Alta Verapaz Department, Guatemala Genealogy
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|Local Research Resources|
Guide to Department of Alta Verapaz ancestry, family history and genealogy: birth records, marriage records, death records, church records, parish registers, and civil registration.
- This region was originally known as "Tucurután".
- Rodolfo Dieseldoff began German immigration in Guatemala in 1863; following his example, groups of German immigrants came who were mainly young people who were dedicated to learning the Q'eqchi language, and several of them mixed with some indigenous women.
- Decree 170 facilitated the expropriation of the lands of the natives in favor of the Germans and led to the sale in public auction of communal lands.
- The communal property that had been dedicated to sustaining crops and had been conserved by the government of General Rafael Carrera, was turned into private property dedicated to the cultivation and large-scale commercialization of agricultural products. For this reason, the fundamental characteristics of the productive system turned from that time to the accumulation of property by a few owners, and a form of "servitude of property", based on exploiting the "settler boys".
- The Department of Alta Verapaz has a population of approximately 1,113,000 people. 
Civil Registration and Church Records
Most of the research you will do will be in these records.
- 1877-2008 - Guatemala Civil Registration, 1877-2008 at FamilySearch — index and images
- Guatemala, Alta Verapaz, Civil Registration, 1877-1994
- Guatemala, Alta Verapaz, Civil Registration, 1877-1994 Additional towns.
- Alta Verapaz, Guatemala, Catholic Church Records, 1581-1977
Additional online records may be listed in the Family History Library Catalog for places within Guatemala, Alta Verapaz.
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. Handwriting skills are taught in 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.
- The Spanish Documents Script Tutorial also provides lessons and examples.
Building a Family Record with a Search Strategy
Many articles on strategy are available on the Wiki, but here is a simple set of steps to guide you
- Search for the relative or ancestor you selected. When you find his birth/baptism/christening record, then 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, and even the names of their 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.
- Wikipedia Collaborators, "Alta Verapaz," In Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia, https://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alta_Verapaz. Visited 29 June 2017.