Costa Rica, Catholic Church Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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Costa Rica

FamilySearch Record Search This article describes a collection of historical records available at FamilySearch.org.
Access the records: Costa Rica, Catholic Church Records, 1595-1992 .
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Costa Rica (orthographic projection)-200px.svg.jpg

Title in the Language of the Records

Registros Parroquiales de la Iglesia Católica en Costa Rica.

What is in the Collection?

These records are written in Spanish. 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.

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

Collection Content

Sample Images

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?

To search this collection by name::
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.

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 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.

For Help Reading These Records

These records are in Spanish. For help reading the records, see the following resources:

Other Searches

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Don't overlook FHL Place Costa Rica items or FHL Keyword Costa Rica items in the FamilySearch Library Catalog. For other libraries (local and national) or to gain access to items of interest, see Costa Rica Archives and Libraries.

Known Issues with This Collection

Important.png Problems with this collection?
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.

Related Websites

Related Wiki Articles

Costa Rica

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.


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. Citing Archivo de la Arquidiócesis de San José.


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.