The most important piece of information needed to do genealogy research is the name of the parish where the sacrament was conferred. There is no central database that we can search by a person’s name alone.
The Archives Office has the sacramental registers only from closed parishes. Open or merged parishes retain their own records. Parishes are not obligated to do research for genealogists.
Genealogical research is done by request. The fee is $10. Outside researchers may not handle historical materials. As with other records, the Archives Office retains only documents of closed parishes and facilities. All others are held within the parishes.
Genealogical research may be done in the name of deceased individuals only to 1930, although no certificates are issued. The Burton Historical Collection at the Detroit Public Library Main Branch, 5201 Woodward Ave., holds many duplicated sacramental registers. Contact the library office for more information.
The Archives Office does not maintain the records of any orphanages or similar child care institutions. These are the responsibility of the institution itself, if it still exists, or the religious order that administered the facility in the past. The Archives Office can provide interested researchers with the address of the religious provincialate or motherhouse where they may write for further information.
In the case of sacramental records that may concern an adoption, the Archives Office cannot reveal the names of biological parents. No certificate or other communication issued by either the Archives Office or any individual parish will contain this information. The Archdiocese of Detroit adheres to state guidelines that give priority to the privacy rights of the natural parents.
The Archives Office does not have information on former teachers or employees of Catholic Schools. Please contact the Catholic Schools office for information.