Some Nineteenth-Century Religious Newspapers Transcribed or Indexed

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Church Records

This article is part of a series.
Overview of Church Records
Types of Church Records
Finding Church Records
List of Selected Denominations
List of Useful Church References

This article originally appeared in "Church Records" by Elizabeth Crabtree, MA, MLS in The Source: A Guidebook to American Genealogy


Most religious newspapers reported events for members of other denominations as well as their own. These events occurred in locales all over the country, far beyond the areas supposedly served by the newspaper.

Nineteenth-Century Religious Newspapers Transcribed or Indexed

Denomination Title of Newspaper Years Indexed and Area of Coverage Index or Abstract. General Notes
Adventist Adventist Review Carried obits of only prominent members
African Methodist Episcopal The Christian Recorder 1861-1902 Microfilm C-4526 (11 reels) at Boston University Libraries, School of Theology, An index through 1876 (ongoing) is at Harvard College Library (password needed)
Baptist Alabama Baptist; South Western Baptist 1843-current AL + other Southern Alabama Baptist, 1843-present and indexes 1843-1900 and 1957-present at Samford University Library, Birmingham, Alabama.
Baptist Courier 1869-1900; South Carolina Samford University Library, Birmingham AL 35209
Biblical Recorder North Carolina 1834-1907 at Wake Forest University; 1834-1940 at Samford University Library, Birmingham AL 35209
Christian Index 1822-79; Georgia by Mary Overby: Christian Index Obituaries, 1822-1879, (Macon: Georgia Baptist Historical Society, Mercer University, 1975); Christian Index Obituaries 1880-1899 (same publisher, 1982); and Marriages Published in the Christian Index (Georgia Baptist Historical Society, 1971). Originals at Georgia Baptist History Depository, Mercer University Main Library; 1822-1940 at Samford University Library, Birmingham AL 35209.
Florida Bapt. Witness 1885-1940 Samford University Library, Birmingham AL 35209
Tennessee Baptist Tennessee Samford University Library, Birmingham AL 35209
Texas Baptist 1856-84 Texas Abstracts by Helen Mason Lu. Also on microfiche from Write Dallas Genealogical Society, P.O. Box 12648, Dallas TX 75225-0648.
Register 1832-34; New York American Vital Records from The New York Register. 1822-34. (American Baptist Soc, 1965)
Religious Herald 1828-1938; Virginia WPA Guide ... Supplement # 1: Index to Obituary Notices, 1828-1938. Same title, Supplement No. 2: Index to Marriage Notices 1828-1838. Clearfield, 1996. Original issues 1828-date at Samford University Library, Birmingham AL 35209.
South Carolina Baptist... 1835-65 and 1866-87 ...Working Christian, and Baptist Courier. Abstracted in. Marriage and Death Notices from Baptist Newspapers of South Carolina, by Brent Holcomb, (Reprint Co., 1981).
Western Recorder Kentucky Western Records Indexes, 1965- by Chauncery R. Daley Jr. (Louisville, KY: Southern Baptist Theological Seminary).
Freewill Baptist Morning Star and seven other titles 1811-51 New England, esp. ME and NH Death Notices from Freewill Baptist Publications, 1811-1851 by David C. Young and Robert L. Taylor, (Heritage Books, 1985). Marriage and Divorce Notices from Freewill Baptist Publications 1819-1851. (Heritage Books, 1994). Includes notices for Quakers, Methodist, etc.
Christian Michigan Christian Herald 1850-59 The Michigan Christian Herald Index 1850-1859 (Detroit 1991) is at Microfilm at Family History Library. Original issues at Bentley Library, University of Michigan.
Christian Reformed The Banner or The Banner of Truth 1866-1983 The Family History Library has microfilmed a scrapbook of clippings, 1866-1983, that was maintained by Ruby Mossel.
Disciples of Christ Christian Messenger 1888-94 Microfilm at Family History Library and at Center for American History Texas Newspaper Collection, Dallas.
Dutch Reformed Christian Intelligencer 1830-77 Abstracts of marriages and deaths published in 17 volumes by New York Genealogical & Biographical Society
Episcopal Southern Churchman 1835-1941 Index to Marriage Notices, 1835-1951. (Baltimore: Clearfield, reprint 1996).
Evangelical, See United Brethren
German Reformed The Messenger 1830-39 Genealogical Abstracts from Newspapers of the German Reformed Church 1830-1839 by Barbara Manning. (Heritage Books, 1992); & same title/author 1840-1843. (Heritage Books, 1995).
Jewish The St. Louis Jewish Light... 1947-95 ...and The Jewish Post and Opinion index in progress for the Saul Brodsky Jewish Community Library, St. Louis,
Lutheran United Church Herald 1958-72 Obits index at Luther Theological Seminary, 2375 Como Ave. West, St. Paul, Minn 55108
Mennonite Herald of Truth, Gospel Witness... 1864-current ... and Gospel Herald, Evangelical Mennonite; Christian Evangelical and Christlicher Bundesbote. Obituary Index online at the Mennonite Library and Archives:
Methodist Alabama Christian Advocate 1881-1929 Indexes and Abstracts to Marriages and Obituaries, 1881-1929 by Franklin S. Moseley. Original index and issues held by Huntingdon College, Montgomery, Alabama; copies at Samford University Library, Birimingham, AL
Christian Advocate & Journal Sept 1827-Aug 1831 Genealogical Gleanings from the Christian Advocate & Journal and Zion’s Herald. Dolores Haller & Marilyn Robinson. Heritage Books, 1989.
Nashville Christian Advocate, previously the Nashville and Louisville Christian Advocate 1846-1910 Index to Deaths for various years, ca1846-1910, by Jonathan Kennon Thompson Smith online at Genealogical Abstract of Marriages and Deaths, 1846-1851 by Annie Sandifer Trickett, (Dallas: 1985). Original issues at Luther L. Gobbel Library, Lambuth University Library, Jackson, TN;
New Orleans Christian Advocate Obits 1852-55 and Marriages 1851-60 Obits in Claiborne Parish Trails Quarterly 1:63; Marriages & Obits in The Genie 1:23 p59.
New York Christian Advocate 1879, 1880 Abstract of Vitals Transcribed at
Southern Christian Advocate Indexed 1837-78. Marriage & Death Notices: Southern Christian Advocate 1837-1867, 2 vols and Marriage Notices 1868-1878; Death & Obit Notices 1867-1878 by Brent Holcomb, Box 21766, Columbia, SC 28221;
Southern Christian Advocate 1837-1948 Indexes online at
South Carolina Christian Advocate 1948-68 Indexes online at
South Carolina United Methodist Advocate 1968- Indexes online at
Texas Wesleyan Banner and Texas Christian Advocate 1850-54 and 1857-85 Seven volumes of abstracts, including a cumulate index, by Helen Mason Lu, Dallas, Texas. The Dallas Genealogical Society sells these on microfiche. Dallas Genealogical Society, P.O. Box 12648, Dallas TX 75225-0648;
Western Christian Advocate Abstracts, 1834-50. Abstracts of Obituaries in the Western Christian Advocate, 1834-1850. Waters, et al., Indiana Historical Society, 315 West Ohio St., Indianapolis IN 46204.
Moravian People's Press 1851-92 Death Notices from the People’s Press, Salem, North Carolina. Robert M. Tompkins, (Forsyth County Genealogical Society, 1997). A secular paper, the People’s Press carried Moravian news items for Salem, NC, etc.
Presbyterian Banner of Peace & Cumberland Presbyterian Advocate 1843-53 mostly TN, but also NY to CA Scroggins, Margaret B., compiler. Banner of Peace & Cumberland Presbyterian Advocate, 1843-1853. Published by compiler, P.O. Box 473, Poplar Bluff, MO 63901, 1988. This paper was published at Lebanon, TN.
Charleston Observer 1827-45 Marriage and Death Notices from the Charleston Observer 1827-1845. Brent Holcomb.
The Christian Magazine... 1843-63 Associated Reformed Presbyterian Death and Marriage Notices from The Christian Magazine of the South, The Erskine Miscellany, and The Due West Telescope by Lowry Ware, South Carolina Magazine of Ancestral Research, P.O. Box 21766, Columbia, SC 29221.
Southwest Presbyterian several titles, 1846-85. See various titles by Helen Lu, i.e., Southwest Presbyterian Newspaper Abstracts, 1869-1850. Also on microfiche from Dallas Genealogical Society, P.O. Box 12648, Dallas TX 75225-0648;
Watchman and Observer 1845-55 Marriage and Death Notices from the Watchman and Observer 1845-1855. Brent Holcomb.
Quakers American Friend 1894-1960 Quaker Friends Necrology index at
United Brethren in Christ Religious Telescope 1835-63 obit & misc. item index to search various of these years.
Christian Conservator 1885-1954 An obituary index by Huntington University for this title is online at Also, condensed obituaries from other titles 1836-1894 appear in the Bush-Meeting Dutch (details at the website).
The United Brethren 1945-94 An obituary index by Huntington University for this title is online at
UB 1994-2003 An obituary index by Huntington University for this title is online at
Universalist Christian Leader 1874-78 New York Issues at Andover-Harvard Theological Library, Cambridge, MA Monroe County NY entries published Hear Ye-Hear Ye 16:1 (Winter 95), Rochester (NY) Genealogical Society


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