Argentina, La Rioja, Catholic Church Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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Argentina, La Rioja, Catholic Church Records, 1714-1970 .
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This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
La Rioja, Argentina
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Location of La Rioja, Argentina
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Record Description
Record Type: Church
Collection years: 1714-1970
Languages: Spanish
Title in the Language: Registros Parroquiales de la Iglesia Católica de la Provincia de La Rioja, Argentina
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites
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Catholic Church Parishes


What Is in the Collection?

This collection of church records for the period of 1714 to 1970 includes baptisms, confirmations, marriages and deaths for the cities of Aimogasta, Anillaco, Chilecito, Famatina, La Rioja, Olta, San Blas de los Sauces, Tama, Ulapes and Villa Unión in the province of La Rioja.

The parishes contained in the collection are Catedral Inmaculada Concepción, San Antonio, Corazón de Jesús, San Pedro, Convento de La Merced, San Nicolás de Bari, Virgen de la Candelaria, San Blas and Nuestra Señora del Rosario.

These records are written in Spanish; see the section For Help Reading these Records for translation helps.

General Information About Church Records

Church records are crucial for genealogical research, since civil authorities did not begin registering vital statistics until after 1886. After this date one should search in both church and civil records as there may be information in one that does not appear in the other. For instance the church records may only list the godparents whereas the civil records may list the grandparents.

Church records are the most important records for genealogical research in Argentina. The vast majority of Argentines were Catholic and were registered in the records of the local parish or diocese which are called registros parroquiales (parish registers). These records include entries for baptisms, marriage information, marriages, deaths, and burials. They can help you trace and link families. Often two and sometimes three generations are indicated in the records. In addition, church records may include church censuses, account books, confirmations, and other church-related records.

Some church records have been lost or have deteriorated due to natural effects, such as humidity and insects, and more dramatic events such as fire, floods and earthquakes. Civil and political strife have also caused the destruction of parish books. Some records were destroyed or damaged because of poor storage. However, many records considered lost are simply misplaced or misidentified.

In 1886 the civil government began keeping vital records (civil registration). If you are looking for ancestors who came before this time, then the Catholic Church parish registers are the best records available to identify these individuals, since church records were around for hundreds of years prior to civil registration. For civil vital records of births, deaths, and marriages after 1886, see Argentina Civil Registration (Registro Civil).

To Browse This Collection

You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for Argentina, La Rioja, Catholic Church Records, 1714-1970.

What Can This Collection Tell Me?

Baptismal records usually include the following information:

  • Date and place of baptism
  • Name of child
  • Child's birth date and place of birth
  • Parents' names
  • Parent's origin and residence
  • Names of godparents

Confirmation records usually include the following information:

  • Name
  • Age
  • Parents and legitimacy
  • Godparents

Marriage records usually include the following information:

  • Date and place of marriage
  • Name of groom
  • Groom’s age, civil status, nationality, occupation and residence
  • Groom's parents' names
  • Name of bride
  • Bride’s age, civil status, nationality and residence
  • Bride's parents' names
  • Names of witnesses

Death records usually include the following information:

  • Date and place of death
  • Name of deceased and residence
  • Age of deceased
  • Marital status
  • Name of spouse
  • Cause of death

Collection Contents

Sample Images

Coverage Table

This collection contains records from the following locations:

City or Town Parish Record Type Year Range
Aimogasta Catedral Inmaculada Concepción Baptism 1736-1924
Confirmation 1861-1878, 1908-1914
Death 1783-1913
Marriage 1741-1783, 1785-1869, 1871-1940
Anillaco San Antonio Baptism 1862-1932
Confirmation 1878-1927
Death 1873-1954
Marriage 1881-1958
Death and Marriage 1862-1879
Chilecito Corazón de Jesús Baptism 1748-1864, 1870, 1873-1923
Confirmation 1861-1924
Death 1748-1864, 1871-1912
Marriage 1820-1930
Death and Marriage 1794-1816
Famatina San Pedro Baptism 1863-1928
Confirmation 1878-1929
Death 1875-1929
Marriage 1864-1960
La Rioja Convento de La Merced Ecclesiastical Documents 1737-1878
San Nicolás de Bari Baptism 1740-1800, 1806-1921
Confirmation 1783-1922
Death 1736-1931
Marriage 1714-1928
Olta Virgen de la Candelaria Baptism 1879-1896, 1900-1922
Confirmation 1886-1929
Marriage 1879-1925
San Blas de los Sauces San Blas Marriage 1879-1925
Tama Nuestra Señora del Rosario Baptism 1783-1914
Baptism, Marriage, Death 1734-1927
Marriage, Death 1783-1958
Ulapes Nuestra Señora del Rosario Baptism 1847-1909
Confirmation 1861, 1897-1919
Death 1848-1900
Marriage 1851-1927
Villa Unión Nuestra Señora del Rosario Baptism 1820-1924
Birth, Death 1776-1825
Confirmation 1861-1917
Death 1754-1825, 1861-1896
Marriage 1754-1938


How Do I Search the Collection?

As you are searching it is helpful to know such information as your relative’s first name or some identifying information such as residence and age, and family relationships. Remember that there may be more than one person in the records with the same name as your relative and that your relative may have used nicknames or different names at different times.

Search by name by visiting the Collection Page:

For tips about searching on-line collections see the on-line article FamilySearch Search Tips and Tricks.

View images in this collection by visiting the Browse Page:
⇒ Select the "City or Town" category
⇒ Select the "Parish" category
⇒ Select the "Record Type and Years" which takes you to the images.

Search the collection by image comparing the information with what you already know about your relatives to determine which one is your ancestor. You may need to compare the information about more than one person to make this determination.

For Help Reading These Records

For help reading these Spanish records, see the following wiki articles:

What Do I Do Next?

When you have located your ancestor’s record, carefully evaluate each piece of information given. These pieces of information may give you new biographical details that can lead you to other records about your ancestors. Add this new information to your records of each family. Keep in mind:

  • The information in church records is usually reliable, but depends upon the reliability of the informant.
  • Earlier records may not contain as much information as the records created after the late 1800.
  • There is also some variation in the information given from one record to another.

I Found Who I Was Looking For, What Now?

  • Use the marriage date and place as the basis for compiling a new family group or for verifying existing information.
  • Use the birth date or age along with the place of birth of each partner to find a couple's birth records and parents' names.
  • Use the birth date or age along with the place of birth to find the family in census records.
  • Use the death date or age along with the place of death to find birth records.
  • Use the residence and names of the parents to locate church and land records.
  • Occupations listed can lead you to other types of records such as employment or military records.
  • Use the parents' birth places to find former residences and to establish a migration pattern for the family.
  • Compile information for every person who has the same surname as your ancestor; this is especially helpful in rural areas or if the surname is unusual.
  • Continue to search the records to identify children, siblings, parents, and other relatives 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.
  • Use the marriage number to identify previous marriages.
  • When looking for a person who had a common name, look at all the entries for the name before deciding which is correct.

I Can't Find Who I'm Looking For, What Now?

  • Civil registration records are also a good source of genealogical information. See Argentina Civil Registration for further information. You should obtain copies of both church records and civil registration, when possible, since they do not necessarily provide the same information. For example, baptismal registers sometimes provide the names of the fathers of illegitimate children when the civil registration does not
  • Check for variant spellings of the surnames.
  • You ancestor may be using a nickname or alias.
  • A boundary change could have occurred and the record of your ancestor is now in a neighboring area. Search the records and indexes of neighboring cities, provinces, and regions.
  • Your ancestor may have immigrated to another country. Search the records of nearby countries or immigration/emigration records.

Citing This Collection

When you copy information from a record, you should list where you found the information; that is, cite your sources. This will help people find the record again and evaluate the reliability of the source. It is also good to keep track of records where you did not find information, including the names of the people you looked for in the records. Citations are available for the collection as a whole and each record or image individually.

Collection Citation:

"Argentina, La Rioja, registros parroquiales, 1714-1970" Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2017. Parroquias Católicas, La Rioja [Catholic Church parishes, La Rioja].

Record Citation (or citation for the index entry):

When looking at a record, the citation is found below the record. You can search records in this collection by visiting the search page for Argentina, La Rioja, Catholic Church Records, 1714-1970.


Image Citation:

When looking at an image, the citation is found on the Information tab at the bottom left of the screen. You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for Argentina, La Rioja, Catholic Church Records, 1714-1970.


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