Policy on Genealogical Research

Any request that is made without the purpose of being a certificate made for an upcoming sacrament, joining another parish or for personal use of the requester (i.e. asking for a sacramental certificate for yourself) – will be considered a genealogical research request.

Access to Sacramental Records

Taken from 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 at this time we cannot accept requests.  With staff cutbacks that parishes have been experiencing all over, there simply is not enough staff to fulfill the requests.  [Yes, we do have records, however – genealogical research is not our priority].  And until a new policy is adopted throughout our diocese, we are no longer able to accept requests.

The Diocese has an Archive office, with records that are over 100 years old, that you could contact.  There is a form to submit your requests online (www.dioceseofgaylord.org).  But they have experienced a large increase of requests, so we have no idea when your request will be addressed.

Records that are under 100 years  . . . releasing these records poses a confidentially conflict as these individuals may still be surviving.

Diocesan Archival Research Request Form