25 November 2009

Writing to Hawhammock

In an effort to expand my genealogy research strategies, I'm challenging myself to try a new, non-internet, avenue of research each month. This month, I'm going to contact the church of my Boatright ancestors. Hawhammock Missionary Baptist Church is located in Swainsboro, Emanuel, Georgia.

I started my inquiry by trying to research the best ways to contact churches. I didn't find much. From Family Tree Magazine, I found a list of Church Record Resources, including the American Baptist Historical Society (though FTM has the wrong link, I was able to find their site via google). From their website, I found that they, "have found that Baptist church records are generally not helpful for genealogical research." This is mainly due to adult baptism that is not recorded, the fact that marriage is not regarded as a sacrament and records are not often kept, and because there is no regulated administrative policy. They do, however, keep records of those who served the church as pastors or missionaries.

Well, regardless of this, I'm still going to attempt to contact the church to see if they have information. I read in someone else's research that my ancestor, Reubin Boatright, was a deacon of the church. Also, many of his family members are buried there, so the church might have some burial or death information.

Here's the letter I'm sending via the contact form on their website:

I'm contacting you to inquire about your church's history. I'm an avid genealogist and my ancestors were members of your church, many of whom are buried there.
I was wondering if your church kept records of your members? My ancestors include Reubin Boatright (1794-1878) and his wife, Demaris Boatright (1829-1900) and their son, Stephen Boatright (1863-1950) and his wife Dora Logue (1863-1935).
I apologize for making this such a broad request, but I'm not sure what information you might have, if any. I would be grateful for information that your records may contain and would be more than willing to compensate your for your time.
Thank you for any assistance."

I'm not sure how good this letter is, but I guess I'll find out when (if?) I receive a response.

No comments:


Related Posts with Thumbnails