Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Class Highlight: U.S. Early Church Records with Rev. Dr. David McDonald

Genealogists learn that there are more than one set of records, and multiple different approaches, to conduct effective research. The course will examine both theological underpinnings and the records created by churches, ministers, and denominations that can affect and impact on the genealogical work. Denominational “genealogy,” leading lights, naming patterns, cultural and behavioral impacts, in addition to church records as resources will be considered in this week-long learning experience. With the world’s largest collection of records within walking distance of the track, we will examine the utility of the records available, their use as substitutes for civil registration and vital records, and effective interweaving of the records into written narratives of a family’s record. Also examines churches “across the pond” in their European settings, and evaluates influences that helped shape denominational thinking and record-keeping processes.

We will consider the theological influences impacting on the particular denominations, along with religious practices and cultural attitudes which may prevail amongst various groups and bodies. Homework will be featured three evenings.

Rev. Dr. McDonald has over 35 years research experience and has been lecturing over 30 years. He has been Board-certified since 2004, was a trustee and past president of BCG, served NGS as a former director, and edited the WSGS Newsletter. He is also an Ordained Protestant minister.

He has a wide range of specialties including: the Midwest; migration patterns across the US; religious records and denominations; fraternal organizations and records; English research; methodology & analysis; land records, local & federal; presidential genealogy; New England; lineage societies; record transcription & analysis; genealogical credentials and educational opportunities.

If you have questions about whether this course is right for you, email us at

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