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Official Website of the
Catholic Diocese of Little Rock
Parish sacramental registers are a valuable asset to the individual, the parish and the Church. They are attended to carefully and preserved diligently. Canon Law, the law of the Church that governs the administration of parishes, requires pastors to maintain sacramental records. Parishes maintain five types of sacramental records: baptismal, first Communion, confirmation, marriage and death records.
Sacramental records are ordinarily maintained by the parish that created them. The Diocese of Little Rock Archives maintains a central record of baptisms and marriages that have occurred in the diocese dating back to the late 1800s. Unfortunately, many early records were not well maintained and the records are not complete. For specific information, submit a Request for Sacramental Record or Archive Search.
Sacramental records are of a mixed nature: private and public. They are private in that they were created in circumstances presumed to be private and confidential. They are public in that they will stand in civil law as valid and authentic evidence when an appropriate civil record does not exist. They are not "public" in the sense that they are not open to immediate examination and inspection by anyone for whatever reason.
Requests for information on baptismal or marriage sacramental records for the purpose of genealogy can be made through the Chancery Office. To facilitate the process, requests should be made in writing. E-mail a Request for Sacramental Record or Archive Search.
First, contact the parish where the sacrament was celebrated. The church of baptism becomes the official site for recording subsequent sacraments, even if they are celebrated in another parish. The first step in obtaining a baptismal certificate is to contact the church of baptism. If you know the name of the parish, go to our alphabetical listing of parishes to find contact information. If unsure of the parish, e-mail a Request for Sacramental Record or Archive Search.