Church Records

Church histories, newspapers, bulletins

Many churches published a history of their congregation particularly for significant events of the church such as a 50, 100 or 150 year anniversary.  

These histories can provide historical information about the formation of the church, activities supported by the church, biographical information on parish members, clergy and important events in the parish's life.  County histories may also be resources for locating the early churches that were established in a community and include information on the pioneer members and beginning of the church. 

Church histories:

Gather Us In: A History of the Parishes of the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis,  by Scott Walker.
St. Paul, MN: Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, 2000
MNHS call number: BX1417.S3 W75 2000

The History of Zion Lutheran Church on Franklin Lakeedited by Vi Julian and Howard Wergeland.
Fargo, N.D.: McCleery & Sons Publishing, 2005.
MNHS call number: BX8076.P3 Z565 2005

Pilgrim Baptist Church, St. Paul, Minnesota, 125th Anniversary Book: 1863-1988
Marceline, MO USA: Walsworth Publishing Co. 1988.
MNHS call number: BX6480.S2P664 1988

A Centennial History of Trinity Lutheran Church, Moorhead, Minnesota 1882-1982, by Gertrude Knutson.
Moorhead, MN: The Church, 1982.
MNHS call number: BX8076.M664 T75 1982

Nuestra Senora, Our Very Own,  by Dionisa Cardenas Coates.
Saint Paul, MN: Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish, 1981
MNHS call number: BX4603.S3 O9776 1981 (text in Spanish) & BX4603.S3 O97 1981 (text in English).

History of St. Peter Claver Church, Saint Paul, Minnesota
St. Paul, MN:  The Church, 1992.
MNHS call number: BX4603.S3 S3632 1992

St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Winona, Minnesota, 125th Anniversary: 1856-1981, by Pat Lilga-Haugen.
Winona, Minn.: The Church, 1981.
MNHS call number: BX5980.W84 S146 1981

Plymouth Congregational Church, 1857-2007: Walking Together All In God's Ways,  by Dave Kenney.
Minneapolis, Minn.: Plymouth Congregational Church, 2006.
MNHS call number: BX255.M6 P683 2006

Legacies of Faith: The Catholic Churches of Stearns County, by John Roscoe, Robert Roscoe.
St. Cloud, MN: North Star Press of St. Cloud, 2009.
MNHS call number:  NA5230.M52 S7576 2009

For more printed church histories search the library catalog by the [name of the church]  church history.  A more general search, if you are not sure of a congregation,  by name of the [city/village/town] church history. 


A church bulletin can provide information on programs, announcements, meetings, and death (funeral), marriage, birth information of members.

Plymouth Congregational Church Bulletin
Plymouth Congregation Church (Minneapolis, Minn).
1901- ongoing
MNHS call number: BX7255.M6 P6 

Bulletin - Payne Avenue Baptist Church
St. Paul, Minn.: Payne Avenue Baptist Church, 1943-1956.
MNHS call number:  BX6480.S2 P312

St. Luke's Bulletin
Minneapolis, Minn.: St. Luke's Lutheran Church
MNHS call number: BX8706.M6 S18

To locate more church bulletins: Search the library catalog by the [name of the congregation] and bulletin or the denomination and the term bulletin.


A church newspaper often focuses on denominational news but may include local information.

Catholic Bulletin (St. Paul, MN)
St. Paul, Minn.:  Catholic Bulletin Publishing Co., 1911-1995.
MNHS call number: Microfilm- filed as St. Paul Catholic Bulletin

Catholic Spirit (St. Paul, MN)
St. Paul, Minn.: Catholic Bulletin Publishing Co., 1996 - ongoing.
Continues the Catholic Bulletin
MNHS call number:  Microfilm- filed as St. Paul Catholic Spirit

Northwest Lutheran Journal
Minneapolis, Minn.: 1943-1961.
MNHS call number: Microfilm- filed as Minneapolis Northwest Lutheran Journal

To locate more newspapers search the library catalog by [name of the denomination] and newspapers.


Numerous churches, until more recent times, had their own cemetery/burial grounds. A cemetery can provide information or clues on birth and death dates particularly before civil records were being kept. For those churches with a cemetery, burial/internment registers or records were maintained by the church and are part of their records. There are also cemeteries that served specific denominations, i.e: Catholic or Lutheran, etc.

Many genealogical groups or interested individuals, have transcribed, indexed or listed burials in church cemeteries.  Some examples:

Transcription of Church of St. Nicholas Catholic Cemetery, New Market, Minnesota, Scott County, compiled by Ronald J. Zweber & Patrick J.  Mahowald.
Burnsville, MN : Cornerstone Copy Center, 2005.
MNHS call number: BX4603.N35 C498 2005

Calvary Cemetery, St. Paul, Minnesota, compiled by Mary Bakeman and Stina B. Green.
Roseville, MN: Park Genealogical Books, 1995-1999.
MNHS call number: Reading Room F613.S61 C254  v. 1-5 (1854-1911)

St. John's in the Wilderness Episcopal Cemetery, White Bear Lake, Minnesota
White Bear Lake, Minn. : White Bear Lake Genealogical Society, 1992.
MNHS call number: F612.R25 S35 1992

Eight Cemetery Transcriptions, compiled by the German Interest Group of the Minnesota Genealogy Society.
St. Paul, MN: Germanic Genealogy Society, 2009.
MNHS call number: F605.E43 2009

For more indexes search the library catalog by the [name of the church] cemetery or a more general search by name of the [city/village/town] or county cemeteries. 

Church Record Links

Gale Family Library • Minnesota Historical Society • 345 W. Kellogg Blvd., St. Paul, MN 55102-1906 • 651-259-3300
Currently open by appointment only.