Thursday, June 11, 2015

New Resource: Digitized Church Records Available for In-Library Use

A look at the title page from one of the church books.
You may have seen a teaser announcement last year on our Macomb County Genealogy Group's Community FaceBook page and wondered which historic church we were hinting at scanning its records.

The Macomb County Genealogy Group and the Mount Clemens Public Library are happy to announce that the church books of St. Peter's Evangelical Lutheran Church in Eastpointe, Michigan, have been digitized and are now available for in-library use on the local database computer (non-internet computer) in the Genealogy and Local History Room.

Though an index to these records is still a work in progress, the images are now ready for viewing. A Read Me file has been created to give users some tips and an overview of what is available.

St. Peter's Evangelical Lutheran Church located now in Eastpointe was actually started by the end of 1845. For a good progression of this St. Peter's history (which is often confused with another St. Peter's church) see the Other History page of the church's own website to learn more.

The confirmation, marriage and burial records begin in 1851 while the baptism records survive from 1862. There is also a member register from 1875 that lists members by family group. (Remember, the State of Michigan did not start keeping vital records until 1867.)

Of course, the earliest records were written in German using the old Schrift handwriting. Later records were written in German using modern handwriting and eventually the German language gave way to English in the records. [Note: we have a couple volunteers who can read the old German handwriting.]

So if you have early Evangelical Lutheran German ancestors who resided near what is now Eastpointe -- this includes Macomb and Wayne counties as the church has moved its location along Gratiot Avenue a few times over its many years of existence -- this new resource might be what you have been missing.

Many thanks to St. Peter's Evangelical Lutheran Church in Eastpointe for participating in our church book scanning project.

See you soon at Mt. Clemens Public Library!

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