Black Catholic History Month: Preserving St Augustine’s Documents

Okay, the headline takes some liberty: we’re talking about saving Catholic records in  St Augustine, Florida, America’s oldest city. But before we get to that, let’s understand why we’re covering this during Black Catholic History Month (not that it wouldn’t always be of interest to those interested in Catholic history generally). In a number of communities around America you will …Continue reading →


Black Catholic History Month:First Black Priest in the USA? A Third Contender

Last week I wrote about the question of the first black Catholic priest in America.  I said the answer to that question depended upon who you asked.  I now know that the answer to the question depends upon how the you ask the question!  This is because there has emerged yet a third contender for “first black priest”. First a …Continue reading →


Black Catholic History Month: The Catholics in My Families

The number of black Catholics in the United States is small.  I know this both anecdotally and empirically.   I  was probably a teenager before I met another black Catholic family.   My parents, each for their own reasons,  converted to Catholicism as teenagers.   They did not know each other at the times of their conversions. My mother was raised as the …Continue reading →


Black Catholic History Month:Catholic Slaves in Maryland

Michael Hait picks up the story at the Examiner:


Black Catholic History Month: The First African-American Priest

In recognition of Black Catholic Hisotry Month, we reprise a popular post from 2008. Originally Published at GeneaBlogie on Tuesday, February 12, 2008. Who was the first African-American Catholic Priest? The answer is . . . it depends on who you ask. And sometimes the same person will give two different answers! The contenders are Father James Healy (1830-1900), ordained …Continue reading →


Black Catholic History Month: Gunsmoke & Catholic Genealogy

Originally appeared on Monday, November 13, 2006 at GeneaBlogie Updated: photo added; some dates corrected An almost sinful obsession of mine after genealogy is watching Gunsmoke [TVLand, most weekends; also early mornings during the week; check local listings (Update~11/04/09: Gunsmoke is not currently running on TVLand)]. Some weekends, it seems as if the time passes and little gets done except …Continue reading →


Black Catholic History Month

I’ll admit that I had forgotten that November is Black Catholic History Month!  A reminder from Miriam on her monthly events calendar got my attention.  Which goes to show the value of a diverse genea-blogger community: as I recall, Miriam grew up in a Salvation Army household. And to make matters more embarrassing for me, today, November 3, is the …Continue reading →


A Texas Uncle Keeps On Driving

My great-uncle Herman Walker was born in 1906 in Taft, San Patricio County, Texas.   His parents were Hattie Bryant (1888-1944) and Toby Walker (1878-?). He graduated from high school in Rockport, Texas and then attended Paul Quinn College, which was then located in Waco, Texas. He later moved to Houston where he was the chef at the renowned Ye Olde …Continue reading →


Catholics, Mormons at Odds Over Genealogical Records?

Well, a day has come that I hoped would not. Kimberly Powell reports that the Vatican has ordered Catholic dioceses not to allow access to their records for microfilming or digitizing. Here are my sudden and unorganized thoughts: As both of my regular readers know, I am a Catholic, and there are a number of Catholics in the GeneaBlogosphere, including …Continue reading →


Black Catholics In America: Who Was The First African-American Priest?

The answer is . . . it depends on who you ask. And sometimes the same person will give two different answers! The contenders are Father James Healy (1830-1900), ordained 1854; and Father Augustine Tolton (1854-1897), ordained 1886. The simple genealogical data would seem conclusive: James Healy was the first African-American priest. But it’s not quite that simple. The 1830 …Continue reading →

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