Genealogy Research

SACRAMENTAL RECORDS

Within the context of the Roman Catholic Church, sacramental registers are the records most often consulted when tracing one’s family tree.

Sacramental records are of both a private and a public nature:

  • They are private, in that they were created in circumstances presumed to be private and confidential.
  • They are public, in that they will stand in civil law as valid and authentic evidence when an appropriate civil record does not exist.

A sacramental record indicates an individual’s canonical status, that is, their status in the Church as it relates to the sacraments they have received, including Baptism, Confirmation, Marriage, and in the case of death whether the Rite of Christian Burial was performed for them.

A sacramental record typically contains the following information:

Baptism

  1. Name of the individual at the time of baptism
  2. Name of parents including mother’s maiden name
  3. Date and place of birth
  4. Date and place of baptism
  5. Name of sponsors
  6. Name of priest who conferred the baptism

Confirmation

  1. Name of the individual
  2. Occasionally the age and gender of the individual
  3. Date and place of baptism
  4. Date and place of confirmation
  5. Name of the parents
  6. Name of sponsors
  7. Name of bishop or priest who conferred the confirmation

Marriage

  1. Name of the groom
  2. Maiden name of the bride
  3. Names of parents of the groom and the bride
  4. Date of marriage
  5. Name of the priest who officiated the wedding
  6. Name of witnesses
  7. Occasionally the place of baptism of the groom and the bride

Burial

  1. Name of the individual
  2. Date of death
  3. Occasionally the age at death
  4. Name of witness
  5. Name of officiating clergy
  6. Sacrament or service received
  7. Occasionally burial date and place

Researchers are advised that the language used in the records that are being made available for research is predominantly French and the records are written in cursive handwriting. The records may include words and descriptions that reflect the language and attitudes of the historical period in which they were written.

HOW TO OBTAIN INFORMATION FROM SACRAMENTAL REGISTERS

The Archives provides assistance to genealogy researchers. Researchers have the option of accessing the digitized version of sacramental registers in the Archives Reading Room or sending in their requests for staff to complete a search.

There are policies and procedures regarding sacramental record and genealogy research and all researchers are requested to review them prior to commencing/making a request.


In-person Research

The Archives Reading Room is open for research on certain Tuesdays and Thursdays of the month, between 9-11:30 a.m. and  1-3:30 p.m.

An appointment is necessary to ensure that a computer is available for one’s use.

A completed User Agreement Form is required prior to accessing the records. There is no research fee, however, fees do apply to the reproduction of records. Please speak with Archives Staff for more information:

Email: archives@caedm.ca
Phone: 780-469-1010 x2144

The digitized version of the registers from the following parishes is available for research. Click on the parish name to access the finding aid that lists the sacraments and dates:

Search Requests

Researchers who are not able to come in person may send in their research request to the Archives. When fulfilling requests, priority is given for legal purposes, application for Metís citizenship or Treaty status and is a free service. For all other purposes, a non-refundable fee of $50 per request is levied regardless as to whether or not the search proves successful.

Submit request forms along with the Family Tree Form to: archives@caedm.ca

While we endeavour to respond to requests as quickly as possible, please allow a minimum of three weeks for requests to be processed. For requests requiring payment, a search will only commence once payment is received.

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