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Lutheran Genealogy

Lutheran Libraries and Archives


  • Lutheran Church of Australia - Lutheran Archives.  The Lutheran Archives is the official repository of historical material relating to the Lutheran Church of Australia (LCA). It holds records of the present LCA, as well as records of the earlier Lutheran Synods in Australia which in time amalgamated to form the present LCA. Most records are available for inspection. (Some records have closed or restricted access. Private records of church departments which are less than 30 years old are generally not open for research, unless special permission is gained.) The Archives has a limited collection of items from the Lutheran Church of New Zealand. (If further details are required, researchers can contact the President of the Lutheran Church New Zealand, or the Archives collection at the Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand.)


  • Evangelisches Zentral Archiv in Berlin, Germany. As a result of the division of Germany after the Second World War, the Evangelical Churches  of the GDR, formed their own "Union of Evangelical Churches  of the GDR" (BEK) in 1969, and from 1972 the EKU was divided into two areas. The BEK, together with the Evangelical Church of Berlin-Brandenburg, established a "Joint Archive" in 1987 in Berlin-Mitte. In 1992, the holdings of the BEK and the EKU-Section GDR were transferred to the Central Archive of the Evangelical Church in Berlin (EZA). The EZA is responsible for all archival material from offices, organizations and institutions of the EKD and the EKU and their legal and functional antecedents. In addition, the EZA has collected archival material from independent supraregional organizations and associations that work closely with the Evangelical church and support it in its message and work as well as from the estates of important individuals who were active within the sphere of the church and related activities.

    • Genealogy - How to use the archives for genealogical purposes.
    • Information for Beginners
    • Library of the EZA. The  library has a holding of about 70.000 volumes. The library is composed of materials from the official libraries of the organizations whose files are kept in our archive as well as a collection of other literature that has been collected according to certain criteria. Thus the library reflects the holdings of the archive. By and large, the literature found here dates from the 19th and 20th centuries, although some older titles may also be found.
    • Parish Register Repository. About 7000 Parish Registers from Protestant parishes which belonged to the former eastern provinces of the Protestant  Church of the Old Prussian Union. These areas today belong to Poland, Russia, and Lithuania. German Protestant parishes no longer exist in these areas. About 763 military church records of the Military Church  Registers of the former Prussian army and the German Wehrmacht. About 70 Parish Registers from German - speaking congregations outside of Germany.
  • Society for German Genealogy in Eastern Europe.  This web site is devoted to the study of those people with German ancestry (generally of the Lutheran, Baptist, or Moravian faiths) who lived in present-day Poland and northwestern Ukraine. Special emphasis is placed on those who lived in the pre-WW I province of Volhynia (generally from the city of Kiev on the east to the present-day Polish border on the west) and on the pre-WW I region of central and eastern modern Poland known as Russian Poland or Congress Poland. Peripheral studies include the Kiev and Podolia provinces in Ukraine, and the regions of West and East Prussia, Posen, Silesia, and Pomerania as well as Galicia which was under Austrian rule.

North America

  • Concordia Historical Institute (CHI) is the Department of Archives and History of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod (LCMS). The Institute assists in researching LCMS parish records and/or a pastor. It does not offer a database of names of American Lutherans. In 1927 the Institute was incorporated by interested individuals in the church to provide for the preservation of its records. In 1959 the Synod designated the Institute as its official repository.
    • Family History - CHI has some individual Lutheran congregational records that contain information on baptisms, confirmations, marriages, burials, etc.
    • Holdings and Collections - Archives and manuscripts, library holdings, and museum collections.
  • Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Archives
    321 Bonnie Lane
    Elk Grove Village, Illinois 60007
    Telephone: (847) 690-9410

    The ELCA Archives are the collective memory of the ELCA churchwide organization, including records of predecessor church bodies, inter-Lutheran organizations, and certain records relating to ELCA synods and their predecessors, as well as leaders and congregations of the church.

  • Swenson Swedish Immigration Research Center. Located at Augustana College, the Center is a national archives and research institute providing resources for the study of Swedish immigration to North America, the communities the immigrants established, and the role the immigrants and their descendants have played in American life. This is achieved by promoting and initiating academic research in the field and by collecting and cataloging Swedish-American archival and library materials. Another major role for the Center is to assist people researching their Swedish-American family history.

    Other Resources

    • Connecticut Historical Records Survey. Inventory of the Church Archives of Connecticut, Lutheran. New Haven, Connecticut: The Survey, 1941.
    • Knubel, Helen M. An Introductory Guide to Lutheran Archives and Collections. New York: Archives of Cooperative Lutheranism (Lutheran Council in the USA), 1981.
    • Lundeen, Joel W. Preserving Yesterday for Tomorrow: A Guide to the Archives of the Lutheran Church in America.  Chicago: Archives of the Lutheran Church in America, 1977.
    • New York Historical Records Survey. Inventory of the Church Archives in New York City, Lutheran. New York City, History Records Survey, Division of Professional and Service Projects, Work Projects Administration, 1940.
    • United Lutheran Synod Of New York. Committee on Documentary History. The Lutheran Church in New York, 1649-1772. New York: New York Public Library, 1946, 1944.