Catholic Records

Who was John English?

And was he English, Irish, or French?1 When Annie McGlade died on 21 April 1889, at the age of 25, she was buried at St. John the Baptist RC Cemetery in Perth (Lanark Co., Ontario). Her headstone identifies her as…

Death by Fire (Two Moran Children, Ages 4 and 2)

While Catholic burial records can supply a wealth of genealogically significant information, the cause of death was not something that the priest was required or expected to record. And as I’ve mentioned before, 19th- and early 20th-century Catholic burial records…

Family ties: how far back do they go?

When my paternal grandparents married in 1932, each was marrying into a familiar family. As I’ve mentioned before, my Moran ancestors and my Lahey ancestors have been linked by intermarriage since the middle of the 19th century. Not that my paternal…

Bigamy in the 19th century: how common?

I’m going to guess: not very common. And yet, it certainly did happen. I’ve actually come across very solid evidence of a bigamy case in the 1840s in the parish register for St. Philip’s RC Church in Richmond. No relations…

Link

If you are researching Catholic ancestors in the UK, you should definitely consult Michael Gandy’s Tracing Your Catholic Ancestors (Public Record Office, 2001). It is a brief (only 64 pages) but comprehensive guide to the Catholic records, and also (and alas! for anyone researching Catholic ancestors during the Penal Period of 1559-1829) to the dearth of Catholic records prior to Catholic Emancipation and the Roman Catholic Relief Act of 1829. Highly recommended.

Strange Surname Spellings: Hohanlan for O’Hanlon

As I’ve mentioned before (e.g., in Spelling Doesn’t Count! [in Genealogy]), it’s extremely unlikely that an ancestor had a strong attachment to a certain spelling of his surname, if that ancestor never had occasion to personally spell his own name. If…

Bridget McCann: Friend or Relation?

In records pertaining to my McGlade-Dunne ancestors, who emigrated from Co. Armagh, Ireland to Counties Leeds and Lanark, Ontario, the name McCann turns up at several key points. For example, two of the children of John McGlade and Bridget Dunne…

Cause of death: puerperal (childbed) fever?

On 7 April 1885, Bridget Adeline Lavelle,1 wife of James McCann, gave birth to her second child, a daughter named Margaret Adeline McCann. Ten days later, Bridget Adeline Lavelle was buried at “the new Catholic Cemetery of Perth” (i.e., St.…