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Methodist Genealogy Research: Overview

Methodist Church Structure

Searching for a family member’s involvement with the Methodist Church can be complicated because there are not many centralized sources of information. Knowing the basics of the church structure will assist in your efforts.

The Methodist Church is organized in the following manner:

  • A group of local churches form a district. The tips below in the Getting Started section may be the best sources of information if your relative was involved locally.
  •  Several districts come together to form an annual conference. The resources listed on the Free Online Resources tab of this guide may be the best sources of information if your relative was involved on the state or national level. 

Getting Started

To begin researching the Methodist genealogy for your relative you should start with the following steps:

  • First, contact the church in your relative’s local area. They may have maintained information regarding:
    • baptisms,
    • confirmations,
    • marriages,
    • or other important events that happened locally
  • Second, look for other resources such as the local library and/or historical society. These institutions may have:
    • specific information about local events related to church activities
    • historical material that can provide a wealth of background information
  • Finally, do not forget the local libraries, they may have archived copies of the local newspaper.