Church Records

The archives holds records from two groups of congregations in its service area: those which have closed; and those which are active and have chosen to deposit their records, or copies thereof, in the archives for more efficient access by researchers. The vast majority of Lutheran congregations maintain their own records and researchers must contact the congregations directly for information. The organizational records of a congregation, including minutes and reports, legal documents, photos, etc., are most useful for congregations and local historians. 

The parish registers of congregations contain, in chronological sequence, the records of pastoral acts performed by the pastors of the congregation (baptisms, marriages, funerals, confirmations). These records are useful for individuals, family historians and genealogists. Very few of these records have been indexed, however, and many of the 18th and 19th century registers are written in German. Researchers are welcome to use these records for research. We can provide information regarding records we hold, and information on how to contact congregations.


We have records for eastern Pennsylvania only. For central and western Pennsylvania please contact the ELCA Region 8 Archives in Gettysburg, PA.

Click here to view Pennsylvania finding aids.

New Jersey

Click here to view New Jersey finding aids.

New York (Metropolitan)

Click here to view Metro New York finding aid.

New York (Upstate)

Click here to view Upstate New York finding aids.

New England

We have records for Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont.

Click here to view New England finding aids.