Michelle Ann Kratts

Digitizing St. Joseph’s Cemetery Records

In Cemetery Plots, Niagara Deaths, St. Joseph's Cemetery Records, St. Joseph's Church, The Italians of Niagara Falls, New York on February 22, 2013 at 9:00 pm

Today we began the sacred task of finishing the digitization of St. Joseph’s Roman Catholic cemetery records. A few years ago, our dear friend Connie Rodhy scanned the burial cards and those records may be viewed on the Monroe Fordham Regional History Center website at:

The Cemetery books that we will be working on include the following:

Single Graves, May 1922-March 1931

Lots A,B,C

May 1922-March 1942, Sec A, B, C, D, Six and Twelve Grave Lots

Death Register, May 1922-March 1942, Single Graves, including children

Single Graves, March 1931-March 1942

Death Register, 1942-1963, Single Graves

Cemetery Register, September 20, 1957-January 23, 1969

Cemetery Register, January 26, 1969-May 22, 1978

St. Mary’s Section (babies)

St. Joseph’s Cemetery Candle and Stands Register

Some of the earlier records are fading

Some of the earlier records are fading

Beverly, Marcia and I met with Mr. Pastwick in the archives and began the process this morning. We came armed with cameras and ipads–for these records were too fragile for the scanner bed.  We are hoping to have them uploaded and transcribed for you soon!

Most of these records contain the babies and stillborns of our early Italian community.  Many of these children had no gravestones, or perhaps their names have long faded from their markers.  It’s quite touching to see the little babies’ names.

Some pages from an early register of deaths

Some pages from an early register of deaths

I was also very moved to find my own great great grandfather’s death record.  He was my first ancestor to arrive in Niagara Falls.  His name was Angelo Ventresca and it was said he had been here (on and off) since 1895.

Angelo Ventresca death

You can see for yourself the fragile condition of these records.  We are hopeful that our digitization and transcriptions will save these people from obscurity.  Every single name in these books is sacred and should not be forgotten.  Especially the babies.

Check back often.  Hopefully we can get our first book (images) up this week with transcriptions to follow.  If you are interested in helping out with the transcriptions, send me an email at mkratts@nioga.org.

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