My sister & I are doing some ancestral work on our grandfather. He had disappear about 2 years after my father was born. Our Grandfathers where-about is not known. Before Dad passed away, he said he had been told he was baptized in the Catholic Church shortly after being born. We thought if we could find those records, it might give us a clue as to who our grandfather was.
Dad was born in Sept of 1927 in Omaha Nebraska. There is an address on his birth certificate that may be where they were living at the time. Today’s maps show several churches in that address area.
How do I go about finding these records, if there are records & would they have any information about my Dad’s father on them?
No problem. Dioceses usually have an archives or records office. I tried looking for this, but I couldn’t find anything. Nevertheless, the archdiocese will certainly have some contact for this type of information.
Once you know the parishes, start with the ones closest to the address and work your way out.
You will need to give them your father’s name and his date of birth. Baptism records are kept chronologically. There might or might not be an alphabetical index. Even if there is one, they’re not always reliable—that happens a lot.
I deal with this all the time, and believe me, it’s best to give the pastor the date of birth immediately. I’ve found that it’s often like pulling teeth trying to get the caller to “just give me the date of birth, please, please please” while I have to listen to what was great-grandma’s favorite ice cream and what font they’re choosing for the family tree, and while I stare at 6 different registers, waiting for the caller to finally give me the one piece of information that will let me choose the right book. So, give him the date of birth right away, please.
The most critical information is actually his date of birth (even before his name) because 1927 indicates which parishes (one founded in 1974 wouldn’t help, unless the new parish took over an old one) and which record-book to search. Have I mentioned about date-of-birth?
The approximate date of Baptism (go with the date of birth in this case)
Your fathers name at the time of birth
His father’s name and his mother’s maiden name will help confirm that the pastor has the right record.
The problem with that site (and other similar ones) is that those sites are run by the Mormons so they can compile a database of dead people to “baptize” them—because they first need the deceased name, then they look for a blood relative to act as a stand-in. They can be useful tools, but Catholics should be aware of the true motivation of those sites.
Thank you for all the great tips. Birthdate is the Most important fact along with all names I can provide. Address will be helpful also. I didn’t have much luck with ancestry.com. Dad told me he was baptized a few years before he died & my grandmother passed away when I was only 13. No one to fill in the blanks.
I understand, but for a free two week trial, it did work for me and I did bow out of it. I was looking for someone in England and it did link into their data basis and censis with which I was able to track down the existence of a greatx4 aunt who made a samplier I am in current possesion of.
Thanks for the clarification.
If I might suggest though…It might be a good idea to emphasize the fact that this has no effect - and that one really should not be offended or otherwise upset about this.
After all, why should we let our peace be troubled over such things.
Just for informational purposes, one of my stepsons is LDS so I have some direct connection in this regard.
His mother passed away this past All Saints day. I have no idea whether he had her “baptized” or not…and frankly I don’t care. I’m not even curious.
I really believe this is the attitude that all Catholics should have on the matter.
But they do have photocopies of actual Church registers. That’s how I found my great grandparents’ marriage record and the records of their 4 sons’ baptisms. Written in the Cathedral register in Fr. Bannon’s beautiful writing.
They do make mistakes when they transcribe things though. In the 1881 census the transcription of my grandfather’s employment reads “slavemaster”, which was quite a shock to me. Going to the actual written record shows clearly “shoemaker”.
There does seem to be some issues with the census records…and not just in the transcription process. I know that in researching my own family history it seems that some of my ancestors played a bit loose with their ages - and not just the women either. :rolleyes:
I also noted that it seems the further back you go, the better the handwriting seemed to get. Thought that was rather interesting.
I don’t know if this is just in the Philippines, but I know that the dioceses there do not allow people to view baptismal records for the purposes of genealogy. It happened to my uncle who’s been working on the family tree. Maybe it’s because his wife is Mormon? :shrug:
You can’t just march in and get your hands on the records here either, at least not if the staff know what they’re doing. But historical records, say from more than 70 years ago have been made available, either as photocopies or as actual transcribed records, by various parishes. I have in my possession a copy of the records for my birth parish, from its erection in 1858 to 1920. The parish published them for the 130th or 140th anniversary. The dates of the records they released pretty much match up with what Vital Statistics will publish online.
The Cathedral where my grandfather was baptized obviously released photocopies of its early registers to the Canadian Archives.