Spain, Catastro de Ensenada (FamilySearch Historical Records)Edit This Page
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Title in the Language of the Records
Catastro del Marqués de la Ensenada, España
These are census records of the Spanish regions of Andalucía, Asturias, Cantabria, Castilla-La Mancha, Castilla y León, Extremadura, Galicia, La Rioja, Madrid, and Murcia. The cadastre registers have been well-preserved. The cadastre generally includes information about the land, the income, the ownership, the assets, the head of household, and the heirs. The text is handwritten in Spanish.
The cadastre was divided into sections called: Memoriales (Memorials), Respuestas Generales (General Answers), Respuestas Particulares (Personal Answers), Libro de lo Real (Book of Real Estate), Libro de lo Personal o de Cabezas de Casa (Book of Personal Information or Heads of Household), Estados o Resúmenes (Quantitative Summaries). This cadastre is in the form of a register and includes the quantity, value, and ownership of real estate used in apportioning taxes. The Cadastre of the Marquis of Ensenada includes a description of the properties and the population—both the secular and ecclesiastical—throughout the 22 provinces of the Old Crown of Castile, which occupied 70% of the territory of modern-day Spain. This cadastre is known in Spanish as the “Catastro del Marqués de la Ensenada” and was conducted between 1750 and 1754 by Zenón de Somodevilla y Bengoechea, I Marquis of Esenada. He had been called by King Philip V of Spain as the Secretary of the Treasury and Chancellor of the Exchequer (or Minister of Finance) of the Crown of Castile.
This cadastre was created when the country was preparing for a profound fiscal reform. The reform was aimed at improving the state of the Castilian treasury, simplifying the system of contributions, and making the system fairer. The idea was to replace income from the provinces by a single tax, which was intended to be universal and proportional to the wealth of the taxpayers. It was thus necessary to investigate the wealth of the subjects. The cadastre became the official register of the quantity, value, and ownership of real estate used in apportioning taxes.
The Cadastre of the Marquis of Ensenada was taken by assigned persons; it is a reliable source for research in Spain.
For a list of records by localities currently published in this collection, select the Browse.
Citation for This Collection
The following citation refers to the original source of the information published in FamilySearch.org Historical Record collections. Sources include the author, custodian, publisher and archive for the original records.
- Junta de la Unica Contribución. Spain, Catastro de Ensenada. Archivo Histórico Provincial de Guadalajara, Bustares, Spain.
Information found in the books of Real Estate and Personal or Heads of Household may include the following:
- Names of property owners
- Places where properties are located
- A notation on the title page if there is an index of the people included in the cadastre
- Sons and daughters that worked on the property
- Type, measurement, value, and quality of the properties
- Number of workers
- Number of heirs
How to Use the Record
To search the collection, select "Browse through images" on the initial collection page ⇒ Select the Provincia ⇒ Select the Localidad ⇒ Select the Volumen y sección 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.
If no other vital sources are available, some genealogical information could be found in the books of Memorials (Memoriales) and Personals or Heads of Household (Personales o Cabezas de Casa). These include some vital information of some of the inhabitants for each of the land properties in the census. If Catholic Church records are available, it is suggested that you research those records first.
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Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections
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Citation Example for a Record Found in This Collection
- “Spain, Catastro of Ensenada, 1749-1756,” digital images, "FamilySearch" (https://familysearch.org: accessed 14 March 2012), Toledo > Oreja > vol H-479-Bienes de eclesiásticos > image 56 of 76, Alphonso Palomino, 1752; citing Toledo Provincial Historical Archive, Catastro de Enesenada, Archivo Historical Nacional, Madrid.