Family history can be a very rewarding experience, tracing ones ancestors and finding out where you come from. Sometimes when you are looking for resources, especially early ones before some vital records such as birth, marriage and death certificates were issued, church records might be available. Catholic Cemeteries could also be another place to look.
Catholics were very good at keeping records that can help document an ancestor. Some churches allow easy access to these records, while some are not so helpful. They want to protect that family’s privacy. Archives writes in their article, Religious Resources that “Catholics, for example, keep excellent records of the seven Sacraments of the Roman Catholic Church. As such, it is quite possible to find detailed records of baptism, reconciliation, first communion, confirmation, marriage, holy orders and anointing of the sick for your distant family members.”
Cyndi’s List has some great resources for Catholic records and “how to” articles. The Huntsville Genealogical Computing Society give the following tip regarding maiden names: “ In Europe, German and Polish Catholic women's deaths were recorded using only their maiden names, not their married names.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints has many records that are available to order at their Family History Center either locally or in Salt Lake City, Utah. The following link will show you just a few of what they have to order:
- African American Catholics
- Catholic Churches
- Catholic Church-Canada
- Catholic Church-Mexico-Church Records & Registers
Here are some more links I hope will prove helpful for looking for your ancestors that were members of the Catholic faith:
Catholic Archives Society
Catholic Family History Society
Scottish Catholic Heritage
Catholic Cemeteries of the Archdiocese of St. Louis
Catholic Cemeteries of the Archdiocese of Chicago