Thursday, January 17, 2008

Lutheran Churches in St. Louis

The Special Collections (SC) Department at the St. Louis County Library's Main Branch is, in my mind, the best place to research St. Louis ancestry. This is old news to regular readers, as I've regularly praised their resources. For me, their best assets come in little yellow and white cardboard boxes that hold hundreds of rolls of local Lutheran, Evangelical and Catholic parish records.

SC staff has made it easy to use that microfilm by creating guides similar to what one would find on the FamilySearch site. Being able to refer to a guide and see what section of the roll, and sometimes even what page range, records can be found on saves a lot of time.

I guess it was a few years ago that I asked the librarian who created the Guide to St. Louis Catholic Archdiocesan Parish Records if I could take her information about church locations and plot them to a map. I wanted to do this because I'm not familiar with every street or neighborhood in St. Louis and was having trouble trying to figure out which church to check next once family records ceased at one church. (The library has a map of St. Louis with each church highlighted, but it was a little difficult getting the 6' x 6' laminated poster on the copier.) And the great thing about these guides is that they list not only the current address, but where the churches were previously located. Some churches have had two or three locations in their history.

After I put together the Catholic map, I did the same for Lutheran and UCC/Evangelical churches. At the time, I had problems getting the pages to work as intended with RootsWeb hosting them on my Freepages site. Until this week, the files sat neglected in folder on my hard drive. I have retooled the Lutheran map and it's now ready for its relaunch. If anyone has additions or corrections, don't hesitate to contact me. My email is at the bottom of the home page.

Map of churches in the St. Louis, Missouri area.

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