Guide to the First Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church, Pittsburgh Records, 1837-1975 AIS.1975.04

ULS Archives & Special Collections

Summary Information

Repository
ULS Archives & Special Collections
Title
First Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church, Pittsburgh, Pa. Records
Creator
First Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church (Pittsburgh, Pa.).
Collection Number
AIS.1975.04
Date
1837-1975
Extent
2.0 microfilm reels (35 mm, positive and negative)
Abstract
The microfilmed records of the First Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania contain minutes, church registers, publications, and baptismal, confirmation, marriage, and burial records from 1837-1975. Digital reproductions of the collection are available online.

Preferred Citation

First Trinity Evangelical Church Records, Pittsburgh, Pa., 1837-1975, AIS.1975.04, Archives & Special Collections, University of Pittsburgh Library System

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History

The First German Evangelical-Lutheran Congregation of Pittsburgh was organized on January 22, 1837. Led by The Reverend "Father" Heyr, the first Divine Services were held in a Unitarian meeting house on Smithfield Street in downtown Pittsburgh. From 1838 to 1839 the congregation worshiped in a school house and the the old courthouse. On July 7, 1856, the Church Council voted to unite with the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod.

Three different downtown churches served the congregation from 1840 to 1925. The church built in 1840 at the corner of Sixth Avenue and Grant Street was the first Evangelical-Lutheran church building erected in Pittsburgh. The second building at the corner of Sixth Avenue and Wylie Avenue, built in 1848, was undermined by a railroad tunnel. The third downtown building, Trinity Church, located on Sixth Avenue between Wylie and Fifth Avenues, was sold in 1925. This building had a seating capacity of 1,600 and was distinguished by a 180 foot steeple. It was subsequently demolished and a parking garage built on its site. With the decommissioning and sale of the third downtown church building, the congregation moved to Oakland, which was then the suburbs, but is now a section of the City of Pittsburgh. Construction of the present Trinity Church began in 1926 with completion and dedication in 1927. The church was designed in the fifteenth century Gothic style by Corbusier and Lenski, famed architects from Cleveland. The builder was Edward Wehr of Pittsburgh. Total cost of the new building was approximately $400,000. First Trinity is constructed of Bedford, Indiana limestone, suggesting the classical medieval cathedrals of Europe. The congregation changed its name to First Trinity Evangelical-Lutheran Church in 1930 as the German language gave way to English among the members.

The mission of First Trinity Evangelical-Lutheran Church is to proclaim the Gospel of Christ to the people of Pittsburgh in accord with the Great Commission, to preach and teach the true Word of God and administer the sacraments that all who hear it and receive them may live and grow in faith in Jesus Christ, and to act in faith with love and mercy toward others, especially members of First Trinity parish and those in the Pittsburgh area.

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Scope and Content Notes

The microfilmed records of the First Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania contain minutes, church registers, publications, and baptismal, confirmation, marriage, and burial records from 1837-1975. Series I contains minutes in both German and English languages.

The marriage records in Series II contain returns of marriages consisting of five volumes which list the full name of the husband along with his occupation, residence, birthplace, and age when married. The returns of marriages also list the wife's maiden name, residence, birthplace, and age when married. The returns list the date and place of marriage, the race of the couple, and the name of the person performing the ceremony along with his residence and date of return. The authorizations to solemnize marriages from the County of Allegheny Orphan's Court contain the names of persons to be married, the date of authorization, and the signature of the Clerk of Orphan's Court.

An important note regarding burial records in Series III indicates that the remains in the graves which were in a cemetery behind Pitt Stadium were removed and reburied in the mid-1970's in Mt. Royal Cemetery, 2700 Mt. Royal Blvd., Glenshaw, Pennsylvania.

The church register in Series III contains information regarding the officers of the congregation and communicants records as adults, communicants released at their request, and contain the baptismal, confirmation, marriage, and burial records from 1937-1975.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

ULS Archives & Special Collections, 1975

University of Pittsburgh Library System
Archives & Special Collections
Website: library.pitt.edu/archives-special-collections
412-648-3232 (ASC) | 412-648-8190 (Hillman)
Contact Us: www.library.pitt.edu/ask-archivist

Revision Description

 Converted from EAD Version 1.0 to EAD Version 2002 July 1, 2006

Access Restrictions

No restrictions.

Copyright

Permission for publication is given on behalf of the University of Pittsburgh as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained.

Acquisition Information

Donated by the First Trinity Evangelical Church of Pittsburgh in 1975.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Archives Service Center staff in 1975.

Revision and rearrangement for the encoded version of the finding aid provided by Michael O'Malley on May 1, 2003. Information about the collection title and the controlled access terms was extracted from the MARC record in the University of Pittsburgh catalog Voyager ID number: 1430792

Existence and Location of Copies

Digital reproductions of the collection are available electronically based on scanning the microfilm.

Existence and Location of Originals

Originals are retained by the First Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • Evangelical Lutheran Church.
  • First Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church (Pittsburgh, Pa.).

Genre(s)

  • Burial records
  • Church records
  • Marriage records

Geographic Name(s)

  • Pittsburgh (Pa.) -- Church history

Subject(s)

  • Baptismal records -- Pennsylvania -- Pittsburgh
  • Church buildings -- Pennsylvania -- Pittsburgh
  • Church records and registers -- Pennsylvania -- Pittsburgh
  • Churches and Synagogues
  • Confirmation records -- Pennsylvania -- Pittsburgh

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Previous Citation

First Trinity Evangelical Church Records, Pittsburgh, Pa., 1837-1975, AIS.1975.04, Archives Service Center, University of Pittsburgh

First Trinity Evangelical Church Records, Pittsburgh, 1837-1975, Archives of Industrial Society, University Library System, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15260

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Collection Inventory

Series  I. Minutes 

First minute book, Voters' meeting minutes, and Church book (in German), 1837-1840 Online
First minute book, Voters' meeting minutes, and Church book (English translation), 1837-1840 Online
Voters Assembly and Church Council Minute Book, 1840-1858 Online

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Series  II. Marriage Records 

Marriage Docket (Volume 1), 1841-1858 Online
Marriage Docket (Volume 2), 1858-1870 Online
Marriage Docket (Volume 3), 1871-1936 Online
Marriage Docket, 1937- April 1975 Online
Authorization to Solemnize Marriage (County of Allegheny, Orphan's Court), 1884-1894 Online
Returns of Marriages (in the city of Pittsburgh) made to the Bureau of Health, City of Pittsburgh, 1883-1884, 1900-1908 Online

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Series  III. Baptismal, Burial, and Confirmation Records 

Baptism Docket (Volume 1), 1840-1852 Online Online
Baptism Docket (Volume 2), 1853-1866 Online
Baptism Docket (Volume 3), 1867-1936 Online
Baptism Docket, 1937- March 1975 Online
Burial Register, 1873-1936 Online
Burial Register, 1936-April 3, 1975 Online
Confirmation Register, 1936-June 1975 Online
Church Register, 1936-May 1975 Online

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Series  IV. Miscellaneous Publications 

Annual Jubilee of the First German Evangelical Lutheran Church of Pittsburgh (1888), Annual Jubilee (1837-1912), Centennial Reunion Service (1837-1937), Centennial Christian Education Service (1837-1937), 150th Anniversary of the First Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church (1837-1952) Online

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