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 covers the years 1793-1945.

This collection contains baptisms, marriages, and deaths from some Catholic and Church of England in Canada parishes. 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.

For a list of records by localities, document type and dates currently published in this collection, select the Browse link from the collection landing page.

Sample Images

Baptismal records usually contain the following information:

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

Marriage records usually contain the following information:

  • 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 contain the following information:

  • 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.

How Do I Search the Collection?

View Images in this collection by visiting the Browse Page.
Once you've reached the browse page, follow these instructions to get to the images:
⇒ Select the appropriate "City/Town" category
⇒ Select the appropriate "Denomination/Parish" category
⇒ Select the appropriate "Record Type and Year Range" category which takes you to the images

Look at the images one by one, comparing the information with what you already know about your ancestors to determine if the image relates to them. You may need to look at several images and compare the information about the individuals listed in those images to your ancestors to make this determination.

As you are searching, it is helpful to know such information as your ancestor’s given name and surname, some identifying information such as residence and age, and family relationships. Remember that there may be more than one person in the records with the same name as your ancestor and that your ancestor may have used nicknames or different names at different times.

What do I do Next?

I Found Who I was Looking for, Now What?

When you have found the record of your ancestor, the following will be helpful aids in your research:

  • Use the age found in the marriage and death records to calculate the approximate year of birth.
  • If the marriage gave parents names, search the names of those parents for their marriage date.

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

One of the reasons you may not be able to find your ancestor, is not knowing which church they attended. To identify the religion your ancestor was part of, the following hints will help you in the aid of finding your ancestor:

  • Many of the Canadian censuses asked which religion the person belonged to. Try locating your ancestor in the applicable Canada censuses for more information.
  • Some communities only had one church, so most residents would have attended that church.
  • Sometimes an ancestor preferred to attend a church close to his or her home and was not so concerned about what denomination he or she attended.
  • Sometimes an ancestor was strict about which denomination he belonged to and may have traveled some distance to attend his church. Check where persons of that denomination met.
  • To see more hints & tips about finding the denomination of your ancestor, go to the section How can I determine the denomination of my ancestor? in the Canada Church Records article

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 2016. Citing Holy Redeemer Anglican Parish Spaniard's Bay and Roman Catholic Archdiocese of St. John's.

Image Citation:

The image citation is available by clicking 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.

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.