Religious Records: Researching Methodist Ancestors
Find out how to research your Methodist ancestors.
The story of Methodism in the United States reflects the story of the nation itself. Many early colonists were transplanted British citizens, and Methodists started out here as transplanted Anglicans. After the Revolution, Methodism too broke free of mother England. The young American church spread rapidly, its lay leadership and community-building spirit pairing well with democratic ideals. If your ancestors were Methodists, a variety of church records and histories can reveal their lives: The church’s methodical record-keeping works to your benefit today.

American roots

In the late 1730s, English missionaries John and Charles Wesley began a revival movement within the Church of England. Their followers became known as Methodists because of their methodical study of the Bible and rigorous devotion to a holy lifestyle.