Friday, January 18, 2013

New Orleans & Annie: Just What is Available?

The Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis serves a...
The Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis serves as mother church of the Archdiocese of New Orleans (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Okay, in my last post I mentioned I needed to find Annie's address in order to order her church marriage record from the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New Orleans' Archives.

And I mentioned that I'd already looked - albeit half-heartedly and really I'd been looking for Daniel at the time - in's database at the New Orleans City Directories.

And it was suggested by Randy Seaver in the comments {Thank you, Randy! =) } that I should look at's city directories.

And then it was suggested by Donna that I shouldn't need the address because I have the name of the priest and that's what they'd need the address for - to determine the parish/church. Thanks, Donna!

And then Finn looked in the database and found a newspaper mention of a Father Gleason, a Deacon, who had presided of a Father Duffy's funeral in September of 1874 at St. Alphonsus Church in New Orleans, but wasn't sure if a deacon could preside over a marriage in the Catholic church. Thanks Finn!

And then Jennifer mentioned that a deacon can preside over a Catholic wedding nowadays, but wasn't sure if that was true in 1874. Also, Jennifer mentioned using the city directories to get a listing of the Catholic churches in 1874. Thanks Jennifer!

And? All of them were excellent suggestions, and I greatly appreciate their input. =)

However, I was suggesting - and obviously I didn't do it very well - that I needed to get a better idea of what's available for city directories {and other information} for New Orleans for the time period. I know from previous research that there can be multiple publishings of city directories by multiple publishers for any given year for a city, and in my last post, I was hinting at needing to take a step back and getting a lay of the land on the city directories {not to mention for Catholic records}.

Are there multiple city directories for NOLA for this time period? Where do I find a listing of them all that either once existed or still exist?

While I could go and renew my subscription, how do I know if they have all the directories from all the publishers? While it's a different database, only has 1 publisher's city directory for that time period - the one published by Sourd. And I can't tell just by glancing at their title, what includes.

And, Donna is correct. Pick up the phone and call or email. But? Maybe I'm reading too much into their long and detailed page for genealogists, but I get the impression they mean business with their rules. And while some archives have it all together, some don't. Remember my post about Brother Ed? I'm looking for the info but they're busy and I haven't looked under every rock on the Internet or in my vicinity yet, IMO. {I was extremely kind and generous in my telling of my experience over the phone with Brother Ed in San Antonio. To my simple, polite, and direct inquiry - not demand - he was rather rude. However, he might have been having a bad day.}

And I do have a subscription, but as I'm writing these blog posts, I'm performing the search, so I hadn't looked there yet for this particular information. However, we can't assume it's the same Rev. Gleason and we can't assume that was his parish. Probably, possibly, or maybe, but who knows? But a very, very good clue. Thank you for looking, Finn.

And Jennifer, you are correct. One good place to look for a listing of churches would be the city directories. {As a side note, I had looked in Sourd's city directory under the occupation of 'carpenter' for Daniel because in Galveston - where they are living after their marriage - Daniel had been a carpenter.} I've also used city directories for looking at businesses and such for other research problems. Thanks, Jennifer!

But? As I mentioned up above, I was - in my mind - thinking I needed to pause and take a survey of what's available to me for the city of New Orleans. I live near Clayton Library Center for Genealogical Research in Houston, Texas, and since New Orleans is only 7 hours away and is in the state next to me, it would behoove me to check out what Clayton might have for this problem.

Also, I checked the New Orleans main public library's website as suggested by the Archdiocese of New Orleans' website to see if it listed not only years, but publishers of what they had and to see if they did look-ups. They have years but not publishers and they do look-ups. So I need to contact them.

And I checked's online digital records - no city directories have been digitized, but they have quite a few directories for NOLA for the time period on microfilm listed in their catalog. And? There are different publishers for the time period I'm looking for. They have Sourd's, which is what has. But for the time period I'm looking at, they have Edwards' Annual Directory of the Inhabitants of New Orleans and then they have one published by an outfit in Connecticut in the 1980s that seems to include many, many years, but who was the original publisher of those directories? Is it all of the directories? If I were a betting woman, I'd bet that what they have is exactly what the NOLA public library has. But for all of them, each year is on a different roll. At $7.50 per roll and several years and possibly 2 publishers, that's going to get expensive. {Especially since I saved myself from meeting the contrary and definitely overworked and exasperated-sounding Brother Ed at the San Antonio Archdiocese Archives by ordering the films I needed from FHL concerning St. Mary's Catholic Church in San Antonio. I already have $30 worth of rental films coming my way. =) }

So then I checked to see what Clayton had on microfilm. They definitely have some city directories for NOLA, but I can't tell which ones online. So then I checked their online catalog. What kind of books do they have for Orleans Parish, Louisiana? Books, of course, usually mean indices and not copies of originals, but, you know, I'm looking to see what and where everything is before deciding which avenue is the best to take for me considering, well, everything {including over-worked and under-funded archives}.

And they have some books covering city directories. But? Lo and behold, they had 10 volumes entitled Sacramental Records of the Roman Catholic Church of the Archdiocese of New Orleans from the Archives of the Archdiocese of New Orleans. What does it have in it exactly? I dunno. Is it just indexed info of what the archives has? I dunno. If it is just indexed info, which info did they include? I dunno. Is it transcriptions? I dunno. Does it include 1874? It has a list of years included, but 1874 isn't listed. But I need to double check it. Could be wrong or incomplete.

But I'm going to found out what's in those 10 volumes of Roman Catholic NOLA awesomeness. I'm going to see what info they contain as well as what publishers Clayton includes in their microfilm and book offerings for NOLA city directories because I want their marriage record, but I want Annie's address too. I've been to NOLA several times, and I've been tempted to take one of the tours that takes you to the area where Irish immigrants lived back then {or I could just save the money and drive down the street myself}, but it's always bothered me not knowing where Annie lived exactly. I wanna know what I'm looking at when I go and see. 

{And I need to go to Clayton anyway.}

But I want their marriage record as well to see if it gives me any more clues as to who Annie was and who her parents were. I wanna see if the info on their church marriage record matches the info I found on Daniel and Annie's returned marriage license. Did Rev. Gleason accidentally write down married names for their mothers, or is that what was on their church marriage record as well? What other info could be on there? Quite a bit or not much more?

But when I contact the archives and maybe the library for the info, I want to make sure I have as much info as possible so that it's easier on them as well.


Note: If you have some recommendations of places to look for those Louisiana records or any others, please let me know in comments below. However, please refrain from doing the actual research yourself. I know it's tempting and I appreciate the gesture, but I'd like to do it myself unless it's totally impossible for me to do it. Thanks! ~C

Other blog posts relating to my DAR and EUL application research:
Family Stories: DAR or Bust
Family Stories: Loyalist + Patriot = ?
Family Stories: Boo's Baptismal Records Came In! 
A Baby Boy
He Had Salt Water in His Veins
I Knew it Genevieve
Viola "Vyla" Prudence Vaughan Sproul Clifton Brandenburg
Stories Within the Old Lighthouse
James Wesley Blacketer's Story Continues...
DAR, Some Secrets, Brother Ed, and the Mayans
Collaborative Genealogy Works
Annie, I'm One Step Closer to Finding You
Annie and the Archdiocese of New Orleans

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  1. Caroline, in looking at the marriage index record on FamilySearch, I see that it was extracted from some source that is on film # 903951. I live in Salt Lake and I would be glad to take a trip to the FHL and check it out and see what that source looks like. Give a couple of days and I will let you know.

  2. Finn, I appreaciate it! Thank you. Let me get to Clayton and see what they have exactly and then I'll go from there. I have to go anyway so not a hardship. But I REALLY, REALLY appreciate your AWESOME generosity! =)


  3. I've sometimes been successful finding city directories on that I haven't found elsewhere. It's very hit or miss, and sometimes they're incomplete, but at least once had a directory by a publisher I hadn't seen before that contained very relevant information that I hadn't found in other contemporary directories.

  4. Thanks, Kathleen! I appreciate the input. I'll have a look-see there to see if what they have is something different that's not already at the NOLA library, the FHL, or my genealogy library. =)


  5. Oh, why didn't I think of those sacramental records books? They should have pretty good info. Most of my family comes from southwest Louisiana, so I haven't used them a whole lot, but I do have two source citations from them in my old Family Tree Maker database. Mine are both for baptisms. It looks like the church name is abbreviated at the end of the entry, as well as the volume and page number. That should help the archivist out. Good luck!

    1. Jennifer,

      I can't wait to look at them! And that's why I wanted to take step back from it all and review just where I could look. So we'll see what we can see! =)


  6. Whew! So many things are dazzling about this search to me. This is a quest to separate the veteran researchers from those (like me) who are still feeling our way. First, the phenomenon of the group effort, with 4 obviously experienced suggesters! Second, the entire concept of multiple publishers of city directories. Shades of endless pursuits! Third, checking out Clayton, with all the accompanying hypotheses of what might or might not be found there. I'm dizzy thinking of all the possibilities.

    And I'm glad you could sidestep Brother Ed. That's another hazard for genealogists (and an experience I already share)--people who are cantankerous over the phone. Sigh. Good luck!!!!!

  7. Caroline,

    On the website up near the top under the words, "Discover Your Family History" are the words "Records Genealogies Catalog Books." Click on Books and it will take you to books site.

    On this site you can narrow your search to only those books that are in the Clayton Library Center collection that have been digitized.

    You might get lucky and find some of the books that you are looking for.


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