17 April 2012

Archives.com Plans to Digitize Lutheran Church Records from ELCA

Note: I only blog about things that impact my own research, which is why most of the genealogical websites quit sending me press releases a long time ago.

However Archives.com does send me press releases and one crossed my email this morning that struck my interest.  Archives.com is partnering with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) to digitize and index 1,000 reels of microfilm containing millions of baptism, confirmation, marriage, and funeral records.  Very neat. My maternal ancestors attended Lutheran congregations in Hancock and Adams Counties in Illinois, and I'm determining if microfilmed copies of those records are a part of this series. Based on the synodical history involved, combined with the fact that those churches were not Swedish in ethnicity, I'm guessing that most were not. But time will tell.

However, my children's ancestor attended First Lutheran Church in Galesburg, Illinois, and I'm pretty certain those records are available on microfilm. I used them years ago and the ability to have them online will be pretty nice. 

You can learn more about the collection on the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's website. There is not an inventory online, but the page indicates:

These [films] are primarily from The American Lutheran Church portion of the predecessor bodies, but also include a number of Swedish-American Lutheran microfilms. 

I've emailed the archives to see if they have films for churches in which I have an interest.  

The ELCA site has an interesting section on Lutheran Churches in Chicago

I think I'm more excited about this than I was the 1940 census release (grin!).