What is a “Church Record?”
A “Church Record” that will be accepted by the Historian General is documentation of an event that occurred in the church, such as a Baptism, a Marriage or a Funeral. Transcripts of these events from church registers by an employee of the church are also acceptable.
Church Records are NOT printouts from databases in genealogy software maintained by a church employee.
What can I do if I’m told the certificates I need cannot be released or not found?
There are a number of states that are placing restrictions on what vital records are available and who can get them out of concern for identity theft. Records may be restricted to immediate family members, or restricted for a substantial period of time after the event.
If you cannot get a record, please include a copy of the letter you received denying access, or a printout from the state’s website listing their restrictions. You will then need to provide other sources for the event in question.
The same applies for a record that you can’t find—include the documentation to show you tried but failed, then get creative with other sources for the event.