Difference between revisions of "Miranda, Venezuela Genealogy"

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m (Text replacement - ":'''"Bautismos"''' are infant baptisms, which are used for birth information. '''"Matrimonios"''' are marriages. ''' "Óbitos"''' are deaths. '''"Índice"''' is the index. " to "'''Bautismos''' are infant baptisms, which are used for birth information. '''Información matrimonial''' are documents collected in preparation for a marriage. '''Matrimônios'''' are marriages. '''Defunciones''' are deaths. '''Entierros''' are burials'". Índice''' is the index.")
 
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[[Venezuela|Venezuela]] ► [[Miranda|Miranda]]
 
  
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''[[South America]] [[Image:Gotoarrow.png]] [[Venezuela Genealogy|Venezuela]] [[Image:Gotoarrow.png]] Miranda<br>
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{{Venezuela-sidebar}}
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Guide to '''Miranda ancestry, family history and genealogy:''' birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, parish registers, and military records. 
[Description of the state]
 
  
== General Information ==
+
'''Most of your genealogical research for Miranda will be in two main record types: civil registration and church records. This article will teach you methods for locating and searching these two record groups.'''
 +
<br>
 +
==Knowing Your Locality==
 +
*You will need to know the '''town where your family lived''' and district and province.  [http://www.fallingrain.com/world/VE/ '''Directory of Cities, Towns, and Regions in Venezuela'''] will explain for each town and city its geographical jurisdictions.
 +
*For extremely small locations, you may need to use [https://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/009863158 '''Nomenclador de centros poblados, total nacional: XII censo general de población y vivienda'''].<br>
 +
*Google Maps and Wikipedia might also help.
 +
==Civil Registration==
 +
*Civil registration records are government records covering birth, marriage, and death. They are an excellent source of names, dates, places, and relationships. <br>
 +
*Civil authorities began registering births, marriages, and deaths in 1873.
 +
=== 1. Online Digital Records for Civil Registration ===
 +
For many localities, digital copies of civil registration can be searched online:
 +
*'''1873-2003''' - {{RecordSearch|1823609|Venezuela Civil Registration, 1873-2003}} — at [http://familysearch.org/search FamilySearch Historical Records], free, '''index''', not complete for all localities. Also available at [http://search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=60207 '''Ancestry.com'''], which can be searched for free at [[Family History Centers|'''Family History Centers''']]. Frequently, the Ancestry search engine is more powerful.
 +
*'''1873-2003''' - [https://familysearch.org/search/image/index?owc=M8JY-529%3A159736801%3Fcc%3D1823609 Venezuela, Miranda, Civil Registration, 1873-2003] at [http://familysearch.org/search FamilySearch Historical Records] — free, '''browseable images only''', not complete for all localities.
 +
:'''"Nascimientos"''' are births. '''"Matrimonios"''' are marriages. ''' "Defunciones"''' are deaths.
  
The state is located in the part center-north of the country. It limits by the North with Distrito Federal, to the East with the Caribbean Sea, the West with Aragua state and to the South with the states Guárico and Aragua.  
+
=== 2. Microfilm Copies of Civil Registration Records Searched at a Family History Center ===
 +
If the locality and time period you need are not included in the online records, the next step is to find them in the microfilm collection of the Family History Library. These microfilms may be viewed at [https://familysearch.org/locations/ Family History Centers] around the world. To find a microfilm:
  
<br>During the period of the clony it was included with the Province of Venezuela, under the jurisdiction of Caracas. It is from the establishment of the Republic in 1830 when noticeable modification in the conformation of the state take place, forming part of other organizations during successive politcal-territorial divisions.  
+
:::a. Click on this link to see a list of [https://familysearch.org/search/catalog/results?count=20&placeId=215500&query=%2Bplace%3A%22Venezuela%2C%20Miranda%22 '''records for Venezuela, Miranda'''].
 +
:::b. Click on '''"Places within Venezuela, Miranda"''' and a list of towns and cities will open.
 +
:::c. Click on the '''town or city''' you wish to search.
 +
:::d. Click on '''"Civil Registration"''' topic. Click on the blue links to specific record titles.
 +
:::e. Choose the correct '''event and time period''' for your ancestor. 
 +
:::f. Some combination of the icons shown below will appear at the far right of the microfilm listed for the record.
 +
:::[[File:FHL icons.png|100px]] <br>The magnifying glass indicates that the microfilm is indexed. Clicking on the magnifying glass will take you to the index. Clicking on the camera will take you to an online digital copy of the microfilm. Clicking on the microfilm reel will lead to information on how to rent the film. Family History Center staff will assist you in ordering the film.
  
<br>In 1848 Congress divided the Province of Caracas in three: Aragua, Guárico and Caracas, this last one was intrgrated with part of today is Mirada state: Caucagua, Guarenas, Ocumare, Petare, Río Chico and Santa Lucía. In 1854 Curiepe to him, Guaicaipuro and Maiquetía, where added…
+
=== 3. Writing for Civil Registration Certificates===
  
<br>In 1864, by means of the Federal Constitution, Miranda arises as an independent entity. With the name of Caracas state became part of the United States of Venezuela; in 1864 they changed the name to Bolívar, to differentiate it from the city of Caracas that belonged to the Federal District. In 1879 it was part of the state of the Center along with Apure, Guárico, Guzmán, Guzmán Blanco (Aragua) and Nueva Esparta.
+
Civil registration records are kept at the local civil registration office in each municipality. You must determine the town where your ancestor lived before you can find the records. A civil registration district may include several towns or a small section of a large city. In addition to the town, you need to know an approximate year in which the birth, marriage, divorce, or death occurred.'''''This method is not always reliable. Officials might or might not respond.'''''
 +
<br>
 +
*For a list of civil registry addresses, see [[Miranda Civil Registry Offices|'''Miranda Civil Registry Offices''']]. If you need to write to a town not listed there, use this address as a guide, replacing the information in parentheses:<br> 
  
<br>In 1881 one of the 9 states that constituted the Republic it was the Guzmán Blanco state, formed by Bolívar, Aragua, Guárico and Nueva Esparta. On December 23, 1889 the name of Guzmán Blanco was finally changed to Miranda in honor to General Francisco de Miranda.  
+
:'''Oficino del Registro Civil'''
 +
:'''(street name, number)'''
 +
:'''(city or town), Miranda'''
 +
:'''([http://ven.postcodequery.com/MWpr.html postal code])'''
 +
:'''Venezuela'''<br>
 +
<br>
 +
*[http://ven.postcodequery.com/MWpr.html '''Find the Venezuela postal code here.''']
  
<br>In 1891, under a new territorial political division, it became part of Guzmán Blanco state together with the provinces of Caracas, Aragua, Guárico and Nueva Esparta. This structure was restituted by agreement of congres the 22nd of April of 1899, establishing the mirandino territory as part of the Province of Caracas, with capital in Petare.  
+
'''Write your request in Spanish whenever possible. Use the translated questions and phrases in this [https://familysearch.org/wiki/en/images/a/aa/LWGSpanish.pdf Spanish Letter-writing Guide] to assist you in writing your letter in Spanish. Send the following when requesting information:'''
  
<br>In 1904, Miranda became an independent entity with the capital in Ocumare del Tuy, which was later transferred to Los Teques in 1928 by disposition of the Legislative Assembly. Its capital Los Teques was founded in 1703. It was territory of the Caribbean Indians Aractoeques, who the Spaniards called “Teques” for short, from where it derives its name.<br><br>  
+
*Money for the search fee, usually $10.00, and an international reply coupon (IRC)
 +
*Full name and the sex of the ancestor sought
 +
*Names of the ancestor’s parents, if known
 +
*Approximate date and place of the event
 +
*Your relationship to the ancestor
 +
*Reason for the request (family history, medical, and so on)
 +
*Request for a photocopy of the complete original record <br>
  
<br>
 
  
== Si usted entiende español  ==
+
<br>
  
Le invitamos a buscar información en español en la página de [https://www.familysearch.org/learn/wiki/es/Miranda Miranda] en el wiki de FamilySearch español. También le invitamos a compartir información útil allí: [https://www.familysearch.org/learn/wiki/es/Miranda https://www.familysearch.org/learn/wiki/es/Miranda]
+
== Church Records==
 +
*Catholic Church parish registers are the primary source for finding genealogical information of birth, death, and marriage in Ecuador prior to 1873, when the civil registration was implemented.  
 +
*Parish registers include baptism, confirmation, marriage and death records.  
 +
*All the records were registered and kept by the priest in authority of his parish jurisdiction. One register was generally kept at the parish archive and another copy sent to the diocesan archive for preservation.
  
== Research Tools  ==
+
=== 1. Online Digital Records for Church Records ===
 +
For some localities, digital copies of Catholic church records can be searched online:
 +
*'''1577-1995''' - {{RecordSearch|1951777|Venezuela, Catholic Church Records, 1577-1995}} — free, '''index''', not complete for all localities.
 +
*'''1577-1995''' - [https://familysearch.org/search/image/index?owc=MQ6C-5M7%3A376113901%3Fcc%3D1951777 Miranda, Venezuela, Catholic Church Records, 1577-1995] at [http://familysearch.org/search FamilySearch Historical Records] — free, '''browseable images only''', not complete for all localities. Records will eventually be indexed online.<br>
  
*[[Parishes of Venezuela]]
+
'''Bautismos''' are infant baptisms, which are used for birth information. '''Información matrimonial''' are documents collected in preparation for a marriage. '''Matrimônios'''' are marriages. '''Defunciones''' are deaths. '''Entierros''' are burials'". Índice''' is the index.
*[http://net.lib.byu.edu/fslab/researchoutlines/LatinAmerica/Venezuela.pdf BYU Research Outline for Venezuela]
+
=== 2. Microfilm Copies of Church Records Searched at a Family History Center ===
*Listing of all [https://www.familysearch.org/search/collection/list#page=1&countryId=1927137 records collections for Venezuela] available on FamilySearch.org
+
If the locality and time period you need are not included in the online records, the next step is to try to find them in the microfilm collection of the Family History Library. These microfilms may be viewed at [https://familysearch.org/locations/ Family History Centers] around the world. To find a microfilm:
  
'''A wiki article describing this collection is found at:'''  
+
:::a. Click on this link to see a list of [https://familysearch.org/search/catalog/results?count=20&placeId=215500&query=%2Bplace%3A%22Venezuela%2C%20Miranda%22 '''records for Venezuela, Miranda'''].
 +
:::b. Click on '''"Places within Venezuela, Miranda"''' and a list of towns and cities will open.
 +
:::c. Click on the '''town or city''' you wish to search.
 +
:::d. Click on '''"Church Records"''' topic. Click on the blue links to specific record titles.
 +
:::e. Choose the correct '''event and time period''' for your ancestor.
 +
:::f. Some combination of the icons shown below will appear at the far right of the microfilm listed for the record.
 +
:::[[File:FHL icons.png|100px]]  <br>Clicking on the magnifying glass will take you to the index. Clicking on the camera will take you to an online digital copy of the microfilm.  Clicking on the microfilm reel will lead to information on how to rent the film. Family History Center staff will assist you in ordering the film.
  
*[[Venezuela Catholic Church Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)]]
+
===3. Writing to a Catholic Priest for Church Records ===
*[[Venezuela, Merida Catholic Church Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)]]
+
Baptism, marriage, and death records may be searched by contacting or visiting local parish or diocese archives in Peru. More recent Catholic parish records are kept at the local parish. The diocese keeps the records of parishes that no longer exist.  Write your request in Spanish whenever possible. '''''This method is not always reliable.  Officials might or might not respond.'''''
*[[Venezuela Civil Registration (FamilySearch Historical Records)]]
 
*[[Venezuela Vital Records Index (FamilySearch Historical Records)]]
 
  
== Featured Content  ==
+
Write a brief request in Spanish to the proper church using this address as a guide replacing the information in parentheses:<br>
  
''See FamilySearch Tutorials on [https://familysearch.org/learningcenter/results.html?q=*&fq=place%3A%22Latin%20America%22 Latin American Research.]''  
+
:'''Reverendo Padre'''
 +
:'''Parroquia de (name of parish) '''
 +
:'''(parish), Miranda'''
 +
:'''([http://ven.postcodequery.com/MWpr.html postal code])'''
 +
:'''Venezuela'''<br>
 +
<br>
 +
*[http://ven.postcodequery.com/MWpr.html '''Find the Venezuela postal code here.''']
  
== Did you know?  ==
+
'''Send the following when requesting information:'''<br>
  
*Venezuela is officially called: Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.
+
*Money for the search fee, usually $10.00, and an international reply coupon (IRC)
*Venezuela is divided into 23 states and 1 capital district. Each state is further divided into more than 300 municipios . To learn more [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Venezuela#Subdivisions click here]. To find address and other contact information visit: http://www.gobiernoenlinea.ve/directorioestado/Registros Civiles de Venezuela Knowing about a country's political divisions will help in determining where records such as '''civil registration '''and '''census''' are located.
+
*Full name and the sex of the ancestor sought
 +
*Names of the ancestor’s parents, if known
 +
*Approximate date and place of the event
 +
*Your relationship to the ancestor
 +
*Reason for the request (family history, medical, and so on)
 +
*Request for a photocopy of the complete original record <br>
  
== Help Wanted  ==
+
'''Write your request in Spanish whenever possible. Use the translated questions and phrases in this [https://familysearch.org/wiki/en/images/a/aa/LWGSpanish.pdf Spanish Letter-writing Guide] to assist you in writing your letter in Spanish. '''
 +
<br>
  
In order to make this wiki a better research tool, we need your help! Many tasks need to be done. You can help by:
+
==Reading the Records==
  
{| cellspacing="1" cellpadding="1" border="0" style="background-color: white; font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; color: black; font-size: 100%" class="FCK__ShowTableBorders"
+
*You do not have to be fluent in Spanish to read your documents. Genealogical records usually contain a limited vocabulary. Use the [[Spanish Genealogical Word List|'''Spanish Genealogical Word List''']] to translate the important points in the document.  Handwriting skills are taught in the [https://script.byu.edu/Pages/Spanish/en/welcome.aspx '''BYU Spanish Script Tutorial'''].
|- style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif"
 
| style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif" | <br>
 
| style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif" |
 
*[[Help:Editing a Page|Expand an article or]]&nbsp;[[Special:Shortpages|short page]]  
 
*[[How to Create an Article on FamilySearch Wiki|Create a new article]]
 
*[[Categorization|Categorize articles]]
 
  
| style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif" |
+
*Online interactive slideshow lessons are available to help you learn to read these records:
*[[Create an external link|Add external links to articles]]
 
*[[Create an internal link|Add internal links to articles]]
 
*Other...
 
  
|}
+
:*[https://familysearch.org/learningcenter/lesson/reading-spanish-handwritten-records-lesson-1-the-spanish-alphabet/217 '''Reading Spanish Handwritten Records, Lesson 1'''] — Spanish alphabet
</div> <!--All text below this is included in a column on the left side of the screen.--> <div style="width: 24%; float: left">
+
:*[https://familysearch.org/learningcenter/lesson/reading-spanish-handwritten-records-lesson-2-words-and-dates/218 '''Reading Spanish Handwritten Records, Lesson 2'''] — Names, dates, and key genealogical words
{| border="0" style="background: rgb(255,255,240)" class="FCK__ShowTableBorders"
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:*[https://familysearch.org/learningcenter/lesson/reading-spanish-handwritten-records-lesson-3-reading-spanish-records/220 '''Reading Spanish Handwritten Records, Lesson 3'''] — Read Spanish records: birth, baptism, marriage, and death records
|-
 
| align="center" style="font-family: verdana; background: rgb(238,238,238)" | '''News'''
 
|-
 
| align="left" style="background: rgb(249,243,253)" | <!--add "News" below-->
 
<br>
 
  
|-
+
==Search Strategy==
| align="center" style="font-family: verdana; background: rgb(238,238,238)" | '''Topics'''
+
*Search for the relative or ancestor you have selected to work on. When you find his birth record, search for the births of his '''brothers and sisters'''.
|-
+
*Next, search for the '''marriage of his parents.''' The marriage record will have information that will often help you find the birth records of the parents.
| align="left" style="background: rgb(249,243,253)" |
+
*You can '''estimate the ages''' of the parents and determine a birth year to search for their birth records.
*[[Miranda Archives and Libraries|Archives and Libraries]]
+
*Search the death registers for all known family members.
*[[Miranda Biography|Biography]]
+
*Repeat this process for both the father and the mother, starting with their birth records, then their siblings' births, then their parents' marriages, and so on.
*[[Miranda Cemeteries|Cemeteries]]
+
*If earlier generations (parents, grandparents, etc.) do not appear in the records, search neighboring parishes.
*[[Miranda Census|Census]]
 
*[[Miranda Church Directories|Church Directories]]
 
*[[Miranda Church History|Church History]]
 
*[[Miranda Church Records|Church Records]]
 
*[[Miranda Civil Registration|Civil Registration]]
 
*[[Miranda Directories|Directories]]
 
*[[Miranda Emigration and Immigration|Emigration and Immigration]]
 
*[[Miranda Gazetteers|Gazetteers]]
 
*[[Miranda Genealogy|Genealogy]]
 
*[[Miranda Historical Geography|Historical Geography]]
 
*[[Miranda History|History]]
 
*[[Miranda Land and Property|Land and Property]]
 
*[[Miranda Language and Languages|Language and Languages]]
 
*[[Miranda Maps|Maps]]
 
*[[Miranda Military Records|Military Records]]
 
*[[Miranda Names, Personal|Names, Personal]]
 
*[[Miranda Native Races|Native Races]]
 
*[[Miranda Newspapers|Newspapers]]
 
*[[Miranda Notarial Records|Notarial Records]]
 
*[[Miranda Periodicals|Periodicals]]
 
*[[Miranda Probate Records|Probate Records]]
 
*[[Miranda Public Records|Public Records]]
 
*[[Miranda Social Life and Customs|Social Life and Customs]]
 
*[[Miranda Societies|Societies]]
 
*[[Miranda Others and Miscellaneous|Others and Miscellaneous]]
 
  
|-
+
=== Tips for finding your ancestor in the records ===
| align="center" style="font-family: verdana; background: rgb(238,238,238)" | '''(Title)'''
+
*Births were usually reported within a few days of the birth by the father of the child, a neighbor, or the midwife. A search for a birth record should begin with the known date of birth and then searching forward in time, day by day, until the record is found.  It might be found within a few days of the actual birth date, but in some instances, it might be weeks or months later. <br>
|-
 
| align="left" style="background: rgb(249,243,253)" |
 
*(your bullet)
 
  
|}
+
*The Catholic Church continued keeping records after the creation of the civil registration in 1900. Therefore two types of records are available.  If you can find the needed record in the church records, you do not have to search both records. Someday, when both records are available online, then it would be wise to search both.<br>
  
{{Forum badge
+
*Death records can be particularly helpful for people who may not have had a civil birth or marriage record but died during the period when civil registration had begun. <br>
| layout = vertical
+
 
| forum link = http://forums.familysearch.org/en/forumdisplay.php?f=11
+
 
| forum name = Latin America Research forum
+
[[Category:Provinces of Venezuela]]
}}
 
</div>
 
__NOTOC__
 
  
|}
 
<div id="refHTML"></div>
 
 
{{H-langs|en=Main Page|es=Miranda}}  
 
{{H-langs|en=Main Page|es=Miranda}}  
  
[[Category:Venezuela]]
+
[[Category:Miranda State, Venezuela]]

Latest revision as of 18:18, 4 January 2017

South America Gotoarrow.png Venezuela Gotoarrow.png Miranda

Venezuela Wiki Topics
Flag of Venezuela.svg.png
Beginning Research
Record Types
Venezuela Background
Local Research Resources


Guide to Miranda ancestry, family history and genealogy: birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, parish registers, and military records.

Most of your genealogical research for Miranda will be in two main record types: civil registration and church records. This article will teach you methods for locating and searching these two record groups.

Knowing Your Locality

Civil Registration

  • Civil registration records are government records covering birth, marriage, and death. They are an excellent source of names, dates, places, and relationships.
  • Civil authorities began registering births, marriages, and deaths in 1873.

1. Online Digital Records for Civil Registration

For many localities, digital copies of civil registration can be searched online:

"Nascimientos" are births. "Matrimonios" are marriages. "Defunciones" are deaths.

2. Microfilm Copies of Civil Registration Records Searched at a Family History Center

If the locality and time period you need are not included in the online records, the next step is to find them in the microfilm collection of the Family History Library. These microfilms may be viewed at Family History Centers around the world. To find a microfilm:

a. Click on this link to see a list of records for Venezuela, Miranda.
b. Click on "Places within Venezuela, Miranda" and a list of towns and cities will open.
c. Click on the town or city you wish to search.
d. Click on "Civil Registration" topic. Click on the blue links to specific record titles.
e. Choose the correct event and time period for your ancestor.
f. Some combination of the icons shown below will appear at the far right of the microfilm listed for the record.
FHL icons.png
The magnifying glass indicates that the microfilm is indexed. Clicking on the magnifying glass will take you to the index. Clicking on the camera will take you to an online digital copy of the microfilm. Clicking on the microfilm reel will lead to information on how to rent the film. Family History Center staff will assist you in ordering the film.

3. Writing for Civil Registration Certificates

Civil registration records are kept at the local civil registration office in each municipality. You must determine the town where your ancestor lived before you can find the records. A civil registration district may include several towns or a small section of a large city. In addition to the town, you need to know an approximate year in which the birth, marriage, divorce, or death occurred.This method is not always reliable. Officials might or might not respond.

  • For a list of civil registry addresses, see Miranda Civil Registry Offices. If you need to write to a town not listed there, use this address as a guide, replacing the information in parentheses:
Oficino del Registro Civil
(street name, number)
(city or town), Miranda
(postal code)
Venezuela


Write your request in Spanish whenever possible. Use the translated questions and phrases in this Spanish Letter-writing Guide to assist you in writing your letter in Spanish. Send the following when requesting information:

  • Money for the search fee, usually $10.00, and an international reply coupon (IRC)
  • Full name and the sex of the ancestor sought
  • Names of the ancestor’s parents, if known
  • Approximate date and place of the event
  • Your relationship to the ancestor
  • Reason for the request (family history, medical, and so on)
  • Request for a photocopy of the complete original record



Church Records

  • Catholic Church parish registers are the primary source for finding genealogical information of birth, death, and marriage in Ecuador prior to 1873, when the civil registration was implemented.
  • Parish registers include baptism, confirmation, marriage and death records.
  • All the records were registered and kept by the priest in authority of his parish jurisdiction. One register was generally kept at the parish archive and another copy sent to the diocesan archive for preservation.

1. Online Digital Records for Church Records

For some localities, digital copies of Catholic church records can be searched online:

Bautismos are infant baptisms, which are used for birth information. Información matrimonial are documents collected in preparation for a marriage. Matrimônios' are marriages. Defunciones are deaths. Entierros are burials'". Índice is the index.

2. Microfilm Copies of Church Records Searched at a Family History Center

If the locality and time period you need are not included in the online records, the next step is to try to find them in the microfilm collection of the Family History Library. These microfilms may be viewed at Family History Centers around the world. To find a microfilm:

a. Click on this link to see a list of records for Venezuela, Miranda.
b. Click on "Places within Venezuela, Miranda" and a list of towns and cities will open.
c. Click on the town or city you wish to search.
d. Click on "Church Records" topic. Click on the blue links to specific record titles.
e. Choose the correct event and time period for your ancestor.
f. Some combination of the icons shown below will appear at the far right of the microfilm listed for the record.
FHL icons.png
Clicking on the magnifying glass will take you to the index. Clicking on the camera will take you to an online digital copy of the microfilm. Clicking on the microfilm reel will lead to information on how to rent the film. Family History Center staff will assist you in ordering the film.

3. Writing to a Catholic Priest for Church Records

Baptism, marriage, and death records may be searched by contacting or visiting local parish or diocese archives in Peru. More recent Catholic parish records are kept at the local parish. The diocese keeps the records of parishes that no longer exist. Write your request in Spanish whenever possible. This method is not always reliable. Officials might or might not respond.

Write a brief request in Spanish to the proper church using this address as a guide replacing the information in parentheses:

Reverendo Padre
Parroquia de (name of parish)
(parish), Miranda
(postal code)
Venezuela


Send the following when requesting information:

  • Money for the search fee, usually $10.00, and an international reply coupon (IRC)
  • Full name and the sex of the ancestor sought
  • Names of the ancestor’s parents, if known
  • Approximate date and place of the event
  • Your relationship to the ancestor
  • Reason for the request (family history, medical, and so on)
  • Request for a photocopy of the complete original record

Write your request in Spanish whenever possible. Use the translated questions and phrases in this Spanish Letter-writing Guide to assist you in writing your letter in Spanish.

Reading the Records

  • Online interactive slideshow lessons are available to help you learn to read these records:

Search Strategy

  • Search for the relative or ancestor you have selected to work on. When you find his birth record, search for the births of his brothers and sisters.
  • Next, search for the marriage of his parents. The marriage record will have information that will often help you find the birth records of the parents.
  • You can estimate the ages of the parents and determine a birth year to search for their birth records.
  • Search the death registers for all known family members.
  • Repeat this process for both the father and the mother, starting with their birth records, then their siblings' births, then their parents' marriages, and so on.
  • If earlier generations (parents, grandparents, etc.) do not appear in the records, search neighboring parishes.

Tips for finding your ancestor in the records

  • Births were usually reported within a few days of the birth by the father of the child, a neighbor, or the midwife. A search for a birth record should begin with the known date of birth and then searching forward in time, day by day, until the record is found. It might be found within a few days of the actual birth date, but in some instances, it might be weeks or months later.
  • The Catholic Church continued keeping records after the creation of the civil registration in 1900. Therefore two types of records are available. If you can find the needed record in the church records, you do not have to search both records. Someday, when both records are available online, then it would be wise to search both.
  • Death records can be particularly helpful for people who may not have had a civil birth or marriage record but died during the period when civil registration had begun.