Mexico, Colima, Catholic Church Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)
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Foreign Language Title
Registros Parroquiales de la Iglesia Católica en Colima, México
Collection Time Period
The collection of the Catholic Church records of Colima, Mexico at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah, covers the inclusive years of 1707-1969.
In 1797, the parishes of the then province of Colima, were part of the Bishopric of Guadalajara. In December of 1881 the Diocese of Colima was established, with 13 parishes namely Almoloyán, Colima, Cuautitlán, Ejutla, Jilotlán, Pihuamo, Purificación, Tecalitlán, Tecomán, Tomatlán, Tonila, Tuxcacuesco, and Zapotitlán, covering a total of about 141,742 inhabitants. Parishes are local congregations that may include smaller villages within their boundaries. Only authorized clergymen perform the baptisms, marriages, deaths, and other ordinances in their parish jurisdiction. Each one creates records in their own style following a common format. The registers are kept in the parish archive and a copy is sent later to the Diocese Archive. The collection at the Family History Library was acquired directly from each of the individual parishes. This collection covers the Catholic parishes in the state of Colima, in which the majority of the population was Roman Catholic. It wasn’t until the late 19th century that other religious groups began to organize in Mexico. These records cover the Church parishes of the localities of Villa de Alvarez, Cuauhtémoc, Manzanillo, Colima, Tecomán, Coquimatlán, Comala, Minatitlán, Ixtlahuacán, Suchitlán, and Almoloyán.
Why This Record Was Created
Catholic Church parish registers were created to record the church sacraments of baptism, confirmation, and marriage, as well as to record deaths, burials, and other items of interest to the Church.
Catholic Church parish registers are the primary source for baptisms, death, and marriage records in Mexico prior to 1859. After 1859 parish records can be used as another source verifying information found in civil registers.
Separate books were kept for baptisms, confirmations, marriage information documents, marriages, and burials. However, in some parishes with a small population the records were kept all in one book. The entries were normally made in chronological order. Confirmations may be found included with baptisms or marriages. Similarly, marriage information documents may have been included with marriages. Some records, especially the earlier ones, have watermark or other damage.
Some key genealogical information found in the Colima Catholic Church parish registers are:
- Date of baptism, which sometimes includes the date of birth also, confirmation, marriage, death and/or burial
- Event place, which could be the parish or the city, sometimes the place of birth in baptisms
- Names of principal, parents, grandparents, spouses, godparents, witnesses, and other relatives
- Age of principal or couple in the case of marriages
- Gender of principal in baptisms
- Place of origin and residence of principals and sometimes of parents or others
- Legitimacy of principals
- Social class or race in entries prior to 1820
- Civil status of principals and sometimes of parents or others
- Cause of death
How to Use the Record
In most cases, Mexican Catholic parish registers are the only record to identify individuals, parents, and spouses before 1859 when the civil registration was created. After this date, civil authorities began registering vital statistics, which by law includes people of all religions. The information in civil sources confirms and supplements the information in church records. For instance, the parish registers may list the godparents while the civil records may list the grandparents. It is recommended to search both the parish and civil records after 1860.
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