Findmypast Catholic Heritage Archive Continues to Grow

By Sunny Jane Morton

Findmypast has announced the release of more than 1.2 million baptismal, marriage, burial and congregational records covering 103 Catholic parishes in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati (Ohio) and 47 parishes in Liverpool, England.

Findmypast’s Jen Baldwin shares her excitement here about these records at RootsTech 2019:

Cincinnati, in Hamilton County, Ohio, was the first major inland U.S. city. “Its location on the Ohio River made it a popular stopping off point for immigrants and pioneers traveling west, many of whom stopped long enough to create a sacramental record,” explains the Findmypast press release. “Early in the history of the Archdiocese there were large numbers of German and Irish immigrants spread throughout its counties and, by the end of the 19th century, there were joined by increasing numbers of Italians and Eastern Europeans.” This Catholic record collection dates back to 1800, three years before Ohio became a state.

Catholic sacramental records can be especially vital to researching immigrant origins. Sacramental records for immigrants often mention specific overseas birthplaces, a key piece of information for connecting families back to the “old country.”

Liverpool, England had one of 13 Catholic dioceses created in 1850 when the Catholic religion re-established as a presence in England after a long absence. At the time, it included West Derby, Leyland, Fylde, Amounderness and Lonsdale in Lancashire and the Isle of Man. As a leading location for emigration from the British Isles, Liverpool served as temporary home to thousands of travelers—and many who eventually stayed there. Irish migration through Liverpool was especially strong, and an estimated 35,000 Irish arrivals from the mid-1800s remained. Those individuals and families may have created Catholic sacramental records during their stay in Liverpool.

The Catholic Heritage Archive at Findmypast is now home to millions of U.S. Catholic records from the dioceses and archdioceses of Baltimore, Chicago, Cincinnati, New York, Philadelphia and Toledo (Ohio)—and more is coming. All Scottish archdioceses are represented, and Catholic records for England so far come from the Archdioceses of Birmingham, Liverpool, Middlesbrough, Northampton and Westminster.