GUIDE TO CATHOLIC RECORDS ABOUT NATIVE AMERICANS IN THE U.S.
Volume 2: Midwest United States
Catholic Church. Diocese of Gaylord. Archives
611 West North Street
Gaylord, MI 49735
Email: See website
Open: By appointment only
Access: See webpage
Copying facilities: Yes
History: The Diocese of Gaylord was erected for Michigan’s northwest Lower Peninsula from territory of the Diocese of Grand Rapids, 1971. Previously, the territory had been part of the Detroit (1833-1882) and Cincinnati (1821-1838) dioceses. Gaylord and its predecessors have administered the following Native American (Ottawa, Ojibwa) missions, parishes, and school in Michigan.
1829-present (Gaylord, 1971-present)
Holy Childhood of Jesus/ St. Peter Church, Harbor Springs
1829-1998 (closed) (Gaylord, 1971-1998)
Holy Childhood of Jesus/ St. Peter School, Harbor Springs
1830-present (Gaylord, 1971-present)
St. Mary Mission, Burt Lake/ Sheboygan Village
1833-present (Gaylord, 1971-present)
St. Ignatius/ St. Francis Xavier Mission, Middle Village/ Middletown
ca. 1840-present (Gaylord, 1971-present)
Holy Cross/ St. Anthony Church, Cross Village
1853-present (Gaylord, 1971-present)
St. Kateri Tekakwitha/ Immaculate Conception/ St. Mary Mission, Peshawbestown/ Eagletown
1883-1973 (closed) (Gaylord, 1971-1973)
St. Joseph Mission, Hart/ Elbridge
1896-present (Gaylord, 1971-present)
St. Francis Solanus Mission, Bay Shore
Holdings of Catholic records about Native Americans:
Inclusive dates: 1847-ongoing
Volume: .7 cubic foot and ca. 400 microfiche cards
Description: 3 series include Native Catholic records. The Gaylord Diocese received most of its "parish" and "deed" files for active and inactive Indian parishes from the Grand Rapids Diocese. However, Bishops' files, priests' files, financial and statistical reports, and photographs remain at Grand Rapids.
/1 Parish Records
Inclusive dates: 1908-ongoing
Volume: Over .25 cubic foot
Description: Divided into active and inactive or closed parishes and there under alphabetically by parish location and chronologically within folders. The files are comprised primarily of correspondence between the Bishop of Grand Rapids and his staff and missionaries attending the parish.
A. Active Parishes, 1920s-ongoing, .2 cubic foot:
1. Cross Village, Holy Cross Church, 1930s-1970s, 1 folder: major correspondents include the Franciscan superiors at Holy Cross Mission and Bishop Francis J. Haas, Bishop Allen J. Babcock, and Bishop Edmund C. Szoka
2. Harbor Springs, Holy Childhood Church, 1920s-1970s (most correspondence written in 1960s and 1970s), 1 folder: major correspondents include the Franciscan superiors at Holy Childhood, Bishop Allen Babcock, and Bishop Edmund Szoka
3. Peshawbestown, Immaculate Conception Mission, 1940s-1950s, 1970s, 1 folder: major correspondents include the Franciscan superiors at Immaculate Conception, Bishop Francis Haas, Bishop Allen Babcock, and Bishop Edmund Szoka
4. "Mission of Petoskey: Bay Shore, St. Francis Solanus" 1940s-1950s, 1970s, 1 folder: major correspondents include the Franciscans in charge of St. Francis Solanus, Bishop Francis Haas, Bishop Allen Babcock, and Bishop Edmund Szoka.
B. Closed or Inactive Parishes, 1908-1956, 3 folders:
1. Burt Lake, St. Mary (Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary) Mission, 1910, 1932, 1948-1949, 1955, 5 letters
2. Garden Island Mission, 1908, 1929, 1955-1956 (most letters written in 1955), 1 folder: major correspondents include the priest in charge of the Garden Island Mission and Bishop Allen Babcock
3. High Island, St. Joseph Mission, 1908, 1935, 1956, 5 letters
/2 Deed Files
Inclusive dates: 1850s-ongoing
Volume: Over .45 cubic foot
Description: Arranged alphabetically by parish location and chronologically within each folder.
A. Beaver Island, Holy Cross Church, 1860s-1980s, 1 folder: deeds, contracts, and abstracts
B. Cross Village, Holy Cross Church, 1880s, 1980s, .2 cubic foot:
1. Deeds, contracts, and abstracts, 1880s-1980s, 1 folder
2. Correspondence, 1960s-1970s, 2 folders: pertaining to land transfers or financial matters
C. Harbor Springs, Holy Childhood Church, 1850s-1970s, 1 folder:
1. Deeds, contracts, and abstracts, 1850s-1970s
2. Correspondence, 1960s: pertaining to land transfers and financial matters
D. Petoskey, St. Francis Xavier Church, 1850s-1970s, .15 cubic foot: primarily deeds, contracts, and abstracts
/3 Sacramental Records
Inclusive dates: 1847-ongoing
Volume: Approximately 400 microfiche cards
Description: Sacramental records (e.g. baptisms, marriages, burials) on microfiche arranged alphabetically by parish location and chronologically there under.
A. Bay Shore, St. Francis Solanus Mission, 1901-1978
B. Beaver Island, Holy Cross Church, 1862-1980
C. Cross Village, Holy Cross Church, 1847-1980: also includes a census of Cross Village created in ca. 1890s, giving names of family members, birth dates, and dates when the sacraments were administered; announcement books written in Ottawa, 1901-1921; and historical notes, clippings, and photographs
D. Harbor Springs, Holy Childhood Church, 1855-1980
E. Pellston, St. Clement Church, 1901-1980: includes records for St. Mary Mission, Burt Lake
F. Peshabestown, Immaculate Conception Mission, 1853-1980; now St. Kateri Tekakwitha Church
G. Petoskey, St. Francis Xavier Church, 1867-1980
/4 Diocesan Newspaper
Inclusive dates: 1938-ongoing
Volume: Few articles
Description: The Catholic Weekly, formerly The Saginaw Catholic, has included occasional articles on American Indians and Catholic evangelization in the diocese.
For student attendance records at Catholic schools that served Native Americans – see also -- Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions Records, Marquette University Special Collections and Archives, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Unless otherwise noted, the repository on this page holds (or held) the records described here and they are not held at the Marquette University Archives.