The Archive Department of the Archdiocese of Boston is announcing a new tool to help researchers determine which parish their ancestors attended. This new map will be incredibly useful when used in conjunction with the Historic Catholic Records Online project hosted here at AmericanAncestors.org.
The Boston Catholic Parish Map depicts the Archdiocese of Boston ca. 1955 when a concerted effort was made to document the boundaries of each parish, and reflects the height of the Archdiocese in terms of number of parishes.
At this time, the map features territorial parishes whose boundaries are shaded in various colors, and within the boundary the parish church plotted in the same color. National or other non-geographic churches are plotted in black.
An exciting feature is the box in the top right corner of the map, allowing users to enter an address which will then be plotted on the map. The parish in which the address is located will be the parish their families most likely attended. Researchers can then search the free-to-browse database Massachusetts: (Image only) Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston Records, 1789-1920, or the fully searchable database Massachusetts: Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston Records, 1789-1920. It will also show nearby neighboring parishes which may have encompassed the address depending on the time period; if the parish in which the address falls did not yet exist.
Clicking within a parish boundary will provide the name of the parish and address of the parish church. Clicking on a church marker will provide the name of the church, address, date the parish was created and, where applicable, the date the parish was suppressed or merged. In the future, we hope to add additional content such as depictions of the churches, details about the location of parish records and links to the online records.
Links to access the map are available on the Archdiocese of Boston Archive Department’s Online Resources page and within the database descriptions for Massachusetts: (Image only) Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston Records, 1789-1920 and Massachusetts: Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston Records, 1789-1920. For guidance on how to use the map, consult the how-to video.
Finally, we would like to acknowledge Violet Hurst, archivist at the Archdiocese of Boston, for her extraordinary efforts to compile and input the data to make this tool a reality.
Please submit any suggestions or feedback related to this announcement to the Archive Department of the Archdiocese of Boston by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or to us here at NEHGS at email@example.com.