This collection contains baptism, confirmation, marriage, and burial records from more than 2,000 Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) congregations. The records range from the mid-19th century through the early 20th century. The information contained in the records varies from congregation to congregation (and sometimes from minister to minister). In some ethnic congregations, you may run into records in German, Danish, or some other language.
The ELCA was formed in 1988 with the merger of the American Lutheran Church, the Association of Evangelical Lutheran Churches, and the Lutheran Church in America. Use the browse tool on the right to see which congregations are represented.
Baptisms (sometimes listed as christenings) typically include the name of the child, birth date and place, parents’ names, baptism date, and sponsors’ names. In some cases the birth date is noted as well. In some registers of children baptized, you may find family groups being baptized together. An infant baptism can be a clue that that member had been in the congregation for all of his or her life, whereas later christenings could indicate the family had more recently joined the congregation.
Marriage records include the marriage date, the couple’s names, residences, and the name of the officiant. Ages and remarks were sometimes recorded as well.
Death records typically included the name of the deceased, date of death, date and place of the funeral, and officiating minister.
Within the collection you may also find membership records, with some listing the names and dates of admission, communion records, and how they were received into the church (e.g., baptism, certificate/transfer from another church, or other, which could indicate a transfer from another denomination). You may also find death dates listed in the membership registers. There are also some registers of church officials that can include dates of service, day-to-day business of the church, and functions of the congregation.Here is the database search page:
I tested this database using the Vaux surname, as shown above. There were 54 matches - confirmations, marriages and baptisms:
I selected the marriage record for Ernest L. Vaux on the list above, and saw the record summary:
The indexed information for this record is terrific - it includes the parents of both parties. Here is the record image:
The Ernest L. Vaux and Helen A. Boer marriage entry is number 8 in 1936 for this church in Bloomer, Wisconsin.
This record added Helen's maiden name and the marriage date and place for my family tree database.
The Ancestry.com source citation for this record is:
My source citation, crafted using the "Church Records (online database)" source template in RootsMagic:
"Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, Records, 1875-1940," indexed database and digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 14 May 2015), Wisconsin > Bloomer > St. John, Marriages, page 338 (image 159 of 194), Ernest L. Vaux and Helene A. Boer entry, 1936; citing original data in: Evangelical Lutheran Church of America. ELCA, Birth, Marriage, Deaths. Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, Chicago, Illinois.
NOTE: Although this database title says the records span 1875 to 1940, I found many records before 1875. For instance, here is a page of Sjursen entries in Dane County, Wisconsin:
The earliest record is for 1844, and there are 16 listed between 1844 and 1860.
The URL for this post is: http://www.geneamusings.com/2015/05/new-ancestrycom-database-evangelical.html
Copyright (c) 2015, Randall J. Seaver
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