Finding Catholic Parishes

Hints for trying to locate a parish by an ancestors address:

If you type an address into 
it will bring up a yahoo map which
usually shows you the block and cross streets for your location. 
Then, using The Brooklyn Information Page at

you can search under WORSHIP  for a printable map indicating the
location of the various Brooklyn parishes. There is also a list of
Catholic parishes and the dates of there founding, important in your
research. Addresses are included. Send a donation when you ask for a
record and don't ask for too many at once. I usually send $20 a look up.

Most of the building numbers have remained the same, but streets have
changed in some cases. For instance, Berry Street was Third Street in
Williamsburg until it became too confused with Third Street in Carroll
Gardens. Don't know the date of change. Debevoise Street disappeared.
Some streets got lost when large urban "renewal" projects cleared the
tenements to make way for shopping malls and other improvements. Also,
the bridges took out streets.

The Brooklyn Information site has old MAPS which will help with the
geography of Kings County in whatever time period is your interest.
Also, there are excellent maps included in the films of old city

With patience, you can collect most of the sacramental records for your
people. I have baptismal records for 1854 from St. Peter's Barclay
Street in NY County, but I'm sure there are plenty much older.

If you can get someone on the telephone, you can call Joseph Coen of the
Joseph Coen..Archivist for the Archdiocese of Brooklyn
Brooklyn Diocesan Archives located in Douglaston I believe, the number
is on the Brooklyn Page. He will help with locating the church for your
ancestor. But it is better to do it yourself because there are usually a
couple of possibilities. Also, peole were not as rigid about where they
worshipped. If you liked a priest in a neighboring parish, you might go
to church there and no one would object.

Sheila MacAvoy Block
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