Honduras, Catholic Church Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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FamilySearch Record Search This article describes a collection of historical records available at FamilySearch.org.
Access the records: Honduras, Catholic Church Records, 1633-1978 .

Title in the Language of the Records

Registros Parroquiales de la Iglesia Católica en Honduras.

Record Description

This collection will include records from 1633 to 1978. A list of the cities and parishes contained in this collection is found in the Parishes in Honduras coverage table.

In 1563, the Council of Trent formalized record-keeping practices that were already being followed in much of the Catholic world. Separate record books were to be maintained for baptisms, confirmations, marriages, and deaths or burials, and the format was standardized. However, in smaller areas, all records may be recorded on one register. Following this format, the Catholic Church was the primary record keeper for Honduras until the civil registration started in 1859. After 1859, these records can be used to complement civil registration. A large percentage, if not all, of the population is listed in these records. The entries were normally made in chronological order.

These records are in Spanish. For help with reading the records, see the Spanish Genealogical Word List article.

The records are in relatively fair condition, with the exception of some older records that may be damaged and therefore hard to read or may be missing some information. Most of the older records are handwritten in narrative style and follow a common text with some variations depending on the style used by the priest. Newer records are handwritten in formatted registers; some are even written in ledger-style registers.

For a list of record categories 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 FamilySearch.org Historical Record collections. Sources include the author, custodian, publisher, and archive for the original records.

"Honduras, Catholic Church Records, 1633-1978." Index and Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2013.

Copies of original records are housed in various diocesan archives throughout Honduras.

  • Archdiocese of Tegucigalpa
  • Diocese of San Pedro Sula
  • Diocese of Santa Rosa Copan
  • Diocese of Juticalpa
  • Diocese of Comayagua
  • Diocese of Choluteca

We welcome your assistance in adding source citations for individual archives when collection data was collected from various sources or archives.

Suggested citation format for a record in this collection.

Record Content

These baptismal records may contain the following information:

Honduras Catholic Church Records (09-0121) Baptism DGS 4594521 20.jpg
  • Baptismal date and place (parish)
  • Name and gender of child
  • Date and place of child's birth
  • Legitimacy of child
  • Parents' names
  • Godparents' names

These marriage records usually contain the following information:

Marriage from Honduras DGS 4709617 650.jpg
  • Date and place of marriage
  • Name of Groom
  • Name of Bride
  • Name of the Groom's
  • Groom's parents' names
  • Bride's parents' names
  • Godparents' names

Theses death records generally contain the following information:

Death from Honduras DGS 4709604 133.jpg
  • Name of the deceased
  • Date and place of the death
  • Name of deceased's father
  • Name of deceased's mother
  • Name of deceased's spouse
  • Date and place of burial

How to Use the Record

Begin your search by finding your ancestors in indexes; this will help access a specific record quickly. Use the locator information found in the index (such as page, entry, or certificate number) to locate your ancestors in the records. Remember that these indexes may contain inaccuracies, such as altered spellings or misinterpretations. If the information was scanned, there may be optical character recognition errors.

For a collection that is searchable by name:

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 the index it is helpful to know the following:

  • The county where the birth, marriage, or death occurred
  • The name of the person at the time of the event
  • The approximate event date
  • The event place

In most cases, Catholic parish registers are the only records before 1859 that identify individuals, parents, and spouses. After this date, civil authorities began registering vital statistics (nacimientos, matrimonios, y defunciones) that by law included people of all religions. The information in civil sources confirms and supplements the information in church records. Be sure to search both the parish and civil records after 1860.

Compare the information in the record to what you already know about your ancestors to determine if this is the correct person. You may need to compare the information of more than one person to make this determination. When looking for a person who had a common name, look at all the entries for the name before deciding which is correct.

When you have located your ancestor’s record, carefully evaluate each piece of information given. Add this new information to your records of each family.

Looking in the same collection, you may be able to identify other members of the family:

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • If you want to find more information about the family, the pieces of information may give you new biographical details that can lead you to other records.

For example:

  • 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 of each partner to find a couple’s birth records and parents’ names.
  • Use the birth date or age along with the place of birth to find the family in census records.
  • Use the residence and names of the parents to locate church and land records.
  • Use occupations to look for other types of records such as employment or military records.
  • Use the parents’ birthplaces to find former residences and to establish a migration pattern for the family.
  • The name of the officiator is a clue to the family’s religion or area of residence in the county. However, ministers may have reported marriages performed in other counties.
  • Use the marriage number to identify previous marriages.

Keep in mind:

  • The information in the 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 1800s.
  • There may be some variation in the information given from one record to another record.

If you are unable to find the ancestors you are looking for, try the following:

  • Check for variant spellings of the surnames.
  • Search for the marriage record of the marriage partner if known.
  • Check for a different index. There are often indexes at the beginning of each volume.
  • Search the indexes and records of nearby counties.

To search using the browse:

To search the collection you will need to follow this series of links:
⇒Select the "Browse" link in the initial search page
⇒Select the "Nombre del departamento"
⇒Select the "Nombre de ciudad/pueblo"
⇒Select the "Nombre de la parroquia"
⇒Select the "Tipo de registro y años," which takes you to the images.

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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

"Honduras, Church Records." index and images, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org: accessed 24 March 2011). entry for Lucila Hernandez, baptized 18 April 1897; citing Church Records, FHL microfilm 1,162,358; Arquidiocesis de Tegucigalpa, Parroquia San Miguel, Tegucigalpa, Honduras.