Guatemala, Catholic Church Records - FamilySearch Historical Records

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Guatemala

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Guatemala, Catholic Church Records, 1581-1977
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This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
Guatemala
Flag of Guatemala.svg.png
Flag of the Republic of Guatemala
LOC Guatemala in Central America and the Caribbean.png
Location of Guatemala
Record Description
Record Type: Catholic Church Records
Collection years: 1581-1977
Language: Spanish
Title in the Language: Registros Parroquiales de la Iglesia Católica en Guatemala
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites
Archive
Parroquias Católicas, Guatemala (Catholic Church parishes, Guatemala)


Why Should I Look at This Collection?[edit | edit source]

Parish registers are the best records to identify individuals, parents, and spouses before 1877. After this date, civil authorities began registering vital events, and civil records became equally important. The parish registers may be the only records available for genealogical research before civil registration was implemented in 1877.

Image Visibility[edit | edit source]

Whenever possible FamilySearch makes images and indexes available for all users. However, rights to view these data are limited by contract and subject to change. Because of this there may be limitations on where and how images and indexes are available or who can see them. Please be aware some collections consist only of partial information indexed from the records and do not contain any images. For additional information about image restrictions see Restrictions for Viewing Images in FamilySearch Historical Record Collections.

What is in This Collection?[edit | edit source]

This collection of baptism, marriage, and burial records from parishes throughout Guatemala covers the years 1581 to 1977. For a complete list of all the parishes contained in the collection, see the Parishes in Guatemala coverage table. Separate books were kept for the sacramental ordinances of baptism, marriage, and burial. The entries were normally made in chronological order. Some confirmations may be found within the baptisms. The earlier parish records were all handwritten in narrative form, and later records were handwritten in formatted entries.

Reading These Records[edit | edit source]

These records are written in Spanish. For help reading them see:

FamilySearch Learning Center videos:

If you speak Spanish, the following free online lesson may be helpful to learn how to use the information in these records:

To Browse This Collection[edit | edit source]

You can browse through images in this collection using the waypoints on the Collection Browse Page for Guatemala, Catholic Church Records, 1581-1977.

What Can These Records Tell Me?[edit | edit source]

The following information may be found in these records:

Baptism

  • Place of the event
  • Date of the event
  • Name of the child
  • Age or date of birth of the child
  • Gender and legitimacy
  • Parents’ names
  • Sometimes the names of the grandparents
  • Names of the godparents

Marriage

  • Place of the event
  • Date of the event
  • Names of the betrothed
  • Age, marital status, and sometimes the race of the betrothed
  • Birthplace or place of residence
  • Gender and legitimacy
  • Parents’ names
  • Witnesses’ names

Burial

  • Name of the deceased
  • Burial date (often the same day as the death)
  • Age at time of death
  • Names of parents or spouse
  • Residence of the deceased
  • Cause of death

Collection Content[edit | edit source]

Sample Images[edit | edit source]

How Do I Search This Collection?[edit | edit source]

Before searching this collection, it is helpful to know:

  • Name of the person you're looking for
  • Approximate date of the event

Search the Index[edit | edit source]

Search by name on the Collection Details Page.
  1. Fill in the search boxes in the Search Collection section with the information you know
  2. Click Search to show possible matches

View the Images[edit | edit source]

View images in this collection by visiting the Collection Browse Page:
  1. Select Department
  2. Select City or Town
  3. Select Parish
  4. Select Record Type and Years to view the images

How Do I Analyze the Results?[edit | edit source]

Compare each result from your search with what you know to determine if there is a match. This may require viewing multiple records or images. Keep track of your research in a research log.

What Do I Do Next?[edit | edit source]

I Found the Person I Was Looking For, What Now?[edit | edit source]

  • Add any new information to your records
  • When looking for a person who had a common name, look at all the entries for the name before deciding which is correct
  • For death records, the information in the records is usually reliable but it depends upon the knowledge of the informant
  • Regarding marriage and death records, name changes, shortened names, or nicknames may have been used by your ancestors, so pay attention to other relationships (parents, spouse, siblings, children, etc.) that can confirm whether you have the right person/record
  • Continue to search the marriage records to identify children, siblings, parents, and other relatives of the bride and groom who may have married in the same county or nearby. This can help you identify other generations of your family or even the second marriage of a parent. Repeat this process for each new generation you identify
  • Continue to search the indexes and records to identify children, siblings, parents, and other relatives who may have lived in the same area or a nearby area

I Can’t Find the Person I'm Looking For, What Now?[edit | edit source]

  • When looking for a person who had a common name, look at all the entries for the name before deciding which is correct
  • Continue to search the marriage records to identify children, siblings, parents, and other relatives of the bride and groom who may have married in the same county or nearby. This can help you identify other generations of your family or even the second marriage of a parent
  • Repeat this process for each new generation you identify
  • Continue to search the indexes and records to identify children, siblings, parents, and other relatives who may have lived in the same area or a nearby area
  • Hispanic Genealogy Research community on Facebook is a page sponsored by FamilySearch and here you may also post a question or upload an image of a document for further assistance.
  • Investigación Genealógica en Guatemala is another FamilySearch research community page on Facebook where you can post questions and upload images of documents. The majority of the posts on this page are in Spanish but you are welcome to post on the page in English. Be sure to click like on the page on

Research Helps[edit | edit source]

The following articles will help you research your family in Guatemala.

Citing This Collection[edit | edit source]

Citations help you keep track of places you have searched and sources you have found. Identifying your sources helps others find the records you used.

Collection Citation:
The citation for this collection can be found on the Collection Details Page in the section Citing this Collection.
Record Citation:
When looking at a record, the citation can be viewed by clicking the drop-down arrow next to Document Information.
Image Citation:
When looking at an image, the citation is found on the Information tab at the bottom left of the screen.