Answered By: Sarah Ponichtera
Last Updated: Jun 24, 2015     Views: 41

For Catholic records it is very important to know the parish where the ancestor received the sacrament. Records are kept at the parish level, and each parish must be searched individually—there is no “central database” which can be searched only by name and date. If you do not know the parish, but you know where the family lived at the time of the sacrament, Contact Us and we can suggest some nearby parishes to search.

If you know the parish, visit our Genealogy Resources page, where you can view the index of parish records on microfilm. Finding the parish in the index allows you to see which sacramental records we have on microfilm for that parish and which years are covered. If the sacrament you are looking for took place after the dates on the films, you will need to contact the parish directly to request those records. If the records you are interested in are in the index, you may contact us to make an appointment to view the films, or complete a Genealogy Letter to order a search from us. You can also order copies of the same films from Salt Lake City to your local Family History Center. For more information on Family History Centers, visit

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Msgr. William Noé Field Archives & Special Collections Center
Walsh Library - First Floor
Seton Hall University
400 South Orange Avenue
South Orange, NJ 07079

(973) 761-9476