Spain, Cantabria, Catholic Church Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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This article describes a collection of records scheduled to become available at
Cantabria, Spain
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Location of Cantabria, Spain
Record Description
Record Type: Catholic Church Records
Collection years: 1570-1951
Languages: Spanish Castilian
Title in the Languages: España, Cantabria, Registros Parroquiales de la Diócesis Católica
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Diocese of Santander

What is in the Collection?

This is an index of baptisms, marriages, and death records for some parishes in the Diocese of Santander. Some of the parishes included in this first collection are the localities of Santillana del Mar, Torrelavega and Reocín. The territory of this diocese comprises the whole province of Cantabria.

These records are in Spanish and early registers may have some ecclesiastical documents written in Latin; see the section "For Help Reading These Records" for links to translation help guides.

Additional indexed records will be published as they become available.

Collection Contents

Baptism records may include the following information:

  • Place and date of baptism
  • Name
  • Birth date
  • Parents' names
  • Godparents' names

Marriage records usually include the following:

  • Place and date of marriage
  • Groom's name, age, origin, residence, and occupation
  • Bride's name, age, origin, and residence
  • Parents' names and origin

Death records usually include:

  • Place and date of death
  • Name and age of deceased
  • Cause of death
  • Burial place
  • Parents' names
  • Marital status/name of spouse
  • Sometimes, the children of the deceased

The information in each record may vary by year.

Sample Images

How Do I Search the Collection?

Some record sets have indexes; these indexes were created at the end of the year. Copy errors, altered spellings, misinterpretations, and optical character recognition errors (if the information was scanned) 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 quick and helpful way to find the actual record.

See the sections below for tips and uses for searching and finding the record of your ancestor in this collection and using the information in the record.

If you are unable to find a record for your ancestor in this collection, see the corresponding section below.

Search the Collection

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.

When searching:
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, 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 or Latin. For help reading the records, see the following wiki articles:

What Do I Do Next?

  • 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 to find each of the couple's birth records and parents' names.
  • Use the residence and names of the parents to locate civil records Spain Civil Registration - Vital Records.
  • 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 (whether a divorce or death dissolved a marriage) to identify previous marriages.
  • Witnesses often were relatives of the parents.

I Found Who I was Looking for, Now What?

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

Regarding marriage and death 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.

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.

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

If you can't find your ancestor in this collection, perhaps your ancestor moved, so the records of your ancestor are in a nearby province. Search the records of nearby provinces.

Or maybe your ancestor immigrated to another country. Search immigration/emigration records Spain Emigration and Immigration.

Civil registration records (birth, marriage, and death records) are also a good substitute for when a church record cannot be found Spain Civil Registration - Vital Records.

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: .

"Spain, Cantabria, Catholic Church Records." Database. FamilySearch. : accessed 2016. Citing Historical Diocesan Archives of Santander, Santander, Spain.
Record Citation (or citation for the index entry):
The citation for a record will be available with each record once the collection is published.

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.