Genealogy at First Presbyterian Church
Welcome to the Genealogy Room The Psalmist has said, "Great are the works of the Lord; they are
First Presbyterian Church, studied by all who delight in them. Study the works that God
Gainesville, Texas has accomplished among His people, delight in them, and tell the story."
From birth and death notices to transfer of church membership to simply getting a sense of how involved an ancestor was in a local congregation, church records offer a wealth of information for genealogists.
For example, in the Meeting of the Session of the First Presbyterian Church, March 24, 1929 the following was recorded:
“The names of Mr. and Mrs. Portis Sims and Edwin Sims were presented for membership in the church by letter and they were unanimously received.
The following were received on profession of faith: Patsy Hughes, Roy Eugene Hughes, Ben McPherson, Clinton McPherson, Gayden Moore, David Robb, Hal Timmis, and Holner Schurig.”
Or another example from the Meeting of the Session of First Presbyterian Church, February 3, 1929:
“On motion letter was granted Mrs. Josephine Copeland to unite with the Calvary Presbyterian Church, Clovis, New Mexico.”
If a descendant of Mrs. Copeland’s had been trying to trace her and had lost her in the records, this mention in the Session minutes would provide the solution to where Mrs. Copeland had gone and then documents could be searched in that area.
Gradually, the church records of the First Presbyterian Church that will provide assistance to genealogists will be placed online. Currently, excerpts from the Session Minutes from the following years 1921-22; 1923-24; 1925-26; 1927-1929; 1930-31; 1932-35; and 1936-37 have been placed in this Genealogy Room. Those excerpts list people who joined the church and those who left. They include a few death notices and a couple of marriages. Lists of Sunday school teachers are also included. At the beginning of each I have included an excerpt from the Minutes to give researchers an idea of what was going on in the church at that time.
Anyone with a research question should contact the church and their inquiry then will be forwarded to the church historian. Be aware that the records are not indexed.
Be sure and visit the Genealogy Room on a regular basis to see what new records appear. Happy Hunting!