Thursday, January 9, 2014

ELCA Records on

1882 baptismal record from Gothenburg, Dawson County, Nebraska; digital image obtained on has digitized the ELCA (Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's microfilmed copies of some congregational church records. Unfortunately does not have any easy to find the inventory on their site. This PDF file from the ELCA Archives contains a list of congregations represented in the digitized version of their microfilmed congregational records at Keep in mind that it is difficult (almost impossible) to really browse these records on the site.

It's great to have digital access to these records, but the implementation at could have been more user friendly.I generally find a record (ie. a person's entry) in the desired congregation and then "browse" from that image.

The inventory on the ELCA site contains a variety of abbreviations. Here is a listing of those abbreviations as obtained from the ELCA Archives and reprinted with their permission:

ELCA (EA) - Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (1988-present)
  I. TALC (A) - The American Lutheran Church (1960-1987)
     A. ALC (AM) - American Lutheran Church (1930-1960)
        1. Buffalo (B) - Buffalo Synod 1845-1930
        2. Iowa (I) - Iowa Synod (1854-1930)
          a. Texas (T) - First (German) Evangelical Lutheran Synod of Texas (1851-1896, district 1896-1930)
        3. JSO (O) - Joint Synod of Ohio and Other States (1818-1930)
          a. Augsburg Synod (1876-1903)
          b. Concordia Synod of Virginia (1868-1877)
          c. Evangelical Lutheran Conference (1881-1882)
          d. Indianapolis Synod (1846-1858)
          e. Tennessee Synod (Reorganized) (1848-1884)
     B. ELC (E) - Evangelical Lutheran Church (1917-1960) (was the Norwegian Lutheran Church of America 1917-1946)
        1. Hauge (H) - Hauge's Synod (1876-1917) (split from Eielsen's Synod)
        2. NS (S) - Norwegian Synod  (officially the Synod for the Norwegian Evangelical Lutheran Church in America) (1853-1917)
        3. UNLC (U) - United Norwegian Lutheran Church of America (1890-1917)
          a. AN (AN) - Anti-Missourian Brotherhood (1887-1890) (split from Norwegian Synod)
          b. NA (NA) - Norwegian-Augustana Synod (1870-1890) (split from Scandinavian Augustana Synod)
          c. NDConf (CO) - Norwegian-Danish Conference (1870-1890) (split from Scandinavian Augustana Synod)
     C. LFC (F) - Lutheran Free Church (1897-1963) (was Friends of Augsburg, 1893-1897, split from United Norwegian Lutheran Church)
     D. UELC (UE) - United Evangelical Lutheran Church (1896-1960) (was the United Danish Evangelical Lutheran Church 1896-1946)
        1. (DA) - Danish Evangelical Lutheran Church Association (a.k.a. Blair Church) (1884-1896) (split from Norwegian-Danish Conference)
        2. (DN) - Danish Evangelical Lutheran Church in North America (a.k.a. North Church) (1893-1896) (split from Danish Evangelical Lutheran Church)
  II. LCA (L) - Lutheran Church in America (1962-1987)
     A. DELC (D) - American Evangelical Lutheran Church (1874-1962) (was the Danish Evangelical Lutheran Church (1874-1953)
        1. Church Mission Society (Kirkelig Missionsforening) (1872-1874)
     B. AUG (AG) - Augustana Lutheran Church (1860-1962) (was Evangelical Lutheran Augustana Synod in North America 1894-1948, Scandinavian Evangelical Lutheran Augustana Synod in North America 1860-1894)
     C. Suomi (SU) - Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Church in American (Suomi Synod) (1890-1962)
     D. ULCA (UL) - United Lutheran Church in America (1918-1962) [Member Synods of ULCA, GC, GS, USS]
        1. GC - General Council (1867-1918)
        2. GS - General Synod (1820-1918)
        3. USS - United Synod of the South (1863-1918) (was the General Synod of the Confederate States of America 1863-1866, Evangelical Lutheran General Synod in North America 1866-1876, Evangelical Lutheran General Synod South 1876-1886)
  III. AELC (AE) - Association of Evangelical Lutheran Churches (1974-1987) (split from the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod)

Note: The first abbreviation is used as a call number in the archives collection catalog. The paranthetical codes are those used in the archives congregational microfilm database. Other non-predecessor synod codes used in that database are:

(EI) - Eielsen's Synod (1845-1997)
LCMS (MO) - Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod (1847-current) (was German Evangelical Lutheran Synod of Missouri, Ohio, and Other States 1847-1917, Evangelical Lutheran Synod of Missouri, Ohio, and Other States 1917-1948)
WELS (W) - Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (1917-current) (was Evangelical Lutheran Synod of Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan and Other States 1917-1919, Evangelical Lutheran Synod of Wisconsin and Other States 1919-1959)
    Evangelical Lutheran Synod of Michigan and Other States (1860-1917)
    Evangelical Lutheran Synod of Minnesota and Other States (1860-1917)
   German Evangelical Lutheran Synod of Wisconsin and Other States (1850-1917)
   German Evangelical Lutheran District Synod of Nebraska and Other States (1904-1917)
ELCIC - Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (1985-current)
Evangelical Lutheran Church of Canada (1960-1985) (split from The American Lutheran Church, 1960, full autonomy 1966) (LCA Canadian congregations joined in 1985 forming ELCIC)
AALC - American Association of Lutheran Churches (1987-current) (split from The American Lutheran Church)
AFLC (AF) - Association of Free Lutheran Churches (1962-current) (split from the Lutheran Free Church)
CLBA (LB) - Church of the Lutheran Brethren of America (1900-current)
ELS - Evangelical Lutheran Synod (1918-current) (was Norwegian Synod of the American Evangelical Lutheran Church 1918-1957 (a.k.a. "Little Norwegian" Synod)) (split from the Norwegian Synod)
Lat - Latvian Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (1975-current)

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