Holy Trinity’s historical records include baptismal registers (1795-1928), marriage registers (1795-1908), a death register (1818-1867), and interment registers (1867-1898, 1919-1965). The registers are archived in the Booth Family Center for Special Collections at Georgetown University, and are digitized and available online for research. As the Holy Trinity History Committee continues researching the story of the African American community that comprised such a large part of our parish for so many years, we have begun creating searchable databases of African American names from the information contained in these registers.
The registers were compiled over many decades by many different hands. They are now old and faded, and the handwriting can be hard to make out. Those who were enslaved are often recorded only by first name, and errors and misspellings abound. The enslaved wife of free man David Thomas, for example, is only listed by her first name, and appears in one place as Philis and in another as Phenissa. Or, to take another example, the family of Anne Marie Becraft first appears in the registers under the name of Bicleff rather than Becraft. Some African Americans were not designated as such in the records and so may have been inadvertently omitted from our databases. We apologize for any errors or omissions that may have crept into our work.
The first two databases, just completed, focus on African American marriages at Holy Trinity between 1795 to 1869 – one of them is arranged chronologically, the other alphabetically. Please find those links below.
Future databases will focus on African American baptismal records and death records. Still others will link African American names in the baptismal, marriage, and death records so we can begin to trace family relationships and kin networks.
We hope that the availability of these databases will encourage further research into these historical registers and into the compelling story of Holy Trinity’s African American community.
Black Marriage Databases