Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A., Board of Foreign Missions, Department of Missionary Personnel
Records, 1832-1952
Finding Aid to Record Group 360
1.50 cu.ft.

Presbyterian Historical Society
425 Lombard St.
Philadelphia, PA 19147-1516


The Board of Foreign Missions of the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. (PCUSA) was organized in 1837 as a result of General Assembly (Old School) action. Its creation marked the culmination of a discussion covering a period of years as to whether missionary operations should be carried on by voluntary societies, or by the Church in its organized capacity. Like its immediate predecessor, the Western Foreign Missionary Society, the Board's purpose was to convey the Gospel "to whatever parts of the heathen and anti Christian world, the Providence of God might enable the Society to extend its evangelical exertions." From 1837 until 1862, the Board was a benevolent society of the Presbyterian Church, with no legal status. In 1862 the Board was incorporated by the state of New York.

Throughout the l9th and 20th centuries the Board directed the foreign and domestic missionary activities of the PCUSA. Under the Board's administration missions were established in Mexico, Central and South America, Africa, Syria, Persia, India, Siam, Laos, China, Japan, Korea, and the United States (to the Native American, Jewish, Chinese and Japanese populations). Missions to the Native American and Jewish populations were transferred to the Board of Home Missions in 1893 and 1894 respectively. Asian-American mission work was transferred to the Board of Home Missions in 1922.

The Board remained in existence until 1958 at which time its work was transferred to the Commission on Ecumenical Mission and Relations of the newly formed UPCUSA. In 1972, as a result of reorganization within the Church, the foreign mission activities were placed under the direction of the Program Agency.


This collection consists of three notebooks and four ledgers of missionary personnel information, including dates and places of service and in many though not all cases cause of leaving the Board. One notebook is organized by names of schools from which the missionaries had graduated before joining the Board. The records date back to the earliest missionaries, appointed in 1832, and include information up to 1952.

The collection is arranged as follows:

SERIES 1: NOTEBOOKS, 1832-1952

SERIES 2: LEDGERS, 1872-1914


The four ledgers in Series 2 are available on microfilm. Due to the fragility of the originals, researchers are encouraged to use the microfilm.

For conservation reasons, the three loose-leaf notebooks of missionary information have been removed from their bindings and housed in acid-free folders. The original organization of the records within the notebooks has been preserved.

Collection processed and finding aid prepared: February 1993
Stephanie Muntone, Processing Archivist

Box	Folder	Description
1	1	Finding Aid to Record Group 360

SERIES 1:  NOTEBOOKS, 1832-1952

Notebook 1--Missionary lists by missions

2	Africa, 1844-1946
3	American Indians, 1835-93
4	Brazil, 1859-1946
5	Chile, 1845-1946
6	China, 1840-1946
7	Chosen, 1885-1946
8	Colombia, 1856-1946
9	Guatemala, 1882-1946
10	India, 1833-1946
11	Iran, 1849-1946
12	Japan, 1859-1946
13	Jews in United States, 1846-76
Korea--see Chosen, above
14	Liberia, 1893-96
15	Mexico, 1869-1946
16	Mesopotamia, 1923-46
17	Orientals in United States, 1853-1922
18	Philippines, 1899-1946
19	Siam, 1840-1946
20	Syria, 1832-1946
21	Texas, 1839-45
22	Venezuela, 1897-1946

Notebook 2

23	Theological Seminary Graduates (alphabetical by seminary)
24	Medical School Graduates (alphabetical by school)
25	Nursing School Graduates (alphabetical by school)
26	Missionary Doctors (alphabetical)
27	Missionary Nurses (alphabetical)

Notebook 3--Lists of reasons for leaving service

28	Losses by Death, 1833-1951
29			Resignation, 1834-1952
30			Retirement, 1860-1951
31	Memorial Roll, 1951

SERIES 2:  LEDGERS, 1872-1914

2		1872-95 (alphabetical)
3		1896-1906 (chronological)
4		1902-14 (chronological)
5		1907-08 (chronological)