Colombia Notarial Records
Notary records are records that were recorded and verified by a notary. Public notaries and scribes in Latin America recorded a great variety of legal documents. Books are generally organized chronologically under the notary’s name. Spanish law governed the maintenance of these notarial registers (protocolos or notarios) by establishing forms on which the information was to be entered. The practice of keeping notarial records persisted in Latin American countries after they gained independence from Spain, at which time, indexing the records became more common.
The types of records found in notarial books include:
- Wills (testamentos).
- Guardianship records (tutelas).
- Dowry records (cartas de dote).
- Mortgages (hipotecas).
- Purchase and sale of goods or land (contratos de compra-venta).
- Agreements or settlements (acuerdos).
- Civil Registration till 1926
Notarial records are more difficult to use than other records because of their varied nature, length, and complexity. But they offer detail and information not available in other sources and may provide important clues about an ancestor’s family, residence, and economic status.