Sunday, February 22, 2015

Church Record Sunday - Where do you belong?

Last  week I headed out to Salt Lake City with my partner in genealogy crime and attended the Roots Tech conference. What a great experience. I learned quite a bit at  the tech classes and got to spend two full days at the Family History Library researching my family. Last year we attended the National Genealogy Society conference and I have to say, if you have not attended a genealogy conference of any kind, get out there and sign up for one.

One of the things I was researching in the library was church records. I did not find anything that would actually help my search but just learning about the churches in the area where my ancestors lived was fascinating. After returning home I continued filing my records in my binder and happened upon my grandmothers Certificate of  Membership to the Presbyterian Church of Ameagle in West Virginia.

This document answers questions and creates more, don't they all?. I  learned that my grandmother joined on the 6th of April in the year 1947 but I don't know how active she was at church. I saw that it was only her name on the certificate so I wondered if my grandfather joined also and had his own certificate or if she joined alone, which is what I suspected. I have the name of the church and I have the name of the Pastor but not the location of the church.

Now talking to my mother, and yes I am lucky I have someone who might have the answers I seek, I found that my Grandmother joined alone and became quite active in the church. I also learned that the church was located beside the Dr. office and across the street from the company store which had a soda fountain in the basement. This was a coal mining town and they had company stores for the workers and their families.  I also learned that my grandmother was a member of two women's groups at this church. The Willing Workers and the Missionary Society. One or both of these groups had a Hat Party once a year. Looks like they had a good time at these hat parties!