Dominican Republic, Catholic Church Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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Dominican Republic

FamilySearch Record Search This article describes a collection of historical records available at
Access the records: Dominican Republic, Catholic Church Records, 1590-1955 .
Dominican Republic.png

Title in the Language of the Record

República Dominicana. Registros parroquiales de la Iglesia Católica.

What is in the Collection?

This collection includes Catholic church baptism, marriage, and burial records from 1590 to 1955 for parishes throughout the Dominican Republic. For a complete list of all the parishes in contained in this collection, see the Parishes of the Dominican Republic coverage table.

The records are in Spanish, but some may include some Latin words; see the section "For Help Reading these Records" for access to translation helps.

The records in this collection were created in different Catholic Church jurisdictions throughout the Dominican Republic. Authorized priests received an order from the Queen of Spain to record the events of baptism, marriage, and burial of his parish jurisdiction. The records were to be recorded in registers that were kept at the parish level archive, and a copy was sent to the diocesan archive for preservation.

Earlier records were handwritten in narrative style, and later records were handwritten in formatted registers. Depending on the priest, some records have more information than others.

The Catholic Church records of the Dominican Republic are the best reliable source for genealogical research. For research after the civil registration implementation in 1944, it is suggested to research both civil and church records and to compare the information.

These records were obtained from public access sources in the Dominican Republic and may be used for informational and research purposes only. Please direct inquiries, requests, or concerns to the e-mail listed at the bottom of the FamilySearch Privacy Policy (

You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for Dominican Republic, Catholic Church.

Collection Content

Sample Images

Baptism records usually contain the following information:

  • Date and place of baptism
  • Name
  • Birth date
  • Parents’ names
  • Grandparents’ names
  • Godparents’ names

Marriage records usually contain the following information:

  • Date and place of marriage
  • Names of bride and groom
  • Groom's age, origin, civil status and occupation
  • Groom's parents' names
  • Bride's age, origin, civil status and residence
  • Bride's parents' names
  • Witnesses' names

Burial records usually contain the following information:

  • Date and place of death (keep in mind that death records for women may be filed under their married name)
  • Name of deceased
  • Age, civil status, and origin of deceased
  • Cause of death
  • Parents' names
  • Burial place

How Do I Search the Collection?

Some record sets have indexes; these indexes were created at the end of the year. Copy errors could have been made in the index, so you want to find the actual record to verify the information is correct. Using the index is a helpful way to find the actual record.

If indexes are available, check these for the name first. Indexes are usually located at the beginning of a group of images, at the end or in individual folders. Find your ancestor’s 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 burial records, the information in records is usually reliable, but depends upon the knowledge of the informant.

Regarding marriage and burial records, name changes, shortened names, or nicknames may have been used by your ancestors, so pay attention to other relationships (parents, spouse, siblings, children, etc.) that can confirm whether you have the right person/record.

To search by image:
To search the collection, you will need to follow this series of links:
⇒Select "Browse" on the initial collection page
⇒ Select the "Province"
⇒ 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 if the image relates to them. 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.

When searching:
As you are searching, it is helpful to know such information as your ancestor's given name and surname, as well as some identifying information such as residence, 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.

For Help Reading These Records

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

What Do I Do Next?

To learn more about using the information in civil records, view this lesson for free: La Investigación Genealógica en República Dominicana - Spanish

  • Use the marriage date and place as the basis for compiling a new family group or for verifying existing information.
  • Use the birth date or age along with the place of birth of each partner to find a couple's birth records and parents' names.
  • Use the parents' birth places to find former residences and to establish a migration pattern for the family.
  • The name of a marriage officiator is a clue to their religion or area of residence in the province. However, ministers may have reported marriages performed in other provinces.
  • Compile the marriage entries for every person who has the same surname as the bride or groom; this is especially helpful in rural areas or if the surname is unusual.
  • Use the marital status to identify previous marriages, that is, whether a divorce or death dissolved a previous marriage.
  • Witnesses often were relatives of the parents.

Tips to Keep in Mind

The birth of a child must be registered within 30 days of the birth. After that, it is considered a late registration and has penalties. Therefore, if parents knew they wouldn't meet the deadline, then to avoid the penalties, many children were not registered.

When looking for a person who had a common name, look at all the entries for the name before deciding which is correct.

Continue to search the marriage records to identify children, siblings, parents, and other relatives of the bride and groom who may have married 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.

Continue to search the indexes and records to identify children, siblings, parents, and other relatives who may have lived in the same area or a nearby area.

Earlier records may not contain as much information as the records created after the late 1800s.

What if I Can't Find Who I'm Looking For?

A boundary change could have occurred and the record of you ancestor is now in a neighboring state or region, or your ancestor immigrated to another country. Search the records of nearby areas or immigration/emigration records Dominican Republic, Miscellaneous Records (FamilySearch Historical Records).

Civil records are also a good substitute when baptism, marriage, and burial records can’t be found or are unavailable Dominican Republic Civil Registration (FamilySearch Historical Records).

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Don't overlook FHL Place Dominican Republic items or FHL Keyword Dominican Republic items in the FamilySearch Library Catalog.

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 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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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:

"Dominican Republic, Catholic Church Records, 1590-1955." Images. FamilySearch. : accessed 2016. Parroquias Católicas, República Dominicana (Catholic Church parishes, Domincan Republic).

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 Dominican Republic, Catholic Church.