Findmypast Brings New York Catholic Records Online for the First Time

The following announcement was written by the folks at Findmypast:

  • Findmypast adds indexes containing over eight million New York records to its exclusive Catholic Heritage Archive
  • Released online for the first time, family historians can now search for Catholic ancestors in the second-largest diocese in the United States
  • New records date back to 1785, span more than 130 years of New York history and cover more than 230 parishes across the Archdiocese. Images will be added to the collection later in the year.

Leading family history website, Findmypast, has today announced the online publication of indexes containing over eight million New York sacramental records in partnership with the Archdiocese of New York.

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

Findmypast is today releasing 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.

The records shed new light on the history of Catholics in New York and will provide researchers all over the world 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 now, 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.

Today’s 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 massive 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.

Ben Bennett, Executive Vice President of Findmypast said: “We are delighted to be partnering with the Archdiocese of New York to bring these important Sacramental registers online for the first time. The addition of these crucial documents to the Catholic Heritage Archive available on Findmypast will greatly enhance the ability for family historians all over the world to discover the stories of a wide variety of nationalities as they made a new home in North America.

Kate Feighery, Director of Archives at the Archdiocese of New York, said: As one of the largest immigration hubs in the country, the Catholic roots of many Americans are tied to the Archdiocese of New York. The invaluable historical documents that will be available through the Catholic Heritage Archive will advance not only individual family exploration, but historical research on a much wider scale. We are so pleased to partner with Find My Past to open these records to research for the first time in a centralized location.


I saw this earlier this morning and was delirious with the news. On examining what is available so far, I do find many important Manhattan churches missing–St Peter’s on Barclay St, NY’s first Catholic church, St Columba, St Brigid, St Mary’s on Grand St et al–and many early records from Famine-era immigrants also missing even when the parish is included. I do hope these will be added later. Hope FMP will answer that question. The Archdiocese also says there is a 100 year rule for privacy & legal reasons. These records are important not only for New Yorkers and all who immigrated thru the port of NY but also for those who remained in the ‘old country’ who can trace their families via siblings and cousins who emigrated. But on the whole, glorious news. And ps, FMP is also digitizing Chicago and Philadelphia archdioceses.


Wow. In just a few minutes, I think I’ve located three marriage and baptismal records that that I had given up on finding, including the marriage record for my great-grandparents!


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