Genealogical Requests

Before you email your request to the church office, please read the following information.


We have fairly good records from 1871 to present. However, we are missing the following records: confirmations before 1898; deaths from 1891 through 1899. In addition, our records often do not include some information that many genealogists are most interested in (such as place of birth).

Because in the late 19th century there were on average 400 baptisms a year, 300 confirmations, and 200 funerals, we ask that you try to give us as much information as possible in order to narrow down the search. It would help if you could tell us “Great-Grandpa’s little brother Otto was born somewhere between 1898 and 1900,” rather than “I think Great-Grandma had a sister born between 1890 and 1910.”

You can look at copies of our pre-1935 records on microfilm at the Newberry Library in Chicago or at the Concordia Historical Institute in St. Louis. You may also peruse our records if you make an appointment in advance. I would suggest pursuing one of these 3 options if you do not have any specific information about your relatives, but would like to browse our records.

Because we want to preserve our records for posterity, we no longer make photocopies of them. Instead we will make transcriptions of requested records. If you want to make a photocopy, you can view the microfilm copy at the Newberry Library or the Concordia Historical Institute and then print a copy from the microfilm viewer.

We would ask that you consider making a donation of $5 per genealogical request that you ask us to research. Checks may be sent to First Bethlehem Lutheran Church, 1649 W. Le Moyne St., Chicago IL 60622.

If you are interested in having us look up an ancestor in our records, email Pastor James Kellerman at