Find the Family Church Using WPA Inventories

methods & strategies records references & resources Sep 22, 2021

Figuring out which church a family attended can be a challenge, especially when there are no city directories to consult or county histories fall short on detailing churches. So where can you turn?

The Works Project Administration's Historical Records Survey located and cataloged church records. The resulting inventories, many of which were published in the 1930s and 1940s, can help you figure out which churches were in a particular area at a particular time, so you can identify potential churches a family may have attended.

Check out the video to learn more and see examples. Then be sure to take action ๐Ÿ‘‡

Now it’s time for you to take action! Think about a project you’re currently working on, where you haven’t figured out the church the family belonged to. Then, head over to one of the following sites for digital books: Google Books, Internet Archive, HathiTrust, or FamilySearch Digital Library. You can also check out the DAR website, which has a listing of various WPA publications. Then search for an inventory of church records for the state of interest. Next, review the entries for the town of interest and make a list of potential churches. While some of the inventories include where the records are located, remember that these were compiled in the 1930s and 1940s and therefore the records may be somewhere else today. Additionally, some churches may have closed or merged since the time of publication, so you may need to do a little investigative work to locate where the records are held today.

© Julie Tarr. This article was first published at Genealogy In Action; appearance of this article elsewhere, without my permission, violates copyright.