About Illinois, U.S., Select United Methodist Church Records, 1824-2009
The Illinois Great Rivers United Methodist Conference covers 87 counties in central and southern Illinois. This collection includes baptism, marriage, and death registers from churches in the conference that have been closed. Some of the records are from German congregations, and some of those are in German.
Baptisms (sometimes listed as christenings) typically include the name of the child, parents’ names, baptism date, mode of baptism, and by whom baptized. In some cases the birth date is noted as well. In some registers of children baptized, you may find family groups being baptized together. An infant baptism can be a clue that a member had been in the congregation for all of his or her life, whereas christenings done later in life could indicate the family had more recently joined the congregation.
Marriage records include the marriage date, the couple’s names, residences, and the name of the officiant. Ages and remarks were sometimes recorded as well.
Death records typically included the name of the deceased, date of death, date and place of the funeral, and officiating minister. There are also some funeral records that may include the cause of death and date and place of burial as well.
You may also find membership records, with some listing the names and dates of admission and how the member was received into the church (e.g., baptism, certificate/transfer from another church, or other, which could indicate a conversion from another denomination). There are also some registers of church officials that can include dates of service.
Baptism records are available only for individuals born before 1994.