Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Methodist Church Records

I need to find Methodist church records for two different reasons.  Two men I'm researching were married in the Methodist Church in Hudson, N.Y., in the 1830s.  However, the present church was not established until much later.  I finally found some information on the matter.  This was taken from the web site of the General Commission on Archives & History of the United Methodist Church.  

Baptism and local church membership records are the two most frequently requested materials. The General Commission on Archives and History does not hold such records. In United Methodist practice these records are kept at the local church. If the local church has closed and merged with another church then the records should be transferred to the new church. If a church closes and there is no successor then the records are transferred to the annual conference archives - the regional depository. When searching for such records the best place to start is with the annual conference archivist. The Directory of Annual Conference Archives for The United Methodist Church will list the appropriate contact person. Look for the contact information for the archivist, historian or researcher.
I've been able to determine that  the Hudson area is currently part of the New York Annual Conference.  Its web site has informed me of the existence of the C. Wesley Christman Archives of the New York Annual Conference in White Plains, NY. According to its web site:

The C. Wesley Christman Archives collects conference records, closed church records, personal collections, journals, and monographs relating to the history and mission of the New York Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church. There are additional Methodist historical records located in various other repositories in the New York area.

The big question is whether the present Methodist church has the records of the previous church that existed in the 1830s, or if it was considered closed.  I hope to have the answer soon.

There is also another repository I'd like to visit that has records of Briarcliff Farm in Pine Plains where my grandfather once worked.  Ideally since it's a long drive, I should stay overnight in the area to research both areas.  That's not going to happen for a while.

There were also four Methodist ministers in the Winchell family: William Francis Boyes (later Boyce),William Henry Winchell and his son Clarence Charles Winchell and George Franklin Snyder.  I can trace the careers of the Winchell and Snyder pastors.  The Winchells will be more complicated because I'll have to know which Winchell when.  I saw a newspaper article that said one Rev. Winchell substituted for the other one. 

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