Sacramental Records Policies
1. Genealogical Research:
NOTE: The Catholic Archives of Texas has suspended genealogical research done by Archives staff until further notice. If you would like to research your family history, you may schedule an appointment on Monday through Friday, between the hours of 9 am and 5 pm. A pre-arranged appointment is required. To schedule, please call 512-476-6296 or email Archives @txcatholic.org. If you are unable to visit the Archives in person to do research, you may wish to hire a local proxy researcher. The Texas State Libary and Archives Commission provides a list of individuals who have asked to be contacted for this purpose: www.tsl.state.tx.us/arc/researchers.html
Regarding Catholic Church records of baptism, marriage, confirmation, first communion and death, the earliest Catholic churches in what is now the state of Texas were: San Fernando (in modern day San Antonio), established 1739; San Elizario (El Paso), established 1777; San Agustin (Laredo), established 1789; St. Mary's (Victoria), established 1840; Sacred Heart (Nacogdoches), established 1847; and smaller missions sponsored by these churches. In 1847, the Diocese of Galveston was founded and new parishes were established.
Of these older churches, the Catholic Archives has the records of the following churches in microfilm, microfiche or photocopy format, depending on the church records to be researched:
- St. Mary's Cathedral, Austin, 1852-
- Immaculate Conception Cathedral, Brownsville, 1849-
- Sts. Peter and Paul Church, Frelsburg, 1847-
- Immaculate Conception Church, Goliad, 1854-, baptism and marriage records only
- San Agustin Parish, Laredo, 1789-
- Immaculate Conception Church, Rio Grande City, 1880-
- Our Lady of Refuge Church, Roma, 1853-
- St. Mary's Church, Victoria, 1840-, baptism and marriage records only
In order for Archives staff to answer a genealogical inquiry, we must know at least the approximate location and the approximate date of the sacrament. The more specific the information provided, the better we are able to process the request. We have no central index of names or dates, so each inquiry requires a search of individual parish records.
Because of our small staff, we must charge $20.00 for each record researched. If you would like to come and research genealogical records yourself, we will assist you. Our records up to and including the year 1920 are open for that purpose. There is no charge for research that you do yourself, except for .25 for each photocopy. We encourage you to call ahead for an appointment and to plan your visit Monday through Friday between 9:00 A.M. and 4:30 P.M.
2. Requests for Post-1930 Sacramental Records:
Post-1930 sacramental records are available only to the individual named in the record, or an immediate relative, if the individual is deceased or a minor. To initiate a sacramental record search, two forms must be completed and returned to the Catholic Archives of Texas with a $20.00 search fee. These downloadable forms are the Sacramental Record Request Form and the Authorization for Release of Information form (en Español aquí). The Authorization for Release of Information form must also be notarized before it is mailed to the Catholic Archives. Both forms are available to be printed from this website. Just click on the underlined links above.
The Catholic Archives of Texas only holds sacramental records from the following dioceses in Texas: the Diocese of Austin, the Diocese of Brownsville, and the Diocese of Victoria. There are no death records available for the Diocese of Brownsville, with the exception of Immaculate Conception Cathedral in Brownsville and the early records of Our Lady of Refuge in Roma and Immaculate Conception Church in Rio Grande City. For the Diocese of Victoria, the Archives had only baptism and marriage records.
An exception to the above is that we do also have sacramental records of baptism and marriage, as well as death records from San Agustin Parish, in Laredo, Texas.