Spain Catholic Church Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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FamilySearch Record Search This article describes a collection of historical records available at
Access the records: Spain, Catholic Church Records .

Foreign Language Title

Registros Parroquiales de la Iglesia Católica en España.

Collection Time Period

This collection of Catholic Church parish records of Spain covers 1500 through 1984. The collection includes records from the dioceses of Avila, Ciudad Real, Ciudad Rodrigo, Gerona, Lugo, Murcia, and Segovia.

Record History

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, and a duplicate copy was and is centralized in the corresponding diocesan archive. Most of the parish records in Spain have been preserved relatively well, but some older entries may have some damage.

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 and marriages.

Why This Collection Was Created

The Catholic Church parish registers were created to record the church sacraments of baptism, marriage, death and burial, and other ordinances pertaining to members within the church jurisdiction.

Record Reliability

Catholic Church parish records are a reliable source for doing genealogical research in Spain.

Record Description

Most of the records were handwritten in narrative style. In later years, the records may be handwritten in formatted registers. Entries were created in chronological order with the exception of a few entries. Early registers may have some ecclesiastical wording written in Latin, but the main language of the records is Spanish.

Record Content

The key genealogical facts found in most baptism records include:
Spain Catholic Parish Baptism Record.jpg

  • Date and place of the event
  • Name of the person baptized
  • Date of birth or age at the time of baptism
  • Gender
  • Legitimacy
  • Parents’ names and their residence and places of birth
  • Names of paternal and maternal grandparents and sometimes their residences or places of birth
  • Name of godparents
  • Names of the witnesses

The key genealogical facts found in most marriage records include:
Spain Gerona Church Records Marriage.jpg
  • Date and place of the event
  • Complete name of the bride and groom
  • Civil status of the bride and groom (widowed, single, divorced) at the time of the event
  • Residence or places of birth of the bride and groom
  • Ages of the bride and groom at the time of the marriage
  • Parents’ names and their residence or places of birth
  • Sometimes the parents’ civil status at the time of the event
  • Names of the witnesses

The key genealogical facts found on most burial records include:
Spain Avila Catholic Parish Records Death.jpg
  • Date and place where the person died
  • Name of the deceased
  • Civil status of the deceased (single, married, widowed)
  • Name of the spouse if the deceased was married or a widow or widower
  • Residence or place of birth of the deceased
  • Age at the time of death or date of birth
  • Cause of death
  • Sometimes an indication that the person left a testament
  • Sometimes the names of the children left at the time of death

How to Use the Record

The Catholic parish records are an excellent source for genealogical research in Spain. These may also be the only records available for vital information research before civil registration was implemented in 1871.

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Related Wiki Articles

Spain Catholic Church Records
Spain Catholic Church Directories

Related Websites

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Sources of This Collection

This collection of digital images of original records is housed at different diocesan archives of the corresponding dioceses:

• Iglesia Católica. Diócesis de Ávila (Ávila, Ávila)
• Iglesia Católica. Diócesis de Ciudad Real (Ciudad Real, Ciudad Real)
• Iglesia Católica. Diócesis de Ciudad Rodrigo (Ciudad Rodrigo, Salamanca)
• Iglesia Católica. Diócesis de Gerona (Gerona, Gerona)
• Iglesia Católica. Diócesis de Murcia (Murcia, Murcia)

  • Please note that FamilySearch will add other diocesan collections when granted permission by the diocese.

How to Cite Your Sources

Instructions for citing this source can be found at: Cite Your Sources (Source Footnotes)