Hi! I’m Sunny Morton, an internationally-known genealogy educator. I help people learn and share their family histories.
Here’s praise for my latest project, How to Find Your Family History in U.S. Church Records, co-authored with Harold A. Henderson, CG:
“This is a fantastic resource every genealogist needs on their bookshelf.” – Read the full review by Cari A. Taplin, CG
“…a book that is definitely needed in the genealogy community!…I have taught a Church Records course with the Rev. David McDonald at [the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh], and I wish there had been something like this to help me as I put together my presentations. There have been so many divisions and break-offs from core religions that it can be difficult to trace what you may need back to its original beginnings. This book can help you do that.” – Read the full review by Peggy Lauritzen, AG
“George [G. Morgan] recommends this book to every genealogist and to every library collection. He gives this book a 10-star review for this much needed and well-written book.” (Show notes from The Genealogy Guys Podcast Episode #369)
“…A book that, simply put, needs to be on every genealogist’s bookshelf. Period. Full stop….” Read the full review by Jim Beidler, Roots & Branches
“This work is well organized, well written by expert genealogists, and very useful for researchers trying to find family history for their ancestral families. Using these records may unlock family stories and mysteries that are only in church records. My opinion is that this book is the best available and most up-to-date resource for this record class, and will be a valuable addition to my family history personal library.” –Read the full review by Randy J. Seaver
“I had so much success using her step-by-step guidance that I gave presentations on what I found at both my local elder hostel and my genealogy club. Best genealogy book I ever purchased!” -Donna on “Elevenses with Lisa” YouTube show, episode 41 (chat)
““The best way to approach this book is to read the first five chapters carefully and completely. They are so useful that I took pages and pages of notes. Sometimes I even put the book down and looked up the resource being discussed right then and there. Imagine my surprise when I found a handwritten record of an early church that I had not previously known about. I didn’t know that this denomination had a national library! . . . The advice on how to search for records, such as ‘town state church records’ or ‘denomination state [or county] history’ were terrific tools to stay abreast of new reference materials as they are uploaded to the internet or published either in print or digitally.”—reviewed by Margaret McCrea, Genealogical Forum of Oregon, Volume 69, No. 4 (June 2020)
Catch me talking about church records:
- in a full-length presentation at the Library of Congress, Washington, DC
- with host Lisa Louise Cooke on “Elevenses with Lisa” YouTube show
- with host Drew Smith on the Genealogy Connection podcast
- with host Shamele Jordan on Genealogy Quick Start (church records segment starts about 30 minutes in)
About the book
Records created by the major Christian denominations before 1900 in the United States are underutilized by family historians. But these records may reveal ancestors’ births, maiden or married names, marriage details, deaths, family relationships, other residences, and even immigrants’ overseas birthplaces. You may uncover information about ancestors who have been unnamed in other records–women, children, ethnic minorities, immigrants, and the poor. You may find details about your ancestors recorded long before the existence of civil records.
It is not always an easy task to track down U.S. church records. How to Find Your Family History in U.S. Church Records is a unique, peer-reviewed publication that takes researchers step-by-step through the process of identifying, locating, and gaining access to these genealogical gems.
Included in this book are hundreds of links to church research resources, as well as chapters devoted to specific resources for the major Christian denominations before 1900. More than 30 archivists, historians, and genealogical experts in specific faith traditions have contributed their knowledge to these denominational chapters. Get your copy on Amazon (shipping in August) or straight from Genealogical Publishing Company.