Findmypast Launches Catholic Heritage Archive

Findmypast Launches Catholic Heritage Archive

Discover your Catholic ancestors from the U.S., Britain and Ireland with this collection from Findmypast.

 

A new Roman Catholic Heritage Archive on subscription genealogy website Findmypast promises unprecedented access to 300 years of Catholic sacramental records from the United States, Britain and Ireland. These baptismal, marriage and burial records rank among the most useful surviving genealogical records in the world. Lack of centralization and varied access policies, though, means that locating copies can currently be challenging.

Findmypast has struck deals with Catholic archdioceses to digitize and index an estimated 100 million-plus records for the United States alone. Records from Philadelphia are already online; baptismal registers from Philadelphia’s Church of the Immaculate Conception (see the image above) are among the records that have already been digitized. New York and Baltimore are up next. Better yet, many records will be free to view. “The New York Archdiocese will be published with free access to images, and we anticipate that many more of our partners will choose this option,” says Findmypast spokesperson Alex Cox. “The indexes—and the ability to search for a specific name—will be available to those with a Premium subscription.”

The site already hosts 10 million Irish Catholic parish records with free access, plus many more records from the Emerald Isle. “This includes images and indexes covering more than 1,000 parishes, a full 98 percent of the Catholic population in Ireland,” Cox adds. English Catholic records on the site include an 1893 Catholic census of Westminster, and baptismal, marriage and burial records for the archdioceses of Westminster and Birmingham. Check back frequently as records are added. Looking for records of Boston Catholics? The Archdiocese of Boston has signed an agreement with the New England Historic Genealogical Society to digitize and bring online about 10 million sacramental records from 154 parishes.

A version of this article originally appeared in the July/August 2017 issue of Family Tree Magazine

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