St. Luke’s Roman Catholic Church in Knox County, Ohio is reckoned to be the second oldest Catholic parish in the state. Many of the founding members of St. Luke’s migrated to Ohio from the Catholic parishes of St. Ignatius in Mt. Savage, Maryland; and St. Mary’s of Cumberland, Maryland. The genealogical records of the latter two churches are the basis for Mr. Koch and Mrs. Davidson’s earlier book, Western Maryland Catholics 1819-1951. The compilers now pick up the trail with abstracts from the records of St. Luke’s, which involved translating the original Latin records and going through the laborious task of proofing their transcriptions against the Latin originals.
The original site of St. Luke’s Church was dedicated in October 1824, built upon land donated by George and Catherine Sapp, members of the first family to settle in the area. The oldest extant record for St. Luke’s is a baptismal register commencing in August 1829. In fact, the majority of the church records in existence prior to 1900 are baptismal records. In this volume the researcher will find more than 2,000 records of baptism, arranged in chronological order, giving the date, the names of the child and his parents (including the wife’s maiden name), and the names of the child’s sponsors. The baptisms are followed by several hundred marriage records, giving the date of the marriage, the names of the bride and groom, and witnesses to the marriage. A handful of death records from the 1840s are extant, though most of the mortality records found in the volume commence with 1876 and continue to 1947. Also included are two membership lists from the 1830s; a number of communion and confirmation records, starting in 1853; and a table of surname variants and list of St. Luke’s pastors at the front of the book. In all, the complete name index at the back of the volume refers to 15,000 persons who figured in the life of St. Luke’s Church since its founding.