News Release

FamilySearch Provides 190 Years of Digitized Parish Records to Pandacan Church

Records Provided Following Recent Devastating Fire

After a fire gutted the Sto. Nino de Pandacan Parish Church in July 2020, it broke not only the hearts of many parishioners who held cherished memories of their time while attending masses at the historic Church but also destroyed precious liturgical artifacts and records that date back to Spanish colonial times.

FamilySearch, the largest genealogical organization in the world, turned over centuries-old digital parish records to the Roman Catholic Church in Pandacan, Manila on Thursday morning, 6 August 2020.


During the small-scale handover event, Elder Taniela B. Wakolo, General Authority Seventy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, presented a USB stick which contained previously microfilmed and digitized records that date back from 1778 to 1968 to the Church.

Rev. Fr. Sanny de Claro, Parish Priest of the Pandacan Church, graciously accepted the simple yet important gesture from FamilySearch, emphasizing that 2020 is the Year for Ecumenism and Interreligious Dialogue.

“I am deeply touched,” said Fr. Sanny after receiving the digital files. Lost to the fire also included 190 years’ worth of parish data, which included baptismal and marriage records and many other pertinent documents.

The records provided by FamilySearch will help restore the records they have lost as well as prepare the parish for the celebration of the 500 Years of Christianity in the Philippines in 2021.

Together with Elder Wakolo during the handover event were Felvir Ordinario, Area Manager of FamilySearch Philippines; Anthony John Balledos, Latter-day Saint Charities representative; and Haidi Fajardo, Area Communication Manager of the Church.

About FamilySearch

FamilySearch is a non-profit organization committed to helping people connect with their ancestors. The free service offered by the organization is rooted in the belief taught in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that families are meant to be central to people’s lives and that family relationships are intended to perpetuate beyond the grave.

In addition, FamilySearch is committed to preserving data of historical significance, such as Church records and oral histories.

FamilySearch, which has 4,600 family history centers in 126 countries including the Philippines, relies on the support of volunteers, mostly members of the Church, to index digitized records to make them searchable on the FamilySearch website.

In July, FamilySearch Philippines logged more than three million records indexed in just four months. In September 2019, FamilySearch turned over 400 years’ worth of historical data in digital form to the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines.

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