This is a collection of birth, baptismal, marriage, and death records for the parishes of St.Ignatius in Mt. Savage, and St. Mary’s in Cumberland, Maryland. As such it makes available many of the oldest extant genealogical records for Catholics in Allegany County. An outgrowth of the authors’ “St. Ignatius and St. Mary,” this book incorporates all of the data from that work and is six times longer.
At the outset the compilers present a brief history of Catholicism in Western Maryland, identifying all the priests who served the Church from 1819 to 1851 and delineating the growth of the congregations in terms of meeting places, frequency of sermons, and so on. This is followed by name lists of persons who appeared at Easter Confession, confirmation, communion, or who pledged financial support for the parish priest. Next comes hundreds of marriages, arranged chronologically, giving the names of the betrothed and the officiating minister, the place of the wedding, and, frequently, the names of witnesses. The volume continues with a Register of Baptisms, which is arranged chronologically and integrates four separate original baptismal ledgers. Most of the nearly 2,500 entries give the name of child, date of birth, date of baptism, names of parents, and names of sponsors. The death and burial entries, which conclude the text, mostly span the period 1837-1851, giving the decedent’s name and date of death, and, on occasion, his/her age at death, place of death, father’s name, or that of other relations. Judging from the 12,000-name index at the back of the volume, for sheer coverage this must be the starting point for Western Maryland Catholic genealogy.