“Discovering Southern Families Using Church Records and Related Publications”
J. Mark Lowe, CG, FUGA
31 March–7 April 2018
Our ancestors may have been exemplary citizens or just average folk. However, their faith and
participation in church and related religious organizations should help us understand the community
where they lived, and how they functioned within that neighborhood.
By focusing on these religious records and manuscripts, we can discover the wonderful letters, diaries,
memorials, and additional documents that tell the story of families across the South and more.
Understand what was created, discover how and where to find these items for your research.
Understand the religious fervor after the Great Awakening. Learn about additional periodicals and
historical resources that can sharpen your focus. Case studies will paint a clearer picture.
Primary Focus: African Methodist Episcopal (AME); Baptist; Disciples of Christ, Christian, Church of
Christ; The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; Cumberland Presbyterian; Episcopal; Judaism;
Mennonites; Methodist (including CME); Moravian (Unitas Fratrum); Presbyterian; Roman Catholic; and
Shaker (The United Society of Believers in Christ’s Second Appearing).
J. Mark Lowe, CG, FUGA, is a full-time professional genealogist, author, and teacher who researches primarily in original records and manuscripts throughout the South. Mark has published in APGQ, NGSQ, North Carolina Genealogical Society Quarterly, SPEAK!, The Longhunter, and other society publications.
Lowe also serves as the Course Coordinator for “Research in the South” at the Institute for Genealogy and Historical Research (IGHR), teaches for the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG), and the Regional In-depth Genealogical Studies Alliance (RIGS Alliance). He has worked on several genealogical television series including African American Lives, Who Do You Think You Are?, and UnXplained Events.
Course Schedule (all times U. S. Eastern)
31 March 2018
- 11:00am: “Church Governance and Organization: Defining Ecclesiastical polity and style”: Episcopal,
Congregationalist, Connexionalist, Hierarchical, Presbyterian. Developing a plan to locate those records.
Students will have the opportunity to examine the variety of churches, understand the issues, and see
how organization affects the records.
- 1:00pm: “Strategies for Locating Church Records”: Session will include general and specific strategies
for the groups discussed. Historical publications and periodicals will be included.
7 April 2018
- 11:00am: “Building a Profile”: Using discovered and extant church records and related publications,
develop a profile for a minister, church leader, individual man, and individual woman.
- 1:00pm: “Completing the Picture”: Fill in the details using the combination of records discovered and
Plus Session, 5 April 2018, 8:00pm