Genealogical group lends helping hand to Sto. Nino church in restoring burned records

Published August 10, 2020, 11:49 AM

by Leslie Aquino

Thanks to the help of FamilySearch, an organization under the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Sto. Nino de Pandacan Parish (SNPP) in Manila will now be able to restore the records that the parish lost in the fire last month.


Last August 6, FamilySearch, the largest genealogical organization in the world, turned over to SNPP a USB stick containing a digital copy of centuries-old parish records that date back from 1778 to 1968.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints-Philippines posted a news article about the event in their website.

The turnover was led by Elder Taniela B. Wakolo, General Authority Seventy of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints together with Felvir Ordinario, Area Manager of FamilySearch Philippines; Anthony John Balledos, Latter-day Saint Charities representative; and Haidi Fajardo, Area Communication Manager of the Church.

According to the news article, Father Sanny de Claro, parish priest of the SNPP, received the digital files.

A huge fire engulfed the church last July 10 which destroyed the image of the revered image of the Sto. Nino and liturgical artifacts.

It also destroyed 190 years’ worth of parish data, which included baptismal and marriage records and many other pertinent documents.

In September 2019, FamilySearch also turned over 400 years’ worth of historical data in digital form to the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP).

FamilySearch is a non-profit organization committed to helping people connect with their ancestors.

It is also 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.