How To Locate Sacramental Records

Finding Sacramental Records in the Diocese of Owensboro 

Getting Started

Think about the sacramental record you are researching. Do you know the name of the parish where the sacrament took place? If you don’t know the name of the parish, do you know the name of the town? Or the county? Knowing at least one of these details will help in narrowing down the potential location of the record.

Accessing the Record

Once you have identified the record and its  (opens in a new location, ask yourself: Do I have access to this information?

The Diocese of Owensboro’s Sacramental Records Access Policy currently allows public access to information contained in sacramental records created 72 or more years ago.  Access to information contained in sacramental records created less than 72 years ago is restricted to:

  • the individual(s) named in the record as having received the sacrament
  • the clergy or his delegate involved in canonical procedures
  • the parents (if the individual is a minor)
  • government agencies who present a signed release from the individual(s) whose record is requested

As of January 1, 2019, public access to sacramental records is unrestricted to those created in the year 1947 and before. Sacramental records created in the year 1948 to the present are still restricted to the individuals and agencies listed above.

Below is a schedule of release dates for sacramental records from January 1, 2019 through January 1, 2025.

Release Schedule (2019-2025)

Calendar Date                     Records Available                Restricted Records

January 1, 2019                    1947 and before                   1948 to the present
January 1, 2020                    1948 and before                   1949 to the present
January 1, 2021                    1949 and before                   1950 to the present
January 1, 2022                    1950 and before                   1951 to the present
January 1, 2023                    1951 and before                   1952 to the present
January 1, 2024                    1952 and before                   1953 to the present
January 1, 2025                    1953 and before                   1954 to the present

Think about the dates of the record you are seeking. Was this record created 72 or more years ago? If yes, contact the parish or diocesan archives (whichever has the original sacramental register) to look for the record. Provide as much relevant information as possible such as the full name, including maiden name, of the person who received the sacrament, the year the sacrament took place, other dates (e.g., birth date, death date, marriage date), and the names of sponsors, parents, or spouses as applicable.

What if the record was created less than 72 years ago? In this case, there are restrictions on public access. The question to ask yourself is this: are you one of the individuals who can access the restricted record per the Sacramental Records Access Policy? If yes, send a request for information from the the record to the parish or the diocesan archives (whichever has the original sacramental register). This request must be made in writing and signed by an authorized party. Once your right to access the record has been determined, the parish representative or diocesan archivist will provide a letter with the information transcribed from the original as it appears in the record and affirm its authenticity. If no, you will have to wait for the restrictions on the record to be lifted.