Records for matrimonial information are also known as wedding banns. Couples who wished to marry in the Catholic Church had to go through a screening process to verify that they had no impediment before the church or had a canonical impediment. The documents for matrimonial information consisted of several parts. It included an introduction which stated the intention of marriage by the couple and sometimes marriage edicts through which other people had the opportunity to state the reasons why they thought the couple should not marry. These edicts were announced on three separate occasions.
The document includes personal information on the bride and groom, such as:
- Their name, age, marital status and place of residence.
- Names of parents and sometimes the place of birth and names of grandparents.
- If for any of them this is their second nuptials, the document details the deceased spouse's name and the time elapsed since the event.
- If a person belonged to another parish, the document included the parish, which demonstrated the suitability of the couple to marry.
These documents could include baptismal records and indicate the dates on which the banns were published. Matrimonial information could show some kind of waiver (ie. an exception or marriage restriction) to the fourth degree of consanguinity (blood relationship) or affinity (marriage related), indicating that the bride or groom were related. If this was the case, included is graphics and biographical data of the families involved, sometimes giving a line of ancestors of the parents in common. Following this information, two or more witnesses declared the suitability of the bride and groom. The information could include personal information of the witnesses and how long they had known the bride or groom. The witnesses could be related to the couple. This marriage information document could be a few pages or many depending on the testimony of witnesses or the information provided by the public. Generally, a document endnote realized if the couple was married or not.
To see examples with better facility you have to click on the desired image. Similarly, to see the transcripts of the examples then click on the image of the transcript that corresponds to the example.
How to use the information
There are many ways that you can use the information found in the matrimonial information to find additional data about individuals. Below are several articles that will help you learn more about the benefits of information and how to use it. One only has to click on the desired item to see the article in the title.
Locating matrimonial information
Even though matrimonial information in Mexico is almost always physically in the parish archives, there are other ways one can view the information in them. A preservation project of the records was made many years ago and generated films (microfilm) for many of the church records of Mexico. These films can be accessed in more than 4,500 family history centers located around the world. In addition to the films that can be accessed at these centers there are other places that have some of the films but the amount of films is very minimal in comparison. Today you can see the images of documents of some states of the country from your own home. The film records for some states have been digitized and put online for all to see. These images can be viewed on the website, FamilySearch for free.
- In the matrimonial information, you will find important information since they contain the wedding banns, held on three festive days (which was regularly on Sundays) they contain the request of the groom and bride, parental consent, and you will also find the witnesses information. In this part of the documentation you will also find the place of origin for the parties, age, name of parents, and sometimes grandparents’ information.
- In the marriage record you will find the name of the parties, the wedding date, parents’ names, may include the name of the grandparents, and the place of origin.
Available on FamilySearch
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Catholic Parish Records
State by state, these are the parish records available to view online at FamilySearch
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