Billy Graham Center

How Can I Find Information on My Ancestor
Who Was a Missionary with
Africa Inland Mission or China Inland Mission?

Over the last century hundreds of individuals went out to Africa and China as missionaries. Information which document the lives of many of these individuals is located in the records of Africa Inland Mission, International and the United Council Home Council of the Overseas Missionary Fellowship (formerly China Inland Mission).

Finding a Missionary with Overseas Missionary Fellowship (China Inland Mission)

First determine if the individual you are searching for was sent out by the American or British branch of the mission. The records of the British branch are in the School of Oriental and African Studies of the University of London while the BGC Archives has the records of the United States branch.

Next check the index for individuals for whom there are Personnel Cards or Post Council Questionnaires; 1887-1934.

Other sources:

Finding a Missionary with Africa Inland Mission

Check the index for individuals whom there are Personnel Files.

Materials of Missionaries to Africa or China

The Archives has many collections of materials on individual missionaries who served in Africa or China with AIM or OMF/CIM or other mission organizations. Some of these collections contain oral history interviews and/or the missionaries' personal papers consisting of correspondence, prayer letters, diaries, clippings, photographs, photo albums, articles, etc. To locate these go to the Archives online database and do a name search for the individual you are interested in.

Sample Documents

Please be aware that the purpose of this page is to provide information on some of the most relevant Archives holdings relating to this often-asked question. Because of staff and time limitations, the BGC archivists can spend no more than a half-hour helping an individual researcher; we have to focus our efforts on gathering the material and making it available. In order to find all the materials in the Archives on this particular topic, you will need to personally go through the guides to the various Archives collections available at this Web site and in the Archives Reading Room in the Billy Graham Center building in Wheaton, Illinois. If your request will take longer than the half hour we can provide, you will either need to come to the Archives yourself to do the necessary research in our collections, arrange for someone to come and do the research for you, or pay to use the Archives' research services.

You can also do further independent searching of the online database to explore what the Archives has on a wide variety of subjects. You will find only a very small sampling of the Archives actual documents on this Web site. Most of our Web pages only describe what is at the Archives in Wheaton. In most cases you must visit the Archives to use our collections, unless a collection (or portion of it) is available through inter-library loan or as a short-term loan for a fee. You may also find it helpful to visit Wheaton College's online catalog to its libraries and archives (including the Billy Graham Center Archives).

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Last Revised: 3/12/04
Expiration: indefinite

Wheaton College 2005