Armenian Catholic Church in the United States
History in the United States[edit | edit source]
Presently, around 1.5 million Armenians live in North America, of which 35,000 belong to the Armenian Catholic Church.
In the 19th century Catholic Armenians from Western Armenia, mainly from the towns and cities of Karin (Erzurum), Constantinople, Mardin etc., came to the United States seeking employment. At the end of the same century, many survivors of the Hamidian Massacres had concentrated in several U.S. cities, chiefly in New York. Catholic Armenian communities were also founded in New Jersey, Boston, Detroit, Los Angeles, and other cities of California.
Many Armenians came to the United States and Canada from the Middle Eastern countries of Lebanon and Syria in the 1970s and in later years. Also many Armenians immigrated from Argentina, because of the economic crisis. At the same time, many Catholic Armenians inside the United States moved to San Francisco, San Diego, Chicago, Washington D.C., Atlanta, Miami and Indianapolis.
In 2005, by Pope Benedict XVI's decision, the Catholic Exarchate of the USA and Canada was advanced to the status of a diocese. It serviced 35,000 Catholic Armenians in the United States and some 10,000 in Canada. According to a Monday, May 23, 2011 news release by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Pope Benedict XVI, named Archpriest Mikaël Antoine Mouradian, superior of the Convent of Notre Dame in Bzommar, Lebanon, as the new bishop of the Eparchy of Our Lady of Nareg in New York for Armenian Catholics. Source: Wikipedia In 2012, the name was changed to the Armenian Catholic Eparchy of Our Lady of Nareg in the United States of America and Canada and headquarters are now located in Glendale, California. The eparchy has also been known as Eparchy of Our Lady of Nareg in Glendale. Source: Wikipedia
Finding Records[edit | edit source]
Correspond with or visit the actual churches.[edit | edit source]
Some records are still held in the local churches. Contact the current minister to find out what records are still available.
- Make an appointment to look at the records. Or ask the minister of the church to make a copy of the record for you.
- To find church staff available, you might have to visit on Sunday.
- Ask for small searches at a time, such as one birth record or a specific marriage. Never ask for "everything on a family or surname".
- A donation ($25-$40) for their time and effort to help you would be appropriate.
- If the church has a website, you may be able to e-mail a message.
- See the Letter Writing Guide for Genealogy for help with composing letters.
Eparchy[edit | edit source]
Armenian Catholic Eparchy
Saint Gregory the Illuminator Cathedral
1510 East Mountain Street
Glendale, CA 91207
Phone: 1 818 243 8400
Fax: 1 818 243 0095
Information in the Records[edit | edit source]
- Baptism records: includes date of baptism and birth, parents names including the mother's maiden name, parish where the family is residing, legitimacy of the child, godparents names.
- Confirmation records: in most cases about the age of 13 or 14, but also known to be at the age of 7.
- Marriage records: includes date and place of marriage, names of the bride and groom, names of both sets of parents, including the mother's maiden name.
- Death and burial records: includes name of the deceased and date of death and burial. Often includes the names of surviving spouse or parents, cause of death and age at death.
- Cemetery records: includes name of deceased, date of death, burial date and place, sometimes age and cause of death. These are kept at the diocese level archives.
Carefully compare any record you find to known facts about the ancestor[edit | edit source]
You will possibly find many different people with the same name as your ancestor, especially when a family stayed in a locality for several generations, and several children were named after the grandparents or aunts and uncles. Be prepared to find the correct church records by gathering in advance as many of these exact details about the ancestor as possible:
- name, including middle name and maiden name
- names of all spouses, including middle and maiden name
- exact or closely estimated dates of birth, marriage, and death
- names and approximate birthdates of children
- all known places of residence
- military service details
Carefully evaluate the church records you find to make sure you have really found records for your ancestor and not just a "near match". If one or more of the details do not line up, be careful about accepting the entry as your ancestor. There are guiding principles for deciding how to resolve discrepancies between records that are seemingly close. For more instruction in evaluating evidence, read the Wiki article, Evaluate the Evidence.