Difference between revisions of "Venezuela Federal District, 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]] [[Venezuela_Federal_District|Federal District]]
+
''[[South America]] [[Image:Gotoarrow.png]] [[Venezuela Genealogy|Venezuela]] [[Image:Gotoarrow.png]] Federal District<br>
 +
{{Venezuela-sidebar}}
 +
Guide to '''Federal District ancestry, family history and genealogy:''' birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, parish registers, and military records. 
  
{| width="100%" cellspacing="10" cellpadding="5" class="FCK__ShowTableBorders"
+
'''Most of your genealogical research for Federal District 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>
| valign="top" style="padding-bottom: 0pt; margin: 0pt; padding-left: 0pt; padding-right: 0pt; padding-top: 0pt" | <div style="width: 74%; float: right">
+
==Knowing Your Locality==
[Description of the state]
+
*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-P2S%3A159737601%2C159737602%3Fcc%3D1823609 Venezuela, Caracas, 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.
  
== General Information  ==
+
=== 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:
  
The city was founded on 1567 with the name of Santiago of Leon of Caracas and it became one of the most prosperous Spanish colonial communities of South America. The city was sacked by English privateers under the control of Amyas Preston in 1595. Around April of 1810 Caracas became the center of the first rebellion in the war of independence against Spain, taking later Simón Bolivar its leadership. From 1576 it has been the capital of the province of Venezuela, strengthening this position as of 1777 in the Capitania General of Venezuela, although it lost this role in 1821, to recover it definitively in 1830. Thoughout its history the city has undergone some severe earthquakes, in 1812 10,000 people died and the city was destroyed almost in its totality.  
+
:::a. Click on this link to see a list of [https://familysearch.org/search/catalog/results?count=20&placeId=215354&query=%2Bplace%3A%22Venezuela%2C%20Distrito%20Federal%22 '''records for Venezuela, Federal District'''].
 +
:::b. Click on '''"Places within Venezuela, Federal District"''' 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.  '''"Nascimientos"''' are births. '''"Matrimonios"''' are marriages. ''' "Defunciones"''' are deaths.
 +
:::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 the middle of a valley at 960 meters (3,150 ft) above the sea level, the settlers of Caracas enjoy an pleasant temperate climate all year around, reason why they named it “Heaven’s Branch on Earth”.  
+
=== 3. Writing for Civil Registration Certificates===
  
<br>In Caracas there has been born a significant European descending population, mainly Spanish and Italian, many of which have been dedicated to the small and medium industry. A significant population of Colombians and Portuguese also exists. In the middle of the 70s, near 30% of the population of Caracas was born in zones outside the metropolitan area. Many of them migrated from depressed rural areas, and have established their homes in the called “barrios”, or marginal areas of low income.  
+
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 [[Federal District Civil Registry Offices|Federal District 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>Distrito Capital is Venezuela’s administrative división created in 1999 by the new Constitution of the Repúbica Bolivariana de Venezuela in substitution of the Distrito Federal. It is located in the central northern part of the country, limited by north and west by Vargas state, and by the south and east by Miranda<br><br>  
+
:'''Oficino del Registro Civil'''
 +
:'''(street name, number)'''
 +
:'''(city or town), Federal District'''
 +
:'''([http://ven.postcodequery.com/MWpr.html postal code])'''
 +
:'''Venezuela'''<br>
 +
<br>
 +
*[http://ven.postcodequery.com/MWpr.html '''Find the Venezuela postal code here.''']
  
<br>
+
'''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:'''
  
== Si usted entiende español  ==
+
*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>
  
Le invitamos a buscar información en español en la página del [https://www.familysearch.org/learn/wiki/es/Venezuela_Distrito_Federal Distrito Federal] en el wiki de FamilySearch español. También le invitamos a compartir información útil allí: [https://www.familysearch.org/learn/wiki/es/Venezuela_Distrito_Federal https://www.familysearch.org/learn/wiki/es/Venezuela_Distrito_Federal]
 
  
== Research Tools  ==
+
<br>
  
*[[Parishes of Venezuela]]
+
== Church Records==
*[http://net.lib.byu.edu/fslab/researchoutlines/LatinAmerica/Venezuela.pdf BYU Research Outline for Venezuela]
+
*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.
*Listing of all [https://www.familysearch.org/search/collection/list#page=1&countryId=1927137 records collections for Venezuela] available on FamilySearch.org
+
*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.
  
'''A wiki article describing this collection is found at:'''  
+
=== 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-56F%3A376113301%3Fcc%3D1951777 Federal District, 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>
  
*[[Venezuela Catholic Church Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)]]
+
'''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.
*[[Venezuela, Merida Catholic Church Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)]]
+
=== 2.  Microfilm Copies of Church Records Searched at a Family History Center ===
*[[Venezuela Civil Registration (FamilySearch Historical Records)]]
+
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:
*[[Venezuela Vital Records Index (FamilySearch Historical Records)]]
 
  
== Featured Content ==
+
:::a. Click on this link to see a list of [https://familysearch.org/search/catalog/results?count=20&placeId=215354&query=%2Bplace%3A%22Venezuela%2C%20Distrito%20Federal%22 '''records for Venezuela, Federal District'''].
 +
:::b. Click on '''"Places within Venezuela, Federal District"''' 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.
  
''See FamilySearch Tutorials on [https://familysearch.org/learningcenter/results.html?q=*&fq=place%3A%22Latin%20America%22 Latin American Research.]''  
+
===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.'''''  
  
== Did you know?  ==
+
Write a brief request in Spanish to the proper church using this address as a guide replacing the information in parentheses:<br>
  
*Venezuela is officially called: Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.
+
:'''Reverendo Padre'''
*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.
+
:'''Parroquia de (name of parish) '''
 +
:'''(parish), Federal District'''
 +
:'''([http://ven.postcodequery.com/MWpr.html postal code])'''
 +
:'''Venezuela'''<br>
 +
<br>
 +
*[http://ven.postcodequery.com/MWpr.html '''Find the Venezuela postal code here.''']
  
== Help Wanted  ==
+
'''Send the following when requesting information:'''<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:
+
*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>
  
{| cellspacing="1" cellpadding="1" border="0" style="background-color: white; font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; color: black; font-size: 100%" class="FCK__ShowTableBorders"
+
'''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. '''
|- style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif"
+
<br>
| 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" |
+
==Reading the Records==
*[[Create an external link|Add external links to articles]]
 
*[[Create an internal link|Add internal links to articles]]
 
*Other...
 
  
|}
+
*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'''].
</div> <!--All text below this is included in a column on the left side of the screen.--> <div style="width: 24%; float: left">
 
{| border="0" style="background: rgb(255,255,240)" class="FCK__ShowTableBorders"
 
|-
 
| align="center" style="font-family: verdana; background: rgb(238,238,238)" | '''News'''
 
|-
 
| align="left" style="background: rgb(249,243,253)" | <!--add "News" below-->
 
<br>
 
  
|-
+
*Online interactive slideshow lessons are available to help you learn to read these records:  
| align="center" style="font-family: verdana; background: rgb(238,238,238)" | '''Topics'''
 
|-
 
| align="left" style="background: rgb(249,243,253)" |
 
*[[Federal District Archives and Libraries|Archives and Libraries]]
 
*[[Federal District Biography|Biography]]
 
*[[Federal District Cemeteries|Cemeteries]]
 
*[[Federal District Census|Census]]
 
*[[Federal District Church Directories|Church Directories]]
 
*[[Federal District Church History|Church History]]
 
*[[Federal District Church Records|Church Records]]
 
*[[Federal District Civil Registration|Civil Registration]]
 
*[[Federal District Directories|Directories]]
 
*[[Federal District Emigration and Immigration|Emigration and Immigration]]
 
*[[Federal District Gazetteers|Gazetteers]]
 
*[[Federal District Genealogy|Genealogy]]
 
*[[Federal District Historical Geography|Historical Geography]]
 
*[[Federal District History|History]]
 
*[[Federal District Land and Property|Land and Property]]
 
*[[Federal District Language and Languages|Language and Languages]]
 
*[[Federal District Maps|Maps]]
 
*[[Federal District Military Records|Military Records]]
 
*[[Federal District Names, Personal|Names, Personal]]
 
*[[Federal District Native Races|Native Races]]
 
*[[Federal District Newspapers|Newspapers]]
 
*[[Federal District Notarial Records|Notarial Records]]
 
*[[Federal District Periodicals|Periodicals]]
 
*[[Federal District Probate Records|Probate Records]]
 
*[[Federal District Public Records|Public Records]]
 
*[[Federal District Social Life and Customs|Social Life and Customs]]
 
*[[Federal District Societies|Societies]]
 
*[[Federal District Others and Miscellaneous|Others and Miscellaneous]]
 
  
|-
+
:*[https://familysearch.org/learningcenter/lesson/reading-spanish-handwritten-records-lesson-1-the-spanish-alphabet/217 '''Reading Spanish Handwritten Records, Lesson 1'''] — Spanish alphabet
| align="center" style="font-family: verdana; background: rgb(238,238,238)" | '''(Title)'''
+
:*[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
|-
+
:*[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="left" style="background: rgb(249,243,253)" |
 
*(your bullet)
 
  
|}
+
==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.
  
{{Forum badge
+
=== Tips for finding your ancestor in the records ===
| layout = vertical
+
*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>
| forum link = http://forums.familysearch.org/en/forumdisplay.php?f=11
+
 
| forum name = Latin America Research forum
+
*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>
}}
+
 
</div>  
+
*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>
__NOTOC__
+
 
 +
 
 +
[[Category:Provinces of Venezuela]]
  
|}
 
<div id="refHTML"></div>
 
 
[[Category:Venezuela]]
 
[[Category:Venezuela]]

Latest revision as of 18:18, 4 January 2017

South America Gotoarrow.png Venezuela Gotoarrow.png Federal District

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


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

Most of your genealogical research for Federal District 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, Federal District.
b. Click on "Places within Venezuela, Federal District" 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. "Nascimientos" are births. "Matrimonios" are marriages. "Defunciones" are deaths.
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 Federal District 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), Federal District
(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, Federal District.
b. Click on "Places within Venezuela, Federal District" 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), Federal District
(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.