Mexico Catholic Church Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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Mexico

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This article contains information about records in multiple collections. See All Published Record Collections for a list of available records.
Mexico
Mexico Flag.png
Flag of Mexico
Mexico Orthographic Globe.svg.png
Map of Mexico
Record Description
Record Type Church
Language: Spanish
Title in the Language: México, Registros Parroquiales de la Iglesia Católica
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Archive
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Please note that the records that were previously found in this super collection have been moved to their respective states. In order to find the records that may have previously been in this collection you will need to search within the collection of Catholic Church records for that state.

What is in the Collection?

In 1563, the Council of Trent, which was a gathering of the Roman Catholic Church to examine and condemn their doctrines, formalized record keeping practices that were already being followed in much of the Catholic world. Separate record books were to be maintained for baptisms, confirmations, marriages, and deaths. The Catholic Church, which was established in Mexico in 1527, was the primary record keeper for Mexico until civil registration started. Different dioceses usually followed the same standard of writing, so the information found in records are mostly consistent.

The vast majority of Mexicans were Catholic and registered in the records of the local parish or diocese, known as registros parroquiales (parish registers). These records include entries for baptisms, confirmations, marriage information documents, marriages, deaths, and burials. Often, two or sometimes even three generations are indicated in the registers. The records were kept at the parish and a copy was sent to the diocesan archive for preservation.

Church records are crucial in Mexico since civil authorities did not begin registering vital statistics until after 1859. For civil vital records of births, deaths, and marriages after 1859, see the Mexico Civil Registration Records wiki article.

Some church records have been lost or have deteriorated due to natural effects such as humidity, insects and more dramatic events such as fires, floods, and earthquakes. Civil and political strife have also caused the destruction of parish books. Some records were destroyed or damaged because of poor storage. However, many records that are considered lost or destroyed have simply been misplaced or misidentified.

It is important to note that individual dioceses started documenting life events only after they were established. Each diocese began at different times, here is a list of the years some prominent dioceses were started:

  • 1527 - Diocese of Tlaxcala
  • 1530 - Archdiocese of Mexico
  • 1535 - Diocese of Oaxaca
  • 1536 - Diocese of Michoacan
  • 1539 - Diocese of Chiapas
  • 1546 - Archdiocese of Mexico
  • 1548 - Diocese of Guadalajara
  • 1561 - Diocese of Yucatan
  • 1620 - Diocese of Durango
  • 1777 - Diocese of Monterrey
  • 1779 - Diocese of Sonora
  • 1845 - Diocese of Campeche
  • 1854 - Diocese of San Luis Potosi
  • 1862 - Diocese of Chilapa
  • 1862 - Diocese of Queretaro
  • 1863 - Archdiocese of Guadalajara
  • 1863 - Archdiocese of Michoacan
  • 1870 - Diocese of Veracruz
  • 1870 - Diocese of Tamaulipas
  • 1874 - Diocese of Tabasco
  • 1881 - Diocese of Tampico
  • 1891 - Archdiocese of Oaxaca
  • 1891 - Archdiocese of Durango
  • 1891 - Diocese of Chihuahua
  • 1899 - Diocese of Aguascaliente
  • 1903 - Diocese of Puebla
  • 1906 - Diocese of Yucatan

Collection Contents

Mexico Chihuahua Church Records Baptisn.jpg

Baptismal records may contain the following information:

  • Name of the child
  • Place and date of baptism
  • Age
  • Family's place of residence
  • Name of parents
  • Legitimacy
  • Godparents
  • Grandparents
Mexico Tlaxcala ccr confirmation.jpg

Confirmation records may contain the following information:

  • Name of the individual
  • Godparents
  • Parents' names
  • Name of the parish
Mexico Aguascalientes Roman Catholic Parish Registers Marriage.jpg

Marriage records may contain the following information:

  • Groom's name
  • Groom's age, marital status, residence
  • Bride's name
  • Bride's age, marital status, residence
  • Parents' names
  • Parents' birthplace
Mexico Baja California Catholic Church Records Death.jpg

Burial records may contain the following information:

  • Name of the deceased
  • Date and place of burial or death
  • Age, place of residence, marital status
  • Cause of death
  • Name of survivors

How Do I Search the Collection?

Each collection has search instructions available in the associated article. See Mexico Catholic Church Records Collections for available articles.

What Do I Do Next?

When you have located your ancestor’s record, carefully evaluate each piece of information about other people listed in the record. These pieces of information may give you new biographical details that can lead you to other records about your ancestors, such as:

  • Use the parents' names to locate any children.
  • Search for the parents' marriage. If their age is not given, estimate it and search for their baptismal record.
  • Continue to repeat this process for each ancestor.

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

  • Check for variant spellings of the names.
  • Check for an index. Some records have indexes at the end of the volume.
  • If earlier generations (parents, grandparents, etc.) do not appear in the records, search neighboring parishes.
  • If the event you are looking for is after 1859, try searching the civil registration.

FamilySearch Historical Record Collections

How You Can Contribute

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