No, there is no computer database containing the name of every person who
has ever been baptized or married in a Lutheran church in North America!
We receive questions from people hoping that is the case quite often. However,
Concordia Historical Institute may be able to help you with your family
history research in several ways:
- We do have the records of SOME Lutheran
congregations that contain information on baptisms, confirmations, marriages,
burials, etc. Usually these are from disbanded congregations, since most
Lutheran parishes retain their records locally. In a few cases, existing
congregations have transferred their original records to us. We also have
some records on microfilm. But our collection altogether represents a very
small proportion of Lutheran church records.
- We can only provide certification that a record of an official act,
such as a baptism or marriage, exists; we cannot provide original certificates.
Before we can assist you with genealogical information, we must know that
the individual or family being researched was a member of a particular
Lutheran congregation. If the record is available, we will be glad to provide
what information is at hand.
- Even if we do not have the records of a congregation, we may be able
to help you determine which existing congregation to contact. Place names
change, but if you have the name of a pastor from a baptismal or marriage
certificate, we may be able to determine which congregation the pastor
was serving at the time and provide a current address. Give us as much
detail as possible to help us pinpoint the best potential source of information.
- If your ancestor was a Lutheran pastor or teacher, we may have some
biographical information on that person, especially on the places where
he or she served.
- Some family histories of Lutheran families, published and unpublished,
have been deposited in our collection. We can check the family name against
our holdings to see if anyone has already done some work on the family.
If you think we might be able to help you, please let us know. See our
general page on reference services for additional
information and a list of service charges.
Here are some links to genealogical Web pages that you may find useful:
Genealogical Assistance Sites
Lutheran Family History Sites
The following are links to websites with genealogical information on families prominent in the history of Lutheranism in America. If you have developed or know of other sites we might add, please send us the URL.
Back to the Services Available Page
Copyright © 1997-2002 Concordia Historical Institute
Created by: Jason Todd
Maintained by: Marvin A. Huggins
Last updated: Tuesday, October 12, 1999