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Researching your Seventh-day Adventist Ancestors

The following are some resources for researching your Seventh-day Adventist ancestors.

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Type: Article
Resource: GenWeekly
Prepared by: Gena Philibert-Ortega
Word Count: 576 (approx.)
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The Seventh-day Adventist Church is a nineteenth century American religion, probably best known for their avoidance of meat and observing a Saturday Sabbath. While it was founded in 1844 and officially organized in 1863 in Washington, New Hampshire, it was the later work of Ellen G. White with which many people are more familiar. According to its web site, the Adventist church has 10 million members worldwide with less than 10 percent living in the United States. For an overview of the history of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, check out http://www.adventist.org/world_church/facts_and_figures/history/index.html.en

For those related to Ellen G. White, one of the leaders and visionaries of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, you may want to reference the web site for the estate of Ellen G. White at http://www.whiteestate.org/index.old.asp. A page of the web site is devoted to her ancestry and includes a pedigree chart, http://www.whiteestate.org/search/collections.asp. Additional online resources include letters, manuscripts, and photographs, http://www.whiteestate.org/search/collections.asp. Another important resource are the audio files for the series entitled "Pathways to our Pioneers", http://www.whiteestate.org/pathways/pioneers.asp. This 22-volume series provides stories of Adventist pioneers and events. It is also available for sale by the web site.

The Adventist Heritage Ministry is an organization dedicated to preserving the heritage of the Seventh-day Adventist church by purchasing, restoring and replicating historical Adventist pioneer sites. Their web site, http://www.adventistheritage.org/, includes information about historical sites important in the early history of the Adventist church.

Andrews University is an Adventist University in Michigan that holds various resources for studying Adventist heritage and genealogy. A list of its Adventist resources is found at http://www.andrews.edu/library/sda.html. Its Center for Adventist Research, http://www.andrews.edu/library/car/index.html is a portal for resources, databases and indexes.

Andrews University's web site is the home of two important Adventist sources. The Periodical Index http://www.andrews.edu/library/car/sdapiindex.html is an index to over 40 past and present Seventh-day Adventist journals and magazines. The index covers the years 1973 to the present. This index includes obituaries. Photocopies of articles can be obtained through any Adventist library or by contacting Andrews University in Michigan. For those interested in an annual CD of the Index, it may be ordered by individuals for $20.00.

The University is also the home of the Obit Index http://www.andrews.edu/library/car/sdapiobits.html. The Obituary Index is a subset of the Periodical Index. According to the web site, "the obituaries in this Index are found in a number of Seventh-day Adventist Church sponsored and published periodicals. The periodicals generally contain news and devotional material. Part of the news component is the listing of obituaries of people from the geographical area served by the periodical or in the Church at large. Local church pastors report deaths in their church to the editor of the periodical for inclusion in a later edition. Not all church members are included. Only those members for which the editor received information will be found in the magazine and therefore in this Index."

The Obituary Index covers the years 1850 to the present. The web site provides information on how to obtain a photocopy of an obituary if you are unable to request a copy from a local Adventist library.

At Loma Linda University in Loma Linda, California are important Adventist repositories. Loma Linda University Library's Heritage Room http://www.llu.edu/llu/library/heritage/, holdings include diaries and manuscripts, newspapers, books, and oral histories. One of its holdings, the Seventh-day Adventist Document File includes materials resulting from the Loma Linda University and Seventh-day Adventist church there. This collection includes a local history and biography file. The biography file is indexed online at http://lluweb2.llu.edu/heritage/.

Source Information: GenWeekly, New Providence, NJ, USA: Genealogy Today LLC, 2007.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Genealogy Today LLC.

*Effective May 2010, GenWeekly articles that are more than five years old no longer require a subscription for full access.

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