Bolivia Catholic Church Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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Bolivia

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Bolivia Catholic Church Records, 1566-1996 .
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This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
Bolivia
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Flag of the Republic of Bolivia
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Record Description
Record Type: Church
Collection years: 1566-1996
Languages: Spanish
Title in the Language: Registros Parroquiales de la Iglesia Católica en Bolivia
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites


What is in the Collection?

This Collection will include records from 1566 to 1996.

This collection includes baptisms, confirmations, marriages, and burial/deaths from Catholic Church parishes in the country of Bolivia. The text of records is handwritten in Spanish, mostly in narrative form; only in later years the records are handwritten in formatted registers. Generally, these records were written in chronological order. In smaller parishes, one book was used for all the ordinances, such as baptism, marriage, and death. In larger cities, separate books were kept for each of the ordinances. Confirmations were generally written in the baptismal registers.

A list of the cities and parishes included in this collection is found in the Parishes of Bolivia coverage table.

The influence of the Catholic Church in Bolivia had its beginnings somewhere around the mid 1500s, with the arrival of the Spaniards. All the sacramental ordinances were created, registered, and kept by the priest in authority of his parish jurisdiction. The parish jurisdiction may have included sub-parishes from nearby localities. One copy of the records was kept at the parish archive and another copy was sent to the diocesan archive for preservation. As the population and membership increased, the parish jurisdictions were moved and more parishes were created.

The Catholic Church in Spain found it important for priest in Bolivia and other colonies to record the events of baptisms, marriages, and later of burials. Since then priest assigned to a jurisdiction recorded the ordinances, including some personal information, of his parishioners. This was needed for membership statistics and later became a benefit for the parishioners themselves.

Catholic Church parish registers are the primary source for finding genealogical information of birth, death, and marriage prior to 1943, when the civil registration law was enacted in Bolivia.

To Browse this Collection

You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for Bolivia Catholic Church Records, 1566-1996.

Reading These Records

These records are written in Spanish; see the section For Help Reading these Records for translation helps.

What Can these Records Tell Me?

The following information is usually found in these records:

Baptismal records Confirmation records Marriage records Death records
Baptism date and place Name Date and place of the marriage Date and place of death
Name of person baptized Parents’ names Name of groom Name and age of deceased
When and where the person was born Godparents Groom’s age, civil status and occupation Cause of death
Age at time of baptism Parish of origin Groom’s birth place and current residence Name of spouse if married
Legitimacy Parish of baptism Groom’s parents’ names Residence of deceased
Parents’ names, residence, and/or place of birth Name of bride Name of cemetery
Names of maternal and paternal grandparents Bride’s age, civil status and occupation
Names of godparents Bride’s birth place and current residence
Godparents'

Sample Images


How Do I Search the Collection?

You can search the index or view the images or both. Before using this collection it is helpful to know:

  • Your ancestor's given name and surname
  • Identifying information such as residence
  • Estimated marriage or birth year
  • Family relationships

Search the Index

Search by name by visiting the Collection Page.

  1. Fill in the search boxes on the Collection Page with the information you have.
  2. Click Search to show possible matches.

View the Images

View images in this collection by visiting the Browse Page.

  1. Select Department
  2. Select City or Town
  3. Select Parish
  4. Select Record Type and Years to view the images.

For Help Reading These Records

For help reading these Spanish records, see the following wiki articles:

Spanish Genealogical Word List

How Do I Analyze the Results?

Compare each result from your search with what you know to determine if there is a match. This may require viewing multiple records or images.

What Do I Do Next?

I Found Who I was Looking for, What Now?

  • Use the parents' birth places to find former residences and to establish a migration pattern for the family.
  • Compile information for every person who has the same surname as your ancestor; this is especially helpful in rural areas or if the surname is unusual.
  • Continue to search the records to identify children, siblings, parents, and other relatives in the same county or nearby. This can help you identify other generations of your family or even the second marriage of a parent. Repeat this process for each new generation you identify.

I Can’t Find The Person I’m Looking for, What Now?

  • If possible, look at the actual image of the record to verify the information found in the online description.
  • Check for variants of given names, surnames, and place names. Transcription errors could occur in any handwritten record; also, it was not uncommon for an individual be listed under a nickname or an abbreviation of their name.
  • Civil registration records are also a good source of genealogical information. You should obtain copies of both church records and civil registration, when possible, since they do not necessarily provide the same information. For example, baptismal registers sometimes provide the names of the fathers of illegitimate children when the civil registration does not.
  • There may be more than one person with the same name.
  • You ancestor may be using a nickname or alias.
  • Even though this is an index there may still be inaccuracies, such as altered spellings, misinterpretations, and optical character recognition errors if the information was scanned.
  • A boundary change could have occurred and the record of your ancestor is now in a neighboring area. Search the records and indexes of neighboring cities, provinces, and regions.
  • Your ancestor may have immigrated to another country. Search the records of nearby countries or immigration/emigration records.

Citing this Collection

Citing sources correctly makes it easier to refer back to information that has already been discovered; proper citations are therefore indispensable to keeping track of genealogical research. Following established formulae in formatting citations also allows others to verify completed research by helping them find and examine records for themselves.

To be of use, citations must include information such as the author, custodian, publisher, and archive for the original records, if available. The following examples demonstrate how to present this information for both this particular collection and individual records and images within the collection:

Collection Citation:

"Bolivia registros parroquiales, 1566-1996." Database. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2017 Parroquias Católicas, Bolivia (Catholic Church parishes, Bolivia).

Record Citation (or citation for the index entry):

The citation for a record is available with each record in this collection, at the bottom of the record screen. You can search records in this collection by visiting the search page for Bolivia, Catholic Church Records, 1566-1996.


Image Citation

The image citation is available by clicking on the Information tab at the bottom left of the screen. You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for Bolivia, Catholic Church Records, 1566-1996.


Copies of originals are also housed in different diocesan archives throughout Bolivia.

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 support@familysearch.org. 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.

How Can I contribute to the FamilySearch Wiki?

We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. We are looking for additional information that will help readers understand the topic and better use the available records. We also need translations for collection titles and images in articles about records written in languages other than English. For specific needs, please visit WikiProject FamilySearch Records.

Please follow these guidelines as you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide.