Difference between revisions of "Bolívar, Venezuela Genealogy"

From FamilySearch Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search
(Added "Others and Miscellaneous" to the List Thingy)
m (Text replacement - ":'''"Bautismos"''' are infant baptisms, which are used for birth information. '''"Matrimonios"''' are marriages. ''' "Óbitos"''' are deaths. '''"Índice"''' is the index. " to "'''Bautismos''' are infant baptisms, which are used for birth information. '''Información matrimonial''' are documents collected in preparation for a marriage. '''Matrimônios'''' are marriages. '''Defunciones''' are deaths. '''Entierros''' are burials'". Índice''' is the index.")
 
(16 intermediate revisions by 6 users not shown)
Line 1: Line 1:
[[Venezuela|Venezuela]] [[Bolívar|Bolívar]]
+
''[[South America]] [[Image:Gotoarrow.png]] [[Venezuela Genealogy|Venezuela]] [[Image:Gotoarrow.png]] Bolívar<br>
 +
{{Venezuela-sidebar}}
 +
Guide to '''Bolívar ancestry, family history and genealogy:''' birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, parish registers, and military records. 
  
{| width="100%" cellspacing="10" cellpadding="5" class="FCK__ShowTableBorders"
+
== History ==
|-
 
| valign="top" style="padding-bottom: 0pt; margin: 0pt; padding-left: 0pt; padding-right: 0pt; padding-top: 0pt" | <div style="width: 74%; float: right">
 
== General Information ==
 
  
Was part of the Nueva Andalucía province until 1762 when the province of Guayana was created. From 1777 it was part of the Capitanía General de Venezuela. In 1821 it became part of Departamento del Orinoco of the República de Colombia, formed by Barinas, Apure, y Guayana; when Venezuela separates from Nueva Granada, Guayana recovers its status of a Venezuelan province.  
+
*Bolívar was part of the Nueva Andalucía province until 1762, when the province of Guayana was created.  
 +
*From 1777it was part of the Capitanía General de Venezuela.  
 +
*In 1821, it became part of Departamento del Orinoco of the República de Colombia, formed by Barinas, Bolívar, y Guayana
 +
*When Venezuela separated from Nueva Granada, Guayana recovered its status of a Venezuelan province.
 +
*In 1856, according to the Law of Territorial Division, the province de Guayana was made up with the current Bolívar, Amazonas and Delta Amacuro states.
 +
*In 1864 Guayana became one of the independent states of the United States of Venezuela.
 +
*In 1879, it was one of the states of the Federation without the territory of Amazonas, which became Territorio Federal Amazonas.
 +
*In 1881, it was named Bolívar, divided in two sections: Guayana and Bolívar. Its territory was reduced with the creation of the federal territories Yuruari and El Caura (1881), Armisticio (1883) and Delta (1884).
 +
*Between 1890 and 1893 it recovered these territories.
 +
*In 1890, it became part, with the name of Guayana state, of the twenty states in the Federation.
 +
*In 1901, it definitely takes the name of estado Bolívar and became independent.  
  
<br>In 1856, according to the Law of Territorial Division, the province de Guayana was made up with the current Bolívar, Amazonas and Delta Amacuro states. In 1864 Guayana became one of the independent states of the United States of Venezuela. In 1879, it was one of the states of the Federation with out the territory of Amazonas which became Territorio Federal Amazonas. In 1881 it was named Bolívar, divided in two sections: Guayana and Apure. Its territory was reduced with the creation of the federal territories Yuruari and El Caura (1881), Armisticio (1883) and Delta (1884). Between 1890 and 1893 it recovers these territories. In 1890 it becomes part, with the name of Guayana state, part of the twenty states in the Federation. In 1901it definitely takes the name of estado Bolívar and became independent.
 
  
<br>The capital of the state, Ciudad Bolívar, was founded in 1595 under the name of San Tomé de Guayana de Angostura. In honor of liberator, Angostura changed it name to Ciudad Bolívar in 1846, the same as the Bolívar state. It was designated that nome on March 29, 1901, in honor of Simón Bolívar, the Libertador.  
+
'''Most of your genealogical research for Bolívar will be in two main record types: civil registration and church records. This article will teach you methods for locating and searching these two record groups.'''
 +
<br>
  
<br>It is located in the Guayana region, between the states of Guárico, Anzoátegui, Monagas, Delta Amacuro to the north, Apure to the west and Amazonas to the southwest. The south it limits with Brazil, and the east with our Guyana (Zone in Claim).<br><br>
+
==Knowing Your Locality==
 +
*You will need to know the '''town where your family lived''' and district and province.  [http://www.fallingrain.com/world/VE/ '''Directory of Cities, Towns, and Regions in Venezuela'''] will explain for each town and city its geographical jurisdictions.
 +
*For extremely small locations, you may need to use [https://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/009863158 '''Nomenclador de centros poblados, total nacional: XII censo general de población y vivienda'''].<br>
 +
*Google Maps and Wikipedia might also help.
 +
==Civil Registration==
 +
*Civil registration records are government records covering birth, marriage, and death. They are an excellent source of names, dates, places, and relationships. <br>
 +
*Civil authorities began registering births, marriages, and deaths in 1873.
  
<br>
+
=== Writing for Civil Registration Certificates===
  
[Description of the state]
+
Civil registration records are kept at the local civil registration office in each municipality. You must determine the town where your ancestor lived before you can find the records. A civil registration district may include several towns or a small section of a large city. In addition to the town, you need to know an approximate year in which the birth, marriage, divorce, or death occurred.'''''This method is not always reliable. Officials might or might not respond.'''''
 +
<br>
  
== Si usted entiende español ==
+
*For a list of civil registry addresses, see [[Bolívar Civil Registration Addresses|Bolívar Civil Registration Addresses]]. If you need to write to a town not listed there, use this address as a guide, replacing the information in parentheses:<br>  
  
Le invitamos a buscar información en español en la página de&nbsp;[https://www.familysearch.org/learn/wiki/es/Bol%C3%ADvar Bolívar] en el wiki de FamilySearch español. También le invitamos a compartir información útil allí: [https://www.familysearch.org/learn/wiki/es/Bol%C3%ADvar https://www.familysearch.org/learn/wiki/es/Bolívar]  
+
:'''Oficino del Registro Civil'''
 +
:'''(street name, number)'''
 +
:'''(city or town), Bolívar'''
 +
:'''([http://ven.postcodequery.com/MWpr.html postal code])'''
 +
:'''Venezuela'''<br>
 +
<br>
 +
*[http://ven.postcodequery.com/MWpr.html '''Find the Venezuela postal code here.''']  
  
== Research Tools  ==
+
'''Write your request in Spanish whenever possible. Use the translated questions and phrases in this [https://familysearch.org/wiki/en/images/a/aa/LWGSpanish.pdf Spanish Letter-writing Guide] to assist you in writing your letter in Spanish. Send the following when requesting information:'''
  
*[[Parishes of Venezuela]]
+
*Money for the search fee, usually $10.00, and an international reply coupon (IRC)
*[http://net.lib.byu.edu/fslab/researchoutlines/LatinAmerica/Venezuela.pdf BYU Research Outline for Venezuela]
+
*Full name and the sex of the ancestor sought
*Listing of all [https://www.familysearch.org/search/collection/list#page=1&countryId=1927137 records collections for Venezuela] available on FamilySearch.org
+
*Names of the ancestor’s parents, if known
 +
*Approximate date and place of the event
 +
*Your relationship to the ancestor
 +
*Reason for the request (family history, medical, and so on)
 +
*Request for a photocopy of the complete original record <br>
  
'''A wiki article describing this collection is found at:'''
 
  
*[[Venezuela Catholic Church Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)]]
+
<br>
*[[Venezuela, Merida Catholic Church Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)]]
 
*[[Venezuela Civil Registration (FamilySearch Historical Records)]]
 
*[[Venezuela Vital Records Index (FamilySearch Historical Records)]]
 
  
== Featured Content  ==
+
== Church Records==
 +
*Catholic Church parish registers are the primary source for finding genealogical information of birth, death, and marriage in Ecuador prior to 1873, when the civil registration was implemented.
 +
*Parish registers include baptism, confirmation, marriage and death records.
 +
*All the records were registered and kept by the priest in authority of his parish jurisdiction. One register was generally kept at the parish archive and another copy sent to the diocesan archive for preservation.
 +
=== 1. Online Digital Records for Church Records ===
 +
For some localities, digital copies of Catholic church records can be searched online:
 +
*'''1577-1995''' - {{RecordSearch|1951777|Venezuela, Catholic Church Records, 1577-1995}} — free, '''index''', not complete for all localities.
 +
*'''1577-1995''' - [https://familysearch.org/search/image/index?owc=MQ6C-P27%3A376111401%3Fcc%3D1951777 Bolívar, Venezuela, Catholic Church Records, 1577-1995] at [http://familysearch.org/search FamilySearch Historical Records] — free, '''browseable images only''', not complete for all localities. Records will eventually be indexed online.<br>
  
''See FamilySearch Tutorials on [https://familysearch.org/learningcenter/results.html?q=*&fq=place%3A%22Latin%20America%22 Latin American Research.]''
+
'''Bautismos''' are infant baptisms, which are used for birth information. '''Información matrimonial''' are documents collected in preparation for a marriage. '''Matrimônios'''' are marriages. '''Defunciones''' are deaths.  '''Entierros''' are burials'". Índice''' is the index.
 +
=== 2.  Microfilm Copies of Church Records Searched at a Family History Center ===
 +
If the locality and time period you need are not included in the online records, the next step is to try to find them in the microfilm collection of the Family History Library. These microfilms may be viewed at [https://familysearch.org/locations/ Family History Centers] around the world. To find a microfilm:
  
== Did you know? ==
+
:::a. Click on this link to see a list of [https://familysearch.org/search/catalog/results?count=20&placeId=215320&query=%2Bplace%3A%22Venezuela%2C%20Bol%C3%ADvar%22 '''records for Venezuela, Bolívar'''].
 +
:::b. Click on '''"Places within Venezuela, Bolívar"''' and a list of towns and cities will open.
 +
:::c. Click on the '''town or city''' you wish to search.
 +
:::d. Click on '''"Church Records"''' topic. Click on the blue links to specific record titles.
 +
:::e. Choose the correct '''event and time period''' for your ancestor. '''Bautismos''' are infant baptisms, which are used for birth information. '''Información matrimonial''' are documents collected in preparation for a marriage. '''Matrimônios'''' are marriages. '''Defunciones''' are deaths.  '''Entierros''' are burials'". Índice''' is the index.:::f. Some combination of the icons shown below will appear at the far right of the microfilm listed for the record.
 +
:::[[File:FHL icons.png|100px]]  <br>Clicking on the magnifying glass will take you to the index. Clicking on the camera will take you to an online digital copy of the microfilm. Clicking on the microfilm reel will lead to information on how to rent the film. Family History Center staff will assist you in ordering the film.
  
*Venezuela is officially called: Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.  
+
===3. Writing to a Catholic Priest for Church Records ===
*Venezuela is divided into 23 states and 1 capital district. Each state is further divided into more than 300 municipios . To learn more [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Venezuela#Subdivisions click here]. To find address and other contact information visit: http://www.gobiernoenlinea.ve/directorioestado/Registros Civiles de Venezuela Knowing about a country's political divisions will help in determining where records such as '''civil registration '''and '''census''' are located.
+
Baptism, marriage, and death records may be searched by contacting or visiting local parish or diocese archives in Peru. More recent Catholic parish records are kept at the local parish. The diocese keeps the records of parishes that no longer exist. Write your request in Spanish whenever possible. '''''This method is not always reliable.  Officials might or might not respond.'''''  
  
== Help Wanted  ==
+
Write a brief request in Spanish to the proper church using this address as a guide replacing the information in parentheses:<br>
  
In order to make this wiki a better research tool, we need your help! Many tasks need to be done. You can help by:  
+
:'''Reverendo Padre'''
 +
:'''Parroquia de (name of parish) '''
 +
:'''(parish), Bolívar'''
 +
:'''([http://ven.postcodequery.com/MWpr.html postal code])'''
 +
:'''Venezuela'''<br>
 +
<br>
 +
*[http://ven.postcodequery.com/MWpr.html '''Find the Venezuela postal code here.''']
  
{| border="0" cellspacing="1" cellpadding="1" style="background-color: white; font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; color: black; font-size: 100%" class="FCK__ShowTableBorders"
+
'''Send the following when requesting information:'''<br>  
|- style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif"
 
| style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif" | <br>  
 
| style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif" |
 
*[[Help:Editing a Page|Expand an article or]]&nbsp;[[Special:Shortpages|short page]]
 
*[[How to Create an Article on FamilySearch Wiki|Create a new article]]
 
*[[Categorization|Categorize articles]]
 
  
| style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif" |
+
*Money for the search fee, usually $10.00, and an international reply coupon (IRC)
*[[Create an external link|Add external links to articles]]
+
*Full name and the sex of the ancestor sought
*[[Create an internal link|Add internal links to articles]]
+
*Names of the ancestor’s parents, if known
*Other...
+
*Approximate date and place of the event
 +
*Your relationship to the ancestor
 +
*Reason for the request (family history, medical, and so on)
 +
*Request for a photocopy of the complete original record <br>
  
|}
+
'''Write your request in Spanish whenever possible. Use the translated questions and phrases in this [https://familysearch.org/wiki/en/images/a/aa/LWGSpanish.pdf Spanish Letter-writing Guide] to assist you in writing your letter in Spanish. '''
</div> <!--All text below this is included in a column on the left side of the screen.--> <div style="width: 24%; float: left">
+
<br>
{| border="0" style="background: rgb(255,255,240)" class="FCK__ShowTableBorders"
 
|-
 
| align="center" style="font-family: verdana; background: rgb(238,238,238)" | '''News'''
 
|-
 
| align="left" style="background: rgb(249,243,253)" | <!--add "News" below-->
 
<br>  
 
  
|-
+
==Reading the Records==
| align="center" style="font-family: verdana; background: rgb(238,238,238)" | '''Topics'''
 
|-
 
| align="left" style="background: rgb(249,243,253)" |
 
*[[Bolívar Archives and Libraries|Archives and Libraries]]
 
*[[Bolívar Biography|Biography]]
 
*[[Bolívar Cemeteries|Cemeteries]]
 
*[[Bolívar Census|Census]]
 
*[[Bolívar Church Directories|Church Directories]]
 
*[[Bolívar Church History|Church History]]
 
*[[Bolívar Church Records|Church Records]]
 
*[[Bolívar Civil Registration|Civil Registration]]
 
*[[Bolívar Directories|Directories]]
 
*[[Bolívar Emigration and Immigration|Emigration and Immigration]]
 
*[[Bolívar Gazetteers|Gazetteers]]
 
*[[Bolívar Genealogy|Genealogy]]
 
*[[Bolívar Historical Geography|Historical Geography]]
 
*[[Bolívar History|History]]
 
*[[Bolívar Land and Property|Land and Property]]
 
*[[Bolívar Language and Languages|Language and Languages]]
 
*[[Bolívar Maps|Maps]]
 
*[[Bolívar Military Records|Military Records]]
 
*[[Bolívar Names, Personal|Names, Personal]]
 
*[[Bolívar Native Races|Native Races]]
 
*[[Bolívar Newspapers|Newspapers]]
 
*[[Bolívar Notarial Records|Notarial Records]]
 
*[[Bolívar Periodicals|Periodicals]]
 
*[[Bolívar Probate Records|Probate Records]]
 
*[[Bolívar Public Records|Public Records]]
 
*[[Bolívar Social Life and Customs|Social Life and Customs]]
 
*[[Bolívar Societies|Societies]]
 
*[[Bolívar Others and Miscellaneous|Others and Miscellaneous]]
 
  
|-
+
*You do not have to be fluent in Spanish to read your documents. Genealogical records usually contain a limited vocabulary. Use the [[Spanish Genealogical Word List|'''Spanish Genealogical Word List''']] to translate the important points in the document.  Handwriting skills are taught in the [https://script.byu.edu/Pages/Spanish/en/welcome.aspx '''BYU Spanish Script Tutorial'''].
| align="center" style="font-family: verdana; background: rgb(238,238,238)" | '''(Title)'''
 
|-
 
| align="left" style="background: rgb(249,243,253)" |
 
*(your bullet)
 
  
|}
+
*Online interactive slideshow lessons are available to help you learn to read these records:
 +
 
 +
:*[https://familysearch.org/learningcenter/lesson/reading-spanish-handwritten-records-lesson-1-the-spanish-alphabet/217 '''Reading Spanish Handwritten Records, Lesson 1'''] — Spanish alphabet
 +
:*[https://familysearch.org/learningcenter/lesson/reading-spanish-handwritten-records-lesson-2-words-and-dates/218 '''Reading Spanish Handwritten Records, Lesson 2'''] — Names, dates, and key genealogical words
 +
:*[https://familysearch.org/learningcenter/lesson/reading-spanish-handwritten-records-lesson-3-reading-spanish-records/220 '''Reading Spanish Handwritten Records, Lesson 3'''] — Read Spanish records: birth, baptism, marriage, and death records
 +
 
 +
==Search Strategy==
 +
*Search for the relative or ancestor you have selected to work on. When you find his birth record, search for the births of his '''brothers and sisters'''.
 +
*Next, search for the '''marriage of his parents.''' The marriage record will have information that will often help you find the birth records of the parents.
 +
*You can '''estimate the ages''' of the parents and determine a birth year to search for their birth records.
 +
*Search the death registers for all known family members.
 +
*Repeat this process for both the father and the mother, starting with their birth records, then their siblings' births, then their parents' marriages, and so on.
 +
*If earlier generations (parents, grandparents, etc.) do not appear in the records, search neighboring parishes.
 +
 
 +
=== Tips for finding your ancestor in the records ===
 +
*Births were usually reported within a few days of the birth by the father of the child, a neighbor, or the midwife. A search for a birth record should begin with the known date of birth and then searching forward in time, day by day, until the record is found.  It might be found within a few days of the actual birth date, but in some instances, it might be weeks or months later. <br>
 +
 
 +
*The Catholic Church continued keeping records after the creation of the civil registration in 1900. Therefore two types of records are available.  If you can find the needed record in the church records, you do not have to search both records. Someday, when both records are available online, then it would be wise to search both.<br>
 +
 
 +
*Death records can be particularly helpful for people who may not have had a civil birth or marriage record but died during the period when civil registration had begun. <br>
 +
 
 +
 
 +
[[Category:Provinces of Venezuela]]
  
{{Forum badge
 
| layout = vertical
 
| forum link = http://forums.familysearch.org/en/forumdisplay.php?f=11
 
| forum name = Latin America Research forum
 
}}
 
</div>
 
__NOTOC__
 
  
|}
 
<div id="refHTML"></div>
 
&nbsp;
 
<div id="refHTML"></div>
 
<br>&nbsp;
 
<div id="refHTML"></div>
 
 
{{H-langs|en=Main Page|es=Bolívar}}  
 
{{H-langs|en=Main Page|es=Bolívar}}  
  
[[Category:Venezuela]]
+
[[Category:Bolívar State, Venezuela]]

Latest revision as of 18:18, 4 January 2017

South America Gotoarrow.png Venezuela Gotoarrow.png Bolívar

Venezuela Wiki Topics
Flag of Venezuela.svg.png
Beginning Research
Record Types
Venezuela Background
Local Research Resources

Guide to Bolívar ancestry, family history and genealogy: birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, parish registers, and military records.

History

  • Bolívar was part of the Nueva Andalucía province until 1762, when the province of Guayana was created.
  • From 1777, it was part of the Capitanía General de Venezuela.
  • In 1821, it became part of Departamento del Orinoco of the República de Colombia, formed by Barinas, Bolívar, y Guayana
  • When Venezuela separated from Nueva Granada, Guayana recovered its status of a Venezuelan province.
  • In 1856, according to the Law of Territorial Division, the province de Guayana was made up with the current Bolívar, Amazonas and Delta Amacuro states.
  • In 1864 Guayana became one of the independent states of the United States of Venezuela.
  • In 1879, it was one of the states of the Federation without the territory of Amazonas, which became Territorio Federal Amazonas.
  • In 1881, it was named Bolívar, divided in two sections: Guayana and Bolívar. Its territory was reduced with the creation of the federal territories Yuruari and El Caura (1881), Armisticio (1883) and Delta (1884).
  • Between 1890 and 1893 it recovered these territories.
  • In 1890, it became part, with the name of Guayana state, of the twenty states in the Federation.
  • In 1901, it definitely takes the name of estado Bolívar and became independent.


Most of your genealogical research for Bolívar will be in two main record types: civil registration and church records. This article will teach you methods for locating and searching these two record groups.

Knowing Your Locality

Civil Registration

  • Civil registration records are government records covering birth, marriage, and death. They are an excellent source of names, dates, places, and relationships.
  • Civil authorities began registering births, marriages, and deaths in 1873.

Writing for Civil Registration Certificates

Civil registration records are kept at the local civil registration office in each municipality. You must determine the town where your ancestor lived before you can find the records. A civil registration district may include several towns or a small section of a large city. In addition to the town, you need to know an approximate year in which the birth, marriage, divorce, or death occurred.This method is not always reliable. Officials might or might not respond.

  • For a list of civil registry addresses, see Bolívar Civil Registration Addresses. If you need to write to a town not listed there, use this address as a guide, replacing the information in parentheses:
Oficino del Registro Civil
(street name, number)
(city or town), Bolívar
(postal code)
Venezuela


Write your request in Spanish whenever possible. Use the translated questions and phrases in this Spanish Letter-writing Guide to assist you in writing your letter in Spanish. Send the following when requesting information:

  • Money for the search fee, usually $10.00, and an international reply coupon (IRC)
  • Full name and the sex of the ancestor sought
  • Names of the ancestor’s parents, if known
  • Approximate date and place of the event
  • Your relationship to the ancestor
  • Reason for the request (family history, medical, and so on)
  • Request for a photocopy of the complete original record



Church Records

  • Catholic Church parish registers are the primary source for finding genealogical information of birth, death, and marriage in Ecuador prior to 1873, when the civil registration was implemented.
  • Parish registers include baptism, confirmation, marriage and death records.
  • All the records were registered and kept by the priest in authority of his parish jurisdiction. One register was generally kept at the parish archive and another copy sent to the diocesan archive for preservation.

1. Online Digital Records for Church Records

For some localities, digital copies of Catholic church records can be searched online:

Bautismos are infant baptisms, which are used for birth information. Información matrimonial are documents collected in preparation for a marriage. Matrimônios' are marriages. Defunciones are deaths. Entierros are burials'". Índice is the index.

2. Microfilm Copies of Church Records Searched at a Family History Center

If the locality and time period you need are not included in the online records, the next step is to try to find them in the microfilm collection of the Family History Library. These microfilms may be viewed at Family History Centers around the world. To find a microfilm:

a. Click on this link to see a list of records for Venezuela, Bolívar.
b. Click on "Places within Venezuela, Bolívar" and a list of towns and cities will open.
c. Click on the town or city you wish to search.
d. Click on "Church Records" topic. Click on the blue links to specific record titles.
e. Choose the correct event and time period for your ancestor. Bautismos are infant baptisms, which are used for birth information. Información matrimonial are documents collected in preparation for a marriage. Matrimônios' are marriages. Defunciones are deaths. Entierros are burials'". Índice is the index.:::f. Some combination of the icons shown below will appear at the far right of the microfilm listed for the record.
FHL icons.png
Clicking on the magnifying glass will take you to the index. Clicking on the camera will take you to an online digital copy of the microfilm. Clicking on the microfilm reel will lead to information on how to rent the film. Family History Center staff will assist you in ordering the film.

3. Writing to a Catholic Priest for Church Records

Baptism, marriage, and death records may be searched by contacting or visiting local parish or diocese archives in Peru. More recent Catholic parish records are kept at the local parish. The diocese keeps the records of parishes that no longer exist. Write your request in Spanish whenever possible. This method is not always reliable. Officials might or might not respond.

Write a brief request in Spanish to the proper church using this address as a guide replacing the information in parentheses:

Reverendo Padre
Parroquia de (name of parish)
(parish), Bolívar
(postal code)
Venezuela


Send the following when requesting information:

  • Money for the search fee, usually $10.00, and an international reply coupon (IRC)
  • Full name and the sex of the ancestor sought
  • Names of the ancestor’s parents, if known
  • Approximate date and place of the event
  • Your relationship to the ancestor
  • Reason for the request (family history, medical, and so on)
  • Request for a photocopy of the complete original record

Write your request in Spanish whenever possible. Use the translated questions and phrases in this Spanish Letter-writing Guide to assist you in writing your letter in Spanish.

Reading the Records

  • Online interactive slideshow lessons are available to help you learn to read these records:

Search Strategy

  • Search for the relative or ancestor you have selected to work on. When you find his birth record, search for the births of his brothers and sisters.
  • Next, search for the marriage of his parents. The marriage record will have information that will often help you find the birth records of the parents.
  • You can estimate the ages of the parents and determine a birth year to search for their birth records.
  • Search the death registers for all known family members.
  • Repeat this process for both the father and the mother, starting with their birth records, then their siblings' births, then their parents' marriages, and so on.
  • If earlier generations (parents, grandparents, etc.) do not appear in the records, search neighboring parishes.

Tips for finding your ancestor in the records

  • Births were usually reported within a few days of the birth by the father of the child, a neighbor, or the midwife. A search for a birth record should begin with the known date of birth and then searching forward in time, day by day, until the record is found. It might be found within a few days of the actual birth date, but in some instances, it might be weeks or months later.
  • The Catholic Church continued keeping records after the creation of the civil registration in 1900. Therefore two types of records are available. If you can find the needed record in the church records, you do not have to search both records. Someday, when both records are available online, then it would be wise to search both.
  • Death records can be particularly helpful for people who may not have had a civil birth or marriage record but died during the period when civil registration had begun.