Chicago Genealogy:
German-American Church Records and Cemeteries

For a list of other posts on Chicago German-American genealogy resources, click here.

For links to other Chicago resources, click here.

1. Major Christian German-American Denominations

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:

2. 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. Click here for a case study on using Cook County marriage records for more information.

To check if a Lutheran church is still active in Chicago, visit these databases:

1. The Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod (LCMS) Congregation Locator (2,418,000 members and 6,155 churches). In addition, Thrivent for Lutherans provides online exchange of genealogy information and is not limited to the Missouri Synod.

2. Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA) Congregation Lookup (4,634,000 baptized members in 10,396 congregations).

Their 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.

3. Archives for Missouri Synod Lutheran Churches, particularly for disbanded churches, are available at Concordia Historical Institute. 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.

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
[email protected]

3. Postcards of Chicago Lutheran Churches

4. German-American Protestant Cemeteries in Chicago

5. German-American Catholic Church & Cemetery Records

Archives of the Archdiocese of Chicago
Joseph Cardinal Bernadine Archive and Record Center
Attn: Assistant Research Archivist
711 West Monroe
Chicago, Illinois 60661
Phone: (312) 831-0711

The diocese includes the counties of Cook and Lake. The Family History Library is currently indexing the digitized microfilm for Illinois, Chicago, Catholic Church Records, 1833-1925.

6. German-American Catholic Cemeteries in Chicago

Click here to request a Chicago Diocese search of interment records.

And of course you can always search the big sites like Ancestry and FamilySearch for their collections. That’s it for Chicago Genealogy: German-American Church Records and Cemeteries for today. For a list of other posts on Chicago German-American genealogy resources, click here.