Towns come and go. Names of places change. Different people identify a place with a different name. Catalogers unfamiliar with an area sometimes have a mind of their own.

I know exactly where the Immanuel Lutheran Church is south of Carthage in Hancock County, Illinois. I’ve been there many times. The church could be seen from where my grandparents and great-grandparents lived–in fact it’s in the background of the occasional picture. It is not located in any town. It’s been a country church since it’s founding in the late 1800s.

It really is closer to Bentley or Basco, Illinois, than it is to Carthage. Bentley is what the pastor wrote for the location of one of the early church books in the 1880s. Others (myself included) refer to it as being in Basco. in it’s database of Lutheran church books refers to it as being in Carthage.

It’s sometimes referred to as the German church as that language was spoken there longer than it was spoken at the Lutheran church in Carthage. Occasionally it’s referred to as the “south church” due to it’s proximity to Carthage.

This church is not the only one whose “location” may change depending upon the time and who is describing it. Current genealogists who wish to avoid confusion, may wish to clarify the location of such places by using either GPS coordinates or indicating the township and section number.

Just remember that what you think may be two different things with the same name may just be one with different locations connected to it for one reason or another. And always take care when using any catalog or database of record images as a cataloger may have tagged a church or a cemetery to a location with which you do not necessarily associate it.

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