January 26, 2022

Digitization Projects: Millions of Massachusetts Catholic Records to Be Made Searchable Online

From a Joint News Release:

New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) and the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston (RCAB) have announced a multi-year collaboration to create an online searchable database of millions of sacramental records from over 100 parishes across greater Boston. This is the first time a significant number of sacramental records from any U.S.-based archdiocese has been made available in an online digital format.

The project spans parish records from 1789 to 1900, a period of significant growth for the Catholic Church in Boston and surrounding towns. The records to be digitized predate the founding of the first Catholic Church in Boston. They document several sacraments of the Catholic Church, including baptism, confirmation, holy communion, marriage, holy orders, and the anointing of the sick.


While the project will take several years to complete, images of the oldest records from the earliest parishes are available to browse now—after a free online registration—on AmericanAncestors.org, the award-winning website for NEHGS. Name-searchable records will be available later in the year, and will be accessible with an NEHGS membership.

NEHGS will also be working with the archdiocese to preserve the physical volumes that contain the records, many of which are crumbling from age.

Read the Complete Launch Announcement

Direct to More Info via Project Website: CatholicRecords.AmericanAncestors.org.

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.