Venezuela, Archdiocese of Mérida, Catholic Church Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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FamilySearch Record Search This article describes a collection of historical records available at
Access the records: Venezuela, Archdiocese of Mérida, Catholic Church Records, 1654-2013 .


Title in the Language of the Record

Venezuela, Mérida Registros Parroquiales de la Iglesia Católica

What is in the Collection?

This collection will include records of baptism, marriage, and also death/burial, and other ordinances from 1654 to 2013 for the parishes under the Archdiocese of Merida.

These parish records have been preserved relatively well. In general they are in good condition to extract genealogical information. Some of the older registers may appear to have some physical damage, therefore, some data may have been lost or may be very difficult to read.

Parish priests performed the baptisms, marriages, deaths, burials, and other holy sacraments in their assigned parish or parishes. All the original parish records were kept in the parish archive. However, the older records were, and currently are, sent annually to the archdiocesan archive to be preserved and centralized in one place. Most of the earlier population were Roman Catholics, therefore, parish records cover 95 to 100% of a city’s population. This collection only includes the parish records that were centralized at the archive of the Archdiocese of Merida (Arquidiócesis de Mérida).

These records are written in Spanish.; see the section "For Help Reading these Records" for translation helps.

Catholic Church parish records are a reliable source for doing genealogical research in Merida, Venezuela.

You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for Venezuela, Archdiocese of Mérida, Catholic Church Records, 1654-2013.

Collection Content

The information found in each record varies by year. Records were made by Catholic priests or their associates, recorded in Spanish, and mostly written on either lined paper or blank paper that contained pre-printed numbers.

Sample Images

Baptism records generally include the following information:

  • Date and place of baptism
  • Name and gender
  • Date and place of birth
  • Legitimacy
  • Parents’ names and residence
  • Names of godparents

Marriage records may include the following:

  • Date and place of marriage
  • Groom's name and age
  • Groom's birthplace
  • Groom's residence
  • Names of groom's parents
  • Bride's name and age
  • Bride's birthplace
  • Bride's residence
  • Names of bride's parents
  • Sometimes, the marital status (widowed, single, divorced) of each is given
  • Name of witnesses

Death/burial records usually include:

  • Deceased’s name, gender, and age (keep in mind that death records for women may be filed under their married name)
  • Marital status/name of spouse
  • Birthplace
  • Names of parents
  • Burial date and 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.

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.

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.

View images in this collection by visiting the Browse Page:
To search the collection image by image you will need to follow this series of links:
⇒Select the "Browse" link in the initial search page
⇒Select the "State"
⇒Select the "City or Town"
⇒Select the "Parish"
⇒Select the "Record Type and Years" which takes you to the images.

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. For help reading the records see the following guides:

What Do I Do Next?

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

I Found Who I was Looking for, What Now?

In Latin America, two or three generations are often indicated in church registers, along with their birthplaces or residences. If, however, earlier generations are not listed with the relative or ancestor selected, try searching parishes located within a close proximity.

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.

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

A boundary change could have occurred and the record of your 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. Venezuela Emigration and Immigration

Civil registration records are also a good source of genealogical information. Venezuela Civil Registration (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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Don't overlook FHL Place Venezuela, Mérida, Mérida items or FHL Keyword Venezuela, Mérida, Mérida items in the FamilySearch Library Catalog. For other libraries (local and national) or to gain access to items of interest, see Venezuela Archives and Libraries.

Related Websites

Related Wiki Articles

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:

"Venezuela, Archdiocese of Mérida, Catholic Church Records, 1654-2013" Database with Images. FamilySearch. : accessed 2016. Citing Archdiocesan Archives, Mérida, Venezuela.

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 Venezuela, Archdiocese of Mérida, Catholic Church Records, 1654-2013.

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 Venezuela, Archdiocese of Mérida, Catholic Church Records, 1654-2013.

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.

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.