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In the past, several countries required attendance at church services or the payment of taxes to an ecclesiastical authority. Although your ancestors may not have appreciated those laws at the time, the records that were kept to ensure their compliance can benefit you as a genealogist. In fact, before governments started recording births, marriages, and deaths, churches kept the official records of these events. For those places where no such laws were in effect, you can use a variety of records kept by church authorities or congregations to develop a sketch of the everyday life of your ancestor.

Some common records that you may encounter include baptismal records, parish registers, marriage records, death or burial records, tithes, welfare rolls, meeting minutes, and congregation photographs. Each type of record may include several different bits of information. For example, a baptismal record may include the date of birth, date of baptism, parents' names, and where the parents lived.

Several sites provide general information and links to all sorts of resources that pertain to specific religions and sects. Here are a few examples:

1 Anabaptist: www.gameo.org

The Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online (GAMEO) site contains over 8,000 articles related to Amish, Mennonite, Hutterite, and Brethren in Christ congregations. You can find genealogical databases of Anabaptists at the Swiss Anabaptist Genealogical Association site at

1 Baptist: www.baptisthistory.us

The American Baptist Historical Society site contains an overview of its collections and the services that the Society provides.

1 Catholic: home.att.net/~Local_Catholic/

The Local Catholic Church History & Genealogy Research Guide includes links to information on diocese and genealogy, categorized by location. If you are looking for British resources, see www.catholic-genealogy.com.

1 Church of the Brethren: www.cob-net.org/fobg/

The Fellowship of Brethren Genealogists Web site contains information on the organization and the current projects sponsored by the Fellowship.

1 Church of Scotland: www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk

The General Register Office for Scotland site features searchable indexes of births/baptisms and banns/marriages from the Old Parish Registers dating from 1553 to 1854.

il Huguenot: huguenots-france.org/english.htm

The Huguenots of France and Elsewhere site contains genealogies of several Huguenot families. For information on Huguenots in America, see Experiences of the French Huguenots in America at pages.prodigy.net/royjnagy/ressegui.htm. Also, there is a surname index at the Australian Family Tree Connections site at www.aftc.com.au/Huguenot/Hug.html.

I Hutterite: feefhs.org/hut/frg-hut.html

The Hutterite Genealogy HomePage gives an introduction and links to resources for this denomination found in Austria, Bohemia, Moravia, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Canada, the United States, and the Ukraine. For links to a variety of Hutterite resources, see Hutterite Reference Links at home.westman.wave.ca/~hillmans/BU/hutterite.html.

I Jewish: www.jewishgen.org

JewishGen has information about the JewishGen organization and frequently asked questions about Jewish genealogy, as well as indices of other Internet resources, including searchable databases, special interest groups, and JewishGen family home pages.

I Lutheran: www.lutheransonline.com/lutheransonline/ genealogy/

The Lutheran Roots Genealogy Exchange has a registry of researchers looking for information about Lutheran ancestors and a message board to which you can post questions about your research.

I Mennonite:www.ristenbatt.com/genealogy/mennonit.htm

The Mennonite Research Corner features general information about Mennonites and a collection of online resources for researchers. For a Canadian perspective, visit the Mennonite Genealogy Data Index at www.mennonites.ca.

I Methodist: www.geocities.com/Vienna/Choir/1824/methodist research.html

Researching Your Methodist Ancestors contains some general advice on getting started with your research and links to some online resources.

I Moravian Church: www.enter.net/~smschlack/

The Moravian Church Genealogy Links page features links to articles on the history of the church, as well as links to genealogical resources.

I Quaker: www.rootsweb.com/~quakers

The Quaker Corner contains a query board, a list of research resources, and links to other Quaker pages on the World Wide Web.

I Seventh-day Adventist: www.andrews.edu/library/car/

The Center for Adventist Research at Andrews University site contains information on the University's archives and research center and databases including a periodical index, obituary index, bibliographies, and photographs.

A few church organizations have online descriptions of their archives' holdings:

^ Archives of Brethren in Christ Church: www.messiah.edu/archives/ archives_bic.html

^ Center for Mennonite Brethren Studies in Fresno, California:

www.fresno.edu/library/cmbs/genealogical_resources.asp

^ Concordia Historical Institute Department of Archives and History (Lutheran): chi.lcms.org

^ Catholic Archives of Texas: www.onr.com/user/cat

^ Friends University Library (Quaker): www.friends.edu/library/ SpecialCollections/default.asp

^ General Commission on Archives and History for the United Methodist Church:www.gcah.org/index.htm

^ Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America Department of Archives: www. goarch.org/goa/departments/archives/

^ Moravian Archives: moravianchurcharchives.org

^ United Church of Canada Archives: unitedchurcharchives.vicu. utoronto.ca

If you're curious about what types of information for religious groups are available on the Internet, here are a few examples:

^ Baptism Records: You can find a list of those baptized in the Wesleyan Methodist Baptismal Register at freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~wjmartin/wm-index.htm

^ Cemetery Records: The Quaker Burying Ground Cemetery, Galesville, Anne Arundel County, Maryland, site is

www.interment.net/data/us/md/anne_arundel/quaker.htm

It's part of the Cemetery Records Online site, provides transcribed burial information, including the person's name and dates of birth and death, as well as some other information. (See Figure 9-1.)

il Marriage Records: The Moravian Church, Lititz Marriages 1742-1800 page contains a list of marriage dates along with the names of the bride and groom performed in the church located in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Here's where you find it:

searches1.rootsweb.com/usgenweb/archives/pa/lancaster/ church/moravianlititz.txt i Parish Directories: The Holy Trinity Church, Boston, Massachusetts, site has a searchable 1895 parish directory, an ongoing project to identify and post information about church members who served in the Civil War, and a list of church members who served in World War I. Here's the URL:

homepages.rootsweb.com/~mvreid/bgrc/htc.html

Figure 9-1:

A cemetery transcription from Intern-ment.net.

Of course, in addition to some sites that focus specifically on one type of record, you may run across sites like the Genline Project (www.genline. com), which collects digitized copies of all sorts of records pertaining to a particular church. The goal of the Genline Project is to place all digital copies of Swedish church records online.

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COLE, Hubart M, b.24 NOV 1686, U.19 AUG 1949, BELOVED BROTHER MAY HE REST IN PEACE, [SS] COLE, Ju&uph William, b.8 MAR 1847, (i.S DEC 1911, FATHER, [SSJ

COLE, Julia C Wayiurr, b,29 JUL 1862, J.22 NOV 1933, MOTHER, MAY SHE REST IN PEACE, ISSJ COLE, Laura Elluri, b,12 NOV 18S8, d.18 APR 1922, ISSJ

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PEAKE, Joseph Ray, b.MAY 25 1915, d.JAN 0 1904, GGT US ARMY, WORLD WAP. 11, BELOVED UNCUT, PEAKE, Lois Emma, b.£9 JAN 1064, d.27 AUG 1940, AT REST, [GG] PEAKE, W W, b. 1919, 1921. [GG]

TANNER, Susan E J Cole, b-AUG 30 10J5. d.GEP 4. 1091, BELOVED WIFE Or JAMEG W TANNER, fGGl

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