Newfoundland Church Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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Canada Gotoarrow.png Newfoundland and Labrador

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Newfoundland Church Records, 1793-1945 .
This article describes a collection of records at
Newfoundland,  Canada
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Location of Newfoundland, Canada
Record Description
Record Type Church Records
Collection years 1793-1945
Languages English
Title in the Language
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites
Various Catholic and Anglican parishes in Newfoundland

What is in this Collection?

This collection includes baptisms, marriages and deaths from some Catholic and Church of England parishes in Canada and covers the years 1793-1945. The dates may vary for each parish. Church records are great sources for accurate names, dates, and places of births, marriages, and deaths. Many people who lived in Canada were recorded in church records. The church records are vital records made by church officials. They are often called parish registers or church books. Roman Catholic Church records are sometimes called sacramental records.

The Roman Catholic Church in Newfoundland was not instituted by church law until May 1784. It was at this time that the church in Newfoundland began to establish parishes that maintained baptismal and marriage registers. The oldest records were maintained at the Basilica Parish, St. John's and all records for the church were recorded there. Gradually, new parishes were opened in other areas of the province. In each new parish, baptismal and marriage records were maintained.

For a table that shows the coverage of the church records in Newfoundland available on Familysearch, please see the Newfoundland, Church Records Coverage Table.

To Browse this Collection

You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for Newfoundland Church Records, 1793-1945.

What Can these Records Tell Me?

Baptismal records usually include:

  • Name of child
  • Names of parents
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Date of baptism
  • Place where baptized

Marriage records usually include:

  • Date of marriage.
  • Names of the bride and groom.
  • Notes if the bride or groom were single or widowed.
  • Names of witnesses.
  • The bride’s and groom’s ages, residences, occupations, names of parents, and birthplaces.
  • Names of previous marriage partners.
  • A note whether a parent or other party gave permission for the marriage.

Death records usually include:

  • Name of the deceased.
  • Date and place of death and burial.
  • (Often) the age, place of residence, and cause of death.
  • Names of survivors.
  • (Occasionally) date and place of birth of deceased.

Collection Content

Sample Images

How Do I Search the Collection?

You can search the index or view the images or both. To begin your search it is helpful to know:

  • The name of your ancestor
  • The name of a relative or date of the event

View the Images

View images in this collection by visiting the Browse Page then:

  1. Select the "City/Town"
  2. Select the "Denomination/Parish"
  3. Select the "Record Type and Year Range"

How Do I Analyze the Results?

Compare each result from your search with what you know to determine if there is a match. This may require viewing multiple records or images.

For more tips about searching on-line collections see the on-line article FamilySearch Search Tips and Tricks.

What Do I Do Next?

Whenever possible, view the original records to verify the information and to find additional information that might not be reported. These pieces of information can lead you to additional records and family members.

I Found Who I was Looking for, What Now?

  • Use the information to find other records such as birth, christening, census, land and death records.
  • Use the information to find additional family members.
  • Repeat this process with additional family members found, to find more generations of the family.
  • [Church Records] often were kept years before government records were required and are a good source for finding ancestors before 1900.

I Can’t Find Who I’m Looking for, What Now?

  • Try viewing the original record to see if there were errors in the transcription of the name, age, residence, etc. Remember that there may be more than one person in the records with the same name.
  • Collect entries for every person who has the same surname. This list can help you identify possible relations that can be verified by records.
  • If you cannot locate your ancestor in the locality in which you believe they lived, then try searching records of a nearby locality in an area search.
  • Many of the Canadian censuses asked which religion the person belonged to. Try locating your ancestor in the applicable Canada censuses for more information.
  • Standard spelling of names typically did not exist during the periods our ancestors lived in. Try variations of your ancestor’s name, especially French or Latin versions.
  • Remember that sometimes individuals went by nicknames or alternated between using first and middle names. Try searching for these names as well.
  • Search the indexes and records of Canada Genealogy.
  • Search in the Canada Archives and Libraries.
  • Search in the FamilySearch Catalog

Citing This Collection

Citing your sources makes it easy for others to find and evaluate the records you used. When you copy information from a record, list where you found that information. Here you can find citations already created for the entire collection and for each individual record or image.

Collection Citation:

"Newfoundland Church Records, 1793-1945." Images. FamilySearch. accessed 2017. Citing Holy Redeemer Anglican Parish Spaniard's Bay and Roman Catholic Archdiocese of St. John's.

Image Citation:

When looking at an image, the citation is found on the Information tab at the bottom left of the screen. You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for Newfoundland Church Records, 1793-1945.

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How Can I Contribute to the FamilySearch Wiki?

We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. We are looking for additional information that will help readers understand the topic and better use the available records. We also need translations for collection titles and images in articles about records written in languages other than English. For specific needs, please visit WikiProject FamilySearch Records.

Please follow these guidelines as you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide.