Argentina Church Records

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For information about records for non-Christian religions in Argentina, go to the Religious Records page.

Online Resources and Websites[edit | edit source]

Historical Background[edit | edit source]

The Constitution guarantees freedom of religion. Although it enforces neither an official nor a state faith, it gives Roman Catholicism a preferential status. According to a 2008 CONICET poll, Argentines were 76.5% Catholic, 11.3% Agnostics and Atheists, 9% Evangelical Protestants, 1.2% Jehovah's Witnesses, and 0.9% Mormons, while 1.2% followed other religions, including Islam, Judaism and Buddhism.[1]

Information Recorded in the Records[edit | edit source]

Different denominations, different time periods, and practices of different record keepers will effect how much information can be found in the records. This outline will show the types of details which might be found (best case scenario):

Baptisms[edit | edit source]

In Catholic and Anglican records, children were usually baptized a few days after birth, and therefore, the baptism record proves date of birth. Other religions, such as Baptists, baptized at other points in the member's life. Baptism registers might give:

  • baptism date
  • the infant's name
  • parents' names
  • father's occupation
  • status of legitimacy
  • occasionally, names of grandparents
  • names of witnesses or godparents, who may be relatives
  • birth date and place
  • the family's place of residence
  • death information, as an added note or signified by a cross

Marriages[edit | edit source]

Marriage registers can give:

  • the marriage date
  • the names of the bride and groom
  • indicate whether the bride and groom were single or widowed
  • their ages
  • birth dates and places for the bride and groom
  • their residences
  • their occupations
  • birthplaces of the bride and groom
  • parents' names (after 1800)
  • the names of previous spouses and their death dates
  • names of witnesses, who might be relatives.

Burials[edit | edit source]

Burial registers may give:

  • the name of the deceased
  • the date and place of death or burial
  • the deceased's age
  • place of residence
  • cause of death
  • the names of survivors, especially a widow or widower
  • deceased's birth date and place
  • parents' names, or at least the father's name

How to Find Records[edit | edit source]

Digital Copies of Church Records in the FamilySearch Catalog[edit | edit source]

Watch for digitized copies of church records to be added to the collection of the FamilySearch Library. Some records might have viewing restrictions, and can only be viewed at a Family History Center near you, and/or by members of supporting organizations. To find records:

a. Click on the records of Argentina.
b. Click on Places within Argentina and a list of towns will appear.
c. Click on your town if it appears, or the location which you believe was the parish which served your town or village.
d. Click on the "Church records" topic. Click on the blue links to specific record titles.
e. Some combination of these icons will appear at the far right of the listing for the record. FHL icons.png. The magnifying glass indicates that the record 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 records.

Writing for Records[edit | edit source]

You will probably need to write to or email the national archives, the diocese, or local parish priests to find records. See the Spanish Letter Writing Guide for help with composing letters.

Catholic Church Records[edit | edit source]

Writing to a Local Parish[edit | edit source]

Earlier records can be held at the diocese, with more recent records still kept in the local parish. To locate the mailing address or e-mail address for a diocese or local parish, consult:

Historical Background[edit | edit source]

Estimates for the number of Roman Catholics vary from low as 70% of the population, to as much as 90%. The CIA Factbook lists 92% of the country as Catholic.

The society, culture, and politics of Argentina are deeply imbued with Roman Catholicism. The Church solidified its hold on the territory of modern-day Argentina during the period of Spanish colonial rule from the 16th to early 19th centuries. Although Roman Catholicism is not the official religion of the state, and freedom of religion is guaranteed by the Constitution, Catholic representatives take part in many state functions. [2]

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Records[edit | edit source]

Online Records[edit | edit source]

Online information is available to current members, for deceased members and immediate family members who are still living. Sign in to FamilySearch and then select Family Tree in the drop-down menu.

Historical Background[edit | edit source]

Two Latter-day Saint families emigrated from Germany to Argentina in about 1923. They began sharing their beliefs through local newspapers and wrote letters to the First Presidency requesting missionaries. Church Apostle Melvin J. Ballard was sent to Argentina in December 1925 and six people were baptized. The South American Mission was created. Elder Ballard later prophesied that "the work will go forth slowly just as the oak grows from an acorn...[But] the South American Mission will become a power in the Church."

Argentina initially was part of the Church's South America Mission. Then, in 1936, that mission was divided into the Brazilian and Argentine missions. Membership grew slowly for the first 20 years, in 1945 membership in Argentina was 800. The Argentine Mission was divided in 1962, and additional missions have been created since then. In 1998 there were ten missions in Argentina.

The first stake (diocese) in Argentina was organized in Buenos Aires in 1966 with Angel Abrea, now a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy, as stake president. By 1978, membership had reached about 40,000 members. The Buenos Aires Argentina Temple was announced in 1980 and dedicated January 17, 1986.

Buenos Aires was designated area presidency headquarters of the South America South Area in 1984. Three new missions in 1990 — Mendoza, Resistencia, and Trelew, and the Buenos Aires West Mission in 1992 — reflect the continuing growth in Argentina. [3]

Evangelical and Pentecostal Church Records[edit | edit source]

Writing for Records[edit | edit source]

Historical Background[edit | edit source]

Protestant churches have been gaining ground since the 1980s. In Latin America, most Protestants are called Evangélicos (Evangelicals). One survey in 2008 found approximately 9% of the total population were Protestant; most of whom, 7.9% of the total population, Pentecostal. While Pentecostal churches originally attracted mostly the lower class, they show an increasing appeal to the urban middle class. Middle class congregations develop a distinctive style of Pentecostalism, more adapted to society.[4]

Jehovah's Witnesses Church Records[edit | edit source]

Writing for Records[edit | edit source]

Lutheran Records[edit | edit source]

Online Records[edit | edit source]

Church books from The Norwegian Seamen's Mission in Buenos Aires, Argentina - images,
(Some of these records are restricted for privacy, but are still listed on the Norway National Archive's website)

Historical Background[edit | edit source]

In 1923, George Young, from Canada, came to South America. After extensive witnessing in Brazil, he turned his attention to Argentina. Within months, 1,480 books and 300,000 copies of other Bible publications were distributed in 25 principal towns and cities of Argentina. In 1924, J. F. Rutherford, then president of the Watch Tower Society, assigned a Spaniard named Juan Muñiz to serve in Argentina. Two years later Brother Muñiz established a branch office of the Watch Tower Society in Buenos Aires to look after the Kingdom-preaching work in Argentina, Chile, Paraguay, and Uruguay.

Brother Muñiz realized that there was a large German-speaking population in Argentina, so he requested help... In response, Brother Rutherford sent Carlos Ott, a German full-time minister, to assist that language group. There were also many Greeks in the country. In 1930, Nicolás Argyrós, of Greek origin, learned the Bible’s message and began preaching to the hundreds of Greek-speaking people in the Buenos Aires area. Around the same time, a Polish man, Juan Rebacz, became one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, and along with another Polish Witness, he entered the full-time ministry. Accompanied by two other full-time ministers, they covered the territory in the southern part of Argentina.[5]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Wikipedia contributors, "Argentina", in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,, accessed 6 March 2020.
  2. Wikipedia contributors, "Religion in Argentina", in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,, accessed 6 March 2020.
  3. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, "Facts and Statistics: Argentina,, accessed 27 March 2020.
  4. Wikipedia contributors, "Religion in Argentina", in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,, accessed 6 March 2020.
  5. Argentina in 2001 Yearbook of Jehovah's Witnesses,, accessed 7 March 2020.