Tuesday 11 January 2022

MA, Catholic Cemetery Association Records, 1833-1940 digitisation completed

The New England Historic Genealogical Society has completed its two-year project to digitise the Massachusetts: Catholic Cemetery Association Records, 1833-1940 collection, which is now available to search and view on AmericanAncestors.org. The database has been created in partnership with the Catholic Cemetery Association of the Archdiocese of Boston (CCA).

Click to view sample page from St Mary (Beverly) Lot Sales & Interments

A final upload of 177,000 indexed records and images from 34 volumes came from four cemeteries: North Cambridge Catholic (Cambridge), St. Mary (Lynn), St. Mary (Salem) and St. Patrick (Watertown).

The 706,555 records in the completed database are primarily lot sales and interments, and may include information about lot owners, date of burial and location of burial.

Some of the people represented in these written records may not have purchased a grave marker or their marker may have eroded with time, making this collection essential for research into Catholic burials in the region. It is particularly fruitful for those with Irish emigrants, and must rank as one of the most important collections for Irish family historians to turn to for records of their ancestors.

In addition to the searchable database, maps of each cemetery are now available to help esearchers locate burial plots. Where possible, maps include sections, ranges and in some cases narrative description of how headstones are arranged by row and lot number. Also included are points of interest such as entrances, exits, flag poles, monuments, offices and spigots. Special sections for the burials of infants, priests and religious are also noted. Links to the cemetery maps can be found in the Database Description.

If you have a free Guest membership to AmericanAncestors.org you can browse the images and search the index, but you need an individual or above (paid) membership to search the index and view linked images.

A how-to video is available via the link above; it provides instructions for navigating the database and using the cemetery maps.