Thursday, June 1, 2017

Finding Church Records - a Family Search Catalog Discovery!

Recently I discovered a short-cut to finding parish records in the Family Search Catalog.  I was looking for the Church records for my mother's family, in Chicago during the 1890-1925 time frame.

In the search form for the Family Search Catalog, under place, I entered "Illinois, Cook, Chicago" and saw a list of records held for Chicago, selecting "Church Records" I saw that there are about 370 Catholic Parishes listed. 

 These parishes are in no particular order and it can be very tedious scrolling through that many  pages while reading the name of each church to avoid missing the one you are looking for.  While scrolling today, I noticed the author field. It was consistent and as follows: Catholic Church, St. Mel..."  So I tried using the author field for my search and it works!  Using only the author field, you get a list of all Catholic Churches in the Family History Library catalog and where they are located. 

 If you fill in the place field as well you get a specific parish.

I guess I learned something else!  There is only one St. Mel parish in the United States!  I hope this saves you some search time.  It appears to work for all Catholic Church records in the Family Search Catalog.