Archives of the Archdiocese of Boston Holds a Treasure-Trove of Genealogy Data

The following excerpt from a much longer article published in the December 13, 2010 edition of the Braintree Patch, tells us that thousands of Catholic sacramental records of the Archdiocese of Boston are available for research at Braintree, Massachusetts.

Archdiocese of Boston Archivist Robert Johnson-Lally among records at the Pastoral Center in Braintree.   Photo Credit: Nancy Maloof

When the Archdiocese of Boston moved its headquarters to Braintree in the summer of 2008, it brought its archival collection of Catholic history and culture that much closer for area residents to access. Of particular interest are the official sacramental records that are available to family history researchers at the Pastoral Center on Brooks Drive.

After the archives were introduced at a Thayer Public Library presentation last month, Braintree Patch interviewed Archivist and Records Manager Robert Johnson-Lally to find out more about what kind of information a genealogist with local Catholic roots might find here.

The first noteworthy fact about the sacramental records is that they predate 1930, Johnson-Lally said, which follows the U.S. Census privacy guidelines for public release of information — 72 years must pass between the time a census is taken and the year that any of the data can be released.

These archives hold available records for baptisms, marriages, and some first communions and confirmations which took place across approximately 175 parishes contained within the Boston Archdiocese before 1930, according to the Archdiocese of Boston website.

For complete details on visiting the Archives of the Archdiocese of Boston at 66 Brooks Dr. in Braintree, where there is also ample parking, a cafeteria and gift shop open to the public, please visit their website at www.bostoncatholic.org, click on the “Offices & Services” tab and scroll down to “Archives.” Or just click on the links here…

For in-person appointments, call Robert Johnson-Lally at 617-746-5795. For records request by mail, the address is: Archives, 66 Brooks Dr., Braintree, MA 02184-3839.

Read the full article.

Author: Leland Meitzler

Leland K. Meitzler founded Heritage Quest in 1985, and has worked as Managing Editor of both Heritage Quest Magazine and The Genealogical Helper. He currently operates Family Roots Publishing Company (www.FamilyRootsPublishing.com), writes daily at GenealogyBlog.com, writes the weekly Genealogy Newsline, conducts the annual Salt Lake Christmas Tour to the Family History Library, and speaks nationally, having given over 2000 lectures since 1983.

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