Take the time to learn more about your ancestorís ethnic church and locate records. You must first learn what religion your immigrant ancestor was. Ask relatives, check family records for clues. Use local history in the areas where your ancestor lived.

For the first one or two generations in every immigrant settlement, [ethnic] churches were a close reflection of life and religion in the old country. Often called "ethnic" churches, because they catered to members of a specific ethnic group such as: Dutch, Irish, Swedes, Scottish, Greek, etc. For your immigrantís origin research, seek the following records in the order they are listed below:

  1. Burial- One genealogical event that occurred in their new country is their death. Their church usually buried immigrants, as that is how it was done in the old country. So donít overlook the burial registers.
  2. Wedding- When arriving in their youth, a few years later they were married in some cases. Religious leaders performed many marriages, again because that is how it was done in the old country. If the license or records in the county identifies a Pastor, Reverend, or Father, then the couple almost surely had a church wedding and will be listed in the register.
  3. Confirmation & baptism- Many churches did not keep records of confirmations because just the names of many children baptized or confirmed were listed in a given day. However, in rare occasions, they provide more information about the children and sometimes the parentsí names.
These records would include the Deaconís minutes and the donation records. These records could hold great value for other genealogical purposes, such as locating and documenting all the North American born children of an immigrant couple.
Catholic Church, Jefferson County, Ohio
First we will review how to identify Parish records. The Church in Ohio is divided into six diocese, one of which is the Diocese of Steubenville, est. 1944. Each diocese is responsible for particular counties in the state. (Refer to OGS Genealogy News, July/Aug 2003 Issues, pg. 128) Books on Catholicism at the Schiappa Library include the following:
  1. The Diocese of Steubenville 1845-1870
  2. The Steubenville Register March 27, 1992 The Supplement to Steubenville Register
  3. The Steubenville Register, Nov. 2, 1984
  4. Upon This Rock, History of St Peterís Catholic Church, Steubenville 1830-1957
  5. Holy Name Parish Centennial 1885-1995

†††† *Note: The Steubenville Register is a Catholic newspaper. Above listings include names of priests, church histories and other bits and pieces.

Diocese of Steubenville
422 Washington St.
P.O. Box 969
Steubenville, OH 43952
Official web site: www.diosteub.org/index.cfm
Columbus, Ohio: http://www.colsdioc.org

Area included in diocese:Athens, Belmont, Carroll, Gallia, Guernsey, Harrison, Jefferson, Lawrence, Meigs, Morgan, Monroe, Noble and Washington.

Sacramental records are maintained at the parish level. Records for closed parishes are housed at the chancery. Requests should be directed to the parish where the sacrament was performed. When the parish is unknown, providing complete information to the chancery will help in determining a parish where records might be found. Current fee is$10 an hour. (Ask for Linda, who works alone in the Chancery).

††††††††††††††††††††† Steubenville Newspaper
††††††††††††††††††††††††† Steubenville Register
P.O. Box 160
Steubenville, OH 43952

†††† *Note: Est. 1942 Papers may be researched at the newspaper offices by appointment only.
†††† *Another important note- Newspapers for many Ohio dioceses is available at the Ohio Historical Society, Columbus, Oh 43211. Check your library.

†††††††††† Roman Catholic Books for Purchase
Carey, Patrick W. The Roman Catholics in America. Westport, CT: Greenwood Publishing Group, Inc. 1996

Galles, Chester. Roman Catholic Church Records and the Genealogists, National Genealogical Society Quarterly 74, (Dec 1986): 271-278.

Humbling, Virginia. U.S. Catholic Sources: A Diocesan Research Guide. Salt Lake City, UT: Ancestry, 1995.

††††††††† Methodist Church, Jefferson County, Ohio

The Archives of the Ohio United Methodism - The East Ohio Conference recently merged with the Archives of the West Ohio Conference at Ohio Wesleyan University to form a new collection. This collection is one of the few such joint collections in the country. The West has housed their collection in Wesleyan since 1859, while the East collection has been housed at various locations over the years, including a lengthy stay at the Baldwin-Wallace College in Berea, Ohio. This collection includes manuscripts and conference proceedings relevant to the history of Ohio United Methodism as well as membership records of closed or abandoned churches. Other items of interest include papers from the Circuit Riders such as: J.B. Finley, Bishop.

Thomas A. Morris, the Roy Leedy Evangelical collection, and materials relating to German Methodism. The center is open Monday Ė Friday from 8 a.m. to noon and 1 to 5 p.m. Research questions can also be submitted by e-mail at: Aoum@owu.edu or via a request form on the archives Web page. Ohio United Methodist Archives (Episcopal as well)http:library.owu.edu/spuma.htm

The following is a list of Methodist Church records available at the Schiappa Branch Library:

  1. Fifth St. Methodist Protestant Church, Steubenville Cradle Roll, 1896-1958.
  2. Fifth St. Methodist Protestant Church, Steubenville, Criss Bible Class 1941-1952, includes membership roster.
  3. Finley United Methodist Church (ME), Steubenville, 1869-1994. This volume has a lot of information including membership roll 1870-1994, marriages 1873-1994, baptisms 1869-1994, deaths 1874-1994, and much more!
  4. Calvary Methodist Church Sesquicentennial Celebration 1810-1960. Mostly church history.
  5. History of Brayís Chapel Methodist Church 1837-1960. Includes baptisms 1955-1960, index.
  6. Official Church records of Methodist Episcopal Church of Richmond 1869-1900. (Many of these were indexed from cemetery records kept by D. W. Thompson). Member list, marriages, 1878-1904, births 1880-1895, deaths 1881-1895, church cemetery reading, indexed.
  7. Riverview Methodist Church, Toronto, 1851-1951. Lists of charter members- otherwise mostly church history.
  8. 1st Methodist Protestant Church of Toronto, 1851-1923. Indexed- mostly church history.
  9. Fifth St. Methodist Church list of Ministers 1842-1879, records book 1860-1889.
  10. First Methodist Protestant Church Membership register 1949-59 gives names, addresses etc.

†††††††††††††††††† Methodist Books For Purchase
Allen, Charles Livingston, Meet the Methodists: An Introduction to the United Methodist Church.Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press, 1998.

Taggart, Norman W. The Irish in World Methodism, 1760-1900. Westminster, Eng.: Epworth Press, 1986.
Many times records for the Presbyterian pioneer churches, including those in Jefferson County, were donated to the Philadelphia Pennsylvania Historical Society and some have been microfilmed by the LDS Church and can be accessed from the LDS web site at: www.familysearch.org
Presbyterian Church, Jefferson County, Ohio
Presbyterian Historical Society
520 Witherspoon Building
Philadelphia, PA.
Presbyterian Archives: www.hanover.edu/library/presbyterian.html

One of the oldest Presbyterian Churches in Jefferson County is the Two Ridge Church. The following original records were loaned to the local history department of the Schiappa Library and copied. The copies were then hardbound and include an every name index. The originals were returned intact to the church.

  1. Congregational meeting minutes 1885-1888
  2. Brief history of Two Ridges Presbyterian Church
  3. History of Two Ridges Church 1802-1902
  4. Church directory (photos) 1970
  5. Young peoples society of Christian endeavor 1911-1924 & church records 1931-1953
  6. Attendance records 1822-1850
  7. Church session records 1885-1888
  8. Church records 1913-1945
  9. Church baptism 1943-1979


  1. List of Pastors 1802-2002
  2. Adult baptisms 1981-1997
  3. Infant baptisms 1965-2000
  4. Marriages 1965-2001
  5. Deaths 1965-1998
  6. Chronological membership roll 1948-1999

Other Church Records at Schiappa Library:

  1. Irondale 1st Presby. Church records 1871-1898
  2. Church register of Presby. Irondale 1871-1896 records of members, baptisms, deaths, not indexed.
  3. Mt Pleasant First Presby. (formerly Indian Short Creek Church) 1833-1870
  4. First Presby. Toronto Centennial History 1869-1969 mostly church history, indexed.
  5. First Presby. Toronto 100th Anniversary 1869-1969 list of early members, indexed.
  6. Island Creek Presby. Includes early session records, deaths, birth, baptism, pastors, elders

(Written by Sandy Day) Sometime prior to 1910, A Disciple Church was established in Unionport and was still in use in 1910.

A committee from the Steubenville Presby., consisting of Rev. Israel Price, Rev. T. V. Milligan and Henry Hammond organized Unionport Presbyterian Church Jun 14, 1874. There were 23 original members.

There was a M.P. (Methodist Protestant?) Church in Bloomfield (now known as Bloomingdale). The building was later used as a schoolhouse and was still standing in 1910. At that time, it was reported that there had not been any services held there for over 50 years. Bloomingdale Presbyterian Church was founded in 1827.

Bloomingdale United Presbyterian Church was organized October 10, 1871.

Methodist Episcopal (M.E.) Church in Bloomfield (Now Bloomingdale) was organized about 1828. The Bloomfield circuit for this church included Hopedale, Longís, and Unionport.

Unionport M.E. Church was organized in 1863.

Hays Chapel at Cresswell was organized early and was attached to the Wintersville Circuit, along with Center Chapel and the county infirmary. It is presumed that the term circuit refers to the circuit preachers who went from church to church instead of preaching only to one congregation.

Listed below are more reference books available at the Schiappa Library, which refer to the church records listed above: (Note: Bibliography)

  1. "20th Century History of Steubenville and Jefferson Count, Ohio" Doyle, 1910 pgs 514-16.
  2. "History of Belmont and Jefferson County, Ohio" Caldwell, 1880, pg. 561.
  3. "Mt Moriah Baptist Church 135th Anniversary 1861-1996" Day, 1996.
  4. Mt Moriah Baptist Church, Wayne Twp., Jefferson Co., Ohio: Obituaries extracted from church records" 1900-1992, Day 1997.
  5. Jefferson County Church History Pamphlet File located at Schiappa Library, Steubenville, Oh.

Baptist (Regular), Jefferson County, Ohio
Pine Run Baptist Church & Cemetery Unionport, Wayne Twp., Jefferson County, OH -The oldest regular Baptist church in Jefferson County was organized in Steubenville May 17, 1812. By March 5, 1814, it was decided to remove their church meetings from Steubenville to Wayne Township. A meeting was held on this date at the home of Mordicai Cole near Cross Creek in Wayne Township. This was near where the village of Unionport is now located. The first meetings were held in private homes until a church building could be erected. On September 20, 1817, church members from Thumb Run Church in Faquier Co, Virginia became members of this churchÖ

A log building was erected this same year and dedicated. The first pastor was Elijah Stone. The church building was still standing in 1880; although it had been many years since services had been held in it. As time passed, it was decided to remove from the Unionport area and organize a new Church closer to where most of the members lived. This happened because many of Pine Runís membership lived in the area where Mount Moriah Church now stands. The new Church organized and was called Mount Moriah Baptist Church and 35 members from Pine Run organized this new church on July 6, 1861. (A list of the 35 original members is listed in the church history). The cemetery extraction was done in 1995 and is included in the publication. In 1862, John and Thomas Cole donated land and the Church was built in 1863. This church building was continually used until it was destroyed by arson in 1989. A new church building was built in 1990 and is used today.

African American Baptist, Jefferson County, Ohio

  1. Baptist Church began in McIntyre in 1870.
  2. African American Methodist Episcopal (A.M.E.) Church established in 1845.

Baptist Church Records- Schiappa Library

  1. Mount Moriah Baptist Church 1861-1996 includes membersí records 1867-1960, cemetery reading in 1995, baptism 1893-1996.
  2. Mount Moriah Baptist Church Obit (that were found in actual church records and elsewhere) 1887-1991 indexed.

Baptist Archives:
†††††††††††††††††††† Baptist Books for Purchase
Helmbold, F. Wilbur. "Baptist Records for Genealogy and History," National Genealogical Society Quarterly 61, (Sept. 1973): 168-178
McBeth, H. Leon. Baptist Heritage: Four Centuries
Of Baptist Witness. Nashville, TN: Broadman Press, 1986.
Lutheran Archives and information for Region 6, which includes and serves six synods in the states of Indiana, Kentucky, OHIO, and the Lower Peninsula of Michigan. Their purpose is to preserve and make available permanent valuable records. On the web site you can search the archives. There are other useful links from this web site.
For questions concerning the archives, information and research contact:

Jeanene H. Letcher, Region 6 Archivist
ELCA Region 6 Archives
Trinity Lutheran Seminary
2199 East Main Street
Columbus, OH 43209-2334
614-235-4136 extension 4002
Email: reg6archives@TrinityLutheranSeminary.edu
Lutheran (ELCA) Region 6 Archives Web site:
Lutheran Churches, Jefferson County, Ohio
Good Hope Lutheran Church is located in Osage, Knox Twp. The following book can be found at the Schiappa Library:

  1. Good Hope Lutheran Church Records- Osage, Knox Twp., Parish Records, 1806-1885, baptisms 1806-1886.

Read Church Histories from Past Jefferson County Lines Newsletters:
1988- Volumes 2 & 3
1989- Volume 4 (Richmond)
(Past issues can be ordered- including index issues from this website under "publications)
Episcopal Church, Jefferson County, Ohio
EPISCOPAL DIOCESE RECORDS & NOTES - The LDS have microfilmed some Episcopal records throughout the State from the Episcopal Diocese in Cleveland, Ohio at www.familysearch.org† When researching Episcopal records, keep in mind that they may be located at repositories along with Methodist records. Many of the pioneer churches in Jefferson County and surrounding counties were Methodist-Episcopal (M.E.) as well as Protestant.

The following book can be found at Schiappa Library:
St Paulís Episcopal Church, Steubenville, Parish Records 1819-1905.

Episcopal Archives:

Episcopal Books For Purchase

Bellamy, V. Nelle. "Church Records of the United States, Part B. Part IV: Protestant Episcopal." World Conference on Records and Genealogical Seminar, SLC, Utah, 5-8 August 1969.

Quakers†{Friends} Church, Jefferson County, Ohio††††
Records for Quakers (Friends) are too numerous to list in this format. Please contact the following repositories to obtain information concerning their holdings and resources for Quaker Church records.
Mt Pleasant Historical Society
1-800-752-2631, Attn: Sherry Sawchuck

Richmond Historical Society
P.O. Box 137, Richmond, OH 43944
Attn: Betty Hout

Vivian Snyder Genealogical Library
426 Franklin Ave., Steubenville, OH 43952

††††††††††††††††††††† Books on Quaker Ancestors

Berry, Ellen Thomas and David Allen Berry. Our Quaker Ancestors: Finding them in Quaker Records. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1987.

Hill, Thomas C. Monthly Meetings in North America: An Index.1992 Formal Edition. Cincinnati, Ohio: By Author, 1992.

Hinshaw, William Wade. Encyclopedia of American Quaker Genealogy. Ann Arbor, MI: Edward Brothers, Inc., 1938-1950. 6 volumes.

Myers, Albert Cook. Quaker Arrivals at Philadelphia 1682-1750. 1902. Reprint, Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1978.