Quite honestly, I have never had much luck finding family members in church records, but the Roane County Baptist Church records of 1826 did identify my husband’s William Williams being dismissed. William and Judith Williams, along with their children, removed to Marion County, Tennessee before 1830, but Marion County is a burned county, having lost almost all of its records in a 1922 fire. The Roane County church minutes documented that they likely moved there in 1826.
I decided to take another look at these original records, available on microfilm at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City. There are actually records available for three churches, the Prospect Baptist Church (1826-1862) and the New Hope Cumberland Presbyterian Church (1824-1845) and Russell’s Chapel Cumberland Presbyterian Church (1874-1897).
Today’s image is from the Prospect Baptist Church in 1826:
Page from the 1826 Prospect Baptist Church Records
Membership Lists, Roane County, Tennessee
I am going to admit right here that there is no transcription of the names because there would be many places where I can’t make out the name. However, most names are quite legible. If you look closely at the lists, both include “persons of color,” along with the names of both white male and female church members. Some names are crossed out. They might have moved away or died or left the church for some other reason.
If you find family members on this list, please email or leave a comment and I’d be happy to share my jpgs with you.
However, I shared this record today to remind you to not overlook church records that have survived. Some records are only historical in nature – when the church organized, who founded it or maybe only surnames of early members. Other records, like the Roane County records, are original handwritten records giving detailed information about members, births, baptisms, confirmations, marriages, deaths/burials, and moving in/moving out records. They often are NOT indexed.
Don’t overlook them! They might contain information not found elsewhere.