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 1930. 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.
Record ContentBaptismal 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
- 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
- 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.
As you are searching it is helpful to know such information as your ancestor’s given name and surname, some identifying information such as residence and age, and family relationships. Remember that there may be more than one person in the records with the same name as your ancestor and that your ancestor may have used nicknames or different names at different times.
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.
For Help Reading These Records
These records are in Spanish or Latin. For help reading the records, see the following wiki articles:
Known Issues with This Collection
For a full list of all known issues associated with this collection see the attached Wiki article. If you encounter additional problems, please email them to email@example.com. Please include the full path to the link and a description of the problem in your e-mail. Your assistance will help ensure that future reworks will be considered.
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Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections
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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.