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Church and Synagogue Records for Genealogy

External Websites and Databases

There are a number of free and subscription resources that can help you find a repository for church records or digitized versions of the records themselves. In digital collections, you will usually be able to see images of the actual documents, but sometimes there are only transcriptions available. Some digital collections have been indexed in order to be full-text searchable, but some of them are still in process, and you might have to browse them page image by page image. If you can’t see the document you are looking for, at least you can identify the repository that has them, and you can contact that repository directly with enough information to request any document that isn’t digitally available.

Free Web Resources

Works Progress Administration (WPA) American Guide Series

The American Guide Series of books was produced by the Federal Writers Project between 1935 and 1943. The Federal Writers Project was one of the many programs under the Works Progress Administration (WPA). Church records were often inventoried by the authors of the volumes in this series and many of the guides have been digitized. The links below provide more information and links to the full text of online guides.

Subscription Databases

The subscription resources marked with a padlock are available to researchers on-site at the Library of Congress. If you are unable to visit the Library, you may be able to access these resources through your local public or academic library.