Mexico, Chihuahua, Civil Registration (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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Access the records: Mexico, Chihuahua, Civil Registration, 1861-1997 .

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Title in the Language of the Records

Registro Civil del Estado de Chihuahua, México.

Record Description

This is a collection of civil registration records for Chihuahua, Mexico, that covers the years of 1861 to 1997 (excepting 1909 and 1911-1913). Earlier records were handwritten in narrative style; later records were handwritten in formatted registers. The text of these records is in Spanish.

Civil records in Mexico cover about 90 to 95% of the population. Beginning in 1859, the Mexican government began requiring births, marriages, and deaths to be recorded by civil authorities on a municipality/district level. 

Although these records are a great source of genealogical information, they are not complete as civil registration wasn't strictly enforced in Mexico until 1867 and people did not always comply. For this reason, church registers must be used alongside the civil records. The civil records of Mexico have been preserved relatively well. Only some of the older registers may have some physical damage. However, in general, they are in good condition to extract genealogical information. 

The Mexican civil registration was created to record the vital events of birth, marriage, death, and other civil events, which would determine and prove the civil status, existence, and condition of the population.

The civil registration records of Mexico are a reliable source for doing genealogical research.

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

Record Content

Baptism records usually contain the following information:

  • Date and place of baptism
  • Child's name and gender
  • Legitimacy
  • Child’s date and place of birth
  • Parents' names and their residence or place of origin
  • Paternal grandparents' names and their residence
  • Maternal grandparents' names and their residence
  • Names of witnesses
  • Witnesses' age, civil status, occupation and residence

Marriage records usually contain the following information:

  • Date and place of marriage
  • Groom name and age
  • Groom's origin and nationality
  • Groom's civil status, occupation and residence
  • Names of groom's parents and their residence
  • Groom's parents' occupation, origin and nationality
  • Bride's name and age
  • Bride's origin and nationality
  • Bride's civil status, occupation and residence
  • Names of bride's parents and their residence
  • Bride's parents' occupation, origin and nationality
  • Names of witnesses and their residence

Death records usually contain the following information:

  • Name of person making declaration and relationship to deceased
  • Declarant's age, gender, civil status, occupation and residence
  • Name and age of deceased
  • Occupation, origin and residence of deceased
  • Date and place of death
  • Cause of death
  • Spouse's name, if married
  • Parents' names, occupation, origin and residence
  • Names of witnesses, their age(s) and occupation
  • Sometimes place of burial

How to Use the Record

Search the Collection

To search the collection by index:
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 look at several images and compare the information about the individuals listed in those images to your ancestors to make this determination.

To browse the collection by image:
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 "City or Municipality" category
⇒Select the "Record Type and Years" category which takes you to the images
Search the collection by image 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.

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 and 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.

Using the Information

The civil registration records in Mexico are an excellent source for genealogical research after 1867. Important genealogical data can be found in these records, which may also include data of other family members to fill in another generation group.

Browsing a collection is comparable to scrolling through a microfilm. Select the locality where your ancestors lived and then the record type, Defunciones for deaths, Matrimonios for marriages and nacimientos for births.

When you have located your ancestor’s record, carefully evaluate each piece of information given. These pieces of information may give you new biographical details that can lead you to other records about your ancestors. Add this new information to your records of each family.

For Help Reading These Records

These records are in Spanish. For help reading the records, see the following resources:

Other Searches

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

Surrounding Localities

Unable to find your ancestor? Try looking through records in the surrounding localities. Sinaloa is on the southwestern border, Sonora on the west, New Mexico on the north, Texas on the northeast, Coahuila on the east, and Durango on the south.

Known Issues in 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.

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.

Citations for This Collection

When you copy information from a record, you should list where you found the information (often called citing your sources). This will help people find the record again and evaluate the reliability of the source. 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. Citations are available for the collection as a whole and each record or image individually.

Collection citation:

"Mexico, Chihuahua, Civil Registration, 1861-1997." Images. FamilySearch. : accessed 2013. Citing Archivo Central del Registro Civil de la Ciudad de Chihuahua.

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 Mexico, Chihuahua, Civil Registration, 1861-1997.

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 Mexico, Chihuahua, Civil Registration, 1861-1997.