Arizona Church Records
|Arizona Wiki Topics|
|Local Research Resources|
The FamilySearch moderator for Arizona is James Tanner.
- 1 Historical Background
- 2 Information Found in the Records
- 3 Finding Records
- 3.1 Look for online records.
- 3.2 Look for digital copies of church records in the FamilySearch Catalog.
- 3.3 Finding Aids
- 3.4 Check the church records collections in archives and libraries.
- 3.5 Correspond with genealogical or historical societies.
- 4 Next, go to the Wiki article for your ancestors' denomination.
- 5 Carefully compare any record you find to known facts about the ancestor
Historical Background[edit | edit source]
In 2010, the Association of Religion Data Archives reported that the three largest denominational groups in Arizona were the Catholic Church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and non-denominational Evangelical Protestants. The Catholic Church has the highest number of adherents in Arizona (at 930,001), followed by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints with 410,263 members reported, and then non-denominational Evangelical Protestants, reporting 281,105 adherents. The religious body with the largest number of congregations is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (with 836 congregations) followed by the Southern Baptist Convention (with 323 congregations). Source: Wikipedia
Information Found in the Records[edit | edit source]
To effectively use church records, become familiar with their content. Click on these links to learn about a specific record type:
Finding Records[edit | edit source]
Look for online records.[edit | edit source]
Online databases are incomplete. This can lead to two common errors:
FamilySearch[edit | edit source]
- 1909-1917 - Arizona, births and christenings, 1909-1917, index
- 1910-1911; 1933-1994 - Arizona, deaths and burials, 1910-1911; 1933-1994, index
- 1865-1949 - Arizona, marriages, 1865-1949, index
Episcopal[edit | edit source]
- 1889-1971 - Episcopal Diocese of Arizona church records : jurisdiction of New Mexico and Arizona, 1889-1971, images
Ancestry.com[edit | edit source]
Presbyterian[edit | edit source]
- 1701-1970 - U.S., Presbyterian Church Records, 1701-1970, index and images, incomplete.($)
Look for digital copies of church records in the FamilySearch Catalog.[edit | edit source]
- The Family History Library (FHL) has a substantial collection of original church records and transcripts on microfilm for churches in the United States. Reformed, and Roman Catholic churches.
- Online church records can be listed in the FamilySearch Catalog under the state, county, or town.
- If you find a record that has not yet been digitized, see How do I request that a microfilm be digitized?
- Some records might have viewing restrictions, and can only be viewed at a Family History Center near you, and/or by members of supporting organizations.
- To find records:
- a. Click on the records of United States, Arizona.
- b. Click on Places within United States, Arizona and a list of counties will appear.
- c. Click on your county if it appears.
- d. Click on the "Church records" topic. Click on the blue links to specific record titles.
- e. Click on Places within United States, Arizona [COUNTY] and a list of towns will appear.
- f. Click on your town if it appears, or the location which you believe was the parish which served your town or village.
- g. Click on the "Church records" topic. Click on the blue links to specific record titles.
- h. Some combination of these icons will appear at the far right of the listing for the record. . The magnifying glass indicates that the record is indexed. Clicking on the magnifying glass will take you to the index. Clicking on the camera will take you to an online digital copy of the records.
Finding Aids[edit | edit source]
An inventory that can help you find church records is:
- Directory of Churches and Religious Organizations in Arizona. Phoenix, Arizona: Division of Professional and Service Projects, WPA, 1940.
- The Church in Arizona: A Brief History History of the Episcopal Diocese of Arizona, lists the various parish churches.
Check the church records collections in archives and libraries.[edit | edit source]
Some church records have been deposited for preservation in government archives or in libraries. Watch for links to digitized, online records offered by the archives. Some archives provide research services for a fee. For others, if you cannot visit in person, you might hire a researcher.
Here you will find archive information unique to the state. Many more archives are kept by denomination. For denominational archives, go to Searching for Church Records by Denomination.
Lutheran[edit | edit source]
South West California Synod / ELCA Region 2 Archives
1300 E. Colorado St.
Glendale, CA 91205
- Archives hold records for closed churches. For open churches write directly to the local church.
Episcopal/Anglican[edit | edit source]
Episcopal Diocese of Arizona
114 W. Roosevelt St.
Phoenix, AZ 85003-1406
Phone: (602) 254-0976
Fax: (602) 495-6603
- Contact the diocese for closed churches. Contact existing churches for local parish records.
Methodist[edit | edit source]
Desert Southwest Conference United Methodist Church
1550 East Meadowbrook Avenue
Phoenix, Arizona 85014-4040
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 32830, Phoenix, Arizona 85064
Roman Catholic[edit | edit source]
Diocese of Phoenix Archives
400 East Monroe St.
Phoenix, AZ 85004
Phone: (602) 354-2475
- Contact the local parish first.
The diocese includes the counties of: Coconino, Maricopa, Mohave and Yavapai. NOTE: The diocesan archives does not do any genealogical lookups. However, they will assist a person find their own Sacramental records if they do not know the parish where they took the Sacrament.
Diocese of Tucson Archives
300 S. Tucson Blvd.
Tucson, AZ 85716
Phone: (520) 886-5201
Arizona State Library, Archives, and Public Records
State Capitol Building
Phoenix, Arizona 85007-2812
- Catholic Diocese of Tucson Records (some), incomplete.
The counties of Apache and Navajo are included in the Diocese of Gallup, New Mexico. The Archives office does not aid in genealogical research or family history studies. Contact the local parish for genealogical help.
The Arizona Historical Society houses early Spanish Catholic Church records in collections such as “Archivo General de la Nacion” and “Archivo Colegial Franscano of Queretaro, Mexico.”
Indian Missions[edit | edit source]
Missions were established by religious denominations to serve the Indians.
- Purisima Concepcion
- San Agustin de Tucson
- San Pedro y San Pueblo de
- San Xavier del Bac
Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions Records
Special Collections and Archives
Raynor Memorial Libraries
1355 W. Wisconsin Avenue
Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53233
P.O. Box 3141
Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53201-3141
Correspond with genealogical or historical societies.[edit | edit source]
Some church records have been given to historical societies. Also, historical societies may be able to tell you where the records are being held. To find a society near you, consult these lists:
Next, go to the Wiki article for your ancestors' denomination.[edit | edit source]
There are frequently additional, nationwide or regional archives and online collections for each denomination. Find the article for your ancestors' denomination and follow the instructions there to access these sources.
|Wiki Articles for Records of Major Religious Denominations|
Carefully compare any record you find to known facts about the ancestor[edit | edit source]
You will possibly find many different people with the same name as your ancestor, especially when a family stayed in a locality for several generations, and several children were named after the grandparents or aunts and uncles. Be prepared to find the correct church records by organizing in advance as many of these exact details about the ancestor as possible:
- name, including middle name and maiden name
- names of all spouses, including middle and maiden name
- exact or closely estimated dates of birth, marriage, and death
- names and approximate birthdates of children
- all known places of residence
- military service details
Carefully evaluate the church records you find to make sure you have really found records for your ancestor and not just a "near match". If one or more of the details do not line up, be careful about accepting the entry as your ancestor. There are guiding principles for deciding how to resolve discrepancies between records that are seemingly close. For more instruction in evaluating evidence, read the Wiki article, Evaluate the Evidence.