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Genealogy Q&A: Lutheran Ancestors in Chicago
6/9/2014
Q. My Lutheran ancestors settled in Chicago. Where should I look for information on old Lutheran churches there?
 
A. Norwegians who arrived in Chicago in the 1830s formed the first Lutheran congregations. Elling Eielsen, the first Norwegian Lutheran pastor in America, ministered to them and helped found what became Trinity Lutheran Church in the immigrant community along Milwaukee Avenue. In 1848, “high church” Norwegians in the Loop area founded what became First Norwegian and later Lake View Lutheran.

Swedish Lutherans formed their own church, Immanuel Swedish Lutheran Church, in 1853, meeting at first in the First Norwegian Lutheran building. In 1860, they founded the Scandinavian Augustana Synod, which became entirely Swedish with the departure of Norwegians and Danes in 1870.
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