Research Guides:

Religious Newspapers

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The religious publications are of interest to both genealogists and historians. Many Protestant denominations, including Methodist, Baptist, Presbyterian, Cumberland Presbyterian, Lutheran, Church of God and Calvinist, are represented with publications in the collection. Mormon, Catholic and Jewish papers are also available. Publications in the collection date from the 1840's to the present.

Genealogists may find that these newspapers provide notices of otherwise undiscovered life events. Baptisms, marriages and deaths are often reported. The information presented varies from an informative obituary to a list of names and local church affiliations to beautiful eulogies that contain little family information beyond the name of the spouse and the number of children. Whether or not these papers carry information about the general membership, they almost always include obituaries of death notices for members of the clergy. Because these periodicals were often the official statewide organ of a denomination, these lists or notices were usually printed several weeks after the event.

These papers contain much information regarding church view points and reactions to national and local events that will interest historians. Disagreements between various factions within churches have resulted in many provocative letters to the papers, followed by further commentary or rebuttals. These present insights into the feelings and reactions of members as well as church officials.