Did your ancestor get married in one of Baltimore’s Catholic parishes? Search through some of America’s oldest Catholic parish records and reveal the name of your ancestor’s spouse, the parish where the wedding took place, and the marriage date.
Each record will provide you with a transcript and an image. The amount of detail found in each can vary depending on the age and condition of the original record. In the transcript, you may find a combination of the following facts:
Spouse’s birth year
Spouse’s father’s first name(s)
Spouse’s mother’s first name(s)
County and State
The images will reveal additional details about your ancestor’s marriage such as, the names of the witnesses (Latin - Praesentibus testibus) or if the marriage was a mixed religion marriage (Latin - mixtae religion).
This collection of sacramental registers has been digitised from the Maryland State Archives and the Archdiocese of Baltimore, the oldest Roman Catholic diocese in America. Among the records is marriage registers from the Basilica of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, America’s first Catholic Cathedral.
If you have discovered your ancestor in the marriage records, you should search for your ancestor’s baptism record in Baltimore Roman Catholic parish baptisms. You may even find your ancestor’s confirmation records in the Baltimore Roman Catholic congregational records.
If you would like to cite this record in your family history research, Findmypast suggests the following format: [Name of Parish] [Location]. Sacramental Registers, 1782 - 1918, [page number], [Item of interest "John Smith and Mary Jones, 17 October 1873"]; Archdiocese of Baltimore. Digital Images. Findmypast. (https://search.findmypast.com/search-world-records/baltimore-roman-catholic-parish-registers-browse : accessed DD MMM YYYY).
For example, the record for Joseph Zywicki’s wedding at Holy Rosary in 1897 will be cited as:
Holy Rosary (Baltimore, Maryland). Sacramental Registers, 1782-1919, page 56, Josephum Zywicki and Catharinam Kowalewska, 19 July 1897; Archdiocese of Baltimore. Digital Images. Findmypast. (https://search.findmypast.com/search-world-records/baltimore-roman-catholic-parish-baptisms: accessed 7 September 2018).
Use the name variant option when you search for names and this will search all the Latinised versions of your ancestor’s name. For example, Joseph may have been recorded as Josephus.
Most Roman Catholic registers are in Latin. Latin was the official language of the Catholic Church until the 1960s, when the Vatican allowed the use of vernacular languages in masses. For help deciphering Latin terms, please see the below key terms:
Birth (nati, natus, genitus, natales, ortus, oriundus)
Baptism date (datum baptismi)
Birth date (datum nativitatis)
Birth place (locus nativitatis)
Christening (baptismi, baptizatus, renatus, plutus, lautus, purgatus, ablutus, lustratio)
Child (infans, filius/filia, puer, proles)
Death, died (obiit, defunctorum, defuncti)
Godparent (patrini, levantes, susceptores, compater, commater, matrina)
Marriage date (datum matrim)
Married together with (matrimonium contraxit cum)
Name and residence (nomen et residentia)
Parents (parentes, genitores)
Priest’s name (nomen sacerdotis)
Witnesses (testes or Praesentibus testibus)
Years of age (aetatis)