Monday, 4 August 2014

Keep the Faith

When I was quite young, not yet in my teens, my friend asked me to her house to meet her aunt, visiting from Cleveland.  She was a nun. I had never thought of nuns being a part of anyone's family, nor had I ever met one. I was disappointed that she wasn't wearing a habit, she just looked like anyone else's aunt to me.

The first time a saw a religious person not at my church dressed in the trappings of his faith, was a good friend of my grandparents who was a Franciscan Friar in Montreal. My first thought was - he looked like Friar Tuck! Another time I saw a religious person outside the church, was when I was a Ranger (GGC) we had a weekend conference at a retreat. I was exploring the building and entered a room to find an old priest praying and meditating. I was a bit embarrassed to be barging in, but he was kind and invited me in to chat about what we were doing there. I was 15 and only wanted to get back to my friends to tell them what I saw.  Sigh.  If only we could go back and redo some moments that are lost to us forever.

My grandfathers family were Methodists and belonged to the Salvation Army in Montreal. My great grandmother was a Major, and my great-grandfather was in the Citadel Band, along with my grandfather and his brother. I didn't know anything about this until after my grandparents had died and I found this 1907 newspaper clipping of the band. My grandfather quit them when he came back from WWI.  I am still searching for information on them being in the Salvation Army.

My husband's aunt was a nun with the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary.  I took a shot at emailing the order with what information I had (parents names and birth date) and received a reply that my request was being sent to the archivist.  The sister at the archives sent me a very nice email with all the information and dates they had on Sister Thérèse Joséphine. With that info I made this Memory Card for her.

There are many publications from churches, local and global, that may contain the names of your ancestors.  They not only name the religious leaders, but some give lists of the church members, donations made for building perhaps, ministers that died the previous year, etc... I have listed some of these publications below. 

To look for mention of your ancestor, go to Internet Archive and search "year book church", "centenary Church", "[state] church", "[religion] church [town]" - get creative!

Relevant Links:

Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary in the Northwest: 1859-1909

The Grey Nuns in the Far North - 1867-1917

The English Franciscan Nuns 1619-1821 : Friars Minor of same Province 1618-1761

Catholic Record Society - Nuns of London 1914

Roman Catholic Religious Sisters and Nuns by Order


Toland's History of the Druids

Canadian Methodist Ministers

Bygone church life in Scotland

Ecclesiastical Chronicle for Scotland, with catalogue of Scottish Bishops

The English Church and it's Bishops 1700-1800 Vol 1

The English Church and it's Bishops 1700-1800 Vol 2

A Roll of Honour: Irish prelates and priests of the Last Century - 1905

The Irish Priests in the Penal Times (1660-1760) 

Irish Catholic Directory 1900

Love Letters of a Priest (abt 1912) Australia

Bahai Revelation 1913

Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, in the Chinese literary language 1902

Records of Romsey abbey: the Benedictine house of nuns, (A.D. 907-1558)– 1906

Presbyterian Year Book and Almanac - Dominion of Canada and Newfoundland 1875

The Methodist Year Book - USA (several years)

Methodist Church - Clergy: A gallery of distinguished men.

Church Year Book, history and Directory of Stoney Creek (1776), Shiloh (1913), Burlington Second (1913) Presbyterian Churches, May 1933 (NC)

Year Book Trinity Church 1922, Woodbridge, NJ

Year Book St Andrew's Church, Ann Arbor, MI 1891

Year Book to the Salvation Army, Detroit, MI 1971-1972

The Church of Scotland Year Book 1885

The Official Year Book of the Church of England (a few years)

Year Book of the First Mennonite Church of Berne, Indiana (several years)

Directory and Year Book: Graves Memorial Presbyterian Church, NC 1929

Year Book, Woman's Foreign Missionary Society, Methodist Episcopal Church (1888+)

The old non-parochial registers of Dudley : comprising those of the Society of Friends, the Old Meeting House, the Independents, the Wesleyan Methodists, the Baptists, and the Methodist new connexion. 1899

An alphabetical arrangement of all the Wesleyan Methodist ministers and preachers on trail in connexion with the British and Irish Conferences; also, a list of the presidents of the Conference from 1791to 1892; and an alphabetical list of the ministers who have died in the work

St. George's Parish Church, St. Catharines, ON - jubilee celebration 1892

The Story of St. Paul's parish, Toronto - 1922

Saint John Methodism and history of Centenary Methodist Church St. John, NB 1890 

The American Church Almanac and Year Book 1911

The Lutheran almanac for the year of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ 1870

The Canadian Catholic directory and ecclesiastical register 1904

Ireland - Catholic Directory, almanac and registry for 1853

Catholic Order of Foresters - Montreal Souvenir Book 1892

Protestant Episcopal almanac and church directory - US 1875

Year Book and Membership, First Presbyterian Church Plymouth,PA 1907

West Grove Monthly Meeting (Wayne Co., Ind) Membership 1843

Liste chronologique des évêques et des prêtres, tant séculiers que réguliers, employés au service de l'Église du Canada depuis l'établissement de ce pays; et aussi la liste des évêques des autres possessions britanniques de l'Amérique du Nord. - 1834 /
(Chronological List of bishops and priests, both secular and regular, employed in the service of the Church in Canada since the establishment of that country; and also the list of bishops of the other British possessions in North America. - 1834)

Genesis of Churches in the United States, Newfoundland, and Canada - 1907

Canadian Congregational Church 1910-11 - names of contributors and also graduates of the congregational college.

List of Deacons Ordained in the Protestant Episcopal Church 1785-1857

The 23rd Annual Report of the Newfoundland Church Society 1864

1st report of the Wesleyan Home Mission and Contingent Fund, South Australia 1867

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