Findmypast launches Catholic Heritage Archive

By Jon Bauckham, 9 February 2017 - 7:43pm

Over three million historic Catholic records from Britain and the USA can now be searched on Findmypast, with further material set to be published online in the future

Westminster Cathedral
Completed in 1903, Westminster Cathedral is the "mother church" of the Catholic Church in England and Wales (Photo: Getty Images)

Over three million Catholic records have been released online for the first time.

Dating back to the mid-17th century, the brand-new Catholic Heritage Archive on Findmypast features exclusive records from the Archdioceses of Westminster and Birmingham, including sacramental registers of baptisms, banns, marriages and burials.

The fully searchable collection could also help family historians break down brick walls across the Atlantic, with a large portion of the set containing records from the Archdiocese of Philadelphia dated 1757-1916.

More US records will join the Catholic Heritage Archive in the near future, with further additions due to arrive from the Archdioceses of Baltimore and New York.

As with much of the material already on the website, the new records will comprise transcripts and scans of the original documents.

Once complete, the Catholic Heritage Archive will offer access to 100 million records. Many will be available to access free of charge, without the need for a Findmypast subscription.

“The Roman Catholic Church is the largest Christian denomination in the world,” said Brian Donovan, licensing manager at Findmypast.

“Despite the popular perception that it had few adherents in Britain, or was not that important in American settlement, it has always been a significant component of the population.

“The Catholic Heritage Archive will uncover the history of millions of Irish, Italian, German, Polish and many other nationalities as they made a new home in the USA.”

Search the records here (requires credits or subscription).

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