July is completely focused on providing you with genealogy tips that are …..well,….”out of the box”.
Welcome to DAY 6 of the 31 Days of “Out of the Box” Genealogy Tips series! Need to start at the beginning of the series or catch up? Start here.
DAY 6 – Incorporate Religious Periodicals into Your Genealogy Research!
We often perform newspaper research in our search for our ancestors, but have you looked into religious newspapers and periodicals?
Fortunately for us as genealogists, there are numerous religious periodicals. These records can be searched geographically or by religion.
Religious newspapers will often give information about church life, obituaries, and naming of church leadership. Was your ancestor a missionary? Information may be found in the denomination’s newspaper or newsletter.
Obituaries for members of a faith community can be found.
Information on the church or faith’s leadership and their families can be found.
Examples of religious periodicals include:
- The Biblical Recorder – The Baptist State Convention of North Carolina newspaper
- The Evangelical Messenger – Newspaper of The Evangelical Church 1848-1946
- Catholic Newspapers – Find numerous listings of newspapers held at Catholic Newspapers in Microform: A Directory of Works at Notre Dame
These are just a few examples of religious periodicals that can be found.
How to Find Religious Periodicals
Performing a google search is a good first step in searching out religious periodicals. An example would be “Baptist newspapers North Carolina”. Include in your search terms, the denomination/faith + a location.
Other places to search for religious periodicals include:
- University Special Collections – This is especially true if a school is affiliated with a specific religious group.
- George Batten’s Directory of the Religious Press of the United States (Free at Google Books)
- Institutions affiliated with a particular religion or denominations. This could be archives, libraries such as the Allen County Public Library, or historical societies.
One more thing…..
Don’t rule out non-English newspapers and periodicals in your search. If a community spoke primarily German, their religious newspapers may well be in German, too. Just know ahead of time you may need someone to translate your findings.
Check out previous posts in the 31 Days of Out of the Box Genealogy Tips:
- Day 1 – Volunteer!
- Day 2 – Genealogy Wikis
- Day 3 – Cemetery Research
- Day 4 – Newspaper Society Pages
- Day 5 – Vertical Files
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