A 1909 Confirmation Suggests Life in 1956

Anna Katherina Tammen was confirmed on 4 April 1909 at the Immanuel Lutheran Church south of Carthage, Hancock County, Illinois. This image was obtained from digital images of the church records at Ancestry.com made from microfilmed materials from the ELCA (Evangelical Lutheran Church in America).

There is a notation that her confirmation entry was copied in March of 1956 by the minister. The minister makes no indication why this copy was made. This notation is a clue in and of itself. It indicated that someone needed a copy of Anna Katherina’s confirmation record. The most likely reason Anna Katherina needed a transcription was to provide evidence of her date of birth or age in lieu of a birth certificate (her birth is listed as 17 August 1892 in the record). The typical church record to be copied as proof of age or date of birth would be the baptismal record. The fact that Anna Katherina’s confirmation was copied (instead of her baptismal record) would make one hypothesize that she was not confirmed in the church in which she was baptized. This should be checked by manually reading the church’s baptismal entries.

The second clue is that Anna Katherina was probably alive in March of 1956 when the copy was made. She is the most logical person to request proof of her date of birth or age.

If I indicate in my database that Anna Katherina died after March of 1956, I would cite this confirmation entry as the source of that statement.

Anna Katherina’s 1909 confirmation entries contains a notation suggesting she was alive in March of 1956.

That’s not something one usually finds.

And that’s why one needs to look at everything–even the records that one thinks might not address the problem you are trying to solve.



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