Maronite Church in the United States
History in the United States[edit | edit source]
The Maronite Church is an Eastern Catholic sui iuris particular church in full communion with the pope and the worldwide Catholic Church. Officially known as the Syriac Maronite Church of Antioch, it is part of Syriac Christianity by liturgy and heritage. Immigration of Maronite faithful from the Middle East to the United States began during the latter part of the nineteenth century. When the faithful were able to obtain a priest, communities were established as parishes under the jurisdiction of the local Latin bishops. In January 1966, Pope Paul VI established the Maronite Apostolic Exarchate for the Maronite faithful of the United States. In 1977, the see of the Eparchy of Saint Maron was transferred to Brooklyn, New York, with the cathedral under the patronage of Our Lady of Lebanon. The name of the Eparchy was modified to Eparchy of Saint Maron of Brooklyn. In 1994, the Eparchy of Our Lady of Lebanon was established with the cathedral at Los Angeles, California, under the patronage of Our Lady of Lebanon. John George Chedid, auxiliary bishop of the Diocese of Saint Maron of Brooklyn, was ordained as the first Bishop of the Maronite Catholic Eparchy of Our Lady of Lebanon of Los Angeles at the Our Lady of Lebanon Cathedral in Los Angeles, California.
Correspond with or visit the actual churches.[edit | edit source]
Because most Lebanese immigration was so recent, many birth, marriage and death records in United States Lebanese congregations give information about the place of origin and the names of parents who may have remained in Lebanon. Records are still held in the local churches. Contact the current minister to find out what records are still available.
- Make an appointment to look at the records. Or ask the minister of the church to make a copy of the record for you.
- To find church staff available, you might have to visit on Sunday.
- Ask for small searches at a time, such as one birth record or a specific marriage. Never ask for "everything on a family or surname".
- A donation ($25-$40) for their time and effort to help you would be appropriate.
- If the church has a website, you may be able to e-mail a message.
- See the Letter Writing Guide for Genealogy for help with composing letters.
- Serves Maronite Catholics from California to Ohio.
- Serves New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Delaware, Virginia, District of Columbia, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut and Maryland.
Information Recorded in the Records[edit | edit source]
Baptisms[edit | edit source]
Baptism registers might give:
Marriages[edit | edit source]
Marriage registers can give:
Cemetery Records[edit | edit source]
Cemetery records may give:
Carefully compare any record you find to known facts about the ancestor[edit | edit source]
You will possibly find many different people with the same name as your ancestor, especially when a family stayed in a locality for several generations, and several children were named after the grandparents or aunts and uncles. Be prepared to find the correct church records by gathering in advance as many of these exact details about the ancestor as possible:
- name, including middle name and maiden name
- names of all spouses, including middle and maiden name
- exact or closely estimated dates of birth, marriage, and death
- names and approximate birthdates of children
- all known places of residence
- military service details
Carefully evaluate the church records you find to make sure you have really found records for your ancestor and not just a "near match". If one or more of the details do not line up, be careful about accepting the entry as your ancestor. There are guiding principles for deciding how to resolve discrepancies between records that are seemingly close. For more instruction in evaluating evidence, read the Wiki article, Evaluate the Evidence.