Spain Catholic Church Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)Edit This Page
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Title in the Language of the Records
Registros Parroquiales de la Iglesia Católica en España.
This collection of Catholic Church parish records of Spain covers 1500 through 1999. The collection includes records from the dioceses of Avila, Ciudad Real, Ciudad Rodrigo, Gerona, Lugo, Murcia, and Segovia. The Spain, Catholic Church Records collection spans from 1500 to 1930, while the Spain, Granada, Pre-Marriage Investigation Index covers 1556-1899.
Most of the records were handwritten in narrative style. In later years, the records may be handwritten in formatted registers. Entries were created in chronological order with the exception of a few entries. Early registers may have some ecclesiastical wording written in Latin, but the main language of the records is Spanish.
Parish priests performed the baptisms, marriages, deaths, burials, and other holy sacraments in their assigned parish or parishes. All the original parish records were kept in the parish archive, and a duplicate copy was and is centralized in the corresponding diocesan archive. Most of the parish records in Spain have been preserved relatively well, but some older entries may have some damage.
Usually separate registers were maintained for baptisms, marriages, and deaths. However, in localities with a small population, the records of baptisms, marriages, and burials were recorded in the same register. Confirmations were usually recorded with the baptismal registers but can also be found with deaths and marriages.
The Catholic Church parish registers were created to record the church sacraments of baptism, marriage, death and burial, and other ordinances pertaining to members within the church jurisdiction.
Catholic Church parish records are a reliable source for doing genealogical research in Spain.
For a list of records by localities currently published in the Spain, Catholic Church records, 1500-1930 collection, select the Browselink from the collection landing page.
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.
- "Spain, Granada Catholic Pre-Marriage Investigation Files Index, 1556-1899." Index. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2013. Citing Archivo Diocesano de Granada.
These baptismal records usually contain the following information:
- Date and place of baptism, including name of parish
- Child's name and gender
- Child's date, time and place of birth
- Parents’ names
- Names of paternal grandparents and their residence
- Names of maternal grandparents and their residence
- Names of godparents
- Names of the witnesses
These marriage records usually contain the following information:
- Date and place of marriage
- Groom's name and age
- Groom's civil status and residence
- Groom's birthplace
- Names of groom's parents and their birthplace
- Bride's name and age
- Bride's civil status and residence
- Bride's birthplace
- Names of bride's parents and their birthplace
- Names of witnesses
These burial records usually contain the following information:
- Date, time and place of death
- Name and age of deceased
- Residence and civil status of deceased
- Place of birth
- Spouse's name, if married and their place of birth
- Witnesses' names
- Burial information
How to Use the Record
Fill in the requested information in the initial search page. This search will return a list of possible matches. Compare the information about the ancestors in the list to what you already know about your ancestors to determine if this is the correct family or person. You may need to look at several images and compare the information about the individuals listed in those images to your ancestors to make this determination.
Keep in mind:
- There may be more than one person in the records with the same name.
- You may not be sure of your own ancestor’s name.
- Your ancestor may have used different names or variations of their name throughout their life.
The Catholic parish records are an excellent source for genealogical research in Spain. These may also be the only records available for vital information research before civil registration was implemented in 1871.
Known Issues with This Collection
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Related Wiki Articles
- Spain Catholic Church Records
- Spain Catholic Church Directories
- Spanish Genealogical Word List
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