A daughter searches for a family history
By Kathy Cordes
On this day the 4th of May in the Year of Our Lord Nineteen Hundred and Forty Three Miss Pauline Weaver and SSGT John Marty were married according to the Rite of the Roman Catholic Church.
Eighty years after her parents were married, Lisa Marty contacted the diocesan Archives wondering if I could help her search for any details of their wedding. She assumed the marriage took place in Rapid City but had no idea of the church or exact date.
Searching the archives and the backup records of our parishes is, at times, a daunting task. With no identifying information other than, ‘I know they were Catholic’ means searching through each of our parish’s records.
I love to help people out with a sacramental records research. However, because our diocese does not have one central registry for records, it is very time intensive to search each individual parish’s records.
The date is always helpful as the records are kept by year. According to canon law the actual sacramental registers must be kept in their original form. A computerized data base may also be kept but the register itself must be safeguarded.
Clues such as knowing the priest’s name, describing a location (such as it was up on the hill in Rapid City could indicate St. Issac Jogues) or a picture may show us details to indicate an altar. Baptismal records are the same, a witness may have a picture, or the baptismal candle is still intact.
I was very excited to bring Lisa the news that my research found their marriage in the record book of Cathedral of St. Mary’s Immaculate Conception, in Rapid City. Lisa and her family were planning a summer visit and wanted to visit the former cathedral, the place where her parents were married.
I told them I would help them with a tour. I lined up a tour at Immaculate Conception Church and Lisa and her family were thrilled to know some history of this original Rapid City cathedral that her parents were married at, and to kneel at the same altar her parents did eighty years ago. “This was a once in a lifetime event for us!” said Lisa.