Casefile Clues

09 March 2014

Still Unable to Browse ELCA Records at Archives.com

Sometimes the fault is with the site, not the researcher. 
In 1887 a Hancock County, Illinois, farm hand kills himself. The event is mentioned in a letter written by my great-great-grandmother Noentje Ufkes in which she refers to him as Dirk Frieden. The newspaper reference to the apparent same event refers to him as a "Mr. Fayen." Since my great-great-grandmother wrote about the man in a letter to relatives, I assumed that the farm hand was an Ostfriesen immigrant as the Ufkes family was. I was also hoping to find him in the records of the nearby Immanuel Lutheran Church which most of the Ostfriesen immgirants attended--published online at Archives.com

That was easier to say than it was to do.

I didn't find Frieden/Fayen in a search. Archives.com won't simply let me click to the records of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America which it has on microfilm and browse those records until I get to the records of the Immanual Lutheran Church. 

I decided to find a match in the funeral records of the church and browse until I found the funeral entries for 1887. Then I could manually view those entries for a name that could Frieden.

Noentje Ufkes died in 1902 and was buried from Immanual. Her entry was easily located. 

The problem was that I could not browse forward. The "Prev" button was grayed out. I knew there were burial records from before 1902. Even if there weren't, the church register has other records from before 1902 (baptisms, christenings and marriage records which I've used). There has to be something "previous" in the records. 


I tried Julie Cahill Tarr's suggested trick, but it didn't work. I changed the ImageID number in the URl for the 1902 funeral entry image to the previous number. Last time I checked 1 less than 114 is 113. 
No go.

It would be easier if Archives.com would simply let me browse the images. My only option now-hoping the records from the 1880 era are actually on the site-is to find relatives in my database who attended Immanuel and died in the late 1880s.

I shouldn't have to do that.

It's not just me.

And sometimes it is not just you.

It is them.