Christ Episcopal Church Records

Stewart Bell Jr. Archives Room
Handley Regional Library
Winchester-Frederick County Historical Society

P.O. Box 58, Winchester, VA 22604
(540) 662-9041 ext. 17

684 THL

Inventory created by Archives Staff 03/1997. Last revised 06/2020.

ACCESS RESTRICTIONS: Collection is open to all researchers.

USE RESTRICTIONS: Restrictions may apply concerning the use, photoduplication, or publication of items in this collection. Consult a member of the archives staff for information concerning these restrictions. The user assumes all responsibility for identifying and satisfying any claimants of copyright. Note: A number of items in this collection are on long term loan from Christ Episcopal Church. Researchers may need to contact Christ Episcopal Church to obtain permission to publish or reproduce materials.

EXTENT: 41 volumes plus 0.42 linear feet miscellaneous files

DATE: 1782 – 2008

SCOPE AND CONTENT: Christ Episcopal Church Records consists of parish registers, directories, vestry records, treasurer’s records, minutes, journals, and bound volumes of the church’s newsletter, The Angelus (1946-1976). Of note is the journal of Alexander Balmain (1740-1821), who served as rector of Christ Church and Frederick Parish. Many of the materials in this collection contain records of birth, marriage, and death, making them valuable as genealogical sources.

In addition to records of the church’s official functions and services, the collection also includes materials concerning the American Colonization Society, the building of the church and other properties, tours, volunteer activities, correspondence, and programs. The cash book of Henry Baetjer (Box 6) was one of the items included in the loan of items in this collection. Baetjer was the owner of a dry goods business in Winchester, Virginia.

The collection contains a parish register from St. Stephens Episcopal Church in Stephens City, Virginia covering 1900 to 1956. The St. Stephens mission was a planting of Christ Church, Winchester, begun around 1900 by Reverend Nelson P. Dame to serve the rural communities of Frederick County. A small church was consecrated in 1912.

BIOGRAPHICAL/HISTORICAL: Frederick Parish was organized in 1738 as the first parish west of the Blue Ridge Mountains in the Colony of Virginia. Initially, the area covered by this parish included approximately half of the Shenandoah Valley and western Virginia (what is now West Virginia). Its first vestry was elected in 1744.  As settlement increased in the Shenandoah Valley increased during the late 1700s and early 1800, Frederick County gradually split off into several smaller administrative units, and new churches formed in these parishes.

The first church building was a wooden structure built in 1744, which was replaced in 1766 by a stone building.

The present building, which stands at 140 West Boscawen Street in Winchester, Virginia, replaced this stone church and was constructed in 1828. The architect was Robert Mills (1781-1855), who also designed the Washington Monument. It is the oldest church building in Winchester in continuous use for religious purposes.

From its founding until the Revolutionary War, Frederick Parish was part of the established church and responsible for both pastoral and social care of residents of the Valley. Following the Revolutionary War and disestablishment of the Anglican Church, the church lost both land and revenue. The Church survived, but was reestablished as the Episcopal Church. The task of providing for the poor or infirm then fell to the Overseers of the Poor.

The Clergy and vestry of Christ Church had for the most part supported the Revolution. An exception was Thomas, Lord Fairfax, who remained a loyalist and whose tomb is found on the current grounds. Following the Revolution, Alexander Balmain took over as rector, followed by William Meade (1789-1862). These long serving rectors ensured the continued operation of the Church and promoted overseas missions. Both were also involved in the American Colonization Society to encourage free African Americans to migrate to Liberia. Meade was an active evangelist and later became the third Bishop of Virginia.

The Civil War years caused significant disruption to Winchester and the surrounding area. The Christ Church building survived the conflict with little damage but considerable disruption to religious services. It was used as both a jail and a hospital. There was also some controversy among residents who supported the Confederacy when the Church’s wardens allowed the church to be used by Union chaplains.

Following the Civil War, the church continued to serve the parishioners of Winchester and Frederick County and its members established the Episcopal Female Institute in 1874.

ALTERNATIVE FORM AVAILABLE: Collection digitized in 2020 with the exception of the volumes of the Angelus. The Journal of Alexander Balmain is currently available online through the Stewart Bell Jr. Archives Digital Collections

A photostat of Alexander Balmain’s journal is available as a bound volume in the Archives oversized rare books collection, call number 975.55 B21. An abstract of marriages in this journal is also available in the Dola Tyler Collection, 63 WFCHS, Box 3.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: Brown, Katharine, et al. The History of Christ Church, Frederick Parish, Winchester, 1745-2000. Staunton, VA: Lot’s Wife Pub., 2001; Meade, Everard Kidder. Frederick Parish, Virginia, 1744-1780. Cunningham Chapel Parish, 1947; Victor Dunn, “Frederick Parish, Frederick County, Vestry Book 1764-1818 (Overseers of the Poor) abstracted,” Magazine of Virginia Genealogy, beginning with Vol. 45.

CITE AS: Christ Episcopal Church Records, 684 THL, Stewart Bell Jr. Archives, Handley Regional Library, Winchester, VA.

ACQUISITION INFORMATION: Official records and journals are on long term loan from Christ Episcopal Church. Other items acquired as a gift. 



Journal of Dr. Alexander Balmain, Rector 1782-1821, 1787-1817, 1 volume (unnumbered pages) ; 35 cm, manuscript (rebound)

BOX 2 – Parish Registers (digitized, not online)

Note: The parish registers are divided by type of record (marriage, baptism, etc.) as indicated by the page numbers below. Registers had several different rectors entering records and, as a result, listings for a particular type of record may not be on consecutive pages.

Christ Church Frederick Parish Register, 1826-1865, 1 volume (approx. 400 pages, many blank) ; 40 cm
Marriages listed by year on the following pages:
1825-1842, pages 2-8
1848-1852, pages 33-34
1843-1865, pages 117-123
1864, page 193

 Communicants listed by year on the following pages:
1842-1845, pages 10-14
1848-1856, pages 35-46
1856-1860, pages 49-54
1861, 55-67
1864, pages 171-184

 Baptisms listed by year on the following pages:
1848-1856, pages 15-20
1826-1842, pages 144-158
1843-1861, pages 160-170
1864-1865, pages 187-188

Funerals listed by year on the following pages:
1848-1861, pages 21-24
1864-1865, page 196
1826-1842, pages 318-326
1843-1865, pages 328-330

Confirmations listed by year on the following pages:
1848-1860, pages 27-30
1861, page 371

Contributions listed by year on the following pages:
1848, pages 47-48

Parish Register, Christ Church Frederick Parish, 1876-1887, 1 volume (246 pages, many blank) ; 38 cm, manuscript on printed form
Families, 1876, pages 13-54
Baptisms, 1876-1887, pages 78-125
Confirmations, 1877-1887, pages 150-156
Communicants, 1886, pages 162-166
Marriages, 1876-1887, pages 194-199
Burials, 1876-1887, pages 217-228
Offerings/convention reports, 1877-1886, pages 231-233

Parish Register, St. Stephens Church, Stephens City, Va., 1900-1956, 1 volume (200 pages, many blank) ; 24 cm, manuscript on printed form
History, 1905-1940, pages 2-9
Baptisms, 1905-1949, pages 30-33
Confirmations, 1910-1946, pages 63-64
Communicants, 1915-1946, pages 100-101
Marriages, 1941-1942, pages 134-135
Burials, 1913-1956, pages 144-145
Offerings, 1911-1912, page 165

BOX 3 Vestry Records (digitized, not online)

Vestry Records, 1869 – 1877, 1 volume (var. pag.) ; 33cm

Vestry Records, 1877 – 1924, 1 volume (329 pages) ; 32 cm

Vestry Records, 1924 – 1939, 1 volume (unnumbered pages) ; 29 cm

BOX 4 Vestry Records (digitized, not online)

Vestry Records, 1940-1949, 1 volume (unnumbered pages) ; 29 cm

BOX 5 Journals and Registers (digitized, not online)

Journal of J. H. Hubbard, 1875-1895, commences with the Rectorship of the Parish of the Incarnation, Washington, DC, 1 volume (345 pages) ; 32 cm
Record of services, 1871-1896, pages 7-291
Baptisms, 1871-1893, pages 315-345
Confirmations, 1872-1896, pages 385-399
Marriages, 1871-1895, pages 415-423
Burials, 1871-1895, pages 455-467
Financial records, 1876-1896, pages 546-568

Journal of William D. Smith, 1891-1892, 1 volume (var. pag.) ; 35
Texts, pages 1-14
Accounts, pages 32-39,  86 -89
Baptisms, page 101
Funerals, page 109
Marriages, page 115
Confirmations, page 125

William D. Smith – correspondence and notes found in journal, 9 items - 2 postcards, 6 leaves, manuscript, 1 leaf, manuscript on printed form

Treasurer's records, 1904-1908, 1 volume (151 pages) ; 33 cm

Communicants, 1911, 1 volume (2 pages) ; 35 cm

Marriages, 1920-1954, 1 volume (198 pages) ; 20 cm

BOX 6 Registers of Church Services (digitized, not online)

Register of church services, 3 volumes (unnumbered pages) ; 26 cm (for the following years):

Cash book, Henry Baetjer & Company, 1865-1867, 1 volume (53 pages) ; 34 cm

Box 7 – Misc. Files (digitized, not online)

Auxiliary Colonization Society (folder contains the following):
Account book, 1818-1842, 17 pages, manuscript
List of subscribers, 2 leaves, manuscript
Receipts, 8 leaves, manuscript

Building account, 1833, 2 leaves, manuscript

Book, John Bruce's account of charges for building the edifice corner Water and Washington streets, he having charge of same and furnishing design, 1829-1833, 1 volume rebound (approx. 26 pages) ; 19 cm

CDs – Adult Forum, Christ Episcopal Church, 4 items:
January 13, 2008, Teresa Massie          
January 16, 2008, Mike Foreman
January 27, 2008, Teresa Massie
February 3, 2008, Gene and June Babb

Church Tour – “Artifacts, Facts, and Treasures,” Christ Episcopal Church, April, 2007, 1 item, printed

Committee of Clergy Placement, c. 1939, 1 leaf, typescript

Correspondence – Charles Covell, 9 items
1 leaf, manuscript on printed form
1 leaf, manuscript (postcard)
1 leaf, typescript
 6 leaves, typescript (copy)

Directory of Christ Episcopal Church, 1922, 1965, 2 items, printed

Directory of Christ Episcopal Church, 1982, 1987, 1996, 2001, 4 items, printed

Easements, 1970, 4 items, 1 leaf, typescript; 4 leaves, typescript, copy; 3 leaves, survey

FDR’s request for counsel and help, September 23, 1935, 1 page, typescript

Favorite recipes, Woman's Auxiliary, 1948, 1 item, 37 pages, printed

Journal of the Convention of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the Diocese of Virginia, May 19, 1847, 1 item, 88 pages, printed

Lawsuit - John Gordon's salary, 1747-1762, 9 leaves, typescript (copy); 1 leaf, manuscript

Lawsuit, Vestry vs. Nevill – construction of Cunningham's Chapel, 1774-1789, 6 leaves, typescript

Lord Fairfax Crypt – Invitation to Dedication, December 9 (no year given), 1 item, printed

Marker for site of original church  - 3 leaves including: typescript letter from Church re; marker; typescript copy of written text; 1 printed image of public lots of Winchester

Miscellaneous historical notes, 1 leaf, manuscript; 6 leaves, manuscript (copy); 1 leaf, typescript (photocopy)

Music Programs—“The Crucifixion,” c. 1918; 1 item, printed, 2 pages; Organ Recital by Howard R. Thatcher, assisted by Joan C. Van Hulsteyn (July 23, 1912); 1 program, printed

News Articles – unnumbered, printed (photocopy)

Newsletter – Our Assistant, 2 items, printed
Volume V, No. 7, no date
Volume VI, No. 8, December 1895

Parish Profile 2006 – one item, printed

St. Thomas Church – transfer, 1967, 1 leaf, typescript; 2 leaves, typescript (copy); 4 leaves, typescript (photocopy); 2 leaves, printed (photocopy)

Sermon – "The Duty of Spreading the Gospel," January 6, 1820,1 item, 16 pages, printed

Vestry and early history of Frederick Parish, including rectors, 1738-1886, 2 leaves, 2 pages, manuscript

BOX 8 The Angelus (not digitized)

The Angelus, newsletter, 6 volumes, printed, bound for the following years:
September 15, 1946 – December 29, 1946, & 1947, incomplete
1948 & 1949
1950 & 1951
1952 & 1953
1954 & 1955
1956 & 1957

BOX 9 The Angelus (not digitized)

The Angelus, newsletter, 6 volumes, printed, bound for the following years:
1958 & 1959
1960 & 1961
1962 & 1963
1964 & 1965
1966 & 1967
1968 & 1969

BOX 10 The Angelus (not digitized)

The Angelus, newsletter, 6 volumes, printed, bound for the following years:
1970 & 1971
1972 & 1973


MAPCASE1, DRAWER 4 (not digitized)

Minutes to Vestry for the Parish of Frederick, January 4, 1764 – February 16, 1772, manuscript (photocopy); 24 leaves