Monday, March 29, 2010

How to research Irish ?

The Archdiocese of New York explains that centralized filing of parish records does not exist -- one has to locate the parish, and work with them to find records of interest. Note that these records are NOT indexed in Family Search because of Catholic Church policies.

My first desire is to find the marriage record of John Nolan and Anne Hoey (1850-1858 I think) I emailed the State of New York for a marriage certificate -- but lacking a marriage year, they could not help me. So, I have to begin with the churches. I searched for Churches in New York City....... if you can't read the image below -- that is 96 current churches.

Sigh.. okay, more research. I have to figure out where they may have had their sacraments -- baptism, marriage, death are the records that interest me the most. I found a few helpful leads from the, specifically a wonderful article on churches in NYC
Records of St. Peter's: NYC's Oldest Catholic Church

I searched each church - to determine the year they were opened -- I did not find them all but have a solid list started. I mapped the churches I found and then began to compare their location to where I believe Anne Hoey and later Anne and John Nolan lived.

View Church Resesarch in a larger map

1850: Ann lived in Hell's Kitchen
(The 5th Ward) I am not certain yet which street she lived on -- so far I have not found Mr. Davenport in a City Directory but I do know that the 5th Ward is the western part (left side on this map) of the bottom tip of Manhattan Island. Promising churches may be Church of St. Frances Xavier or Church of the Transfiguration

1860: The Nolan's lived on East 25th Street I decided to try to find out what churches MAY have been in that area, around the time the Nolan's were in New York --above, in my map, their residence (estimated of course) is denoted in this map with a house-like structure thingey. The other bubbles are all possible churches.

To see the full data set of churches, you can look at this spreadsheet (it is a work in progress, because I was focusing on older churches and I have not found all their web sites yet.)

I've emailed the following NYC churches:
  • St. Patrick's (Old Cathedral)
  • Chapel of the Sacred Heart
  • Epiphany Church
I did hear back from the Old Cathedral (the first St. Patrick's); they are in the midst of a renovation and can't access sacramental records until summer -- their note was exceptionally gracious and I was touched that they took the time to help me. As I hear back from Churches, I will update you all.

No comments :

Post a Comment