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Genealogy

The most frequent reference requests we get here at the Archives are of a genealogical nature. For assistance in locating records relating to genealogical research, please review the Genealogy Research Policy and submit your search request below. If you need a certified copy of a record for dual-citizenship purposes, please review the instructions found in the Genealogy Research Policy. At this time, cemetery and other death records are still maintained by the individual parish or cemetery.

Genealogy Research Policy

Sacramental records are not public records. However, the Archdiocese of New York recognizes that sacramental records have value to family historians and has created the following policy with regard to the release of these records for genealogical research. The policy is designed to protect the privacy of those individuals named in the records.

  1. For privacy and security reasons, all sacraments recorded before 1930 are available for genealogy research, except in cases where particular records are restricted by canon law.
  2. If the sacramental record you are looking for is located, you will receive a scanned copy of the register entry. If you need a certified copy of the record for dual-citizenship applications or other purposes, please complete the request form here. Note: We do not perform searches with the certified copy request. If you are submitting a request for a certified copy, you must know where and when the sacrament occurred.
  3. There is a non-refundable fee of $25 for certified copies of sacramental records. Cash, cashier’s checks, or money orders (made out to the Archdiocese of New York) are acceptable forms of payment. Requests for non-certified copies can continue to be submitted through the online form above.
  4. To protect confidentiality, all genealogical research is done by Archives and Records Management staff. We cannot accommodate on-site researchers.
  5. We cannot release any information about a sacramental record including the fact of its existence, until after the restriction period has passed. Individuals who received a sacrament can always request a copy of their own sacramental records.
  6. We will not respond to general search requests such as, “everything you have on the Smith family from 1850-1920.” Please be specific and complete as much information on the request form as possible.

Notes:

The Archdiocese of New York does not hold sacramental records for any parish or mission currently located outside of its boundaries. Although a number of dioceses were once under the jurisdiction of the Archdiocese of New York, all sacramental registers remained with the parishes in their new diocese. All genealogy requests for should be made directly to the parish or diocese, regardless of the date of the sacrament.

The Archives does not have any records relating to annulments. All records of annulments are held by the Marriage Tribunal of the Archdiocese of Baltimore. Records of the Marriage Tribunal are not available for genealogical investigation under any circumstances.

Many dual-citizenship applications will require that an apostille or public notary signature be attached to the sacramental record. Please note that the Archives can provide certified copies of the record, but cannot provide advice as to what foreign governments will accept, or what US state governments require as a part of their apostille process. You can find information on New York State’s apostille request process here, or inquire directly with a notary public.

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