Sunday, March 24, 2013

Church Record Sunday Meets Women's History Month: Researching the Catholic Nun in Your Family

Resources for Researching Your Female Ancestor, Day # 24

SMU Central University Libraries. From Flickr The Commons,

Do you have someone in your family tree that was a Catholic nun? The following are some links you may be interested in:

Researching Irish Catholic Nuns via Family Tree Magazine

Index of Catholic Nuns 1598-1914 via The Society of Genealogists

The Importance of Women Religious in the Family via Journey Home Genealogy. Irish Genealogy Research

Catholic Nuns Message Board on

Cyndi's List: Catholic

As you research, remember to consider sources such as ArchiveGrid, NUCMC, WorldCat, and JSTOR

4 comments: said...

Thank you, thank you so much for these links. I have so many in my family's history and so many lately in clients' work. There is a definite lack on how to research the Catholic religious.


Gena Philibert-Ortega said...


Thank you for reading my blog! I hope those links help. I would be interested in other resources you have found for researching Catholic nuns.

Thanks for stopping by and commenting.


Kathryn said...

Gena, thanks for posting these! I had some incredible luck with researching an ancestor that was in the Sisters of Charity. Her father's will mentioned that she was in the order, so I took a guess and contacted the closest group to her which was in Cincinnati. Their website had a contact for their archives, so I used that. It's definitely worth a try if you know the order.

They responded via email with her religious name, some information about her life and a picture! With the religious name, I was able to trace her in the census and find a death certificate listing both of her parents. The census entries varied greatly. Some had her religious name and one had her given last name, followed by her religious name. I posted about it here:


Gena Philibert-Ortega said...

Hi Kathryn,

Thanks for sharing your blog post and your experience. It's always nice to hear of a success!