Ancestry is the source
for Catholic records.

Ancestry is the source
for Catholic records.

Ancestry is the source
for Catholic records.

Start exploring your family’s
Catholic heritage today.

Start exploring your family’s Catholic heritage today.

Ancestry is
the source for
Catholic records.

Start exploring your
family’s Catholic
heritage today.

Long before most governments started keeping civil records, Roman Catholic clergy were dutifully recording names and dates associated with major life events. Our Catholic collection is made up of baptism, confirmation, marriage, and burial records from thousands of parishes that span the globe.

Catholic means "universal," and regardless of your faith, you may have some Catholic roots in your family tree. From uncovering maiden names to looking for details that pre-date civil registrations, Catholic records can open new doors as you search for your family's history and heritage.

Reading Catholic Records

While many Catholic records share some basic characteristics, the documents, formats, and language will vary depending on the location and time frame. Below we've shared a few samples of some of the more commonly found records—calling out the clues they can contain, and how to get the most from every detail. Use the arrows to scroll through the examples to learn about Catholic baptism, confirmation, marriage, and burial records.

Latin is commonly found in Roman Catholic sacramental registers. Our Latin genealogy terms may help you with reading records.

Catholicism Worldwide

All statistics courtesy of www.catholic-hierarchy.org

CANADA
Catholics - 13,070,000

% of Population - 44%
Parishes - 4,865

USA
Catholics - 64,621,000

% of Population - 23%
Parishes - 19,081

MEXICO
Catholics - 123,393,000

% of Population - 87%
Parishes - 6,101

IRELAND
Catholics - 4,161,000

% of Population - 76%
Parishes - 1,312

BRAZIL
Catholics - 126,750,000

% of Population - 79%
Parishes - 9,222

PHILIPPINES
Catholics - 75,570,000

% of Population - 87%
Parishes - 2,909

Catholicism Worldwide

All statistics courtesy of www.catholic-hierarchy.org

CANADA
Catholics - 13,070,000

% of Population - 44%
Parishes - 4,865

USA
Catholics - 64,621,000

% of Population - 23%
Parishes - 19,081

MEXICO
Catholics - 123,393,000

% of Population - 87%
Parishes - 6,101

IRELAND
Catholics - 4,161,000

% of Population - 76%
Parishes - 1,312

BRAZIL
Catholics - 126,750,000

% of Population - 79%
Parishes - 9,222

PHILIPPINES
Catholics - 75,570,000

% of Population - 87%
Parishes - 2,909

Catholicism Worldwide

CANADA
Catholics - 13,070,000

% of Population - 44%
Parishes - 4,865

USA
Catholics - 64,621,000

% of Population - 23%
Parishes - 19,081

MEXICO
Catholics - 123,393,000

% of Population - 87%
Parishes - 6,101

IRELAND
Catholics - 4,161,000

% of Population - 76%
Parishes - 1,312

BRAZIL
Catholics - 126,750,000

% of Population - 79%
Parishes - 9,222

PHILIPPINES
Catholics - 75,570,000

% of Population - 87%
Parishes - 2,909

All statistics courtesy of www.catholic-hierarchy.org