Costa Rica, Catholic Church Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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Costa Rica

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Costa Rica, Catholic Church Records, 1595-1992 .
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This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
Costa Rica
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Flag of the Republic of Costa Rica
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Location of Costa Rica
Record Description
Record Type: Church
Collection years: 1595-1992
Language: Spanish
Title in the Language: Registros Parroquiales de la Iglesia Católica en Costa Rica
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites
Archive
Catholic Church Parishes


What is in the Collection?

This collection includes records from 1595 to 1992.

Parish priests performed the baptisms, confirmations, marriages, deaths, burials, and other holy sacraments in their assigned parish or parishes. For a complete list of all the parishes included in this collection, see the Parishes of Costa Rica coverage table.

All the original parish records were kept in the parish archive; however, the older records were centralized in the archdiocesan archive, as it is done currently. Parish records cover 95 to 100% of a city’s population. This collection only includes the parish records that were centralized at the archdiocesan archive at the time of filming.

These parish records have been preserved relatively well. Some of the older registers may appear to have some physical damage; therefore some data may have been lost or may be very difficult to read, however, in general they are in good condition to extract genealogical information.

The Catholic Church parish records are an excellent source for genealogical research in Costa Rica. These may also be the only records available before the implementation of the civil registration in 1887.

Sample Images

Click on images for a larger view.

Baptismal records may the following information:

  • Baptism date and place
  • Name of person baptized
  • When and where person was born
  • Age at time of baptism
  • Legitimacy
  • Parents' names, residence, and/or place of birth
  • Names of maternal and paternal grandparents
  • Names of godparents

Confirmation records may contain the following information:

  • Name
  • Parents' names
  • Godparents
  • Parish of origin
  • Parish of baptism

Marriage records may contain the following information:

  • Date and place of the marriage
  • Name of groom
  • Groom's age, civil status and occupation
  • Groom's birth place and current residence
  • Groom's parents' names
  • Name of bride
  • Bride's age, civil status and occupation
  • Bride's birth place and current residence
  • Bride's parents' names
  • Godparents' names
  • Names of witnesses

Death records may contain the following information:

  • Date and place of death
  • Name and age of deceased
  • Cause of death
  • Name of spouse if married
  • Residence of deceased
  • Name of cemetery

How Do I Search the Collection?

You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for Costa Rica, Catholic Church Records, 1595-1992.

To browse this collection by image:
⇒ Select the "Browse" link in the initial search page
⇒ Select the "City or Town"
⇒ Select the "Parish"
⇒ Select the "Record Type and Years" which takes you to the images.

Search by name by visiting the Collection Page: 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 compare the information about more than one person to find your ancestor.

Be aware there may be inaccuracies such as altered spellings, misinterpretations, and optical character recognition errors if the information was scanned.

Be sure and view the image because there is often additional information.

Search the collection by image 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.

Indexes are available on some of these groups of images. If indexes are available, check these for the name first. Indexes are usually located at the beginning of a group of images or at the end. They are also located in individual folders. Find your ancestors name and look for the locator information next to the name (such as page, entry, or certificate number). This will help you find the record you are looking for in the collection.

I Found Who I was Looking for, What Now?

  • Use the age to find an approximate birth year to begin your search in church or civil records.
  • Continue to search the records to identify children, siblings, parents, and other relatives who may have moved, been recruited or lived nearby. This can help you identify other generations of your family. Repeat this process for each new generation you identify. Compile the entries for every person who has the same surname; this is especially helpful in rural areas or if the surname is unusual. This compiled list can help you identify possible relations that can be further verified by researching vital records in the country.
  • When you have located your ancestor’s record, carefully evaluate each piece of information given. Save a copy of the image or transcribe the information. These pieces of information may give you new biographical details such as a title, an occupation, or land ownership. Add this new information to your records of each family. You should also look for leads to other records about your ancestors.

I Can't Find Who I'm Looking for, What Now?

  • Switch to a different record collection. Depending on the time period, one or the other collection may be more helpful.
  • While searching, it is helpful to know such information as the 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 an ancestor and that the ancestor may have used nicknames or different names at different times.
  • Keep in mind that there may be more than one person in the records with the same name.
  • Standard spelling of names typically did not exist during the periods our ancestors lived in. Try variations of your ancestor’s name while searching the index or browsing through images. Pay special attention to how the name should have been pronounced and try variations on the pronunciation.
  • Remember that sometimes individuals went by nicknames or alternated between using first and middle names. Try searching for these names as well.

Known Issues with This Collection

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See a list of known issues, workarounds, tips, restrictions, future fixes, news and other helpful information.

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.

Citing this Collection

Citing your sources makes it easy for others to find and evaluate the records you used. When you copy information from a record, list where you found that information. Here you can find citations already created for the entire collection and for each individual record or image.

Collection Citation:

"Costa Rica Catholic Church Records, 1595-1992." Database with Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2016. Parroquias de la Iglesia Católica, Costa Rica (Catholic Church parishes, Costa Rica).

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 Costa Rica, Catholic Church Records, 1595-1992.

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 Costa Rica, Catholic Church Records, 1595-1992.

How You Can Contribute

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.