Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Facebook Group Helps Discover Church Where Ancestors Worshipped

Last week, I posted on the "Pike County, Ohio Genealogy" Facebook group asking what church my German immigrant ancestors, the Peters family, might have attended. I knew that, in 1860, they had been enumerated in the township of Pee Pee in that county. And, from other church records I knew they were Evangelical Lutherans. By the next morning, I had information as to which church they probably attended and the name of a published booklet which contained the church records. I was also given the name of a library which had a copy of that booklet.

I emailed the library and asked if they would look for any Peters family members in the church booklet. I was hoping to find baptismal records for either Theodore (aka "Teddy") or Sarah which I've written about here and here.

Glenda G. Zonner and Lawrence A. Zonner, Parish Register of the Evangelical
Lutheran Church Community of Prussia, Pike County, Ohio, 1842-1903
published: 1998), 63.

Two days later, I got an email from the library. They told me the only Peters record they had found was the confirmation of Carl Peters on Easter of 1861.

Although it was disappointing not to find any mention of Theodore or Sarah, the discovery of Carl's confirmation was exciting for three main reasons:
  1. Carl, who would have been 13 years old that Easter Sunday, was my great, great grandfather. 
  2. Including Carl, I now have confirmations for the three oldest children of Joachim and Henriette (Bünger) Peters; the two older children's records, who were both 14 years old at their confirmation, were found in Germany.
  3. Because the fourth sibling, William, was born less than 2 1/2 years after Carl, the absence of his confirmation record is negative evidence that the family was still living in the area by Easter 1864 when he would have been 14 years old. Since the family was living in Pickaway County, Ohio by 1870, we can hypothesize that they moved there between 1861 and 1864. 
I have emailed a church in Circleville, Pickaway County, Ohio, hoping they have church records from this time period. It does not appear they have microfilmed their records if they exist. Using church records is a great way to follow a family who moved around a lot like my Peters' family did!


  1. FB gen groups are wonderful for helping with local resources and ideas! I've had good luck getting leads from FB gen groups as well. Congrats.

    1. I've just started using Facebook to help with genealogy over the past few months. It's an incredible source!

  2. Good tip - I'm on my way to Facebook now to find some more groups.

    1. I'm sure I'm just scratching the surface of what Facebook can do to help with my genealogy. I need to dig deeper!


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