RELIGION

Project will digitize Catholic records of Boston Archdiocese

This image provided Monday, Jan. 9, 2017 by the New England Historic Genealogical Society shows a portion of a record of Roman Catholic baptisms from the Holy Trinity Church in 1836 in Boston. The society and the Archdiocese of Boston teamed up to make historic Catholic records dating to 1789 available online to people around the world looking to trace their roots. (New England Historic Genealogical Society via AP)

This image provided Monday, Jan. 9, 2017 by the New England Historic Genealogical Society shows a portion of a record of Roman Catholic baptisms from the Holy Trinity Church in 1836 in Boston. The society and the Archdiocese of Boston teamed up to make historic Catholic records dating to 1789 available online to people around the world looking to trace their roots. (New England Historic Genealogical Society via AP)  (The Associated Press)

Two of Boston's most venerable institutions are teaming up to create an online database of hundreds of thousands of Roman Catholic Church documents to help people trace their family histories.

Officials from the New England Historic Genealogical Society and the Archdiocese of Boston said Tuesday that the digitized parish records of baptisms, marriages, confirmations, ordinations, first communions and other pivotal life events will help people better research their ancestors and how they came to Boston.

The documents span 1789 to 1900 and come from all the parishes in the Boston Archdiocese.

The organizations say it's the first time a significant number of sacramental records from any U.S. diocese have been digitized on this scale.

The project could take several years to complete and cost up to $1 million.