Author Archive

Archdiocese of Boston: new searchable records

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St. Gabriel Monastery, Brighton from the Archdiocese of Boston Archives

Today we’ve added seven new volumes and updated two volumes in Massachusetts: Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston Records, 1789-1920 from Our Lady of the Presentation in Brighton, St. Gabriel in Brighton, and St. James the Greater in Boston. This update adds over 11,500 records and over 50,200 names to search.

Our Lady of the Presentation was established in 1909 in the Oak Square neighborhood of Brighton. Construction on a church building began in 1913 and the church was dedicated in 1921.

In 1908, the Passionist Fathers established a monastery in Brighton. The monastery evolved to include a parish church called St. Gabriel’s which became an independent parish in 1934.

St. James the Greater was established in 1854, located in what is now Boston’s Chinatown.  In 1854, the neighborhood was largely of Irish descent.  The original church on the corner of Albany and Harvard streets was demolished when the land was sold to a railroad company.  The new church was built on Harrison Street and still serves the Catholics of Boston today.

We’d like to thank Sam Sturgis for his help with this update.

The new volumes are listed below:

Our Lady of the Presentation (Brighton) Baptisms, 1909-1920
Our Lady of the Presentation (Brighton) Confirmations, 1915-1920
Our Lady of the Presentation (Brighton) Marriages, 1910-1920

St. Gabriel (Brighton) Baptisms, 1912-1920

St. James the Greater (Boston) Baptisms, 1904-1908
St. James the Greater (Boston) Baptisms, 1908-1920
St. James the Greater (Boston) Marriages, 1908-1920

Updated volumes (records added for 1901 +) :

St. James the Greater (Boston) Baptisms, 1888-1903
St. James the Greater (Boston) Marriages, 1895-1908

Please note: This database is available to Individual-level and above NEHGS members only. Consider membership.

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Archdiocese of Boston: new records from Boston and Lowell, 1789-1900 complete

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Holy Trinity Catholic Church from the Archdiocese of Boston Archives

Today we’ve added 22 new volumes to Massachusetts: Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston Records, 1789-1920 from Holy Trinity (Boston) and St. Jean Baptiste (Lowell). This update adds over 105,700 records and over 376,600 names to search.

This addition completes Phase 1 of the Historic Catholic Records Online project. Since 2016, we’ve been working to digitize and index the sacramental records of the Archdiocese of Boston from 1789-1900. Holy Trinity and St. Jean Baptiste were the last two incomplete pre-1901 parishes! Last August we announced Phase 2 of the project which covers the years 1901-1920. We will continue to add new Phase 2 parishes to this database!

Holy Trinity was the heart of the German Catholic community in Boston. The parish was established in 1836; the first Mass in their church building was said in 1844. Read more about the history of the parish in our late volunteer Michael Hager’s American Ancestors magazine article. You can learn more about the Monatsbote, their parish newsletter in Thomas Lester’s article in the Pilot.

St. Jean Baptiste grew out of St. Joseph, the original parish serving French Catholics in Lowell.  Both churches were founded under the leadership of Father André-Marie Garin, an Oblate from France who served as a missionary in Canada before coming to Lowell.  In 1888, the cornerstone was laid for St. Jean Baptiste, and its dedication Mass was held in 1890.  There was a large fire in the church in the 1912, but the church was reopened by 1916.  Author Jack Kerouac’s funeral was held at this church in 1969.

We always thank our volunteers, but in this case I would like to offer very special thanks to our volunteers who are proficient in German and French. Thanks to their hard work, we are able to offer informed transcriptions that are as accurate as possible (messy handwriting aside!).

We’d like to thank the following volunteers for their help indexing Holy Trinity in Boston: Alexander Crouch, Amelia Devin Freedman, Barbara Desouza, Bob Rainville, Christine Conlon, Christine Schumann, Diana Beltrão de Macedo, Doreen MacDonald, Hartmut Lustig, Helen Herzer, Jan Lundquist, Jane Papa, Jeananne Piper Grady, Jeanne Brown, Jon Gebhardt, Julie Nathanson, Kathy Oberley, Linda Reinfeld, Margaret Parker, Marie Wells, Michael Hager, Nancy Borman, Nancy Johnson, Pat Dalpiaz, Rich Wood, Stacey-Rae McCue, Susan Dickinson, and Tamara Gribble.

We’d like to thank the following volunteers for their help indexing St. Jean Baptiste in Lowell: Alice Fristrom, Angela Napolitano, Bob Rainville, Carolyn Jack, Christophe Semamz, Debbie Lansing, Diane Kimball, Doreen MacDonald, Edna Curtin, Eileen McCarthy, Erin Lichtenstein, Francois Lemaistre, Frédérique Van Moortel, Gig Moineau, Janet Essency, Jim Alcaulskas, Kathy Oberley, Kathy Sheehan, Kathy Terkelsen, Kayla Hinrichsen, Laura Versmee, Linda Shumate, Lisa Elvin-Staltari, Loretta Brown-Aldrich, Mary Coyne, Maryanne LeGrow, Maureen Keillor, Meredith Madyda, Michelle Kearns, Mouna Blila, Paul McCool, Pauline Cusson, Sandy Caldwell, Stacey-Rae McCue, and Suise Souza.

The new volumes are listed below:

  • Holy Trinity (Boston) Baptisms, 1836-1853
  • Holy Trinity (Boston) Baptisms, 1853-1880, and Confirmations, 1853-1891
  • Holy Trinity (Boston) Baptisms, 1881-1886
  • Holy Trinity (Boston) Baptisms, 1886-1894
  • Holy Trinity (Boston) Baptisms, 1894-1900
  • Holy Trinity (Boston) Census and Deaths, 1856-1877
  • Holy Trinity (Boston) Deaths, 1878-1907
  • Holy Trinity (Boston) Marriages, 1836-1892
  • Holy Trinity (Boston) Marriages, 1893-1900
  • St. Jean Baptiste (Lowell) Baptisms and Marriages, 1868-1879
  • St. Jean Baptiste (Lowell) Baptisms and Marriages, 1879-1886
  • St. Jean Baptiste (Lowell) Baptisms and Marriages, 1886-1890
  • St. Jean Baptiste (Lowell) Baptisms and Marriages, 1891-1894
  • St. Jean Baptiste (Lowell) Baptisms, 1895-1897
  • St. Jean Baptiste (Lowell) Baptisms, 1897-1899
  • St. Jean Baptiste (Lowell) Baptisms, 1899-1900
  • St. Jean Baptiste (Lowell) Baptisms, 1900-1902
  • St. Jean Baptiste (Lowell) Confirmations, 1870-1894
  • St. Jean Baptiste (Lowell) Confirmations, 1870-1900
  • St. Jean Baptiste (Lowell) Confirmations, 1895-1917
  • St. Jean Baptiste (Lowell) Deaths, 1896-1901
  • St. Jean Baptiste (Lowell) Marriages, 1895-1902

Please note: This database is available to Individual-level and above NEHGS members only. Consider membership.

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New feature: Saved Records

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Today we’ve rolled out a new feature on AmericanAncestors.org to help organize your research!

We now offer a list of Saved Records. Here are a few tips on how to use this new feature.

Do a search for one of your ancestors. When you’ve found someone you’d like to save, click on their name in the search results list. This will take you to the Record Display page (see image below). Click on the new blue Save Record button in the upper right corner. This will add this record to your Saved Records list!

The Record Display page with an arrow pointing to the new Save Record button

There are now stars next to the “Also on this page” names. You can click on a star to add other people who appear this same page to your Saved Records list. Below you can see that I’ve added my great-grandparents Egbert and Elizabeth as well as my great-great grandmother Abbie, and an aunt Mary to my list of Saved Records.

To view your Saved Records list, go to Advanced Search in our Search drop-down menu (available on the homepage). There is now a Saved Records button in the upper right corner, near the Saved Searches drop-down.

See the new Saved Records button on the Advanced Search page

Click this blue button, and you’ll get to your list of Saved Records. This list will display the name of the person in the record, the database from which it comes, the record type, year, and location information. In the Created Date column, you can see the date that you saved that record. You can always remove a record from this list using the “Remove from My Saved Records” button.

The new Saved Records page

We’ve also made it easier to move between the Transcript page and the Record Display page. Say you’re on the Search Results page, and instead of clicking on a name (which leads to the Record Display page), you click directly on “View Image.” This will take you to the image for this record. If you click “Transcript”, you’ll see the index for this page.

Click Transcript to be taken to the index for this image

Once you’re on the Transcript page, click on a name to get to the Record Display page, where you can view the details we’ve transcribed for that record and save the record to your Saved Records list! If there is an annotation for the record, you will also see it on the Record Display page. It’s always good to check for annotations–if a user has reported a problem with that record, you will be directed to an alternate source that may have more correct information.

This is the Transcript page. Click on a name to go to the Record Display page.

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New England study projects: 3 new sketches

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Pontoosuc Lake, Pittsfield Scan by NYPL / Public domain

Today we’re announcing three new sketches for two of our New England study projects: Western Massachusetts Families in 1790 and Early New England Families, 1641-1700.

Two new sketches were added to our database Western Massachusetts Families in 1790, highlighting Oliver Root of Pittsfield and Enoch Haskins of Pittsfield. 

Helen Ullmann’s lastest book is Western Massachusetts Families in 1790, Volume 4 . Learn more about the included sketches!

This study project focuses on individuals enumerated in the 1790 census in historic Berkshire and Hampshire counties, also including modern Franklin and Hampden counties.  Sketches for this project are submitted to editor Helen Schatvet Ullmann, CG, FASG by NEHGS members and other interested researchers.  If you are interested in submitting a sketch for Volume 5, please review our project home page.

We’ve also updated Early New England Families, 1641-1700adding one new sketch featuring Edward Bishop of Salem and Beverly, m. 1645.

Early New England Families, 1641-1700 is written by Alicia Crane Williams. This study project highlights heads of families mentioned in Torrey’s New England Marriages to 1700. Alicia often publishes helpful Vita Brevis posts related to her research. Recently she has discussed Essex County probates and “Lucky Essex County” about early record keeping in this area.

We’d like to thank Sam Sturgis for his help making these updates possible.

Please note: These databases are available to Individual-level and above NEHGS members only. Consider membership.

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Archdiocese of Boston: new searchable records from Boston and Gloucester

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The Cathedral of the Holy Cross and the Washington Street Elevated subway line in 1920 (image by Leon H. Abdalian / Public domain)

Today we’ve added fifteen new volumes and updated three volumes in Massachusetts: Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston Records, 1789-1920 from the Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Boston and Our Lady of Good Voyage in Gloucester. This update adds over 46,600 records and over 199, 271 names to search.

The Church of the Holy Cross was the first Catholic church established in Boston in 1788. As the Catholic population grew in the city, it become the Cathedral. In 1800, the first Cathedral was built on Franklin Street in the South End. By 1866, a new, larger building was needed, so construction began on the current church on Washington Street. Since, the Cathedral has continued to be a center of Catholicism in New England.

In 1888, the Portuguese Catholics of Gloucester organized to form their own parish. In 1893, the first Mass was sung in the Our Lady of Good Voyage church building.

Our Lady of Good Voyage in Gloucester (image by Henry Zbyszynski, 2008 / CC BY (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)

We’d like to thank Sam Sturgis for his help with this update.

The new volumes are listed below:

Holy Cross (Boston) Baptisms, 1908-1910
Holy Cross (Boston) Baptisms, 1910-1920
Holy Cross (Boston) Baptisms, 1920
Holy Cross (Boston) Confirmations, 1907-1916
Holy Cross (Boston) Confirmations, 1917-1920
Holy Cross (Boston) Convert Confirmations, 1916-1920
Holy Cross (Boston) Convert Confirmations, 1920
Holy Cross (Boston) Marriages, 1906-1908
Holy Cross (Boston) Marriages, 1908-1911
Holy Cross (Boston) Marriages, 1911-1917
Holy Cross (Boston) Marriages, 1918-1920

Our Lady of Good Voyage (Gloucester) Baptisms, 1891-1913
Our Lady of Good Voyage (Gloucester) Baptisms, 1913-1920
Our Lady of Good Voyage (Gloucester) Confirmations, 1898-1908
Our Lady of Good Voyage (Gloucester) Marriages, 1890-1920

Updated volumes (records added for 1901 +):
Holy Cross (Boston) Baptisms V.15, 1900-1908
Holy Cross (Boston) Confirmations, 1895-1906
Holy Cross (Boston) Marriages V.11, 1897-1905

Please note: This database is available to Individual-level and above NEHGS members only. Consider membership.

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Archdiocese of Boston: new searchable records from Framingham and Cohasset

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Lathrope’s Point, Sandy Cove, Cohasset by Frank Henry Shapleigh, 1877 Frank Henry Shapleigh / Public domain

Today we’ve added six new volumes and updated one volume in Massachusetts: Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston Records, 1789-1920 from St. Bridget in Framingham and St. Anthony of Padua in Cohasset. This update adds over 3,600 records and over 15,100 names to search.

St. George in Saxonville was the first Catholic church in Framingham, established in 1848. In 1878, St. Bridget’s was formed to serve the Catholics of Ashland and South Framingham. At the time, it was a mission of St. George. When St. Stephen’s began in 1883, St. Bridget’s became a part of that parish. In 1911, St. Bridget became an independent parish.

In 1886, St. Anthony of Padua was established in Cohasset, with the Church of the Nativity in Scituate as a mission. Prior to this date, Catholics in Cohasset were ministered to by priests from Hingham or Weymouth. Many of the early Catholics of Cohasset who helped build this parish were Portuguese.

We’d like to thank Sam Sturgis for his help with this update.

The new volumes are listed below:

St. Bridget (Framingham) Baptisms, 1911-1920
St. Bridget (Framingham) Marriages, 1911-1920

St. Anthony of Padua (Cohasset) Baptisms 1886-1909 (updated volume–records added for 1901-1909)
St. Anthony of Padua (Cohasset) Baptisms, 1909-1920
St. Anthony of Padua (Cohasset) Confirmations, 1918
St. Anthony of Padua (Cohasset) First Communions 1919
St. Anthony of Padua (Cohasset) Marriages, 1886-1920

Please note: This database is available to Individual-level and above NEHGS members only. Consider membership.

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Western Massachusetts Families in 1790: new sketches from New Marlborough

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New Marlborough, MA (image by Tony Webster / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0))

Today we’re announcing two new sketches in Western Massachusetts Families in 1790.  These new sketches focus on Ezra Knapp and Zenas Wheeler, both of New Marlborough.

This study project focuses on individual enumerated in the 1790 census in historic Berkshire and Hampshire counties, also including modern Franklin and Hampden counties.  Sketches for this project are submitted to editor Helen Schatvet Ullmann, CG, FASG by NEHGS members and other interested researchers.  If you are interested in submitting a sketch for Volume 5, please review our project home page.

We’d like to thank Sam Sturgis for his help making these updates possible.

Please note: This database is available to Individual-level and above NEHGS members only. Consider membership.

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Archdiocese of Boston: new searchable records from Salem

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St. Joseph in Salem, from James Sullivan’s One Hundred Years of Progress, page 465.

Today we’ve added 7 new volumes to Massachusetts: Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston Records, 1789-1920 from St. Joseph in Salem. This update adds over 27,900 records and over 279,800 names to search.

In 1872, the French Canadians of Salem gathered for Mass as their own congregation for the first time. St. Joseph’s grew out of Immaculate Conception in Salem. Their church building was completed in 1883.

We’d like to thank Debbie Lansing, Liz Barnett, Mouna Blila, Loretta Brown-Aldrich, Eileen Convey, Pauline Cusson, Lisa Elvin-Staltari, Janet Essency, Nancy Johnson, Michelle Kearns, Rick Lageux, Maryanne LeGrow, Julie McConville, Stacey-Rae McCue, Bruce McKeeman, Gig Moineau, Kathy Oberley, Susie Souza and Alicia Svenson for their help with this update.

The new volumes are listed below:

St. Joseph (Salem) Baptisms, 1873-1887
St. Joseph (Salem) Baptisms, 1887-1892
St. Joseph (Salem) Baptisms, 1892-1906
St. Joseph (Salem) Burials, 1890-1914
St. Joseph (Salem) Confirmations, 1888-1920
St. Joseph (Salem) Marriages, 1873-1890
St. Joseph (Salem) Marriages, 1890-1908

Please note: This database is available to Individual-level and above NEHGS members only. Consider membership.

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Archdiocese of Boston: new searchable records from Dorchester

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Plate 24 from the 1894 Atlas of the city of Boston, showing the original location of St. Matthew’s Church (in yellow, center, in between Codman Square and “Second Parish of Dorchester Cemetery”)

Today we’ve added 8 new volumes to Massachusetts: Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston Records, 1789-1920 from St. Matthew in Dorchester. This update adds over 9,900 records and over 37,600 names to search.

St. Matthew grew out of St. Gregory’s parish in Dorchester. In 1900 it became a parish of its own. By 1923, a new church had been built and dedicated. You can view a picture of the original church on the website of the Dorchester Historical Society.

We’d like to thank Sam Sturgis for his help with this update.

The new volumes are listed below:

St. Matthew (Dorchester) Baptisms, 1900-1912
St. Matthew (Dorchester) Baptisms, 1900-1916
St. Matthew (Dorchester) Baptisms, 1912-1920
St. Matthew (Dorchester) Baptisms, 1920
St. Matthew (Dorchester) Confirmations, 1903-1920
St. Matthew (Dorchester) Marriages, 1900-1915
St. Matthew (Dorchester) Marriages, 1900-1920
St. Matthew (Dorchester) Special Marriages, 1912-1920

Please note: This database is available to Individual-level and above NEHGS members only. Consider membership.

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Archdiocese of Boston: Blessed Sacrament in Walpole now searchable

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1876 Comstock & Cline map of Walpole, MA from the Atlas of Norfolk County (Public domain)

Today we’ve added five new volumes to Massachusetts: Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston Records, 1789-1920 from Blessed Sacrament in Walpole. This update adds over 7,300 records and over 27,500 names to search.

James Sullivan describes the beginnings of this parish which was originally called St. Francis in One Hundred Years of Progress. In about 1876, enough Catholics lived in Walpole to begin organizing the parish. By the early 1900s, this parish had grown large enough to build a new church, which was renamed Blessed Sacrament in 1913. The Walpole Library has a very extensive history of the parish available.

We’d like to thank Sam Sturgis for his help with this update.

The new volumes are listed below:

Blessed Sacrament (Walpole) Baptisms, Marriages, and Confirmations, 1872-1901
Blessed Sacrament (Walpole) Baptisms, Marriages, and Confirmations, 1901-1916
Blessed Sacrament (Walpole) Baptisms, 1908-1920
Blessed Sacrament (Walpole) Marriages, 1896-1900 and Confirmations, 1920
Blessed Sacrament (Walpole) Marriages, 1908-1920

Please note: This database is available to Individual-level and above NEHGS members only. Consider membership.

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