A Church Chronology

They were always members of the same denomination. But were they? And if they were, were they members of the same congregation? A church attendance chronology for your ancestor may get you thinking in a different way about some details of your ancestor’s life. My great-grandmother was always a member of a Lutheran Church, but attended four throughout her life.

This early 20th century postcard, purchased on Ebay, contained pictures of two churches Tjode attended in Carthage, Illinois. Original in possession of Michael John Neill.
  • 1881 (birth) -1888: Christ Lutheran Church, Gothenburg, Nebraska
  • 1888-1907: probably Immanuel Lutheran Church (Basco, Hancock County, Illinois) or Zion Lutheran Church (Carthage, Hancock County, Illinois). Likely attended Immanuel in the earlier part of this time frame and may have attended Zion once she started working as a hired girl in Carthage.
  • 1907 (marriage)-1922: Zion Lutheran Church (German Lutheran Church), Carthage (her in-laws church)–disbanded at merged with Trinity.
  • 1922-1954 (death): Trinity Lutheran Church, Carthage.

I added a few parenthetical comments which explained some transitions. She may have attended both churches during the 1881-1907 time period, especially after she began working.

These chronologies will be easy for me to complete on some ancestors and more difficult on others. But it may get me to looking at things from a slightly different perspective and help me to see gaps in my research.


You may find a picture of your ancestor’s church on Ebay–see how to set up your own search.