Sunday, September 29, 2013

Church Record Sunday - Councills in Diocese of Wilmington, DE


I decided to do a little more research on the parish of St. Peter's in Queenstown, MD and was surprised to find out that it was in the Diocese of Wilmington, DE. I was even more surprised to find that records for the diocese are available online on the 19th Century Immigrant Roots site!

I found the same entry in the Wilmington Diocese records as I had found in the St. Peter's records. Francis was baptized in 1818 to parents John and Anne Councell, but the record was attributed to the parish of St. Joseph in Cordova, MD instead of St. Peter's. I believe this is due to the same priests traveling around to the various parishes. I don't have enough info yet to know which parish is correct for my Francis.

I also found additional records that match some of the children of my Francis Councell, so it is looking more likely that this record is for my Francis. So far, I've found two possibilities for an Ann married to a John Councell in the right time and location to be Francis' mother. One is Ann Maria Browning and the other is Ann Baynard. I'll follow up on them in future posts.

On October 10, 1844 Margritta and Francis Louisa Counsel were baptized and their parents were Francis and Mary Counsel. The priest was George Villiger and a sponsor was Mary Counsel, but no additional dates were given for their date of birth. The 1850 census for Queen Anne's County, MD showed that Francis and Mary had daughters Mary, age 8, and Frances, age 5, so these look like a match.

1850 Census, Queen Anne's County, MD

On July 29, 1860, William Frank Council was baptized at the age of 10 months and John Council at the age of 4 years. Their father was Frank Council and sponsors were Bridget Innis for William and Mary Ellen Calahan for John. John Wesley Councill was my great-grandfather, so this could be him. Unfortunately, the mother's name was not recorded on several of these records.

On November 6, 1864, Maria Councell was baptized at the age of 16, placing her year of birth around 1848. Her father was Frank Councell and a sponsor was Mrs. Cath. Golsbourough. This one is a bit curious since I wonder why they would have waited to baptize Maria when they baptized other children in 1860! This could be the Sarah M. Councell listed on the second page of the 1850 census.

1850 Census, Queen Anne's County, MD

The 1860 census shows matches for all of the children listed in the baptismal records. I think William Frank is the young Frank in the census. The Maria listed in 1860 is close in age to the Sarah M. listed in 1850.

1860 Census, Queen Anne's County, MD

I didn't find baptism records for Richard or Robert, but searches by year for the 1850s showed that many of the records were incomplete and had missing names.

The 19th Century Immigrant Roots site is a great resource for the Diocese of Wilmington records through 1900. In addition to those records, they also have some Delaware census records, Irish records, and passenger lists. A record inventory is available here.

The coat of arms for the Diocese of Wilmington pictured at the top of this post is from Wikipedia.

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