I’ve long been aware of Ray Gurganus’ webpage. I am a Ganus/Gurganus after all and he’s spent year creating a website that brings together information about the Ganus and Gurganus families and the families who married into them. But recently Ray has taken on a new project—-and this project has a scope that extends way beyond the Gurganus families and may even include in YOUR family.
So what is this new project? It all began when Ray found a list of a little over fifty pastors of his home church in North Carolina and became curious. He wondered where were these pastors before they came to his church and where did they move when they left? There was no one place to look for such information and he found himself googling and winding his way through the massive world wide web trying to find out more about them, which was extremely time-consuming. So Ray began to record what he found for future reference, but he didn’t stop there.
Now, over 40,000 minister records later, Ray’s list has grown to include not only ministers but many other occupations from many states and his collection is still growing. Lucky for us, Ray has made his findings available to everyone—for free. Not only does he have an extensive listing of links to information about ministers, but his list now includes post masters, justice of the peace, treasurers, judges, university professors and even lighthouse keepers, in addition to others and the list just keeps growing! At the time of this post, Ray site lists over 78, 000 records and it is still growing.
You can search his database by occupation, surname and/or state:
I decided to give his site a spin and I was amazed by the links and information provided. For example, I entered one of my surnames, Rainwater and it brought up two ministers by that name. For Roland Rainwater, it shows that he served at the Mt Zion Methodist Church in Currituck County, NC in 1944. A link next to his name takes me to a page that shows me who else has served as a minister at that church and what years they were there. Another link takes me to a 54-page history of the Mt. Zion Methodist Church. J. Rainwater also popped up in the search and he served in Goucher Baptist Church in Spartanburg Co. in 1836 and the result also includes a link to other ministers for that church as well as a brief history of that church.
We can search using as much or as little information as we would like. For example, a search for simply “Georgia” revealed the current list of 738 records for individuals with a variety of occupations.
Do you wonder who the minister was for your ancestor’s church? A quick search in Georgia records brought up ministers for some of the churches where my ancestors attended church.
Can’t find someone you think should be there? If you are aware of a list, Ray would love for you to submit that information to him so that it can be included. And although it’s already a massive project, the list is still growing, so check back often.
Copyright © Michelle G. Taggart 2017, All rights reserved