In keeping with the guidelines of the United States Federal Census, all sacramental records through 1930 will be open to broad genealogical research. The Archives holds the following records for approximately 175 parishes in existence in the Archdiocese before 1930.
Baptismal and Marriage records dated before 1930.
First Communion and Confirmation records dated before 1930 for only some of the parishes.
Very few death, burial, or cemetery records.
INFORMATION CONTAINED IN THE RECORDS
Baptisms: Dates of birth and baptism; name of child; names of parents, of sponsors (godparents), and of officiating priest.
Marriages: date; names of parties being married, of two official witnesses, and of officiating priest.
First Communions and Confirmations: date; names of children only and of officiating cleric.
NOTE: Variations in spelling are quite common.
INFORMATION NOT CONTAINED IN THE RECORDS
1. Place or county of origin, in Ireland or elsewhere.
2. Family relationships.
3. Ages, addresses, or occupations of individuals.
WRITTEN REQUESTS [telephone requests will not be accepted]
Because there is no central name index, we will need the following information before we can examine the records in the Archives:
1. Parish in which the sacrament was administered or the name of the officiating priest. If you supply us with the family's street address, we may be able to identify the parish where the sacrament was administered. You can find the address, which is listed alphabetically by family surname, in the appropriate yearly edition of the Boston City Directory or in the directories of the appropriate city or town. Contact your local library for information on how you can obtain microfilmed copies of these directories. In some instances the name of the town will suffice.
2. Date sacrament was administered.
3. Name(s) of individual(s) receiving the sacrament.
DONATIONS to the Archives are gratefully accepted. If submitting a check, it should be made payable to the Archdiocese of Boston.
The staff may not readily locate the records you requested. If you wish to pursue your inquiry, Archives staff can do research at the rate of $25 per hour. Before doing so, we must receive a request in writing detailing the information desired. Once the request is received, we will send you a price estimate for research. We can offer no guarantees as to a successful search.
VISITS TO THE ARCHIVES
You are welcome to visit the Archives BY APPOINTMENT and examine the records held here. The Archives is open Tuesday-Thursday, 10:00-4:00, excepting holidays and holy days.
Another source of genealogical information is civil records, which are maintained both by the cities and towns and by the state. These vital records have alphabetical indexes which make them easily accessible for family research.
For records through 1910, write directly to the Massachusetts State Archives, Columbia Point, Dorchester, MA 02125
Records after 1910 are kept at the Bureau of Vital Statistics, 470 Atlantic Ave., Boston, Massachusetts 02210.
Alternatively, you may contact the individual city or town halls.