Maine Church Records

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This entry was originally written by Alice Eichholz, Ph.D., CG for Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources.

This article is part of
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the Maine Family History Research series.
History of Maine
Maine Vital Records
Census Records for Maine
Background Sources for Maine
Maine Maps
Maine Land Records
Maine Probate Records
Maine Court Records
Maine Tax Records
Maine Cemetery Records
Maine Church Records
Maine Military Records
Maine Periodicals, Newspapers, and Manuscript Collections
Maine Archives, Libraries, and Societies
Maine Immigration
Ethnic Groups of Maine
Maine County Resources
Maine Town Resources
Map of Maine

Few church records have been published or microfilmed for Maine, making them a major untapped source for genealogical research. No complete survey of what exists has been made, but the Congregational Church was the largest denomination and its records were usually quite comprehensive. According to John Frost, “Genealogy in Maine: A Pragmatic Approach,” Family History in the Northeast, vol. 1, Hartford ’83 Conference (Hartford, Conn.: Connecticut Society of Genealogists, 1983) records for over two dozen Congregational churches are located at Maine Historical Society, as well as thirteen Baptist, three Universalist, and ten Quaker meetings.

Literally hundreds more church records probably exist in various repositories or the churches themselves. The most likely genealogical material can be found in the lists of memberships with letters of admission or dismissal and the baptisms.

A few church records, such as those from the Church of Christ in Buxton, have been published in book form (1763–1817), and others, such as those from Wells, are in periodicals such as New England Historical and Genealogical Register. Some of Maine’s church records are also being added to the New England Genealogic Historical Society’s database online.