From Dick Eastman
Findmypast launches Catholic Heritage Archive
Findmypast has announced immediate availability of millions of exclusive Catholic records published online with more coming soon. The records are from the United States, Britain and Ireland.
Thursday 9th February 2017
Leading family history website, Findmypast, today announced the creation of the Roman Catholic Heritage Archive, a ground breaking initiative that aims to digitize the historic records of the Catholic Church in the United States, Britain and Ireland.
Findmypast is today releasing over 3 million exclusive records including sacramental registers for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia from 1757 to 1916 as well as for the British Archdioceses of Westminster and Birmingham from 1657 onwards.
This builds on last year’s publication of more than 10 million Irish Catholic parish registers.
The Catholic Church holds some of the oldest and best preserved genealogical records ever created. However, as many of these documents memorialize important religious sacraments such as baptism, marriage and burial, their privacy has long been protected and access to original copies has traditionally been hard to come by.
In collaboration with various Archdioceses of the Catholic Church, Findmypast is helping to bring these records online in one unified collection for the first time ever.
Exclusively available on Findmypast, images of original documents will be completely free to view in many cases.
Fully searchable transcripts will also be included, providing family historians from the around the world with easy access to these once closely guarded records.
The next phase of the Catholic Heritage Archive will include records from the archdioceses of New York and Baltimore as well as additional records from Philadelphia. There are over 30 million records in just these three dioceses. The digitization of the whole archive is a monumental undertaking and, when complete, will contain hundreds of millions of records for the USA alone.