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Moravian Church Bibliography

The following is a short list of published works that genealogists may find helpful to trace their family heritage in the Moravian Church. Most can be purchased from the Moravian Book & Gift Shop, 614 S. Main Street, Winston-Salem, N.C. 27101, telephone 336-723-6262. Works that are out of print are designated with an asterisk (*). Perhaps your local public library can obtain them through inter-library loan.

Who Are the Moravians: An Introduction to Our Faith, Customs, and History

Crews, C. Daniel, This We Most Certainly Believe: Thoughts on Moravian Theology, 2005, 52 pages. In down-to-earth language Archivist Daniel Crews explores that portion of the Christian faith that makes Moravians distinctly, uniquely Moravian.

Schattschneider, Allen W., Through Five Hundred Years. Fourth edition, 1996. A popular history of the Moravian Church, beginning with the ancient Unitas Fratrum and including the founding and growth of Bethlehem, Pa., and Winston-Salem, N.C. This 140-page paperback gives the most readable brief overview of the Moravian Church. If you want to read only one work, this may be the best.

Weinlick, John R., The Moravian Church through the Ages, Bethlehem, Pa., and Winston-Salem, N.C., Revised edition, 1996, 120 pages.

Fries, Adelaide L., Customs and Practices of the Moravian Church, Bethlehem, Pa., fourth revised edition, 2003, 91 pages. A brief summany of the rich heritage of the Moravian Church.

Sawyer, Edwin A., All about the Moravians, Bethlehem, Pa., and Winston-Salem, N.C., revised edition, 2000, 77 pages.

* Schweinitz, Edmund de, The History of the Church known as the Unitas Fratrum or Unity of the Brethren, Bethlehem, Pa., 1885. A history of the Ancient Unity from 1457 to our renewal in 1722.

Hamilton, J. Taylor, and Hamilton, Kenneth G., History of the Moravian Church: The Renewed Unitas Fratrum, 1722-1957, Bethlehem, Pa., Interprovincial Board of Christian Education, 1967. A standard history of the Renewed Unity.

The Moravians in North Carolina

Fries, Adelaide L., et al., Records of the Moravians in North Carolina. North Carolina Historical Commission (and successors), Raleigh, 1922-2006. Thirteen volumes — more than 7,300 pages — of translations and transcriptions of church diaries and other documents, spanning from the arrival of the first surveying party in 1752 to when the last church board switched from German to English in 1879. Practically a daily account of life in the North Carolina wilderness and then in the growing state, these volumes are a gold mine for family historians, adding flesh and blood to the bare bones of ancestors’ births, marriages, and deaths. The first 11 volumes are out of print and must be borrowed on an inter-library loan basis. Volume 12, spanning the Civil War years was published in 2000. Volume 13, covering Reconstruction (1867-1876), was published in 2006 by the North Carolina Office of Archives and History.

Crews, C. Daniel, and Richard W. Starbuck, With Courage for the Future: The Story of the Moravian Church, Southern Province, Winston-Salem, 2002. Without question, this is the most — in fact, the only — comprehensive history of the Moravian Church in the South, from first exploration in 1752 to the Provincial Synod of 2002. Drawn from original documents of the Moravian Archives and carefully researched.

* Reichel, Levin T., The Moravians in North Carolina, an Authentic History, Philadelphia, 1857. Facsimile reprinted by Heritage Books, Inc., Bowie, Md. A concise account of the Moravian Church’s first 100 years in North Carolina. Includes a brief list of “First Settlers and Heads of Families,” “Churches and Other Public Buildings,” and “Houses Built in Salem,” 1766-1851.

* Clewell, John Henry, History of Wachovia in North Carolina, New York, 1902. Facsimile reprinted in 1991 by Heritage Books, Inc., Bowie, Md. Not only a sesquicentennial history of the Moravian Church in North Carolina but also a centennial history of the Salem Female Academy by its president, John Henry Clewell. Most helpful are the lists and statistics in the back of the book, including ministers of the congregations, Academy presidents, and teachers and professors from 1804 to 1902.

* Fries, Adelaide L., Forsyth County, Winston, 1898. Facsimile reprinted by Heritage Books, Inc., Bowie, Md. A concise account of the area now known as Forsyth County, beginning with the Lord Proprietor, John Carteret, the Earl of Granville, and including the purchase of 100,000 acres of land by the Moravians, which we named “Wachovia.”

* Sides, Roxie, Early American Families, Winston-Salem, N.C., 1963. A brief account of several Moravian families including Sides, Rominger, Spach, Foltz, Vogler.

“The Moravians and Their Town of Salem,” Winston-Salem, reprinted in 1997, 22 pages. An introduction by Old Salem, Inc., to the Moravians’ settlement congregation.

* Stanley, Donald W., et al., Forsyth County, N.C. Cemetery Records, Winston-Salem, N.C. 1978. Five volumes list burials in some 200 church and family cemeteries, including the graveyards of the Moravian churches in the county.

Topkins, Robert M., compiler and editor, Death Notices from the People’s Press (Salem, North Carolina) 1851-1892, Forsyth County Genealogical Society, Winston-Salem, 1997. For almost half a century the local weekly newspaper kept account of who’s who and what’s what in the Moravian town of Salem. Not only did it give extensive coverage to deaths of prominent local Moravians, but it also noted the passing of relatives who lived elsewhere.

The Moravians’ Mission to the Cherokee

Schwarze, Edmund, History of the Moravian Missions among Southern Indian Tribes, Bethlehem, Pa., 1923. Reprinted in 1999 by Stauber Books, Grove, Okla., but now again out of print. A comprehensive account of a remarkable endeavor by a small band of missionaries ministering to the Cherokee, first in what is now northern Georgia, then in the Indian Territory after the Trail of Tears.

Crews, C. Daniel, Faith and Tears: the Moravian Mission among the Cherokee, Moravian Archives, Winston-Salem, N.C., 2000. Archivist Crews gives a concise overview of the Moravian Church’s mission to the Cherokee from its beginning in 1801 in Georgia to its close in 1899 in the Indian Territory. Includes catalogs of missionaries and mission scholars.

Other sources for research

Old Salem, Inc., Drawer F, Winston-Salem, N.C. 27108, telephone 336-721-7300. The restoration organization, through its Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts, houses a research library on residents of Salem and artisans throughout the South. Old Salem has done extensive research on African Americans of the area.

Salem College Library, Winston-Salem, N.C. 27108. The college has compiled a file on pupils who attended the Female Boarding School going back to 1804.

Moravian Archives, 41 W. Locust Street, Bethlehem, Pa. 18018. Our Northern Province Archives holds records of Moravian churches north and west of Virginia.

 RWS 01/29/2007