Archdiocese of New York (no Brooklyn! no Queens!)

Prior to 1808 when it was formed, the New York Archdiocese was part of Maryland.  Go figure!

Today, however,  records are usually found locally.  According to their website, while there is no central filing system in the Archdiocese of New York, each individual parish keeps its own records.

Of particular interest to genealogists are the sacramental records, which include Baptismal records, Marriage records, Confirmation records, first Holy Communion records and Death records.  Ideally, these records are updated as events occur, but the latter 3 types offer the least help because they are usually not well-maintained.    The church in which a person is baptized becomes “the church of origin” and future records should go to that church, regardless of the parish where a marriage or death or adoption would take place.

Note, that when a church closes or merges, its records move.  Take, for example, the case of St. Gabriel (on E. 37th Street in Manhattan) which opened in 1859 and closed 80 years later, in 1939. Initially, the records moved to St. Stephen (E. 28th Street).  But, when St. Stephen merged in 1989 with Our Lady of the Scapular, the St. Gabriel records moved again, to the church which is now the Church of Our Lady of the Scapular-St. Stephen.  It has the records from both of those parishes, as well as St. Gabriel and Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary.

Surprisingly, not all five boroughs of New York City are part of the Archdiocese of New York.  (We’ll take) Manhattan, the Bronx and Staten Island….along with Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Sullivan, Ulster and Westchester Counties.

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About Billie Tekel Elias

Author of upcoming book, Pearl's Party...and you're invited.
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