Peru Catholic Church Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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Peru, Catholic Church Records, 1603-1992 .
This article describes a collection of records at
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Record Description
Record Type: Catholic Church Records
Collection years: 1603-1992
Languages: Spanish
Title in the Language: Registros parroquiales de la Iglesia Católica en Perú
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites
Parroquias Católicas, Peru (Catholic Church parishes, Peru)

What's in this Collection?

This collection of church records covers the years 1603 to 1992. These records are written in Spanish; see the section For Help Reading these Records for translation helps.

The earlier records from this collection are all handwritten in a narrative format. Some later records are handwritten on printed forms, which may vary slightly from one priest to another. Generally, these records were written in chronological order. In smaller parishes, one book was used for all the ordinances (such as baptism, marriage, and death). In larger cities, records of the different types of sacred ordinances were kept in separate books. Confirmations were generally written in the baptismal registers. Some of the older records are damaged, but most of the genealogical information can be extracted.

This collection of church records covers several parishes in dioceses and archdioceses of Peru. Some of the records in this collection may have been created in a different ecclesiastical jurisdiction than the one where these are currently housed. All the sacramental ordinances were created, registered, and kept by the priest in authority of his parish jurisdiction. The parish jurisdiction may include sub-parishes in other nearby localities. One copy of the records is kept at the parish archive; another copy is sent to the diocesan archive for preservation. Most of the parish records in this collection were acquired at the diocesan archives. 

Catholic Church parish registers were created by priests authorized to record the church sacraments of baptism, marriage, death, burial, and other ordinances in their parish jurisdiction.

Catholic Church parish registers are the primary source for finding genealogical information of birth, death, and marriage in Peru prior to 1852, when the civil registration was implemented.

To Browse this Collection

You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for Peru, Catholic Church Records, 1603-1992.

What Can this Collection Tell Me?

Baptismal records usually contain the following information:

  • Date and parish of baptism
  • Name and gender of person baptized
  • Child's date of birth
  • Legitimacy
  • Father's name
  • Mother's maiden name
  • Names of godparents

Marriage records usually contain the following information:

  • Date and place of marriage
  • Groom's name, age, marital status and legitimacy
  • Names of groom's parents
  • Names of groom's godparents
  • Bride's name, age, marital status and legitimacy
  • Names of bride's parents
  • Names of bride's godparents
  • Witnesses’ names

Burial or death records usually contain the following information:

  • Date and place of burial
  • Name of deceased
  • Age and marital status of deceased
  • Spouse’s name, if married
  • Legitimacy (not always)
  • Residence of the deceased
  • Place of death
  • Cause of death

Collection Content

Sample Images

  • Baptism Record

  • Marriage Record

  • Death Record

  • Coverage Table

    As of 12 December 2016 this collection included records from the following departments.

    La Libertad
    Madre de Dios
    San Martin

    How Do I Search This Collection?

    As you are searching it is helpful to know such information as your 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 your ancestor and that your ancestor may have used nicknames or different names at different times.

    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.

    View images in this collection by visiting the Browse Page:
    ⇒ Select the “Department” category
    ⇒ Select the “City or Town” category
    ⇒ Select the "Parish" category
    ⇒ Select the “Record Type and Years” that 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.

    For Help Reading these Records

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

    To learn more about using the information in civil records, view these lessons for free:

    What Do I Do Next?

    When you have located your ancestor’s record, carefully evaluate each piece of information given. These pieces of information may give you new biographical details that can lead you to other records about your ancestors. Add this new information to your records of each family. Keep in mind:

    • The information in church records is usually reliable, but depends upon the reliability of the informant.
    • Earlier records may not contain as much information as the records created after the late 1800.
    • There is also some variation in the information given from one record to another.

    I Found Who I was Looking for, What Now?

    • 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 birth date or age along with the place of birth to find the family in census records.
    • Use the death date or age along with the place of death to find birth records.
    • Use the residence and names of the parents to locate church and land records.
    • Occupations listed can lead you to other types of records such as employment or military records.
    • Use the parents' birth places to find former residences and to establish a migration pattern for the family.
    • Compile information for every person who has the same surname as your ancestor; this is especially helpful in rural areas or if the surname is unusual.
    • Continue to search the records to identify children, siblings, parents, and other relatives 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.
    • Use the marriage number to identify previous marriages.
    • When looking for a person who had a common name, look at all the entries for the name before deciding which is correct.

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

    • Civil registration records are also a good source of genealogical information. See Peru Civil Registration for further information. You should obtain copies of both church records and civil registration, when possible, since they do not necessarily provide the same information. For example, baptismal registers sometimes provide the names of the fathers of illegitimate children when the civil registration does not
    • Check for variant spellings of the surnames.
    • You ancestor may be using a nickname or alias.
    • A boundary change could have occurred and the record of your ancestor is now in a neighboring area. Search the records and indexes of neighboring cities, provinces, and regions.
    • Your ancestor may have immigrated to another country. Search the records of nearby countries or immigration/emigration records.

    Known Issues with This Collection

    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.

    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:

    "Peru, Catholic Church Records, 1603-1992." Database with Images. FamilySearch. : accessed 2017. Citing Parroquiales de la Iglesia Católica [Catholic Church Parishes], nation-wide, Peru.

    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 Peru, Catholic Church Records, 1603-1992.

    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 Peru, Catholic Church Records, 1603-1992.

    How Can I Contribute to the FamilySearch Wiki?

    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.