Big news: New York Roman Catholic Records Now Online

Thursday, January 28, 2021 - 9:45am
Author: 
Frederick Wertz

Excellent news for New York researchers with Catholic ancestors: New York Catholic genealogy records are finally coming online for the first time ever. Findmypast continues to add substantial numbers of New York records to their Catholic Heritage Archive. 

This never-before-available collection includes baptism records, marriage records, and congregational records from over 400 parishes across the Archdiocese of New York.

Did you know?

NYG&B members get free access to all North American records on findmypast.com.

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Researchers can search millions of transcriptions of these key genealogical events and view images of the original records. The good news is that more records are being added to this collection frequently—it's such a massive trove of genealogical treasure that Findmypast is continually digitizing, transcribing, and uploading new records.

This page will stay up-to-date with the latest records available—but make sure to read the full article, which contains some crucial facts all researchers should know about these records and this landmark project overall. 

Read on to see exactly what counties and dates are covered and learn more about the most recent release. 

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January 2021 Update

45,000 baptism and 36,000 marriage records were added to the collection. Some of the new records are from 1920 (now the most recent year available), and other parts of this large update link newly online images to entries that have been in the index for some time.

So if you have found ancestors in the past, but no image has been available, check again! It's possible you can find the original image now. There are now records from 440 parishes available.

Findmypast has a list of New York Catholic Records look there for details on each parish and a note on which ones are new. 

New York Roman Catholic Baptisms

Parishes covered: 440—click here to see the full list

Years covered: 1787–1920

Counties covered: Bronx County, Dutchess County, New York County (Manhattan), Orange County, Putnam County, Richmond County (Staten Island), Rockland County, Sullivan County, Ulster County, and Westchester County

Each transcript contains the following information:

  • First name(s)
  • Last name
  • Birth year
  • Birth date
  • Birthplace
  • Baptism year
  • Baptism date
  • Baptism location
  • Father’s first name(s)
  • Father’s last name
  • Mother’s first name(s)
  • Mother’s last name
  • Language
  • Parish
  • County
  • Archdiocese
  • State
  • Country

Researchers should note that baptisms often contain information on other religious life events, including events that happened after the baptism - this is because Priests would often communicate and retroactively update baptism registers to reflect further sacraments.

Click here to search

New York Roman Catholic Marriages

Parishes covered: 440—click here to see the full list.

Years covered: 1802–1920

Counties covered: Bronx County, Dutchess County, New York County, (Manhattan), Orange County, Putnam County, Richmond County (Staten Island), Rockland County, Sullivan County, Ulster County, and Westchester County.

Each transcript contains the following information:

  • First name(s)
  • Last name
  • Birth year
  • Age
  • Denomination
  • Occupation
  • Residence
  • Marriage date
  • Marriage place
  • Spouse’s first name(s)
  • Spouse’s last name
  • Spouse’s birth year
  • Spouse’s age
  • Spouse’s denomination
  • Spouse’s occupation
  • Spouse’s residence
  • Father’s name
  • Mother’s name
  • Spouse’s father’s name
  • Spouse’s mother’s name
  • Language
  • County
  • Archdiocese
  • State

Click here to search

More About the Project

A Breakthrough for New Yorkers with Catholic Roots

Many New Yorkers have Catholic ancestors. Despite substantial discrimination in the early history of the state, New York’s Catholic population began to explode in the mid-1800s, due largely to Irish, and later Italian immigrants.

These records are valuable due to the challenging landscape of civil birth, marriage, and death records in New York State.

New York vital records are not organized in a single system - depending on the time and place of an ancestor’s life event, researchers will need to look in different repositories maintained by different organizations. 

Furthermore, many municipalities in the state did not fully comply with New York’s record-keeping laws, so in many cases, birth, marriage, or death records will not exist. This makes religious records crucial vital record substitutes.

Areas covered by the Archdiocese of New York


Map of the Catholic Archdiocese of New York.  
Original image via Wikimedia Commons.

The Archdiocese of New York does not cover the entire State of New York. As you can see from the image on the right (counties covered are in blue), only a portion of the state’s 62 counties is covered by this Archdiocese. Counties covered include:

  • New York County (Manhattan)
  • Bronx County
  • Richmond County (Staten Island)
  • Westchester County
  • Rockland County
  • Putnam County
  • Orange County
  • Dutchess County
  • Ulster County
  • Sullivan County

There are a few projects to bring online records from other Dioceses in New York, but the Catholic Heritage Archive on Findmypast only holds records from the above counties at this present moment. 

Other Catholic records on Findmypast: US and Ireland

While members of the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society likely have an interest in the Catholic records of the Empire State, researchers with family elsewhere should also examine the Catholic Heritage Archive as a whole - there are many Catholic collections from elsewhere in America, including Philadelphia and Baltimore, with records from Chicago, Cincinnati, Wilmington and Toledo on the way. Remember, members of the NYG&B have free access to all North American records on Findmypast.

For those with Irish heritage who are interested in tracing their heritage back across the Atlantic, Findmypast also has an extensive collection of Irish Catholic records, which serve as crucial supplements for the many missing records of Ireland. These Irish Catholic records are completely free to search and access - enjoy!

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