Family Group Sheets at the Catholic Archives

Children sometimes dream of eating ice cream or candy. Fishermen dream about catching that big trout in the stream. And genealogists, they dream about family group sheets.

Visiting the Catholic Archives at 1 Bayard Dr., Saint John, is a dream come true for many genealogical researchers. Thousands of family group sheets are safely tucked in binders waiting to be viewed. In fact there are so many family group sheets for such names as O'Brien, Murphy, McCarthy and Gallagher that they require their own separate binder.

An on-going project for several years by the staff of the Catholic Archives of the Diocese of Saint John has been transcribing and reconstructing the church records into family group sheets.

What is a family group sheet?

The first section lists the names of the mother and father and, when available, their date and place of birth, marriage date, sponsors, parents, occupation and date and place of death and burial. The second part gives the names of the children with the date of baptism, sponsors and the age, if mentioned. When a child marries and the parents are identified, this information is added to the original family group sheet.

The sponsors and witnesses on the family group sheet can lead to other family members, as they were often relatives. I suggest making a list of all of these names and putting them in alphabetical order, for future references. The name of the female sponsor or witness was usually written using her maiden name. Cross-references have been made according to the woman's name. The family group sheet has also been cross-checked with available burial and census records and notation made on the sheet.

In researching the Moran family, the family group sheets saved days of reading microfilms. Baptismal and marriage records were taken from the church registers of St. Malachy's and the Cathedral, Saint John; St. William's, St. Martins; Golden Grove and more. All of this information was found on family group sheets. One branch of the family had gone to Freeport, N.S., and brought their babies over on the Digby boat to be baptized in Saint John.

It is necessary to make an appointment before visiting  the Diocese of Saint John - Archives.
Their Postal Address is, Diocese of Saint John - Archives
, One Bayard Drive, Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada, E2L 3L5. The phone number is (506) 653-6807.  Contact the Archives for the fees charged, hours of operation and to make an appointment.  

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Queries have been grouped together to cover the year 1998 and can be viewed at Queries-1998

Ruby Cusack is a genealogy buff living in Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada. Readers are invited to send their New Brunswick genealogical queries to Ruby at When E-Mailing please put Yesteryear Families in the Subject line. Please include in the query, your name and postal address as someone reading the newspaper, may have information to share with you but not have access to E-mail. Queries should be no more than 45 words in length.

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