital events, providing birth, marriage, and death details that might otherwise be lost. Aside from supplying names and dates, church records may show you associations between people and portray a family’s position in the community. In addition, entries of a personal nature are not uncommon, and these can provide you with a glimpse into an ancestor’s identity or behaviors.

Right before Virginia County and city governments stored vital records, many people recorded crucial times, events, and names in their family Bible. Family Bibles are invaluable research tools. Despite the fact that the dates may not be guaranteed, Family Bibles are a tangible link with past generations.

There are not many colonial church records from Virginia that are still extant today. The first Virginia residents belonged to the Church of England, or Anglican Church. In 1786 that became the Episcopal Church. Some of those early registers are still extant, but they are not complete.

Several religious groups have settled in Virginia over the years. Those include: Baptist, Catholic, Jewish, Lutheran, Presbyterian, Quaker (Friends)

Most of those groups, other than the Quakers, kept records of marriages, deaths, and births. Some of those records have been published and are available through the FHL, as well as the Library of Virginia.

Baptist Church Records, Virginia Baptist Historical Society, Boatright Memorial Library, University of Richmond, P.O. Box 34, Richmond, VA 23173

Congregation Beth Ahabah, Museum and Archives Trust, 1111 W. Franklin St., Richmond, VA 23220-3700; The core collection of the archives includes documents of Beth Shalome and Beth Ahabah congregations of Richmond.

Virginia United Methodist Historical Society, Randolph Macon College, McGraw-Page Library, P.O. Box 5005,
Ashland, VA 23005-5505

Presbyterian Church Records, Union Theological Seminary in Virginia, 3401 Brook Rd., Richmond, VA 23227;

Virginia Church and Bible Links