Skip to content
  • Start free trial

New and exclusive Catholic church records online for the first time

4-5 minute read

By Liam Kelly

26 June 2020
New Catholic records online

As the home of the groundbreaking Catholic Heritage Archive, we're excited to bring you even more exclusive family-finding resources.

The exclusives keep on coming here at Findmypast. Hundreds of thousands of Catholic records are new this week and you won't find them anywhere else online. They join the Catholic Heritage Archive, a game-changing digitisation project that is making Catholic records from around the globe more accessible.

We’ve added over 213,000 exclusive records from the Archdiocese of Southwark to this collection. Baptism records can reveal excellent details for your family tree including:

  • Your ancestors' names
  • Their birth and baptism dates
  • Where they were baptised
  • Their parents’ names

Be sure to check the digitised images of the original documents. They may provide additional information like godparents' and ministers' names and where the family lived. Some registers even include notes about the individual’s marriage.

Earlier church records were written freehand in register books. In later years, they were recorded formally in printed registers. Until the 1960s, Latin was the official language of the Catholic Church. You'll see many of the records written in the Latin language. Even names were often Latinized.

Once you’ve found your ancestors' baptism records, it’s time to find the next religious milestone in their life - their confirmation. To help, we’ve added over 126,000 Southwark confirmation records to this congregational collection. Confirmation records can reveal the following:

  • Your ancestors' names and ages
  • The years and dates they were confirmed
  • The names of the churches where they were confirmed
  • Where they lived
  • The names of the bishops who performed the confirmations

Confirmation is a sacrament in the Catholic Church where the person being confirmed receives the gifts of the Holy Spirit through the imposition of hand and anointing with oils by the bishop. It’s considered a sacrament of initiation, bringing the person confirmed deeper into communion with the Church.

We’ve added almost 52,000 exclusive marriage registers from the Archdiocese of Southwark. Marriage records are essential for growing your family tree. Just one record can reveal multiple generations of family members with details like;

  • Your ancestors’ names
  • Their ages and birth years
  • Their marriage dates
  • Who they married
  • Where they were married
  • Where they lived
  • Their fathers' names and occupations
  • The names of the priests that married them
  • The names of their witnesses

As well as our new Southwark additions, exclusive English Catholic collections from the dioceses of Birmingham, Liverpool, Middlesbrough and Westminster are also available on Findmypast. Simply filter by 'Diocese' on the search page to focus on a particular region.

The new Southwark Catholic collection is rounded-off with burial records from 54 parishes, over 378,000 of them. Burial records can provide important details on your ancestors' lives and deaths including:

  • Their names
  • Their birth, death and burial dates
  • Their ages when they died
  • Their occupations
  • Where they were buried
  • Their parents’ names

To see all of the churches featured in these new releases, check the updated parish lists covering baptisms, marriages, burials and congregational records. More exclusive records from the Archdiocese of Southwark will be added over time.

Adding to our Catholic releases this week, we've digitised these unique records from The National Archives in Kew. The collection comprises 211 pieces from the FEC 1 series covering the Forfeited Estates Commission, abstracts of estates of Popish recusants.

Abstracts of estates usually incorporate alphabetical lists of convicted recusants registered in various counties and towns in England and Wales. The returns include those estates which were described in the register, but for which no valuation was given.

Catholic records Rebellion of 1715

The original records, like this extract from Devon, hold fascinating details.

Included is a large collection of deeds and other documents produced before the Commissioners of the Forfeited Estates and relating to estates attainted during the Rebellion of 1715. Amongst the collection, you'll find:

  • Original claims forfeited to the Crown
  • Proceedings of the commissioners
  • Correspondence
  • Minutes and memoranda
  • Accounts
  • Lists and schedules
  • Inventories of documents
  • Returns by clerks of the peace of the names and estates of papist recusants in England and Wales arranged by counties
  • Rentals and particulars of estates sold
  • Information on lands given to superstitious uses

Most of these documents date back to the 16th century. They are arranged for the most part under the names of the attainted persons.

Over 64,000 birth records from the province of Saskatchewan have been added to our Canadian record collection. The records can reveal useful family tree information about your Canadian ancestors including:

  • Their name
  • Their birth year and birth date
  • Where they were born
  • Their parents' names

Join us in celebrating Canada Day next week by tracing your Canadian heritage. Our extensive collection of Canadian family records is a great place to start.

This week's Canadian records update is completed with over 55,000 death records from Saskatchewan. These records can reveal your ancestors':

  • Names
  • Birth and death dates
  • Places of death
  • Parents' names

The population of Saskatchewan has changed markedly during its history. The period of heaviest immigration was in the early 20th century. The province was originally populated by American Indians with French and British immigrants arriving during the 18th and early 19th centuries. This led to a large population of mixed Indian and European ancestry, whom the Canadian government granted legal recognition as a native group at the beginning of the 21st century.

Following the construction of a transcontinental railway in the early 1880s, further settlement spread across the province. In addition to British and eastern Canadian settlers, Germans, Austrians, Scandinavians, Poles, Ukrainians and Russians came to the area. Some were attracted by generous homestead grants whilst others came to escape religious and political persecution in their own countries.

This week, we're bringing you two brand new newpaper titles, along with updates to two existing publications. Brand new to our newspaper collection are:

While more pages have been added to:

If any of our latest releases have unlocked new chapters in your family's story, we'd love to hear about your discoveries. Reach out to us on social media using #WhereWillYourPastTakeYou?