We receive many requests from genealogy researchers who come across United Brethren references, such as:
Since we are the only denomination with “United Brethren” in the name, they contact us to see if we can help track down further information. Other times, we get confused with other “brethren” groups–Church of the Brethren, Brethren in Christ, Grace Brethren, Mennonite Brethren, etc.
Most genealogy requests don’t involve the current United Brethren in Christ denomination. Our group descends from maybe 15,000 people who, in 1889, broke away from a denomination of over 250,000 people. In the process, we lost almost all church properties and, basically, started over.
Until the 1940s, two denominations used the name “Church of the United Brethren in Christ.” The other (much larger) group, after a merger in 1946, became the Evangelical United Brethren Church. In 1968, they merged into what is now the United Methodist Church.
We are the only group still using the “United Brethren” label, which is why so many people come to us when they discover an ancestor attached to that label. But usually, their ancestor was part of the other group.
The United Brethren Historical Center, located at Huntington University, contains all of our historical records. Most quick genealogical requests can be handled by the Historical Center staff but if requests are more involved you may be asked to employ an independent researcher that is associated with the Historical Center. You may also visit the Center to perform your own research.
The UBHC is open to the public Monday through Thursday from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. It is best to contact the Historical Center ahead of a visit to confirm an appointment because the Center may be closed unexpectedly if staff is unavailable.
The Historical Center maintains a genealogical website with links to sources that may be valuable when researching your United Brethren ancestors. The Genealogical Information page on the Historical Center website list publications and other resources to help track down your ancestors.
For quick genealogical questions please contact the Historical Center staff at email@example.com or (260) 359-4157.
For more involved research please contact an independent genealogical researcher who is associated with the archives. Robert Kaehr can help you for a fee.
All other research requests should be directed to Randy Neuman: firstname.lastname@example.org
Most genealogy requests, however, concern ministers and churches which were part of the “other” United Brethren church which is now part of the United Methodist Church. So chances are, you really need to check the United Methodist archives. Here are some links that might be helpful.
General Commission on Archives and History
United Methodist Church
Use this link
Center for the Evangelical United Brethren Heritage (EUB)
United Theological Seminary (Dayton, Ohio)
Use this link
United Methodist Archives and History Center
Drew University (Madison, NJ)
Use this link