Faith's Rewards
3/10/2010
Find your family's church records, and you'll be counting your genealogical blessings. These six steps will help you uncover the ancestral revelations in religious documents.

Heaven only knows what you might learn about your family history from church records, an often-overlooked genealogy resource (at least for US research). For example, because many of the men in my mother's family during the late 1800s and early 1900s were Methodist ministers, I was able to find in a church history this vivid description of my great-great-uncle's unusual death:

Dr. Dickinson's death ‘came suddenly, tragically, unexpectedly; but it found him ready.’ Instantly killed in the fearful cyclone which swept the city of Enfaula on March 5, 1919, he was on the Master's business when the summons came. Just a moment before the walls of the building into which he had gone on business for the church fell before the fury of the storm, one who was with him cried out, ‘Dr. Dickinson, what shall we do?’ Quietly he replied, ‘We are in the hands of the Lord.’ With this confession of faith on his lips he went away to he with his Lord forever.