This week, the New England Historic Genealogical Society database, American Ancestors introduced a new browsable image record set from the Roman Catholic Parishes of Saint Mary in Lawrence, Saint James in Haverhill and Saint Peter in Lowell. The dataset consists of scanned parish records books from 1849-1900 and represents a significant addition to the Merrimack Valley content in the NEHGS Boston Archdioces Records Project. Genealogists, historians and other researchers consider Baptism, Confirmation, Marriage, Last Rites and cemetery log books to be valuable research tools. They record important moments in the lives of the individuals, families, and communities during the second half of the nineteenth century which was a transformative time for the footprint of the Catholic Church in North America. It's important to point out that prior to 1852, Andover Catholics travelled to Lawrence to attend church. A series of insufficiently small chapels were built on Central and Essex Street before Saint Augustine's was finally opened and dedicated in 1883. It's very likely that researchers looking for information about 19th century Andover Catholics will find relevant vital information in these records. Memorial Hall Library provides on-site access to the American Ancestors database and reference librarians are available to demonstrate how to explore the sacremental records from these large, urban parishes. We also recommend that you watch this brief video: How to Find Records from the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston 1789-1900. For more information, contact the Local History Librarian at email@example.com.
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