Mexico, Yucatan, Merida, Catholic Church Priests' Applications for the Ministry and Marriage Dispensations (FamilySearch Historical Records)
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- 1 Title in the Language of the Record
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Title in the Language of the Record
Solicitudes de becas para el seminario tridentino de la Iglesia Católica en Mérida, Yucatán, México; y Dispensas matrimoniales.
This collection of records covers the priests’ applications for the Catholic Church Ministry from 1722 to 1818 and also the relationship dispensations for marriage from 1745 to 1900.
The priests’ applications are all bound in books and written in narrative style. Some of the documents included in this collection are letters from the applicants and the documentation of their purity of blood. The documentation for one of these applications could include a letter from the applicant requesting acceptance into the seminary, other documents submitted by the applicant to prove legitimacy and purity of blood (limpieza de sangre), and ecclesiastical correspondence such as approving the application, requesting more documentation, and so on. The Family History Library Catalog lists these records as “becas y órdenes” in the film notes. The marriage dispensations are a Catholic Church approval for marriage when a couple is of close kinship. The entries were normally made in chronological order. Marriage dispensations include the information of couples attempting to receive permissions to marry despite the consanguinity issue that they may have with canon law. This includes couples who may be too closely related and couples where one is a member of another religion. Some couples included their pedigrees. The Family History Library Catalog lists these records as “dispensas de parentescos” in the film notes.
The priests’ applications were created to enlist and accept qualified men to the order of the priesthood, specifically for the Tridentino Seminary College of Merida (later San Ildefonso) in Yucatan, Mexico. In the application, the petitioner needed to present his qualifications such as: legitimacy, baptism, schooling, cleanness of blood (sometimes a pedigree was presented), witnesses’ testimonies, and so on. There were students with scholarships that were paid by tithing, and students who shared some of the expenses (porcionistas) by paying for their own room and board. This seminary became the most important educational center of the Diocese of Tabasco. The ecclesiastical marriage dispensation or relationship dispensation for marriage was an authorization documents that a couple with close kinship needed to get married in the Catholic Church. It required the certification of witnesses who knew the relationship of the couple, certification of baptism, and sometimes a pedigree.
The priest’s application was necessary to certify that the person applying was worthy to receive the seminary scholarship and order to the priesthood. Marriage dispensations were necessary, according to ecclesiastical rules, when a couple who wanted to get married had a close kinship.
Mexican Catholic Church priests’ applications are a reliable and accurate source for family history. The marriage dispensations do not give a lot of genealogical information; however, they are considered accurate because the certifications needed to be submitted to the ecclesiastical authority.
Citation for This Collection
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- Mexico, Yucatan, Merida, Catholic Church Priests' Applications for the Ministry and Marriage Dispensations.
Key genealogical facts found in the applications for the Tridentino Seminary scholarchip:
- Birth date and birthplace of applicant
- Legitimacy of all listed
- Names of parents (almost always the petitioners), their place of marriage and residence
- Names of grandparents and their place of origin
- Other relatives names and relationship
- Sometimes a pedigree if the applicant needed to verify his bloodline
- Documents confirming the applicant’s good conduct.
Key genealogical facts found in marriage dispensations:
- Dates of the dispense request and dispense given
- Birth dates and birthplaces of both spouses.
- Explanation of the issue and type of consanguinity
- Names of parents and most always also the grandparents
- Their legitimacy
- Places of origin and residence if it is diferen
- Dispensation date
How to Use the Records
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Priests’ applications are records with information concerning the worthiness of applicants to the Catholic Church priesthood. These documents contain the applicant’s date and place of birth, parents’ names, and other important information that certified the applicant’s worthiness to enter the Catholic Church priesthood. The physical and internal structure of the files (expedientes) consists of a title page with date, traits, legitimacy, cleanness of blood, and name of applicant; the applicant’s petition in the form of a letter with the type of scholarship requested and the scholar position; the license for initial procedures; the documentation that verified the worthiness of the applicant, such as baptismal certification and the cross-examination of witnesses. and the decree either for scholarship or position. The witnesses were three witnesses presented by the applicant and three witnesses secretly assigned by the ecclesiastical authority.
Marriage dispensations or relationship dispensations to be married are petitions requesting that the couple be absolved from the cannon law of close kinship. These documents include a letter from the groom to the ecclesiastical authority, followed by relationship certifications from credible witnesses, and finally the ecclesiastical decree. There are also some shorter records of dispensations, which include only the names of both parties, their place of origin, sometimes the date of baptism, and the decree. Couples may have needed the relationship dispensation if they wanted to get married and were too closely related.
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Citation Example for a Record Found in This Collection
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“Argentina, Buenos Aires, Catholic Church Records, 1635-1981,” images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org: accessed 28 February, 2012), La Plata > San Ponciano > Matrimonios 1884-1886 > image 71 of 389 images, Artemio Avendano and Clementina Peralta, 1884; citing Parroquia de San Ponciano en la Plata, Buenos Aires, Argentina, Matrimonios. San Ponciano, La Plata, Buenos Aires.