Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church (Bancroft, Neb.) [RG3985.AM]


RG3985.AM:  Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church (Bancroft, Neb.)

Records:  1878-1979

Bancroft, Cuming County, Neb.:  Evangelical Lutheran Church

Size:  6 volumes on 1 reel of microfilm


The Evangelical Lutheran Zion’s Congregation on Cuming Creek was organized on June 14, 1874. The seventeen organizers were guided by a Lutheran missionary, A.W. Freese, who had been working in the Beemer, Bancroft, and Lyons area. While serving the Beemer Lutheran Church, Freese also ministered to the Zion Church in Bancroft. In 1878 Rev. J. Paul Mueller arrived to lead the Zion Congregation, as well as St. John’s Congregation of Lyons. In 1880 the Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church received its own pastor, William Harms. Its first building, housing the church, school, and parsonage, was completed the same year. Two years later, when the Nebraska District of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod was organized, Zion joined the synod.

Outgrowing its first building, a new church was dedicated in September of 1885. In 1889 a new school was added and five years later, a new parsonage was completed. By 1900 Zion had 70 voting members in its congregation and 108 children in its school and a new and larger church was required. It was dedicated on September 16, 1900, and it is still in use today. A new school and parish hall marked the church’s 75th anniversary in 1949. Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church celebrated its centennial in 1974.


This collection consists of six volumes of manuscript material on 1 reel of microfilm arranged in three series: 1) Church History, 1974; 2) Church Registers, 1878-1979; and 3) Miscellany. This material relates to the history and records of the Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church of Bancroft, Nebraska.

The History of Zion Lutheran Church, in Series 1, was produced to commemorate the church’s centennial in 1974. It provides an essay tracing the history of Zion Lutheran Church from its founding and through its growth and development. Photographs and descriptions of various organizations supported by the church are presented. Also included is a listing of confirmation classes from 1881-1974.

Series 2 consists of Church Registers, 1878-1979. These show the church’s “register of souls” as well as providing records of baptism, confirmation, communion, marriage, and death kept by the church. These registers provide a great deal of material on the person involved in the ceremony. For example, the “Register of Souls” shows the name of the individual, parentage, birthplace and birthdate, initiation into parish, and death date. Baptismal records show name, date, parentage, and witnesses. Other types of records in the registers provide similar information, sometimes adding other pieces of information relevant to the type of record being kept. The subject heading of Volumes 1 and 2 are in German. A chronicle of the church, also in German, appears at the end of Volume 1.

The Miscellany of Series 3 includes a 1979 issue of the Lutheran Journal and a children’s book entitled Prayers for Children. The book is autographed by John G. Neihardt. This collection was loaned for microfilming by the Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church of Bancroft, Nebraska, in January of 1980.


Series 1 – Church History, 1974

Reel 1


    1. Church History, 1974; also includes a listing of confirmation classes, 1881-1974

Series 2 – Church Registers, 1878-1979


    1. Register of Souls (p.1-26)

      Baptisms, 1878-1908 (p.61-156)

      Confirmations, 1881-1903 (p.157-188)

      Communion, 1880-1916 (p.189-240)

      Marriages, 1880-1946 (p.245-272)

      Deaths, 1880-1951 (p.273-307)

      Chronicle (in German) (p.309-313)

    1. Baptisms, 1908-1951 (p.1-50)

      Confirmations, 1904-1938 (p.53-90)

    1. Membership Records (alphabetical listing)

      Confirmation, 1952-1979

      Baptisms, 1952-1979

      Marriages, 1947-1978

      Deaths, 1951-1979

Series 3 – Miscellany


    1. The Lutheran Journal, Autumn 1979

    1. Prayers for Children



Bancroft (Neb.) — Churches

Cuming County (Neb.) — Churches

Evangelical Lutheran Church in Nebraska

Germans in Nebraska

Lutheran Church in Nebraska

Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church (Bancroft, Neb.)


Revised 09-15-2008   TMM

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