Monday, January 18, 2010

Catholic Church Records

Those of us who are tracing south Louisiana ancestors often don't appreciate how lucky we are to have Catholic church records which contain the names of parents, and sometimes grandparents. With baptism, marriage, and burial records we have all the dates we need.
The book "Archdiocese of New Orleans, Sacramental Records, Vol. I, 1718-1750" contains the records of the first two churches in this area, St. Louis Cathedral in New Orleans and St. Charles Borromeo (Little Red Church) in St.Charles Parish.
Some entries also include occupations, which gives a better idea of what your family's life was about.
Rev. Woods tells us that all available records are included in this book. He gives the dates of records that have been destroyed so that you can see where some records are not available. Some of these records are available in the civil records of the parishes.
The early residents of St. Charles Parish also used St. Louis Cathedral for these important ceremonies so be sure to check all the entries for your ancestors.
Later volumes contain information about other church parishes. Some of my St. Charles ancestors returned to St. Mary's Church in Raceland, Lafourche Parish, especially for funerals and burial, since this is the church they attended before coming to St. Charles. Later generations used the burial plots paid for by earlier family members. I have also found some St. Charles residents also buried in Edgard, St. John Parish, probably for the same reason.
So just as we check surrounding parishes for civil records, be sure to also check for church records.

1 comment:

  1. Neat that the church records help you out in your research-I've never even considered them as a source.