Niger Church Records

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For information about records for non-Christian religions in Niger, go to the Religious Records page.

Historical Background[edit | edit source]

Christianity was brought with French colonial institutions, and its adherents include local believers from the educated, the elite, and colonial families, as well as immigrants from neighboring coastal countries, particularly Benin, Togo, and Ghana. Christians, both Roman Catholics and Protestants, account for less than 1% of the population. The official 2012 census found that 0.3% of the population was Christian. Another estimate has Christians at 0.4%, of which Evangelicals account for 0.1% and Roman Catholics for most of the rest. Christians are mainly present in the regions of Maradi and Dogondoutchi, and in Niamey and other urban centers with expatriate populations. Current estimates place the current Christian population at about 56,000 individuals with projected growth resulting in about 84,500 Christians by the year 2025.

Foreign Christian missionary organizations are active in the country,[5] continuing a tradition dating back to the colonial period. The first Catholic mission was founded in 1931, while the first Protestant missionaries came to Zinder in 1924 and to Tibiri a few years later. In the late 1970s there were some 12,000 Catholic and 3,000 Protestant converts in Niger, with the remaining Christian population made up of foreigners.[1][2]

Information Recorded in the Records[edit | edit source]

Different denominations, different time periods, and practices of different record keepers will effect how much information can be found in the records. This outline will show the types of details which might be found (best case scenario):

Baptisms[edit | edit source]

In Catholic and Anglican records, children were usually baptized a few days after birth, and therefore, the baptism record proves date of birth. Other religions, such as Baptists, baptized at other points in the member's life. Baptism registers might give:

  • baptism date
  • the infant's name
  • parents' names
  • father's occupation
  • status of legitimacy
  • occasionally, names of grandparents
  • names of witnesses or godparents, who may be relatives
  • birth date and place
  • the family's place of residence
  • death information, as an added note or signified by a cross

Marriages[edit | edit source]

Marriage registers can give:

  • the marriage date
  • the names of the bride and groom
  • indicate whether the bride and groom were single or widowed
  • their ages
  • birth dates and places for the bride and groom
  • their residences
  • their occupations
  • birthplaces of the bride and groom
  • parents' names (after 1800)
  • the names of previous spouses and their death dates
  • names of witnesses, who might be relatives.

Burials[edit | edit source]

Burial registers may give:

  • the name of the deceased
  • the date and place of death or burial
  • the deceased's age
  • place of residence
  • cause of death
  • the names of survivors, especially a widow or widower
  • deceased's birth date and place
  • parents' names, or at least the father's name



How to Find Records[edit | edit source]

Digital Copies of Church Records in the FamilySearch Catalog[edit | edit source]

Watch for digitized copies of church records to be added to the collection of the FamilySearch Library. Some records might have viewing restrictions, and can only be viewed at a Family History Center near you, and/or by members of supporting organizations. To find records:

a. Click on the records of Niger.
b. Click on Places within Niger and a list of towns will appear.
c. Click on your town if it appears, or the location which you believe was the parish which served your town or village.
d. Click on the "Church records" topic. Click on the blue links to specific record titles.
e. Some combination of these icons will appear at the far right of the listing for the record. FHL icons.png. The magnifying glass indicates that the record is indexed. Clicking on the magnifying glass will take you to the index. Clicking on the camera will take you to an online digital copy of the records.

Writing for Records[edit | edit source]

You will probably need to write to or email the national archives, the diocese, or local parish priests to find records. See French Letter Writing Guide for help with composing letters.

Catholic Church Records[edit | edit source]

Writing to a Local Parish[edit | edit source]

Earlier records can be held at the diocese, with more recent records still kept in the local parish. To locate the mailing address or e-mail address for a diocese or local parish, consult:

Historical Background[edit | edit source]

The Catholic Church in Niger is part of the worldwide Catholic Church, under the spiritual leadership of the Pope in Rome. There are around 16,000 Catholics in Niger, which is divided into two dioceses: the Diocese of Maradi (approximately 1,000) and the much larger Diocese of Niamey (approximately 15,000). [3][4]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Wikipedia contributors, "Niger", in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Niger, accessed 14 March 2020.
  2. Wikipedia contributors, "Religion in Niger", in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion_in_Niger, accessed 14 March 2020.
  3. Wikipedia contributors, "Religion in Niger", in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion_in_Niger, accessed 14 March 2020.
  4. Wikipedia contributors, "Catholic Church in Niger", in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catholic_Church_in_Niger, accessed 14 March 2020.