This spring, I went to visit the St. John’s Lutheran Church in Portage to research possible Gutknecht relatives. They were very kind and friendly, and they allowed me to photograph the books so I could continue research at home. I had also inquired whether it would be possible for me to share the photos for others to do research, and the church elders graciously permitted us to share anything before 1920. We would like to thank them for this opportunity.

To comply with this, you might notice a few pages missing. Eight pages were removed or redacted, including a letter dated to the 1940s along with the photo of the confirmation class of 1924. Should these be timeframes you are interested in researching, please email the church office via their contact information:

These books are important resources for family history, as numerous families immigrated to Portage from Pomerania and West Prussia. The pages at the front of the books indicate that the churches were formerly known as St. Johannis and St. Michaelis.

The links below (in bold) will open the respective church books in a new window. Other unlinked volumes are shown only for clarity:


This collection has not been transcribed yet.

Help us make these records more accessible for researchers worldwide. If you can read old script, we would love your help to make the entries in these books searchable. Please consider donating your time, even if it's just for a few pages. (We also use Google Sheets so you can see where the last person left off and where the work needs to be continued!)

If you're interested, please send an email to [email protected].

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