Most family traditions of noble ancestry turn out, on investigation, to have little foundation in fact. Most members of the noble class did not emigrate to the Peru. In addition, it was not customary to disown members of noble families for unacceptable behavior. Thus, traditions of an ancestor being erased or eliminated from all records are unfounded.
Illegitimate children, though not entitled to noble status, were often recorded. In such cases the father might not be named.
The noble class formed only a small percent of Peru’s population. There was a large division between the Spaniards born in Spain and the Spaniards born in Peru. Peru did not recognize Spanish titles after independence.
If in your research in the original records of Peru you find that your ancestor was of the noble class, there are additional records that may be helpful in your research.
The kings rewarded persons who performed a heroic deed, made a notable achievement, or held a prominent position in government by granting them a noble title. These grants were documented. Because of frequent false claims to nobility, families had to legitimize their nobility by providing documentary proof. Grants of nobility and legitimizations are kept in the national archives of Spain and Peru.
Although some original nobility records, such as the grant of nobility, are still in existence, you can accomplish most nobility research in secondary sources. These include published or manuscript genealogies of noble families. The noble class has been anxious to preserve their identity. This has lead to the publication of some noble lines of Peru. Numerous publications are available to help you trace a noble family. Some of the most important include:
- Alonso y Lopez, Ampelio de. Títulos nobiliarios con grandeza de España concedidos en Indias: su heráldica y genealogía (Spanish Titles of Nobility Given in the Indies: Heraldry and Genealogy. Madrid: Hidalguía, 1984. (FHL book 946 D5a.)
Izcue, Luis de. La Nobleza Titulada en el Perú
Colonial (Titled Nobility in Colonial Peru). Lima:
- Emp. Edit. “Cervantes,” 1919. (FHL book 985 D5i; film 1162491 item 3.)
- Vargas Ugarte, Rubén. Títulos Nobiliarios en el Perú (Noble Titles in Peru). Lima: Compañía de Impresiones y Publicidad, 1948. (FHL book 985 A1 no. 3.)
- Miranda Costa, Juan. Apuntes sobre cien familias establecidas en el Perú: archivo Luis Lasarte Ferreyros (Studies on 100 Families Established in Peru: [researched by] Archivist Luis Lasarte Ferreyros). Lima: Rider Ediciones Nacionales, 1993. (FHL book 985 D2m.)
The “Heraldry” and “Genealogy” sections of this outline contain additional information that may help you trace your noble ancestry. The Family History Library has collected a few books of noble families. These records are listed in the Family History Library Catalog under:
PERU - NOBILITY
For more information on the nobility of Peru and how to research noble families, see:
- Rosas-Siles, Alberto. Nobility of Peru. Salt Lake City: Corporation of the President, 1980. (FHL book 929.1 W893 v.9 pt. 6; fiche 6085813.)