Aguascalientes Church RecordsEdit This Page
From FamilySearch Wiki
In the XXIV session of the Council of Trent in November 1563, the rules for the establishment of parish records were issued. Previously books of baptisms, marriages and burials existed in some parishes, but the exact form and content of these books had not seen the light. The Council made these practices of some parishes the norm throughout the Catholic Church.
They were told to save five books: 1) baptisms, 2) confirmations, 3) marriages, 4) burials, and 5) "status animarum" or parish censuses. For standards see the Mexico wiki article on Mexico Census.
During colonial times, in many parts of Mexico, parish records were kept separately for Spanish, Indians, blacks and castes. There are some 2,800 different parishes in the country. This was done for the purpose of taxation and to help with matrimonial dispensations when necessary. Also, it was against the law for many years for a Spanish to marry a black or with a mix race. In some parishes, one and other records of these collections have been completely lost while in others all have been preserved. Many times these distinctions or classifications annotated by the priests were more of a social status of the person or their parents then a literal specification of race. This class distinction was banned after Mexico's independence from Spain, and gradually ceased to exist in parish registers.
Before a couple could marry under Spanish law, it was necessary that the couple show they were free to marry, and that they were not already married to someone else. Also, if a person wanted to marry but had reached adulthood or close links next to their fiancée, matrimonial information and waivers or dispensations were created. Although this record was created by the diocese because of the distances, and convenience, many of these records are located at the parishes in Mexico.
A royal decree, dated December 1, 1837, established the content of parish records and that law more than any other that caused individual priests to conform to the standard that was developed. This meant that in a number of parishes, grandparents with their origins and residences were written for the first time. Nothing changed about the way to keep parish registers and unfortunately, the law was not enforced throughout the country.
Most church records prior to 1640 have been lost. That year in Mexico, various religious orders lost their parishes and were secularized. By law, by custom, the Franciscans, Dominicans, and Jesuits community took their files with them when they left a parish. They should have left behind convent and doctrinal archives, but many of these have been lost. They may be found in archives such as Celaya which is still unknown.
Records of high use
Parish records of greater use for genealogical research are the following:
• Matrimonial Information
Records of less use
When searching for places where ones ancestors lived, you should bear in mind the jurisdiction belonging to these places and also the name of the towns and surrounding, that we can facilitate our work since the archdiocese church did not correspond to the boundaries of the states and sometimes covering several states.
Available on FamilySearch
You can search for ancestors by name in FamilySearch collections by clicking here.
To find a Family History Center near you, click here.
There are also books at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, click here. You could check for a copy of them in a public library near you.
For other types of searches we recommend that you read the instructions to find information in the catalogue of the Family History Library by clicking here.
All the collections on FamilySearch.org for Mexico, click here.
- This page was last modified on 15 May 2013, at 14:39.
- This page has been accessed 389 times.
New to the Research Wiki?
In the FamilySearch Research Wiki, you can learn how to do genealogical research or share your knowledge with others.Learn More