Bolivia Catholic Church Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)

From FamilySearch Wiki
Revision as of 23:39, 27 February 2013 by Sabenson (talk | contribs) (Entered Citation)

Jump to: navigation, search
FamilySearch Record Search This article describes a collection of historical records available at
Access the records: Bolivia Catholic Church Records, 1566-1996 .

Title in the Language of the Records

Registros Parroquiales de la Iglesia Católica en Bolivia

Record Description

This Collection will include records from 1566 to 1996.

This collection includes baptisms, confirmations, marriages, and burial/deaths from Catholic Church parishes in the country of Bolivia. The text of records is handwritten in Spanish, mostly in narrative form; only in later years the records are handwritten in formatted registers. 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, separate books were kept for each of the ordinances. Confirmations were generally written in the baptismal registers.

A list of the cities and parishes included in this collection is found in the Parishes of Bolivia coverage table.

The influence of the Catholic Church in Bolivia had its beginnings somewhere around the mid 1500s, with the arrival of the Spaniards. All the sacramental ordinances were created, registered, and kept by the priest in authority of his parish jurisdiction. The parish jurisdiction may have included sub-parishes from nearby localities. One copy of the records was kept at the parish archive and another copy was sent to the diocesan archive for preservation. As the population and membership increased, the parish jurisdictions were moved and more parishes were created.

The Catholic Church in Spain found it important for priest in Bolivia and other colonies to record the events of baptisms, marriages, and later of burials. Since then priest assigned to a jurisdiction recorded the ordinances, including some personal information, of his parishioners. This was needed for membership statistics and later became a benefit for the parishioners themselves.

Catholic Church parish registers are the primary source for finding genealogical information of birth, death, and marriage prior to 1943, when the civil registration law was enacted in Bolivia.

For a list of localities currently published in this collection, select the Browse link from the collection landing page.

Citation for This Collection

The following citation refers to the original source of the information published in Historical Records collections. Sources include the author, custodian, publisher, and archive for the original records.

"Bolivia, Catholic Church Records 1566-1996." Images. FamilySearch. : accessed 2013.

Copies of originals are also housed in different diocesan archives throughout Bolivia.

Suggested citation format for a record in this collection.

Record Content

These baptism records usually contain the following information:

  • Date of baptism
  • Place of baptism
  • Child's name and gender
  • Child's birth date
  • Parents’ names
  • Godparents’ names

These confirmation records usually contain the following information:

  • Name
  • Parents' names
  • Legitimacy
  • Godparents

These marriage records usually contain the following information:

  • Date of marriage
  • Place of marriage
  • Groom's name, age and civil status
  • Groom's parents' names
  • Bride's name, age and civil status
  • Bride's parents' names
  • Witnesses’ names
  • Name and age of child prior to marriage

These death or burial records usually contain the following information:

  • Death date and location
  • Name and age of deceased
  • Parents' names of deceased
  • Burial place

How to Use the Record

To browse this collection you will need to follow this series of links:
⇒ Select the Browse link in the initial search page
⇒ Select the Departamento category
⇒ Select the Ciudad o pueblo category
⇒ Select the Parroquia category
⇒ Select the Tipo de registro y años category which takes you to the images.

Look at the images one by one 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.

  • 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.

Known Issues with This Collection

Important.png Problems with this collection?
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.

Related Websites

Related Wiki Articles

Contributions to This Article

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.

Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections

When you copy information from a record, you should list where you found the information. This will help you or others to find the record again. It is also good to keep track of records where you did not find information, including the names of the people you looked for in the records.

A suggested format for keeping track of records that you have searched is found in the wiki article Help:How to Cite FamilySearch Collections.

Citation Example for a Record Found in This Collection

“Bolivia, Catholic Church Records, 1566-1996,” images, FamilySearch ( accessed 29 June, 2012), Santa Cruz > Cotoca > Purisima Concepcion > Bautismos 1846-1925 > image 357 of 426 images, Jose Nunez, 1922; citing Parroquia Purisima Concepcion, Cotoca, Santa Cruz, Bolivia.