Sunday, November 14, 2010

Church Record Sunday: The Morning Star & Catholic Messenger (New Orleans)

Though technically not a church record, this Catholic newspaper published in New Orleans from 1868 to 1881 includes a great deal of information of interest to genealogists, especially those researching family members who were priests or nuns. Catering to the English speaking population in New Orleans it covered a broad range of topics including Irish news and history, news items from around the country relating to Catholic religious orders, priests or nuns and local topics of interest.

The first issue included a rather lurid and improving story, a directory of Catholic parishes and staff in the New Orleans, information on several regional Catholic colleges, news relating to Reconstruction, advertisements from New Orleans merchants, obituaries of Catholic religious from around the country as well as prominent New Orleans Catholic laity, a report on a recent yellow fever epidemic and the following news item:
Frozen in the Confessional
The Rev. Father B. Sn_____ock, of Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin, has lately suffered the amputation of a finger, which had been frozen while the Rev. Father was sitting in the confessional!
The newspaper is part of the Library of Congress Chronicling America Project. Issues are available from 1868-1879. I first searched it looking for information on two family members, a priest and a nun, who were working in New Orleans after the Civil War. I found multiple references to the priest, including considerable information about him from St. Louis, MO where he worked for 10 years. 

Source: The Morning star and Catholic messenger. (New Orleans [La.]) 1868-1881, February 09, 1868, Morning, page 1.


  1. What an interesting find. Never fails to amaze what sorts of things we find in our research.

  2. Not only was the post interesting, but the picture is beautiful! Did you take that today? (Snowing beautifully in Cincinnati and adding to the festive mood).


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