The Archives of The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Washington is the official institutional repository of Archdiocesan records. These include the papers of the Archbishops of Washington, the records of the offices of the Archdiocese, the history of its parishes, and historical documents and objects. The records in the Archives date primarily from the 1930s forward but there are some significant items that date back to the eighteen and nineteenth centuries.
Please read the information below carefully.
Sacramental and Funeral Records
All records of Baptism, First Holy Communion, Confirmation and Marriage are kept at the parish at which the sacrament was administered. The Archives does not have copies of these records. Please contact the parish directly to be issued new certificates. If you are not sure where a sacrament took place, the Archives may be able to assist you in compiling a list of possible parishes to contact. A full list of all ADW parishes are located here: Directory – Archdiocese of Washington.
*Please note that in 2015 St. Aloysius Parish in Washington D.C. merged with Holy Redeemer Parish located at 206 New York Ave NW, Washington, D.C. 20001. All sacramental records from St. Aloysius are now housed at Holy Redeemer.
Records of sacraments administered on United States military bases, even those located within The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Washington, are maintained by the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA.
Certificate of Ordination
Priests and deacons ordained for The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Washington as well as religious order priests and deacons ordained within the archdiocese, who need certification of their ordination, should request the information from the Secretariat for Ministerial Leadership: Apply for Faculties – Archdiocese of Washington.
Funeral records may note the site of burial. Otherwise, all burial records are kept at the individual cemetery office. Please check with the Catholic Cemeteries of the Archdiocese of Washington.
School Records – Transcripts and Diplomas
Please contact the school for your records. If you attended a Catholic school located in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Washington that has closed or merged with another school, please consult this listing to find where your records are located: School Transcripts – Archdiocese of Washington Catholic Schools.
Sacramental Records for genealogical research are available from the parishes of the Archdiocese through a similar process for those requesting current sacramental records. You must provide names, dates and other identifying information for your search to be completed. Please note that parish staff will not do your genealogy for you nor trace family names through registers. Parishes are not obligated to fill genealogical requests and do so only as staff time allows. Registers are not open for research or public viewing. Each parish has its own requirements for these types of requests. Please contact the parish and follow their instructions. If you are unsure where the records you are looking for may be, please contact the Archives for assistance.
Visiting the Archives
The Archives of The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Washington is open by appointment only. If you wish to visit the Archives, please send an email with a detailed description of your research and the records you wish to consult.