Chicago Genealogy: Chicago German-American Church Records and Cemeteries is today’s post in my continuing series of Chicago resources for your German-American ancestors.
German-American Church Records
Your research may already have pointed you to a specific denomination for your ancestors’ church records. For an overview of how major Christian German-American denominations evolved, visit:
Lutheran Churches in Chicago
Cook County marriage records generally note officiants. You can use that information to find church records for those marriage and subsequent births of children. For a good overview of German Lutheran Church Records in Chicago, visit:
To check if a Lutheran church is still active in Chicago, visit these databases:
The Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod (LCMS) Congregation Locator
(2,418,000 members and 6,155 churches) http://www.lcms.org/ca/www/locators/nchurches/church.asp
Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA) Congregation Lookup
(4,634,000 baptized members in 10,396 congregations) http://www.elca.org/ELCA/Search/Find-a-Congregation.aspx
Archives for Missouri Synod Lutheran Churches, particularly for disbanded churches, are available at:
Concordia Historical Institute
Department of Archives and History of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod
801 DeMun Avenue
St. Louis, MO 63105
Phone: (314) 505-7900 Fax: (314) 505-7901
About the CHI Archives:
Researching Your Lutheran Ancestor at CHI:
Information on their holdings:
Fee-based research assistance is available for specific questions. Baptism, confirmation, marriage and funeral records are available. CHI holds the record books containing the official acts of many former and active congregations of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod.
Brochures available by mail or on the Web include “Researching at Concordia Historical Institute,” “Researching the Lutheran Pastor at CHI,” “Researching Your Lutheran Ancestor at CHI,” and “Resources Outside of CHI.” Write Rev. Mark Loest, Assistant Director, Concordia Historical Institute, 801 Seminary Place, St. Louis, MO 63105.
In addition, Thrivent for Lutherans provides online exchange of genealogy information at http://www.lutheransonline.com/lutheransonline/genealogy. Not limited to the Missouri Synod, it is a place where individuals may start to make some contacts.
For the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), visit their Lutheran Churches of Chicago: A Genealogical Guide at: http://archive.elca.org/archives/chicagochurches/chicago.html
This Web site provides information by specific church names, including photographs of churches, names of pastors who served in those churches and the dates of their service, information on congregations that merged with others, and locations of original records for congregations.
Postcards of Chicago Lutheran Churches:
German-American Cemeteries in Chicago
German Waldheim (Forest Home)