Mexico, Chihuahua, Catholic Church Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)
Foreign Language Title
México, Chihuahua Registros Parroquiales de la Iglesia Católica
Collection Time Period
The Family History Library collection of the Roman Catholic Church parish records of the Diocese of Chihuahua, Mexico covers the years from 1632 to 1958.
Why was this collection created?
Mexican Catholic Church parish registers were created to record baptisms, confirmations, marriages, and burials occurring in the parish.
Parish priests performed the baptisms, marriages, deaths, burials, and other holy sacraments in their assigned parish or parishes. All the original parish records were kept in the parish archive; however, later the records were centralized in the diocesan archive of the Diocese of Chihuahua, which was created in 1891 from a division of the Diocese of Durango. The Diocese of Chihuahua was elevated to the rank of Archdiocese of Chihuahua in 1958.
How to Use the Collection
The Catholic Church parish records are an excellent source for genealogical research in Mexico. These may also be the only records available for Spanish research before civil registration was implemented in 1871.
Important genealogical information found in Catholic Church baptismal records include:
• Place and date of the baptism
• Given name
• Gender, place and date of birth or age at baptism
• If legitimate or illegitimate
• Parents names, sometimes their residence and/or place of birth
• Names of maternal grandparents
• Names of paternal grandparents
• Name/s of godparents
Important genealogical information found in Catholic Church marriage records include:
• Place and date of the marriage
• Name of the groom
• Age of groom, his place of birth and/or residence
• Name of the groom’s parents
• Name of the bride
• Age of bride, her place of birth and/or residence
• Names of the bride’s parents
• Sometimes, the parent’s place of origin and/or civil status
• Names of witnesses
Important genealogical information found in Catholic Church burial records include:
• Place and date of the burial
• Burial place
• Name of the principal
• Place and date of birth or age at time of death
• Cause of death
• Residence of the deceased
• Place of death
• Civil status of the principal, if married the name of the spouse may be given
• If principal left progeny
Important genealogical information found in Catholic Church confirmation records include:
• Date and place of confirmation
• Name of person being confirmed
• Parents’ or godparents’ names
Collection Physical Description
Usually separate registers were maintained for baptisms, marriages, and deaths. However, in localities with a small population the records of baptisms, marriages, and burials were recorded in the same register. Confirmations were usually recorded with the baptismal registers, but can also be found with deaths or marriages. Generally, entries were created in chronological order. Early registers may have some ecclesiastical documents written in Latin.
Catholic Church parish records cover 95 to 100% of a city’s population. This collection only includes the parish records that were centralized into the diocesan archive.
Catholic Church parish records are a reliable source for doing Mexican genealogical research.