Mexico, Tabasco, Catholic Church Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)Edit This Page

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FamilySearch Record Search This article describes a collection of historical records available at FamilySearch.org.

Contents

Title in the Language of the Records

Registros Paroquiales de la Iglesia Católica del Estado de Tabasco, México

Record Description

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.

This collection of church records for the State of Tabasco covers the years 1803-1970. 

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.

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.

Archbishoprics and Dioceses in Tabasco. Mexico, Tabasco, Catholic church records. Catholic parishes throughout Tabasco, Mexico.

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.

Record Content

The key genealogical facts found in most baptism records are:

Mexico Aguascalientes Roman Catholic Parish Registers Baptism Example 1.jpg
  • 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
  • Gender
  • Legitimacy
  • Before 1820, social class of the parents
  • Sometimes the person’s race

The key genealogical facts found in most marriage records are:

Mexico Aguascalientes Roman Catholic Parish Registers Marriage.jpg
  • 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:

Mexico Baja California Catholic Church Records Death.jpg
  • 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

To search the collection, select "Browse through images" on the initial collection page ⇒ Select the Nombre de Ciudad/Pueblo ⇒ Select the Nombre de Parroquia ⇒ Select the Tipo de registro y años which takes you to the images.

Look at the images one by one comparing the information with what you already know about your ancestors to determine which one is your ancestor. You may need to compare the information about more than one person to make this determination.

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.

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Contributions to This Article

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Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections

When you copy information from a record, you should list where you found the information. This will help you or others to find the record again. It is also good to keep track of records where you did not find information, including the names of the people you looked for in the records.

A suggested format for keeping track of records that you have searched is found in the wiki article Help:How to Cite FamilySearch Collections

Citation Examples for a Record Found in This Collections

  • “Mexico, Tabasco, Catholic Church Records, 1803-1970,” images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org: accessed 22 June 2012), Villahermosa > Sagrario > Matrimonios 1940-1941 > image 254 of 597, Porfirio Jesus Ramos and Flor de Maria Garcia, 1940; citing Parroquia de Macultepec, Tabasco, Mexico.

 

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