Church Records of St. Lawrence County, NY
About This Site
The most recent update to this page was May 26, 2007.
The goal of this site is to make available online the records of the
churches of St. Lawrence county, N.Y. This will not be just an index
but entire records, to appear as much as possible in the same format
as the original paper records from the churches. Depending on how you
arrived at this site, you may want to go to www.usgenweb.org, click on
'New York', then 'choose a county' then select St. Lawrence county from
the map of counties or by name lower on the page.
These church records are a small part of the many records at the usgenweb
site. For example, you may find many marriages listed there that are not
among these church records if you view the 'births, deaths, marriages from
the Gouverneur Herald'. There are aproximately 13,000 entries in that index
from roughly 1864 - 1904 with the great majority from the 1880's. Also see
links to census, cemetery, voter records and more.
On this site of church records, as you click on a church name, and then
a letter of the alphabet, a screen of indexed names will appear. You will
then see clickable names or names with multiple entries beside them. If
you click on the name or the entry ex. 'mbr' for membership, 'probate' for
probationary membership, 'marr' for marriage, 'bapt' for baptism) you will
then see a sheet of records in the same general format as the original
church record. Note that some names may appear more than once on the same
page. For example, a couple just married may then be witnesses to another
marriage. Once you click on a name and the page of records displays, you
can press ctrl/f (press and hold down the ctrl key then press the 'f' letter
key) which displays a 'find' box. Key in the name of interest (first or last
name) and click on find up or find down whichever is appropriate. The find
utility will find the name up or down the page multiple times so you are
sure to find all instances of a name on any page.
Each page is not an exact duplicate of a church page of records. I kept
the number of names per webpage to about 50 so people will not have to
scroll far to find a name. The order of the names within any web page
is the same order as in the church pages. Membership records are usually
somewhat alphabetical, similar to land records grouped alphabetically by
surname over a period of many years. Marriage records typically are in
order by date.
As of May 2005, the majority of records at this site are from the
Gouverneur United Methodist Church. A limited set of Baptist records
are complete and on line. Most Gouverneur Baptist records were destroyed
in a 1970's fire. Records of the Morristown Congregational are complete
and on line as of Feb. 2, 2003. Records of the Canton Methodist church
and Norfolk Episcopal are complete. In progress as of March 2006 are
Gouverneur Methodist and Norfolk Methodist. The range of dates listed
for records (ex. 1860 - 1890) is just a rough guideline based on headings
on the paper records. Within a set of records there may be a much older
birthdate mentioned (ex. from the 1700's). To be sure you have not missed
anything you would need to check each church index. At some point in the
future I will probably combine the indexes into one master index.
For any church that is incomplete at this time, you may want to check
back once a month or so for new additions. Even if you have found a
name of interest, you may want to revisit the site as many names have
multiple mentions in different years. If you find a name, do not assume it
is the final mention of the name. The Gouverneur Methodist set of records
is very large and may not be complete until sometime in 2006.
You may see 'mbr1', 'mbr2', etc. (membership) for one person. Be sure to
click on each as each will likely have different information which might
include exact street address, places moved to and from and dates of death
or marriage. Note that a common name (ex. Mary Jones) may have many
mentions which will not all be for the same Mary Jones. You will have to
check each name in the context of the page displayed to determine whether
the name represents someone you are interested in. When I have a record for
a 'Mary Jones' it is simply added to that name in the index.
In addition to actual records, I am creating a survey of records for
all churches of the county. Those are currently found under the links
'By Town' and 'By Denomination'. I am adding churches with websites and
email contacts first. Some have sent me brief descriptions of what records
they have. This should help people determine whether a church has records
that might be useful.
Any volunteer assistance is appreciated. If you can personally visit a church
and view the records, let me know the range of dates and types of records
available and I will add that information to the site. If you are interested
learning about creation of web pages of records, I can teach you the basics of
html so that you can create pages of records that will be part of these
church records. There is a bit of a learning curve, but once you are over that
it's a matter of data entry and attention to detail. Also, if you are
reading this and you live in the county or if you know someone in the
county who attends a church (or synagogue), I invite you to pass along to
me a contact name (email if possible) associated with the church who can send me
a description of the records at the church.