​Resources​​​ for Genealogists

Family historians are frequent users of ARCAT. 

While ARCAT staff does not conduct genealogical research on behalf of individuals, we welcome all researchers who are tracking their ancestors through Catholic church records.

Parish ​​Registers

Researchers may access microfilmed and digitized parish registers up until the year 1911.  Available sacramental records for this time period are mainly Baptism​s and Marriages, however some registers also list First Communion, Confirmation and Deaths.  Please see ouParish ​​Registers​​page for more information.

To determine which parish holds the earliest records for an area, please see this Master List of Parishes and Churches.

To decipher place names which have changed over time, see our Index of Town and Place Names in the Archdiocese of Toronto​.

Cemetery​​ & Burial Records​

  • St. Michael's Cemetery, Toronto: microfilm copies of the burial registers of St. Michael's Cemetery, 1855 to 1985. We also have a 1932 plot map. 
  • St. Paul's Cemetery: microfilm copies of the burial register of St. Paul's Cemetery 1849 to 1857.​ This register book is also available online through FamilySearch. 
  • Elmbank Cemetery (a.k.a. Toronto Township Cemetery #29, Gore Cemetery, 5th Line Cemetery): 
    • This cemetery was formerly located within the confines of Pe​arson International Airport and relocated to Assumption Cemetery, Brampton in 2001. View photos and transcriptions of the headstones at www.archtoronto.org/elmbank​
  • Rural parish cemeteries: ​ Burial re​cords - if they exist - are usually kept by the parish that administers the cemetery. We do not have duplicate copies of cemetery and burial records. 

In addition, our reference library has copies of OGS headstone transcriptions from various Catholic cemeteries within the current boundaries of the Archdiocese of Toronto. 

Please visit the Catholic Cemeteries website for information regarding the history of our cemeteries and access to cemetery grounds. 

Ecclesiastic​al Records

Records kept by parishes and other Church agencies. Please contact ARCAT to access:

​St. Paul's Parish: Publication of Banns 1849. List of farmers from Adjala Township requesting orphans 1848.

St. Michael's Cathedral: Records of subscribers to:

  • Pew Rents: 1860; 1860-1863; 1861-1874;1867-1894
  • Loan and Building Funds: 1846-1850; 1843-1844; 1845-1850; 1850-1851
  • Steeple and Tower Funds: 1864-1867; 1874; 1866-1869
  • Debt Collection: 1891-1897
  • Sick Calls: 1858
  • List of Scholarship recipients, 1888-1889

Phelpston, St. Patrick's Parish: Receipts and Expenses Book 1855-1870. Includes subscription list for 1855 and 1856

Separate School - Supporters' List, 1863

Petitions addressed to the Bishops of Toronto

Liverpool Society - Names of children admitted into Sacred Heart Orphanage, House of Providence and St. Nicholas Home 1886-1887, administered by the Sisters of St. Joseph

Directories from 1853 to present day listing clergy, parishes and missions of the archdiocese

Census ​​& Attendance​ Records

Please contact ARCAT to access the following records:

  • ​House of Providence residents, 1871 Canadian Census
  • Census of Catholics in the St. James and St. Patrick wards (St. Michael's Cathedral), 1847
  • Census of Catholics in St. David, St. Lawrence, St. James, St. George, St. Andrew, St. John and St. Patrick wards, Toronto 1865-1866
  • Census of Toronto Catholics 1869-1871
  • Attendance at Toronto Separate Schools 1866-1873

Government Records

Vital Statistics Records (Registrations of Births, Deaths and Marriages) come under the jurisdiction of the Province of Ontario. Often these government records (or 'civil records') contain more genealogical information than church records.

Vital Statistic Records are transferred from the Office of the Registrar General to the Archives of Ontario after a certain date. A new year is released to the general public on an annual basis. 

Visit the Archives of Ontario website to find out more about accessing Vital Statistics Records.