Preach Google Books

Determining the denomination with which a minister was affiliated can be difficult–particularly if the ministry was not the individual’s full time job and the person has been dead for several centuries. The usual place where one learns of an “untethered minister” is on a marriage record.

One approach is to search for the individual’s religious affiliation is GoogleBooks. Try searching that site for the name of the minister and the county where the marriage took place–just the name of the county and the state. If that is not successful, consider:

  • Using only the last name of the minister.
  • Use the name of the county seat.
  • Include the word “minister,” “preacher,” “pastor,” etc.
  • Include the word church.
  • Include one word to guess at the denomination “Lutheran,” “Methodist,” “Presbyterian,” etc.

If that approach does not work, consider reaching out to a county historical or genealogical society.

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