The Catholic Heritage Archive
Welcome to what will be the most comprehensive online collection of Roman Catholic records for Britain, Ireland and the USA. Up to 100 million records. Only on Findmypast.
An introduction to the collection
The Roman Catholic Church is the largest Christian denomination in the world. Despite popular belief that it has few adherents in Britain and the US, it has always been a significant component (up to 25%) of the population. It has some of the oldest and best preserved genealogical records ever created, however they have never been easy to use. Until now.
Findmypast has launched a ground breaking initiative to digitise these historic records of the Catholic Church. Millions of Irish records are already online, and they're being joined by the sacramental registers of England, Scotland and the US. Our first three Archdioceses alone (Philadelphia, New York and Baltimore) contain 30 million records, and that is just a part of this collection.
The sorts of records you are likely to find include:
- Deaths & Burials
- Census and more
We are commencing this project with the Registers for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia in the USA and the Archdioceses of Birmingham and Westminster in England. The Philadelphia records start back in 1757, while those for Westminster and Birmingham in 1657.
Most of these records have never been accessible before by the public - either offline or online. We have developed a close collaboration with the Catholic Church to bring these millions of centuries-old records and images to your fingertips for the first time ever.
Learn more about this incredibly significant release, what the records can tell you and the background of the Catholic Heritage Archive on our blog. While you're there, let us know what you discover in the Catholic Heritage Archive.
Part of this massive project is 10 million Irish Catholic Parish Registers which are free for anyone to view, forever. Find out how to make the most of searching this incredible Irish family history resource here.
Roman Catholic records through the ages have often been written in the Catholic Church's lingua franca, Latin. It can help to have a basic understanding of Latin terms when exploring Catholic records, so we put this primer together.