Early Catholic Church Records in the Northwest

In 1834 and in 1835, retired French Canadian fur trappers from the Hudson Bay Company at Fort Vancouver sent letters to the Bishop Provencher at Red River, Quebec and asked him to send priests to the Oregon Territory. In 1838, the Bishop sent the Fathers Francis Norbert Blanchet and Modeste Demers to the Oregon Territory.

Fathers Blanchet and Demers first established a mission at St. Paul, north of Salem, on what is called French Prairie. Then they traveled throughout the Pacific Northwest, establishing missions and churches.

Harriet Duncan Munnick read the original church registers for the earliest Catholic churches and extracted the records in a series of seven books. Each book is completely indexed (person named in the record, parents, witnesses). These books are a "must-have" for anyone who has early Oregon Catholic ancestors. Not only do you get an accurate transcription of a church record that was created at the time of the event, you get a book with information on the entire community. You can see who your ancestors saw on a daily basis.

The books can be purchased from the St. Paul Mission Historical Society. Price for each book is $25.00, plus $3.00 postage. Order from:

The St. Paul Mission Historical Society
PO Box 158
St. Paul, OR 97137-0158




St. Paul Mission Historical Society