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of Methodism

Genealogy Research

A brief guide to help you search for Methodist family records

The research into Family Trees is a very valuable and important part of doing history. Unfortunately the Wesley Historical Society cannot undertake genealogical searches because we do not hold the records or registers of births, marriages or deaths. The local or county Record Office may be able to help you. Some local Churches have current registers.

If you think you may be related to the Wesleys, contact the Wesley Historical Society Library. E-mail ocmch@brookes.ac.uk 

Obituaries of Ministers can often be found in the Minutes of Conference of the Wesleyan or the Methodist denominations in which they served. Ministerial stations are listed in the following publications. Hall's Circuits and Ministers, An Alphabetical List of Circuits in Great Britain 1765 to 1912; Hall's Circuits and Ministers 1913 to 1923; An Alphabetical and Chronological Arrangement of The Wesleyan Methodist Ministers and Preachers on Trial, This was published and updated regularly until 1932. Ministers and Probationers of the Methodist Church. Published after 1932 until 1968; Garlick's Methodist Registry 1983; Who's Who in Methodism 1933; Directory of Primitive Methodist Ministers 1990 by William Leary, United Methodist Ministers and their Circuits 1968 by Oliver A Beckerlegge. If the date of death of a Minister is known then a notice of their death and/or an obituary may appear in the denominational Newspaper or the denominational Magazine. The information on lay people is very difficult to find. The local or county Record Offices might have local church personnel information in minute books etc. Some printed donation lists survive from the 19th century which can be useful, see the article in the 2005 Proceedings of the Wesley Historical Society. Volume 55 part 1 pages 43-52, Some Printed Donation Lists by John H Lenton. A useful publication is The Methodist Local Preachers' Who's Who. 1934 Basic Facts about Methodist Records for Family Historians by Richard Ratcliffe Federation of Family History Societies

The following research centres have extensive runs of Minutes of Conference and some of the Methodist/Wesleyan denominational newspapers, which you may consult.

A number of major City Reference Libraries have copies of the Minutes of Conference and/or the Methodist Recorder.

The following addresses may be able to guide you in your researches.

There are number of genealogical societies, which can be found on the Web.

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