Valley of the Shadow
The Eve of War
Fall 1859–Spring 1861

Church Records

Church records tell us about the spiritual life of a community, its connections and dissonances. Many churches kept careful records of their members, making notes of their marriages, births, baptisms, and deaths.

Some churches detailed excommunications and other extraordinary events in the lives of their parishioners. Other churches did not keep records of parishioners. Some churches did not own a dedicated building but instead gathered when an itinerant preacher came into their area.

In 1995–1996 the Valley project staff searched the churches of Franklin and Augusta counties for record books, often finding them with the help of the clergy. The staff then meticulously transcribed the record books of several churches from Augusta and Franklin Counties, converting them into searchable databases.