09/05/2018
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New York Roman Catholic records available online for the first time

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Findmypast has announced it has added indexes containing over eight million New York records to its exclusive Catholic Heritage Archive.

the release is the latest in a series of substantial updates to Findmypast’s Catholic Heritage Archive, an initiative that aims to digitise the historical records of the Catholic Church in North America, Britain and Ireland for the first time.

Findmypast has now released indexes of baptism and marriage records covering the boroughs of Manhattan, the Bronx and Staten Island in New York City, as well as the Counties of Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Sullivan, Ulster, and Westchester. The records date back to 1785, span more than 130 years of the region’s history and come from over 230 parishes across the Archdiocese.

Catholics in New York

The records shed new light on the history of Catholics in New York and will provide researchers with the opportunity to discover early American immigrants. Since the early 19th century, New York City has been the largest port of entry for immigration into the United States. The millions of Irish, Italians, Germans, Polish and many others who settled in or passed through the state are captured in these documents.

The Catholic Church holds some of the oldest and best-preserved genealogical records in existence. However, as many of these documents memorialize important religious sacraments, their privacy has long been protected and access to original copies has, until recently, been hard to come by.

In collaboration with the Archdiocese of New York, Findmypast is helping to digitize these records and make them widely accessible for the first time. Images of original documents will be added to the collection later in the year and will be free to view in many cases.

A growing collection

The release marks the first phase of a collection that will continue to grow throughout 2018. Additional New York Sacramental Registers, 1886-1981 issues of New York’s Diocesan newspaper (The Catholic News) and additional updates from a variety of British, Irish, US and Canadian Dioceses will be added to the Roman Catholic Heritage Archive throughout the year.

The millions of new North American records will complement Findmypast’s collection of British and Irish data, providing many more connections and a more comprehensive experience to family historians in North America and all over the world.

(image shows St Patrick's Cathedral, New York, pictured in 1913)

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