Policy on Genealogical Research
Any request that is made without the purpose of being a certificate made for an upcoming sacrament, becoming a member of another parish or for personal use for your own sacramental records, will be considered a genealogical research request.
Access to Sacramental Records
Taken from the Diocese of Gaylord Standard Operating Procedures
Sacramental records are of a mixed nature: private and public. They are private in that they were created in circumstances presumed to be private and confidential. They are public in that they will stand in civil law as valid and authentic evidence when an appropriate civil record does not exist. They are not “public” in the sense that they are open to immediate examination and inspection by anyone for whatever reason.
All persons have the right to be furnished with an authenticated certificate of their own sacramental records.
The passage of time has a critical effect on the sensitivity of all records. As current events become historical events, the need for withholding them from use is reduced and, in some cases, may eventually disappear entirely. For this reason, older records may be made more broadly available to researchers, whereas recent records are more restricted from use.
Another effect of time on the sacramental records is the condition of the registers. Frequent use and poor handling of the registers has created broken bindings, loose pages, torn pages, brittle paper and sometimes illegible handwriting. These old registers need to be handled with care.
Since the Archives of the Diocese does contain the sacramental records of the parishes of this diocese on microfilm, access to the records is limited and restricted to the parish offices. Those seeking information from sacramental records will not have unlimited or free access to the records. Access to these records is limited because of factors indicated above and also for confidentiality.
For All Sacramental Record Requests for Genealogical Purposes
We are sorry but we cannot accept genealogy requests at this time. There simply is not enough staff to fulfill these requests, as parishes all over have experienced staff reductions. Although we do have records, genealogical research cannot be our priority. Until a new policy is adopted throughout our diocese, we are no longer able to accept requests.
You may contact the Archive Office at our diocese for records that are over 100 years old. There is a form that you can access below to submit your requests to the diocese. However, they have experienced a large increase of requests, so your request may not be fulfilled for a while.
Releasing records that are under 100 years old poses a confidentially conflict, as these individuals may still be surviving.