A Welcome Indexer

Much of the information about our early institutions in the blog has come via the diaries kept by our early Sisters, and the annals (or chronicles) compiled by Sr Theresa Roper for the Congregation before her death in 1939. When enquiring recently about the whereabouts of the St Patrick’s baptismal and marriage registers (Parramatta), I came across another compiler, Ms June Barrett, who has been working on an index to the Freeman’s Journal (1850-1932) since 1990. Originally, June had started indexing all the Catholic buildings that had been commenced, opened, blessed and purchased in Australia and New Zealand. She went on to broaden her work, and began an index for the Australian Chronicle, published Aug 1839 to Sept 1848, which from Oct 1843 to Sept 1848, was called The Morning Chronicle. The next index was the Catholic Times, published March 1877, which in Jan 1880 was renamed The Express, then renamed The Illustrated Express Jan 1887 to June 1887.  The Guilds, Hibernians and Sodalities were included in the index this time. Names of the teachers of denominational schools, the coming of the religious Orders, reception and profession of the nuns, movement of the priests, retreats, missions, fundraising parties and entertainments, music in the churches – in other words anything that concerned parish Catholic life. St Mary’s Cathedral, Bathurst and Parramatta Dioceses and the Veech Library at Strathfield have a copy of the finished Freeman’s Journal index. June is currently up to 1890 in her current indexing project, and it has taken her 18 months to complete a decade. Well done to June! This is a great resource for our Archives, especially for our blog. We hope to bring you some snippets from the index soon.

Extract from St Patrick's Register, 1843.

We did discover this page in our Archives from the St Patrick’s baptismal register in the County of Cumberland, 1843. It features the names of our early Sisters, Mrs Cahill (M.M.John), Mrs De Lacy (S.M. Baptist), and Mrs Marum (S.M.Augustine) as witnesses to the Female Factory births. You will notice they were referred to as ‘Mrs’ as was the custom at the time. There are also some entries in the Parramatta baptismal resister for 1843 where Mrs Cahill was named as sponsor for a baptism. Once with a Mrs Francis Gannon, another time with a John Doyle and a third with Mrs O’Brian – most of these were baptisms of young adults, though two children, one aged 8 one 13 were included.

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Filed under Catholic, colonial Sydney, Female Factory, History, Sisters of Charity

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