Records of Dumbarton United Methodist Church, Volume I: Baptisms and Marriages, 1813-1991


The congregation now known as Dumbarton United Methodist Church had its beginnings in October 1772, when the first Methodist preaching was heard in Georgetown, then a thriving Maryland tobacco port. Originally known as the Methodist Society of Georgetown, the congregation had constructed its first church building by 1795. In 1850, a larger building was completed on Dumbarton Avenue, and the name of the congregation was changed to Dumbarton Avenue Methodist Episcopal Church. In 1968 the Methodists merged with the United Brethren and the present name was adopted. Dumbarton is the oldest Methodist congregation in what is now the District of Columbia.

In the beginning, the Methodist Society of Georgetown was integrated. The African-American members seceded to found “The Little Ark” (later known as Mount Zion Methodist Church) in 1816, but due to laws regulating the assembly of blacks at that time, the parent white congregation remained administratively responsible for Mount Zion until 1864. Because of that relationship, some early marriage records relating to the African-American congregation are found within this book.

Presented in an alphabetical format, some of the entries are very simple, listing only name of groom and bride, date the marriage occurred, and the presiding minister. Others include the place of birth, place of residence, occupation, race, location where the wedding occurred, and the ages of the bride and groom. An index for names of brides follows the marriage records. Some baptismal records state only a name, baptismal date, and minister, but others include date of birth, names of parents, location where the baptism occurred, and even godparents (somewhat unusual in the Methodist tradition).

Jane Donovan

(1993), 2023, 5½x8½, paper, index, 184 pp.

ISBN: 9781556138102