In addition to sacramental registers, the family researcher may be interested in viewing our collection of city directories, parish histories, and 19th century newspapers for clues to their family history.

CHRC has almost an entire run of The Catholic Standard and Times. Although obituaries are normally printed in secular newspapers, diocesan newspapers do contain a limited number. (The Free Library of Philadelphia and The Historical Society of Pennsylvania have a number of secular newspapers in their collections.)

Another useful source for discovering the flavor of the world our ancestors lived in is our extensive collection of parish histories. Often written by parishioners to commemorate a parish jubilee, these works offer much to the person attempting to paint a fuller picture of their 18th and 19th century forebears. Please note that parish histories do not include a listing of parishioners, but occasionally they do contain lists of contributors to various campaigns.

CHRC has Philadelphia city directories from 1822-1916 with some gaps mostly in the early years. These are useful in establishing a family’s residence, and thus their correct parish church. Each directory lists the resident’s name, address, and occupation. A complete run of city directories from 1785-1930 can be found at: the Philadelphia City Archives, the Free Library of Philadelphia, and The Historical Society of Pennsylvania.

Philadelphia city directories from 1785-1867 are also now available ONLINE!