Church Records for Genealogy on Archives.com

UPDATE:  THIS COLLECTION HAS BEEN EXPANDED AND IS NOW ALSO AVAILABLE ON ANCESTRY.COM.

About 4.6 million genealogical records from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) are now available on Archives.com.

Alfreda Sporowski CHILD SMALLThis project represents a unique collection for Archives.com, which partnered with the ELCA Archives to digitize and index about 1000 rolls of microfilmed records of affiliated church. According to the company, this collection represents records that have never been online before. It eliminates the major barriers we usually have in researching church records: not knowing which specific congregation an ancestor attended; not knowing where those records are now and not having easy access to them.

According to a company press release, “The records in these collections date from the mid-1800s through 1940 and include births, baptisms, confirmations, marriages, deaths, and burials. Details vary from church to church, but often include parents’ names, dates and places of the event, and other biographical details. Many of the churches were founded by immigrants from Norway, Sweden, and Germany and had immigrant families as their members.”

I was curious to see what I could find in the collection on my own family. You can imagine how happy I was to find this record (image below) of my grandmother, Alfreda Sporowski (image right) from Gillespie, Illinois:

Church record naming Alfreda Sporowski, from Archives.com's collection of Evangelical Lutheran Church records.

Church record naming Alfreda Sporowski, from Archives.com’s collection of Evangelical Lutheran Church records.

 

I remember years ago writing a letter to the church and receiving a letter in reply with this information. Now I’m looking at the original document in just seconds from my home computer. We’ve come a long way!

Not a member at Archives.com? You can sign up here for a free 7-day trial membership.

Genealogy Gems Podcast Episode 241

Podcast host: Lisa Louise Cooke

May 2020

In this episode you’ll hear about the change to Google search results, how to reunite found items with their families, and 10 strategies for finding school records for your ancestors. 

Download the episode mp3

Watch Elevenses with Lisa live on the Genealogy Gems YouTube channel on Thursdays at 11:00 AM Central. After the live show you can watch the video replay at your convenience. You’ll find the show notes for Elevenses with Lisa here on the Genealogy Gems website.

Google Search Update

Watch Episode 6 which features the latest on Google search results.

New Google Message: No good results

New Google Message: “No good results.”

MAILBOX: Reuniting Family History

A while back I received an email from Tim. He writes:

“I’m getting back into genealogy in a meaningful way now that my dissertation is done and I realized that I don’t know what to do with all the ‘stuff’ I’ve taken photos of, picked up at yard sales, etc., that could be of genealogical value to someone but not me.  I’ve got yearbooks, pictures of the genealogy information inside family bibles, etc.  I used to be able to scan and submit to Mocavo for the world to use but that’s gone.  With the Rootsweb mailing lists shutting down, do you have recommendations for where I can submit these things so they benefit others?”

From Lisa:

As a matter of I do have a few recommendations for you!

These days a free blog is your own genealogy bulletin board with much greater reach than Rootsweb had. It’s a great way to get the word out about items that you have that you would like to reunite with their families.

Blogger.com (Google’s free blogging platform) is a good choice.

Video tutorials on how to set up a Blogger blog at my YouTube channel.

Also, listen to Episodes 37-40 of my Family History: Genealogy Made Easy podcast

New England genealogy

Free podcast by Lisa Louise Cooke

Lisa’s Tips for getting your blog posts:

  • One blog post per item
  • In addition to a photo, include as much text as you can that describes the item.
  • Tag the items with surnames, record types, and locations.
  • Encourage people to email you or leave a comment to get in touch.

 

Interview with Carly Kidd-Osborn

If you have an item that you picked up along your genealogical travels that belongs to someone else’s family history, the Shrubs to Trees – A Pay-It-Forward Genealogy Facebook Group can help. Caryl Kidd-Osborn is the Administrator, and in this episode she explains how the group has helped return over 1500 items to families and how you can enlist their help.

Shrubs to Trees – A Pay-It-Forward Genealogy Facebook Group

From Caryl:  “We are almost 2 years old and in that time we have returned over 1500 “lost” memorabilia items to living family. We’ve given back photos, bronze baby shoes, sheet music that was written by someone’s family member, a marriage license and even someone’s cremains. We aren’t a very big group but we have some wonderful folks who just jump right in with researching the items. It’s a private group since we are dealing with living people. It’s very much a collaboration. Our members are genealogists who, like me, just can’t leave an antique store without taking someone else’s family home with them!”

Here are just a few examples of the precious items that the group has managed to return to grateful families:

Reunited - baby shoes

Reunited: Little Renee’s baby shoes

 

baby picture reunited with family

Reunited: A photo of Frances Payne. “Our cutest return,” says Caryl.

 

Reunited marriage certificate

Reunited: Andrew Johney and Maggie Bosley marriage license. This was found at a dump.

 

Reunited photo

Sarah Fooks Tutherly – photo went to the Historical Society in Laurel, DE. The Fooks family was a prominent family in that town, she was a DAR member.

 

Reunited Vandermaas family

Reunited: The Vandermaas family. The parents had died before the children were of that age so this is a composite of the whole family.

 

GEM: Top 10 Strategies for Finding School Records for Genealogy

Click here for the complete article on strategies for finding school records.

10 strategies for finding school records

Download the Show Notes

Download the Show Notes PDF

 

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Genealogy Gems premium elearning

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New Genealogy Records Online – January 23, 2020

New genealogical records continue to pour on line. This week we’re highlighting the latest from FamilySearch and MyHeritage. We’re crossing our fingers that the records you’ve been waiting for are among them. Happy searching!

new genealogy records

FamilySearch New Records

SALT LAKE CITY, UT—FamilySearch.org added over 8 million newfree, historical records from WWII Draft Registration Cards (1940-1947) and Lincolnshire, England, Parish Registers (1538-1990). The military records are from California, Kansas, Montana, Oregon and Texas.  More indexed records were added from Australia, Finland, France, Netherlands, Peru, Poland, Sweden, and the United States. 

Australia        

Australia, Convict Tickets of Leave, 1824-1874
Indexed Records: 60,093 
New indexed records collection

Belgium

Belgium, Antwerp, Civil Registration, 1588-1913
Added 68,547 indexed records to an existing collection

Belgium, Hainaut, Civil Registration, 1600-1913
Added 8,767 indexed records to an existing collection

Belgium, Namur, Civil Registration, 1800-1912
Added 53,070 indexed records to an existing collection

Canada

Nova Scotia Church Records, 1720-2001
Added 565  indexed records to an existing collection

England         

England, Lincolnshire, Parish Registers, 1538-1990
Indexed Records: 3,947,025
New indexed records collection

England, Herefordshire Bishop’s Transcripts, 1583-1898
Added 2, 263 indexed records to an existing collection

England, Herefordshire Bishop’s Transcripts, 1583-1898
Added 1,369 indexed records to an existing collection

England, Northumberland, Parish Registers, 1538-1950 
Added 557,993 indexed records to an existing collection

England, Oxfordshire Parish Registers 1538-1904
Added 474 indexed records to an existing collection

England, Oxfordshire Parish Registers 1538-1904
Added 1,471  indexed records to an existing collection

England, Yorkshire Marriage Bonds and Allegations, 1613-1887
Added 2,074 indexed records to an existing collection

England, Yorkshire Marriage Bonds and Allegations, 1613-1887
Added 815 indexed records to an existing collection

 

Finland          

Finland, Tax Lists, 1809-1915
Indexed Records: 24,525
Added indexed records to an existing collection

France           

France, Vienne, Census, 1896  
Indexed Records: 6,635
Added indexed records to an existing collection

Netherlands  

Netherlands, Archival Indexes, Vital Records
Indexed Records: 6,684 
Added indexed records to an existing collection

Peru               

Peru, Catholic Church Records, 1603-1992  
Indexed Records: 34 
Added indexed records to an existing collection

 

Poland           

Poland, Lublin Roman Catholic Church Books, 1784-1964
Indexed Records: 6,522
Added indexed records to an existing collection

Sweden         

Sweden, Stockholm City Archives, Index to Church Records, 1546-1927
Indexed Records: 98,780
Added indexed records to an existing collection

California

California, World War II Draft Registration Cards,1940-1945  
Indexed Records: 2,083,701
Digital Images: 2,112,990
New indexed records and images collection

Hawaii

Hawaii, Grantor and Grantee Index, 1845-1909
Indexed Records: 229,833
Added indexed records to an existing collection

Kansas

Kansas, World War II Draft Registration Cards,1940-1945
Indexed Records: 429,561
New indexed records collection

Montana

Montana, World War II Draft Registration Cards,1940-1945  
Indexed Records: 144,392 
New indexed records collection

Oregon

Oregon, World War II Draft Registration Cards,1940-1945
Indexed Records: 295,077 
New indexed records collection

Texas

Texas, World War II Draft Registration Cards,1940-1947
Indexed Records: 1,794,395
Digital Images: 1,819,299
New indexed records and images collection

MyHeritage New Records

Here’s the latest from the folks at MyHeritage:

Historical Books – Index of Authors and People Mentioned, 1811–2003

Description: An index of persons mentioned in various English-language public domain books as well as the names of authors of these publications. This collection of 494 million records is an index of persons mentioned in various English-language public domain books as well as the names of authors of these publications. The number of digitized books is over 3 million. The following searchable information can be found in most records in the index: the title and the year of publication, name of the author(s), birth and death year of the author(s), the names of all the individuals mentioned in the publication, the publisher, and the subject(s) of the publication.

Number of Records: 494,096,291 records in 3,024,213 books

 

Authors of Scholarly Articles

Description: Names of authors of millions of scholarly articles. This collection of 272 million records includes the names of authors of millions of scholarly articles. Authors’ names are collected from over 50,000 journals and open-access repositories from all over the world. Records typically include the given name and surname of authors and co-authors, the article’s title and date, the name of the journal, and the name of its publisher. For some of the articles, a link is provided to view the article online.

Number of Records: 272,046,994 records

VITAL RECORDS

Texas Marriages and Divorces

Description: An index of marriage license applications from all counties in the state of Texas for the years 1966 to 2016. This collection was updated and now contains 26 million records.

Number of Records: 26,591,435 records

 

France, Military Death Index, 1914–1961

Description: An index of death records of individuals who died fighting in the French armed forces, members of foreign armed forces who died fighting in France, and civilians who were killed in France.

This free collection of 5 million records is an index of death records of individuals who died fighting in the French armed forces, members of foreign armed forces who died fighting in France, and civilians who were killed in France. The majority of the records pertain to the First World War, although there are also records from the Second World War, the Franco-Prussian War, and various other conflicts that occurred in France or that involved the French armed forces. Records may contain the following searchable information: first and last name of the individual, date and place of birth, date and place of death, burial place, and the first and last names of the individual’s parents and spouse.

The following information may also be found in most records: rank and regiment, company, conflict, military decorations, additional notes on locations, and the individual’s family situation.

Number of Records: 5,332,260 records

Germany, Hesse Marriage Index, 1849–1931

Description: An index of marriage records from several communities that are within the state of Hesse in Germany.

This collection of 4.77 million records includes marriage records from several communities within the state of Hesse in Germany. Marriages were usually recorded in the bride’s place of residence. When the information is available a record will include the groom’s given name and surname, age or birthdate, birthplace, residence, occupation, marriage date, and information about the groom’s parents. A record will also include the bride’s given name and surname or maiden name, age or birthdate, birthplace, residence, occupation, and information about the bride’s parents.

Starting in 1874, the state mandated that new local civil registry offices be responsible for creating civil registers of birth, marriage, and death records in the former Prussian provinces, among them many communities in Hesse.

Number of Records: 4,770,560 records

Germany, Hesse Birth Index, 1874–1911

Description: An index of birth records from several communities that are within the state of Hesse in Germany.

This collection of 3.78 million records includes birth records from several communities within the state of Hesse in Germany. When the information is available a record will include the child’s given name, the date of a birth, and sex. Information about the mother includes given name, maiden name, last name, address, and spouse. Information is also provided about the informant. An informant was often the father of the child or a midwife.

Number of Records: 3,784,938 records

NEWSPAPERS

This is the next installment in our U.S. newspaper collections. We have added 14.6 million pages from nine states: Florida, Wisconsin, Kansas, Texas, Montana, Minnesota, Illinois, and Tennessee. The newspapers in this update range in date from the late 19th/early 20th century to 2009.

Newspapers are an important resource for genealogy and family history research as they contain obituaries and other vital record substitutes such as birth, marriage, and death notices. Additionally, society pages and stories of local interest contain rich information on activities and events in the community and often provide details about the persons involved.

Before vital records were recorded by city, county, or state governments, local newspapers often published articles listing or detailing these events. Obituaries contain vital and biographical information on the deceased as well as his or her family and relatives.

Society pages began as a way to entice readers with gossip and news about the wealthy and famous but soon evolved to cover the goings-on of “average” citizens. An incredible array of information can be discovered in these society pages or sections from seemingly mundane notices and reports on events such as parties, job changes, hospital stays, and social visits by friends or relatives. These pages are a source of historical events that are unlikely to exist in any other record.

Coverage and completeness in this collection varies by title.

Florida Newspapers

Description: This collection is a compendium of over 8 million newspaper pages from 25 newspaper titles published in various cities and towns in the state of Florida.
Time frame: 1901 to 2009.
Number of Records: 8,084,846 pages in 25 newspaper titles

Illinois Newspapers

Description: This collection is a compendium of newspapers published in various cities and towns in the state of Illinois.
Time frame:  1840 until 2009.
Number of Records: 83,452 pages in 14 newspaper titles

Kansas Newspapers

Description: This collection of 1.4 million newspaper pages is a compendium of newspapers published in various cities and towns in the state of Kansas.
Time frame: 1869 to 2009.
Number of Records: 1,473,037 pages in 39 newspaper titles

Minnesota Newspapers

Description: This collection is a compendium of newspapers published in various cities and towns in the state of Minnesota.
Time frame: 1902 until 2009.
Number of Records: 92,171 pages in 26 newspaper titles

Montana Newspapers

Description: This collection is a compendium of newspapers published in various cities and towns in the state of Montana.
Time frame: 1890 until 2009.
Number of Records: 155,210 pages in 94 newspaper titles

Oklahoma Newspapers

Description: This collection is a compendium of newspapers published in various cities and towns in the state of Oklahoma.
Time frame: 1927 to 2009.
Number of Records: 521,793 pages in 14 newspaper titles

Tennessee Newspapers

Description: This collection is a compendium of newspapers published in various cities and towns in the state of Tennessee.
Time frame: 1870 until 2009.
Number of Records: 66,994 pages in 8 newspaper titles

Texas Newspapers

Description: This collection of 1.2 million records is a compendium of newspapers published in various cities and towns in the state of Texas.
Time frame: 1848 to 2009.
Number of Records: 1,254,230 pages in 33 newspaper titles

Wisconsin Newspapers

Description: This collection of 2.8 million newspaper pages is a compendium of newspapers published in various cities and towns in the state of Wisconsin.
Time frame: 1884 to 2009.
Number of Records: 2,887,946 pages in 3 newspaper titles

Searching all of these collections in MyHeritage SuperSearch™ is free, but a Data or Complete subscription is required to view the full records, save them to your family tree, and fully access Record Matches. Our Record Matching technology will automatically find relevant historical records revealing new information about any ancestors who appear in these records.

 

 

 

 

Discover Your Scandinavian Ancestors in New and Updated Genealogy Records Online

Look for your Scandinavian ancestors in new and updated online Swedish marriage records, as well as population registers and vital records indexes for the Netherlands. Also: English parish registers, an Israeli collection for the Six Day War, and several U.S. collections: biographies, WWII draft registrations, Indian wills, Arkansas, Florida and Georgia.

Netherlands – Population Registers, BMD

In May, MyHeritage published major new collections for the Netherlands. Among them are indexes to civil births, marriages and deaths, as well as church baptisms, marriages and burials. You’ll also find their new Netherlands, Population Registers, 1810-1936 index, with more than 16 million records from population registers across the Netherlands. “Records typically list name, birth date, birthplace, residence date, and residence place. Sometimes an individual’s age, occupation, and names of their parents or spouse is also included.”

TIP: Use the source information given to go to browse-only collections of register images at FamilySearch (free) or Ancestry.com (subscribers or library users).

Sweden – Marriage records

Over 6.5 million records are in the new Ancestry.com collection, Sweden, Indexed Marriage Records, 1860-1943. According to the collection description, “records in this database were created by Statistics Sweden (SCB), a government agency established in 1858 that extracted and transcribed birth, marriage, and death information from Evangelical Lutheran Church in Sweden parish record books from 1860 to 1941.” You will likely find the names (including maiden name), dates of birth, gender and number of marriage for the bride and groom, along with dates and place of marriage. Later records may add more details: occupation, residence, nationality, religion and previous marital status. TIP: See the collection description for an explanation of Swedish naming traditions.

FYI–Ancestry.com’s Sweden, Indexed Death Records, 1840-1942 has also been recently updated (it’s now got 12.5 million records).

England – Parish Registers

Findmypast.com has recently posted the following new and updated parish records:

Israel – Military

The Israel State Archives has released a digital archive from the Six Day War. According to an article at Arutz Sheva, the collection numbers over 150,000 pages and includes “minutes of 36 meetings of the Ministerial Committee on National Security from January-July 1967, Cabinet protocols and documents pertaining to the war from various ministries (Prime Minister’s Office, Foreign Ministry, Interior Ministry, Religious Affairs Ministry, Tourism Ministry, Justice Ministry, Housing Ministry and others), as well as sound and video files, still photographs and materials from the personal archives of Levy Eshkol, Yaakov Herzog, Aviad Yafe, Moshe Sasson and Rabbi Shlomo Goren.” Click here for the Six Day War Collection on the Israel State Archives website.

United States – Miscellaneous

  • Biographies of Famous People: You’ve likely seen late 19th-century U.S. county histories with biographical sketches of prominent residents (perhaps you’ve even found your family among them). A national version of these “mug books” has been published and indexed on Ancestry.com. Appletons’ Cyclopedia of American Biography, 1600-1889 includes over 15,000 entries from annual volumes 1887-1889, with entries from most states. “Much of the information found within was compiled by either the subjects themselves or by their families,” warns the collection description. “Not all of the biographies found within the Cyclopedia may be accurate….Since contributors to the project were paid by space, there is speculation that the authors of the false pieces may have been financially motivated to add fabricated entries.” As always, use what you find to inform and guide your research: verify everything you can.
  • Red Cross: Nearly 20,000 newly scanned photographs from the American National Red Cross collection are now online at the Library of Congress website.
  • WWII draft registrations: Fold3 has added 21 new states or regions to its collection of WWII Draft Registration Cards. Draft registration cards are an excellent resource for determining where your family lived after the 1940 census; employer information, which can lead to business records or help you identify a relative in a city directory; and more.
  • Indian wills: Ancestry.com has a new collection of U.S., Indian Wills, 1910-1921. According to the collection description, for a time, “the Probate Divisions of the Bureau of Indian Affairs were responsible for determining the heirs of deceased Indian trust allottees. Ultimately, Native Americans submitted more than 2,500 pages of wills and probate records to the Bureau. These records span the period 1910 to 1921 and, with a few exceptions, pertain to Indian families living in the Plains and several western states. Researchers will find members of the following tribes represented in this collection: Chippewa, Sioux, Apache, Shawnee, Quapaw, Assinboin, Leach Lake Chippewa, Confederated Flathead, Ponca, Cheyenne, Crow, Sac & Fox, Nez Perce, Southern Ute, Omaha, Osage, and more.”
  • Arkansas: The Arkansas State Archive Newspaper Digitization Project has now digitized and indexed over 200,000 pages that will appear on Newspapers.com in June. Click here to learn more about this project.
  • Florida: Flagler College (St. Augustine, Florida) has digitized its archive of yearbooks and photos, articles, college catalogs, and more. Now available to the public online
  • Georgia: Now on the Georgia Archives is a digital version of its Bible Records Microfilm Index. These are images of the “card catalog (compiled by Georgia Archives staff) of the Archives’ holdings of Bible records on microfilm. The cards have been scanned and saved in PDF format.”

Got Swedish roots?

Then you’ll likely enjoy our current Genealogy Gems Book Club featured title, The Whole Town’s Talking by internationally-bestselling author Fannie Flagg. It’s the story of two Swedish-American immigrants to the U.S., who find each other and marry after the man places an ad in a newspaper. Their dairy farm becomes the core of Swede Town, which grows into a classic Midwestern town. This novel is the multi-generational story of that town. Click here to learn more about The Whole Town’s Talking and The Genealogy Gems Book Club.

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