Mexico, Tabasco, Catholic Church Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)Edit This Page
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Title in the Language of the Records
Registros Paroquiales de la Iglesia Católica del Estado de Tabasco, México
Collection Time Period
This collection of church records for the State of Tabasco covers the years 1803-1970.
Separate books were kept for baptism, confirmation, marriage banns, marriage, and burial or death records. However, in smaller areas, all records may be recorded on one register. The entries were normally made in chronological order. In smaller parishes, most of the marriage banns (informaciones matrimoniales) were included in the marriage entry. In larger parishes, these records may be registered separately. In smaller parishes, the confirmations may have been included with the baptisms or even with marriages. In larger parishes, a separate book of confirmations was usually maintained. The records are in relatively fair condition, with the exception of some older records that may be damaged, and therefore hard to read or missing some information. Most of the older records are handwritten in narrative style and follow a common text with some variations depending on the style used by the priest. Newer records are handwritten in formatted registers, and some are even written in ledger style registers.
After the conquest of Mexico by the Spaniards, Catholic priests began going from one place to another baptizing most of the population. By order of the Queen of Spain, priests began keeping a record of all the sacramental ordinances performed. The registers hold records of baptisms, marriages, deaths, and burials and other ecclesiastical documents. Most often, the different types of ordinances are recorded separate volumes. Each record is written in narrative style, and in more recent years, they are handwritten in formatted records. The registers were created and kept by the priest. Later, as the church grew in numbers, the registers were kept at the parish, and a copy was sent to the diocesan archive for preservation.
Catholic priests established parishes starting in 1521. In 1527, the Roman Catholic Church established dioceses in Tlaxcala and Mexico City. It was only in the late 19th century that other religious groups began establishing congregations in Mexico.
Parishes were local congregations that may have included smaller villages within their boundaries. A large city may contain several parishes. The parishes had jurisdiction over both vice parishes (vice parroquias) and chapelries (feligresias). Multiple parishes (parroquias) were under the jurisdiction of a diocese. The highest level of local government in the Catholic Church is the archdiocese (arquidiócesis), which is made up of several dioceses.
In 1995, the Catholic Church in Mexico had 14 archdioceses; 58 dioceses; 5,345 parishes; and 1,611 chapelries (sub-parishes). Together they hold a great number of records. For a list of records by localities and dates currently published in this collection, select the Browse.
Citation For This Collection
The following citation refers to the original source of the data and images published on FamilySearch.org Historical Records. It may include the author, custodian, publisher, and archive for the original records.
- "Mexico, Catholic Church Records", images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org), 2009; from Diócesis de Tabasco, Villahermosa, Tabasco, México. Registros parroquiales, 1803-1970. Original records are also housed in local parish archives throughout the State of Tabasco. FHL 244 microfilm reels. Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA.
Digital images of original records housed at various Catholic Church archive repositories throughout the State of Tabasco, Mexico.
Information about creating source citations for FamilySearch Historical Collections is listed in the wiki article Help:How to Create Source Citations For FamilySearch Historical Records Collections.
The key genealogical facts found in most baptism records are:
- Date of baptism
- Place of the event and usually the parish saint name
- Name of the person being baptized
- Names of the parents
- Age of the person being baptized or the person’s birth date
- Before 1820, social class of the parents
- Sometimes the person’s race
The key genealogical facts found in most marriage records are:
- Date of marriage
- Place of the event and usually the parish saint name
- Names of the betrothed
- Names of the parents
- Names of the witnesses
- Ages and marital statuses of the betrothed
- Places of origin and residence of the betrothed and sometimes that of the parents
- Legitimacy of the betrothed
- Sometimes the race of the betrothed
The key genealogical facts found in most burial or death records are:
- Date of death or burial
- Place of burial or death
- Name of the deceased person
- Sometimes the names of the parents or the spouse, if the deceased was married
- Age of the deceased person at time of death
- Place of residence or origin of the deceased person
- Sometimes the race of the deceased
How to Use the Record
In most cases, Mexican Catholic parish registers are the only records before 1859 that identify individuals, parents, and spouses. After this date, civil authorities began registering vital statistics (nacimientos, matrimonies, y defunciones) that by law include people of all religions. The information in civil sources confirms and supplements the information in church records. Be sure to search both the parish and civil records after 1860.
Why the Record Was Created
Authorized Catholic priests created separate parish registers to record the church sacraments of baptism (bautismo), confirmation (confirmación), marriage (casamiento o matrimonio), and burial (defunción o entierro) at the parish level.
Catholic Church parish registers are a reliable source of information for family history research, and the primary source for baptism, marriage, and death records in Mexico prior to 1859. Catholic Church parish records after 1859 can be used to complement information found in civil registers.
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Citation Examples for Record Found in FamilySearch Historical Collections
The following are examples of records found in different collections. Please help us by replacing these examples with a citation for a record you have found in this collection.
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- “Delaware Marriage Records,” index and images, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org: accessed 4 March 2011), entry for William Anderson and Elizabeth Baynard Henry, married 23 November 1913; citing marriage certificate no. 859; FHL microfilm 2,025,063; Delaware Bureau of Archives and Records Management, Dover.
- “El Salvador Civil Registration,” index and images, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org: accessed 21 March 2011), entry for Jose Maria Antonio del Carmen, born 9 April 1880; citing La Libertad, San Juan Opico, Nacimientos 1879-1893, image 50; Ministerio Archivo Civil de la Alcaldia Municipal de San Salvador.
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