The following news release was received from Julie Hill at Archives.com
First Time a Comprehensive Historical Database of Lutheran Congregants Will Be Available Online
REDWOOD CITY, Calif., April 17, 2012 – Archives.com, a website that makes family history research simple and affordable, is pleased to announce its partnership with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) to digitize and index 1,000 reels of microfilm containing millions of baptism, confirmation, marriage, and funeral records. Archives.com will make these records available online for the first time as part of its ongoing effort to expand its collection of over 2.1 billion historical records.
With the help of digitization and indexing partners, Archives.com will create digital indexes of these records. The documents cover Lutheran congregations throughout the U.S., and will be accompanied by images of the original parish register ledger books. Dating from 1793–1940, these new collections will help users uncover valuable information about their ancestors that isn’t available anywhere else online.
Joel Thoreson, Archivist for Management and Reference Services at the Evangelical Lutheran Church Archives notes, “We’re very excited to work with Archives.com in digitizing and indexing these records. Researchers have long sought the ability to do easy searches for individuals across multiple congregations. Currently, without knowing the exact congregation at which ancestors worshipped, finding those individuals is a slow and painstaking process.”
Archives.com estimates that digital indexes and images resulting from the 1,000 microfilm reels will be available online later this year. Nearly all of the records were handwritten in Norwegian, German, Danish, and Slovakian, in addition to English, making this an especially unique and valuable record set.
Archives.com Senior Director of Product Joe Godfrey said, “Church records are rich with genealogical information, and we’re excited to be partnering with the ELCA to make their impressive collection available online for the first time. Access to these records will allow our users with ties to the Lutheran church to discover more about their ancestors than ever before.”
Archives.com makes over 2.1 billion records available to its users, including a comprehensive U.S. census collection and is continually adding new content. Please visit the Collections page to learn about the records available on Archives.com, and to receive regular updates about the website please visit the Archives.com blog.
Archives.com is a leading family history website that makes discovering family history simple and affordable. The company has assembled more than 2.1 billion historical records all in a single location, and makes them available at a price that’s up to 80 percent less than the leading competitor. Archives also partners with other leading family history websites to provide a comprehensive resource for researching your family history. Archives.com is free to try for seven days, allowing anyone to explore the benefits of membership without risk or obligation. For more information and to start discovering your family history, please visit http://www.archives.com/.
About the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Archives
The Archives of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America preserves and maintains the records of predecessor church bodies, inter-Lutheran organizations, as well as records of leaders, congregations, and synods of the church. Located outside of Chicago, the ELCA Archives hold genealogically rich collections of oral histories, microfilm, photographs, as well as other archival materials and exhibits. To learn more please visit http://www.elca.org/archives.