Federated States of Micronesia Church Records

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For information about records for non-Christian religions in the Federated States of Micronesia, go to the Religious Records page.

Historical Background[edit | edit source]

Most Micronesians are Christian. Several Protestant denominations, as well as the Roman Catholic Church, are present in every Micronesian state. Most Protestant groups trace their roots to American Congregationalist missionaries. On the island of Kosrae, the population is approximately 7,800; 95 percent are Protestants. On Pohnpei, the population of 35,000 is evenly divided between Protestants and Catholics. Most immigrants are Filipino Catholics who have joined local Catholic churches, e.g. Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Church in Pohnpei.

On Chuuk and Yap, an estimated 60 percent are Catholic and 40 percent are Protestant. Religious groups with small followings include Baptists, Assemblies of God, Salvation Army, Seventh-day Adventists, Jehovah's Witnesses, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons), and the Bahá'í Faith. Attendance at religious services is generally high; churches are well supported by their congregations and play a significant role in civil society.[27]

In the 1890s, on the island of Pohnpei, intermissionary conflicts and the conversion of clan leaders resulted in religious divisions along clan lines which persist today. More Protestants live on the western side of the island, while more Catholics live on the eastern side. Missionaries of many religious traditions are present and operate freely. The Constitution provides for freedom of religion, and the Government generally respected this right in practice. [1][2]

Information Recorded in the Records[edit | edit source]

Different denominations, different time periods, and practices of different record keepers will effect how much information can be found in the records. This outline will show the types of details which might be found (best case scenario):

Baptisms[edit | edit source]

In Catholic and Anglican records, children were usually baptized a few days after birth, and therefore, the baptism record proves date of birth. Other religions, such as Baptists, baptized at other points in the member's life. Baptism registers might give:

  • baptism date
  • the infant's name
  • parents' names
  • father's occupation
  • status of legitimacy
  • occasionally, names of grandparents
  • names of witnesses or godparents, who may be relatives
  • birth date and place
  • the family's place of residence
  • death information, as an added note or signified by a cross

Marriages[edit | edit source]

Marriage registers can give:

  • the marriage date
  • the names of the bride and groom
  • indicate whether the bride and groom were single or widowed
  • their ages
  • birth dates and places for the bride and groom
  • their residences
  • their occupations
  • birthplaces of the bride and groom
  • parents' names (after 1800)
  • the names of previous spouses and their death dates
  • names of witnesses, who might be relatives.

Burials[edit | edit source]

Burial registers may give:

  • the name of the deceased
  • the date and place of death or burial
  • the deceased's age
  • place of residence
  • cause of death
  • the names of survivors, especially a widow or widower
  • deceased's birth date and place
  • parents' names, or at least the father's name

How to Find Records[edit | edit source]

Digital Copies of Church Records in the FamilySearch Catalog[edit | edit source]

Watch for digitized copies of church records to be added to the collection of the FamilySearch Library. 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 Federated States of Micronesia.
b. Click on Places within Federated States of Micronesia and a list of towns will appear.
c. Click on your town if it appears, or the location which you believe was the parish which served your town or village.
d. Click on the "Church records" topic. Click on the blue links to specific record titles.
e. Some combination of these icons will appear at the far right of the listing for the record. FHL icons.png. 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.

Writing for Records[edit | edit source]

You will probably need to write to or email the national archives, the diocese, or local parish priests to find records. See Letter Writing Guide for Genealogy for help with composing letters.

Catholic Church Records[edit | edit source]

Writing to a Local Parish[edit | edit source]

Earlier records can be held at the diocese, with more recent records still kept in the local parish. To locate the mailing address or e-mail address for a diocese or local parish, consult:

Historical Background[edit | edit source]

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Caroline Islands is an ecclesiastical territory or diocese of the Catholic Church in the Federated States of Micronesia and in the Republic of Palau. The diocese was established on 19 December 1905, as the Apostolic Prefecture (missionary jurisdiction) of Caroline Islands, uniting the Mission sui iuris of Eastern Carolines and Mission sui iuris of Western Carolines, both of which had been split from the Apostolic Prefecture of Micronesia in 1886.[3]

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Records[edit | edit source]

Online Records[edit | edit source]

Online information is available to current members, for deceased members and immediate family members who are still living. Sign in to FamilySearch and then select Family Tree in the drop-down menu.

Historical Background[edit | edit source]

Two missionaries arrived in Chuuk (Truk) on 7 July 1977. By 1980, membership reached 170, and on 31 May 1981, the Truk-Pohnpei District was created. A Church building was dedicated 24 April 1983. By 1990 the district had been divided and two more Church buildings had been dedicated.

Work in Kosrae began in March 1985, but missionaries found little success. They worked hard to break down public opinion against the Church. The first Kosrean, Isidro Abraham, was baptized 25 April 1986. By October 1989 when a branch (a small congregation) conference was held at Lela, 72 people attended. Kosrae became a district on 14 March 1990. Ground had been broken for the Malem Church building on 21 December 1989, and the completed facility was dedicated 3 December 1992. The Lelu Church building was dedicated in January 1993.

Pohnpei Island was opened to missionary work on 23 October 1976. The Pohnpei District was created 22 November 1985. In 1990, membership was 464.

The Church came to Yap in 1977. The first Church building was completed 13 January 1981. Membership on the island was then 150. Total Church Membership: 6,307. Congregations: 24:[4]

Assembly of God Church Records[edit | edit source]

Writing for Records[edit | edit source]

Baptist Church Records[edit | edit source]

Writing for Records[edit | edit source]

Jehovah's Witnesses Church Records[edit | edit source]

Writing for Records[edit | edit source]

Salvation Army Church Records[edit | edit source]

Writing for Records[edit | edit source]

Seventh-day Adventist Church Records[edit | edit source]

Writing for Records[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Wikipedia contributors, "Federated States of Micronesia", in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federated_States_of_Micronesia, accessed 9 April 2020.
  2. Wikipedia contributors, "Religion in Federated States of Micronesia", in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Micronesia#Religion_and_mythology, accessed 9 April 2020.
  3. Wikipedia contributors, "Catholic Church in the Federated States of Micronesia", in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catholic_Church_in_the_Federated_States_of_Micronesia, accessed 9 April 2020.
  4. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, "Facts and Statistics: Federated States of Micronesia, https://newsroom.churchofjesuschrist.org/facts-and-statistics/country/Micronesia, accessed 9 April 2020.