Difference between revisions of "Vizcaya, Spain Genealogy"

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m (Text replacement - ":*[https://familysearch.org/learningcenter/lesson/reading-spanish-handwritten-records-lesson-1-the-spanish-alphabet/217 '''Reading Spanish Handwritten Records, Lesson 1'''] :*[https://familysearch.org/learningcenter/lesson/reading-spanish-handwritten-records-lesson-2-words-and-dates/218 '''Reading Spanish Handwritten Records, Lesson 2'''] :*[https://familysearch.org/learningcenter/lesson/reading-spanish-handwritten-records-lesson-3-reading-spanish-records/220 '''Reading Spanish Handwritten Records, Lesson 3'''] " to ":*[https://familysearch.org/learningcenter/lesson/reading-spanish-handwritten-records-lesson-1-the-spanish-alphabet/217 '''Reading Spanish Handwritten Records, Lesson 1'''] :*[https://familysearch.org/learningcenter/lesso)
 
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[[Spain|Spain]] [[Image:Gotoarrow.png]] [[Spain Provinces|Spain Provinces]] [[Image:Gotoarrow.png]] [[Vizcaya|Vizcaya]]  
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{{Spain-sidebar}}{{breadcrumb
<div style="width: 74%; float: right">
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| link1=[[Spain Genealogy|Spain]]
=== Getting started with research in Vizcaya ===
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| link2=[[Autonomous Community of Pais Vasco, Spain Genealogy|Pais Vasco]]
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| link3=
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| link4=
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| link5=[[{{PAGENAME}}|Vizcaya Province]]
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}}
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{| style="float:right"
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|-
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| style="padding-right:0px"|[[Image:SP Locator Map Spain Vizcaya.png|thumb]]
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|}<br>
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Guide to '''Vizcaya province ancestry, family history and genealogy:''' birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, parish registers, and military records.
 +
{{Click|Image:Spain ORP.png|Spain Online Genealogy Records}}[[File:Ask the Community Button New Version.jpg|link=FamilySearch Genealogy Research Groups on Facebook]]<br>
 +
__TOC__
 +
'''Most of your genealogical research for Vizcaya 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.'''
 +
==Civil Registration==
 +
*Spanish civil registration records (government birth certificates, marriage certificates, and death certificates) began in 1871.
 +
 
 +
*Births, marriages, and deaths were recorded by the local '''''Juzgado de la Paz''''', or '''''Oficinia del Registro Civil'''''. The records are still housed in their local municpal archives. In addition, Spain does have a '''national index or central repository for civil registration'''.<br>
 +
 
 +
*Some ''municipios'' (towns/cities) may have civil registration records beginning as early as 1837. Some of them have been microfilmed and/or digitized by FamilySearch.<br>
  
Welcome to the Vizcaya page! Vizcaya is a province in Spain which also belongs to the [[Autonomous Community of Pais Vasco|autonomous community of País Vasco]]. FamilySearch Wiki is a community website dedicated to helping people throughout the world learn how to find their ancestors. Through the Vizcaya page you can learn how to find, use, and analyze records of genealogical value. The content is variously targeted to beginners, intermediate, and expert researchers. Please visit the [[Help:Contributor Help|Contributor Help]] page to learn more about using the site. The Spain page is a work in progress, your contributions and [[FamilySearch Wiki:Feedback|feedback]] are essential!
+
*Larger cities may have multiple civil registration districts, and smaller towns may have their own civil registration office, or belong to an office of a nearby town. To determine the political jurisdiction for the town where your ancestors came from, please see the [[Spain Gazetteers|'''Spain Gazetteers''']] article. <br>
 +
<br>
 +
'''Here are several different approaches to obtaining these certificates:''' <br>
  
New! Join a Genealogy Research Community on [https://www.facebook.com/pages/Spain-Genealogy-Research-Community/227145867354657 Facebook] or [[Join a Skype Research Community#Europe|Skype]]
+
===1. Online Digitized Civil Registration===
 +
Currently, there are no online FamilySearch Historical civil registration records for this area.  You should check back from time to time to see if they have become available.
  
See the tutorials at FamilySearch Learning Center on ''[https://familysearch.org/learningcenter/results.html?fq=place%3A%22Spain%22 "Reading Spanish Handwritten Records"] ''and understanding''[https://familysearch.org/learningcenter/lesson/spanish-script-tutorial/92 "Spanish Script"]''.  
+
=== 2. Microfilm Copies of Civil Registration Records Searched at a Family History Center ===
 +
Currently, the Family History Library does not have civil registration microfilms for this area. You should check back from time to time to see if they become available. In the meantime. it is possible to write for the records.
  
=== Si usted entiende español  ===
+
===3. Basque Country===
 +
*[http://www.justizia.net/RegistroCivil/ '''RegistroCivil''']  will allow you to order a birth, marriage, or death certificate from any municipality in the Basque Country (provinces of Alava, Guipuzcoa, and Vizcaya) for free.
  
Le invitamos a buscar información en español en la página de México en el wiki de FamilySearch español. También le invitamos a compartir información útil allí. Véase el enlace en la parte inferior de la página.  
+
===4. Writing to the Civil Registry of a Municipality===
 +
*'''''Juzgado de la Paz''''' or '''''Oficina del Registro Civil ''''' should be contacted if a certificate copy request to the Ministerio de Justicia fails.
  
=== Research Tools  ===
+
* Use the following address, filling in the parentheses with the specific information for your town :
  
*[[Spanish Letter Writing Guide|Letter Writing Guide]]
+
::'''Oficina del Registro Civil'''<br>
*[[Spanish Genealogical Word List]]
+
::(Street address: [http://www.mjusticia.gob.es/BUSCADIR/ServletControlador?lang=en_gb&apartado=buscadorMunicipios&URL_ORIGEN=&origen=G&tipo=RC&provincia=27 '''This link'''] will give you addresses for all the civil registries in Vizcaya.)
*[http://net.lib.byu.edu/fslab/researchoutlines/Europe/Spain.pdf BYU Research Outline for Spain]
+
::([http://postalcode.globefeed.com/Spain_Postal_Code.asp '''postal code''')] (City)<br>
*Listing of all [https://www.familysearch.org/search/collection/list#page=1&countryId=1927167 records collections for Spain] available on FamilySearch.org.
+
::Vizcaya, Spain
  
'''Wiki articles describing online collections are found at:'''  
+
*[http://postalcode.globefeed.com/Spain_Postal_Code.asp '''Find the Spain postal code here.'''] <br>
 +
*Write a brief request to the proper office.  Send the following:
  
*[[Spain Baptisms (FamilySearch Historical Records)|Spain Baptisms (FamilySearch Historical Records)]]<br>
+
:*Full name and the sex of the person sought.
*[[Spain, Cadastre of the Marquis of Ensenada (FamilySearch Historical Records)|Spain, Cadastre of the Marquis of Ensenada (FamilySearch Historical Records)]]<br>
+
:*Names of the parents, if known.
*[[Spain Catholic Church Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)|Spain Catholic Church Church Records (FamilySearch Historical Records]])
+
:*Approximate date and place of the event.
*[[Spain, Consular Records of Spaniard Emigrants (FamilySearch Historical Records)|Spain, Consular Records of Spaniard Emigrants (FamilySearch Historical Records)]]
+
:*Your relationship to the person.
*[[Spain Deaths (FamilySearch Historical Records)|Spain Deaths (FamilySearch Historical Records)]]<br>
+
:*Reason for the request (family history, medical, etc.).
*[[Spain Marriages (FamilySearch Historical Records)|Spain Marriages (FamilySearch Historical Records)]]<br>
+
:*Request for a photocopy of the complete original record.
*[[Spain, Municipal Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)]]
+
:*Check or cash for the search fee (usually about $10.00).
*[[Spain, Pension Records of Widows and Orphans of Spanish Officials (FamilySearch Historical Records)|Spain, Pension Records of Widows and Orphans of Spanish Officials (FamilySearch Historical Records)]]
 
  
=== Featured Content  ===
+
'''Write your request in Spanish whenever possible.''' For writing your letter in Spanish, use the translated questions and phrases in this [https://familysearch.org/wiki/en/images/a/aa/LWGSpanish.pdf '''Spanish Letter-writing Guide.]'''
 +
<br>
  
See the tutorials at FamilySearch Learning Center on ''[https://familysearch.org/learningcenter/results.html?fq=place%3A%22Spain%22 "Reading Spanish Handwritten Records"] ''and understanding''[https://familysearch.org/learningcenter/lesson/spanish-script-tutorial/92 "Spanish Script"]''.
+
== Catholic Church Records ==
  
=== Websites  ===
+
*Catholicism's roots extend deep into Spain's history. '''Parish and diocesan records''' created by the Catholic Church in Spain have long been considered some of the richest genealogical records in the world. Ever since the Council of Trent, Catholic parish records have been consistently recorded, '''usually providing three generations in a single baptismal entry. '''
  
*[[Geneanet]]
+
*The vast majority of Spaniards are Catholic, and so almost every Spaniard can be found in the records of the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church was the '''primary record keeper of births, marriages, and deaths, until civil registration started in 1869.'''
*[[Queen Anne's War 1702 to 1713|Queen Anne's War]]
 
*[http://hispanicgenealogy.blogspot.com Hispanic Genealogy Blog]
 
*[http://www.genealogylinks.net/europe/spain/index.html Spain Genealogy Links]
 
*[http://genealogy.about.com/od/spain/ Spanish Genealogy &amp; Family History]
 
*[http://www.genealogyspot.com/country/spain.htm GenealogySpot: Spain]
 
*[http://genforum.genealogy.com/spain/ Spanish Genealogy Forum]
 
*[http://script.byu.edu/spanish/en/welcome.aspx Spanish Script Tutorial]
 
*[http://members.aol.com/balboanet/spain/ Spain]
 
*[http://www3.dcs.hull.ac.uk/genealogy/royal/#Iberia Directory of Royal Genealogical Data]
 
*[[Spain Websites|Spain Websites]]
 
  
=== Things You Can Do  ===
+
*Some church records have been lost or have deteriorated due natural disasters such as fire, flood, and earthquakes. Civil and political strife has also caused record loss, including during time of the Spanish Civil War.
  
In order to make this wiki a better research tool, we need your help! Many tasks need to be done. You can help by:
+
*The Catholic Church has created several different records. The ''most used in genealogical research'' include: baptisms ('''bautizos, bautismos'''), marriages ('''matrimonios'''), and burials ('''entierros, defunciones, fallecimientos'''). Other records include: confirmations ('''confimaciones''') and pre-marriage investigations ('''expedientes matrimoniales, información matrimonial''').
 +
 
 +
*'''Tip: '''If you are researching after 1869, when Civil Registration started in Spain, both church and civil records should be searched since there may be information in one record that does not appear in the other.
 +
===1. Online Church Records===
 +
Currently, there are no online church records for this area.  You should check back from time to time to see if they have become available.
 +
 
 +
===2. Microfilmed Records From the Family History Library===
 +
Currently, the Family History Library does not have church records microfilms for this area.  You should check back from time to time to see if they become available.  In the meantime. it is possible to write for the records.
 +
 
 +
===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 Spain.  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 guide, replacing the information in parentheses:<br>
 +
 
 +
:'''Reverendo Padre'''
 +
:'''Parroquia de (name of parish) '''
 +
:'''(street address, if known:  consult [http://www.thecatholicdirectory.com/directory.cfm '''The Catholic Directory'''])'''
 +
:'''([http://postalcode.globefeed.com/Spain_Postal_Code.asp  '''postal code''']), (city), Vizcaya'''
 +
:'''Spain'''
 +
<br>
 +
 
 +
*[http://postalcode.globefeed.com/Spain_Postal_Code.asp '''Find the Spain postal code here.''']
 +
 
 +
When requesting information, send the following:<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>
 +
'''Write your request in Spanish whenever possible.''' For writing your letter in Spanish, use the translated questions and phrases in this [https://familysearch.org/wiki/en/images/a/aa/LWGSpanish.pdf '''Spanish Letter-writing Guide.]]'''
 +
 
 +
==Reading the Records==
 +
 
 +
*You do not have to be fluent in Spanish to read your documents. Genealogical records usually contain a limited vocabulary. Use this [[Spanish Genealogical Word List|'''Spanish Genealogical Word List''']] to translate the important points in the document.  Reading handwriting skills are taught in the [https://script.byu.edu/Pages/Spanish/en/welcome.aspx '''BYU Spanish Script Tutorial'''].
 +
 
 +
*Online interactive slideshow lessons are available to help you learn to read these records:
 +
 
 +
:*[https://familysearch.org/learningcenter/lesson/reading-spanish-handwritten-records-lesson-1-the-spanish-alphabet/217 '''Reading Spanish Handwritten Records, Lesson 1''']
 +
:*[https://familysearch.org/learningcenter/lesson/reading-spanish-handwritten-records-lesson-2-words-and-dates/218 '''Reading Spanish Handwritten Records, Lesson 2''']
 +
:*[https://familysearch.org/learningcenter/lesson/reading-spanish-handwritten-records-lesson-3-reading-spanish-records/220 '''Reading Spanish Handwritten Records, Lesson 3''']
 +
<br>
 +
 
 +
Detailed instructions for reading Spanish records, examples of common documents, and practice exercises for developing skills in translating them can be found in the [[Spanish Records Extraction Manual|'''Spanish Records Extraction Manual.''']]
 +
<br>
  
{| cellspacing="1" cellpadding="1" border="0" class="FCK__ShowTableBorders"
 
|-
 
|
 
*[[Edit a page|Expand an article]] or [[Special:Shortpages|short page]]
 
*[[How to author an article in the Wiki|Create a new article]]<br>
 
*[[How to categorize an article|Categorize articles]]<br>
 
*[[Create an external link|Add external links to articles]]
 
*[[Create an internal link|Add internal links to articles]] .
 
  
|}
+
==== Tips for finding your ancestor in the records ====
  
{{H-langs|en=Spain Province of Vizcaya|es=Vizcaya}}
+
Effective use of church records includes the following strategies.
  
Return to [[Spain Provinces|Spain Provinces]] page __NOTOC__
+
*Search for the '''birth record''' of the relative or ancestor you selected. When you find his birth record, search for the '''births of his brothers and sisters'''.
</div> <!--All text below this is included in a column on the left side of the screen--> <div style="width: 24%; float: left">
+
*Then, search for the '''marriage of his parents.''' The marriage record will often help you find the '''birth records of the parents.'''  
{| border="0" class="FCK__ShowTableBorders" style="background: rgb(255,255,240)"
+
*You can estimate the ages of the parents and determine a birth year to search for their birth records.
|-
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*Search the '''death registers for all family members.'''
| align="center" style="font-family: verdana; background: rgb(238,238,238)" | '''Beginners Corner'''
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*Then '''repeat the process''' for both the father and the mother.
|-
+
*If earlier generations are not in the record, '''search neighboring parishes. '''
| align="left" style="background: rgb(249,243,253)" |
 
*[[Spain Getting Started|Getting Started]]
 
*[[Spain Locating Place of Origin|Locating Place of Origin]]
 
*[[Spain Finding Records|Finding Records]]
 
*[[Spain Resources|Spanish Resources]]
 
  
|-
 
| style="text-align: center; font-family: verdana; background: rgb(238,238,238); color: rgb(51,51,51); font-size: 85%" | '''News &amp; Events'''
 
|-
 
| style="text-align: left; font-family: verdana; background: rgb(250,245,255); font-size: 95%; -moz-background-inline-policy: -moz-initial; -moz-background-clip: -moz-initial; -moz-background-origin: -moz-initial; -moz-background-size: auto auto" | <!--Add "News and Events" items below--> <br>
 
|-
 
| style="text-align: center; font-family: verdana; background: rgb(238,238,238); color: rgb(51,51,51); font-size: 85%" | '''Topics'''
 
|-
 
| style="text-align: left; font-family: verdana; background: rgb(250,245,255); font-size: 95%" |
 
*[[Vizcaya Archives and Libraries|Archives and Libraries]]
 
*[[Vizcaya Biography|Biographies]]
 
*[[Vizcaya Cemeteries|Cemeteries]]
 
*[[Vizcaya Census|Census]]
 
*[[Vizcaya Church Directories|Church Directories]]
 
*[[Vizcaya Church History|Church History]]
 
*[[Vizcaya Catholic Church Records|Church Records]]
 
*[[Vizcaya Civil Registration - Vital Records|Civil Registration]]
 
*[[Vizcaya Court Records|Court Records]]
 
*[[Vizcaya Directories|Directories]]
 
*[[Vizcaya Dwellings|Dwellings]]
 
*[[Vizcaya Emigration and Immigration|Emigration and Immigration]]
 
*[[Vizcaya Ethnic Groups|Ethnic Groups]]
 
*[[Vizcaya Gazetteers|Gazetteers]]
 
*[[Vizcaya Genealogy|Genealogy]]
 
*[[Vizcaya Heraldry|Heraldry]]
 
*[[Vizcaya Historical Geography|Historical Geography]]
 
*[[Vizcaya History|History]]
 
*[[Vizcaya Jewish Records|Jewish Records]]
 
*[[Vizcaya Land and Property|Land and Property]]
 
*[[Vizcaya Language and Languages|Language and Languages]]
 
*[[Vizcaya Maps|Maps]]
 
*[[Vizcaya Military Records|Military Records]]
 
*[[Vizcaya Names, Personal|Names Personal]]
 
*[[Vizcaya Naturalization and Citizenship|Naturalization and Citizenship]]
 
*[[Vizcaya Newspapers|Newspapers]]
 
*[[Vizcaya Nobility|Nobility]]
 
*[[Vizcaya Notarial Records|Notarial Records]]
 
*[[Vizcaya Obituaries|Obituaries]]
 
*[[Vizcaya Occupations|Occupations]]
 
*[[Vizcaya Periodicals|Periodicals]]
 
*[[Vizcaya Place Names|Place Names]]
 
*[[Vizcaya Population|Population]]
 
*[[Vizcaya Probate Records|Probate Records]]
 
*[[Vizcaya Schools|Schools]]
 
*[[Vizcaya Societies|Societies]]
 
*[[Vizcaya Timeline|Timeline]]
 
  
|-
 
| style="text-align: center; font-family: verdana; background: rgb(238,238,238); color: rgb(51,51,51); font-size: 85%" | '''Did You Know?'''
 
|-
 
| style="text-align: left; font-family: verdana; background: rgb(250,245,255); font-size: 95%; -moz-background-inline-policy: -moz-initial; -moz-background-clip: -moz-initial; -moz-background-origin: -moz-initial; -moz-background-size: auto auto" | <!--Add "Did You Know?" items below--> <br>
 
|}
 
  
 
{{Forum badge
 
{{Forum badge
 
| layout = vertical
 
| layout = vertical
| link = http://forums.familysearch.org/en/forumdisplay.php?f=8
+
| link = https://www.familysearch.org/learn/forums/en/forumdisplay.php?f=8
 
| name = Western European Research Forum
 
| name = Western European Research Forum
}}  
+
}}
</div>
+
[[Category:Provinces of Spain]]
&nbsp;
 
<div id="refHTML"></div>
 
[[Category:Spain]]
 

Latest revision as of 22:19, 1 June 2017

Spain Wiki Topics
Spanish flag.jpg
Beginning Research
Record Types
Country Background
Ethnicity
Local Research Resources
Spain
Pais Vasco
Vizcaya Province
SP Locator Map Spain Vizcaya.png

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

{{{link}}}Ask the Community Button New Version.jpg

Most of your genealogical research for Vizcaya 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.

Civil Registration

  • Spanish civil registration records (government birth certificates, marriage certificates, and death certificates) began in 1871.
  • Births, marriages, and deaths were recorded by the local Juzgado de la Paz, or Oficinia del Registro Civil. The records are still housed in their local municpal archives. In addition, Spain does have a national index or central repository for civil registration.
  • Some municipios (towns/cities) may have civil registration records beginning as early as 1837. Some of them have been microfilmed and/or digitized by FamilySearch.
  • Larger cities may have multiple civil registration districts, and smaller towns may have their own civil registration office, or belong to an office of a nearby town. To determine the political jurisdiction for the town where your ancestors came from, please see the Spain Gazetteers article.


Here are several different approaches to obtaining these certificates:

1. Online Digitized Civil Registration

Currently, there are no online FamilySearch Historical civil registration records for this area. You should check back from time to time to see if they have become available.

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

Currently, the Family History Library does not have civil registration microfilms for this area. You should check back from time to time to see if they become available. In the meantime. it is possible to write for the records.

3. Basque Country

  • RegistroCivil will allow you to order a birth, marriage, or death certificate from any municipality in the Basque Country (provinces of Alava, Guipuzcoa, and Vizcaya) for free.

4. Writing to the Civil Registry of a Municipality

  • Juzgado de la Paz or Oficina del Registro Civil should be contacted if a certificate copy request to the Ministerio de Justicia fails.
  • Use the following address, filling in the parentheses with the specific information for your town :
Oficina del Registro Civil
(Street address: This link will give you addresses for all the civil registries in Vizcaya.)
(postal code) (City)
Vizcaya, Spain
  • Full name and the sex of the person sought.
  • Names of the parents, if known.
  • Approximate date and place of the event.
  • Your relationship to the person.
  • Reason for the request (family history, medical, etc.).
  • Request for a photocopy of the complete original record.
  • Check or cash for the search fee (usually about $10.00).

Write your request in Spanish whenever possible. For writing your letter in Spanish, use the translated questions and phrases in this Spanish Letter-writing Guide.

Catholic Church Records

  • Catholicism's roots extend deep into Spain's history. Parish and diocesan records created by the Catholic Church in Spain have long been considered some of the richest genealogical records in the world. Ever since the Council of Trent, Catholic parish records have been consistently recorded, usually providing three generations in a single baptismal entry.
  • The vast majority of Spaniards are Catholic, and so almost every Spaniard can be found in the records of the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church was the primary record keeper of births, marriages, and deaths, until civil registration started in 1869.
  • Some church records have been lost or have deteriorated due natural disasters such as fire, flood, and earthquakes. Civil and political strife has also caused record loss, including during time of the Spanish Civil War.
  • The Catholic Church has created several different records. The most used in genealogical research include: baptisms (bautizos, bautismos), marriages (matrimonios), and burials (entierros, defunciones, fallecimientos). Other records include: confirmations (confimaciones) and pre-marriage investigations (expedientes matrimoniales, información matrimonial).
  • Tip: If you are researching after 1869, when Civil Registration started in Spain, both church and civil records should be searched since there may be information in one record that does not appear in the other.

1. Online Church Records

Currently, there are no online church records for this area. You should check back from time to time to see if they have become available.

2. Microfilmed Records From the Family History Library

Currently, the Family History Library does not have church records microfilms for this area. You should check back from time to time to see if they become available. In the meantime. it is possible to write for the records.

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 Spain. 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 guide, replacing the information in parentheses:

Reverendo Padre
Parroquia de (name of parish)
(street address, if known: consult The Catholic Directory)
(postal code), (city), Vizcaya
Spain


When requesting information, send the following:

  • 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. For writing your letter in Spanish, use the translated questions and phrases in this Spanish Letter-writing Guide.]

Reading the Records

  • You do not have to be fluent in Spanish to read your documents. Genealogical records usually contain a limited vocabulary. Use this Spanish Genealogical Word List to translate the important points in the document. Reading handwriting skills are taught in the BYU Spanish Script Tutorial.
  • Online interactive slideshow lessons are available to help you learn to read these records:


Detailed instructions for reading Spanish records, examples of common documents, and practice exercises for developing skills in translating them can be found in the Spanish Records Extraction Manual.


Tips for finding your ancestor in the records

Effective use of church records includes the following strategies.

  • Search for the birth record of the relative or ancestor you selected. When you find his birth record, search for the births of his brothers and sisters.
  • Then, search for the marriage of his parents. The marriage record 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 family members.
  • Then repeat the process for both the father and the mother.
  • If earlier generations are not in the record, search neighboring parishes.