Bolivia Catholic Church Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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Bolivia

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Bolivia Catholic Church Records, 1566-1996
CID1922463
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This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
Bolivia
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Flag of the Republic of Bolivia
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Record Description
Record Type: Church
Collection years: 1566-1996
Languages: Spanish
Title in the Language: Registros Parroquiales de la Iglesia Católica en Bolivia
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites


What is in This Collection?

This collection includes baptisms, confirmations, marriages, and burial/deaths from Catholic Church parishes in the country of Bolivia. The text of records is handwritten in Spanish, mostly in narrative form; only in later years the records are handwritten in formatted registers. Generally, these records were written in chronological order. In smaller parishes, one book was used for all the ordinances, such as baptism, marriage, and death. In larger cities, separate books were kept for each of the ordinances. Confirmations were generally written in the baptismal registers.

A list of the cities and parishes included in this collection is found in the Parishes of Bolivia coverage table.

The influence of the Catholic Church in Bolivia had its beginnings somewhere around the mid 1500s, with the arrival of the Spaniards. All the sacramental ordinances were created, registered, and kept by the priest in authority of his parish jurisdiction. The parish jurisdiction may have included sub-parishes from nearby localities. One copy of the records was kept at the parish archive and another copy was sent to the diocesan archive for preservation. As the population and membership increased, the parish jurisdictions were moved and more parishes were created.

The Catholic Church in Spain found it important for priest in Bolivia and other colonies to record the events of baptisms, marriages, and later of burials. Since then priest assigned to a jurisdiction recorded the ordinances, including some personal information, of his parishioners. This was needed for membership statistics and later became a benefit for the parishioners themselves.

Catholic Church parish registers are the primary source for finding genealogical information of birth, death, and marriage prior to 1943, when the civil registration law was enacted in Bolivia.

Copies of originals are also housed in different diocesan archives throughout Bolivia.

Reading These Records

For help reading these Spanish records see the following:

These records are written in Spanish. For help reading these records see the following guides:

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

To Browse This Collection

You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for Bolivia Catholic Church Records, 1566-1996.

What Can These Records Tell Me?

The following information is usually found in these records:

Baptism

  • Baptism date and place
  • Name of person baptized
  • When and where the person was born
  • Age at time of baptism
  • Legitimacy
  • Parents’ names, residence, and/or place of birth
  • Names of maternal and paternal grandparents
  • Names of godparents

Confirmation

  • Name
  • Parents’ names
  • Godparents
  • Parish of origin
  • Parish of baptism

Marriage

  • Date and place of the marriage
  • Name of groom
  • Groom’s age, civil status and occupation
  • Groom’s birth place and current residence
  • Groom’s parents’ names
  • Name of bride
  • Bride’s age, civil status and occupation
  • Bride’s birth place and current residence
  • Names of Godparents'

Death

  • Date and place of death
  • Name and age of deceased
  • Name of spouse if married
  • Residence of deceased
  • Name of cemetery

Collection Content

Sample Images

How Do I Search This Collection?

You can search the index or view the images or both. Before using this collection it is helpful to know:

  • Your ancestor's given name and surname
  • Identifying information such as residence
  • Estimated marriage or birth year
  • Family relationships

Search the Index

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

View the Images

View images in this collection by visiting the 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?

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?

I Found the Person I Was Looking For, What Now?

  • Add any new information to your records
  • Check the image the index was taken from to see if there is additional information
  • Make sure to fully transcribe and cite the record entry for future reference; see the section Citing This Collection for assistance. Save or print a copy of the image
  • Use the information to find more. For instance, use the age listed in the record to estimate a year of birth, if that is yet undetermined
  • Use the birth date or age along with the place of birth of each spouse to find a couple's birth records and parents' names
  • Compile the marriage entries for every person who has the same surname as the bride or groom; this is especially helpful in rural areas or if the surname is unusual

I Can’t Find The Person I’m Looking For, What Now?

  • If possible, look at the actual image of the record to verify the information found in the online description
  • Remember that there may be more than one person in the records with the same name as your ancestor and that your ancestor may have used nicknames or different names at different times
  • It was not uncommon for an individual be listed under a nickname or Spanish name abbreviations
  • 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

If you are unable to read a document, or if you’re not sure where to go next in your research, you can ask for help through Hispanic Genealogy Research community on Facebook is a page sponsored by FamilySearch. Here you may also post a question or upload an image of a document for further assistance. The Hispanic Genealogy Research page is designed especially for those who have Hispanic ancestry but may not be fluent in Spanish. Be sure to click like on the page on your first visit so you can receive information and updates from the page in your news feed.

New information is constantly being indexed, microfilmed or updated. Periodically check back to see if your ancestor’s records have been added. You can see if the area you’ve been looking in has been recently updated by going to Historical Records Collections. Watch for an asterisk for recently added or updated records.

Record Finder

Consult the Bolivia Record Finder to find other records

Citing This Collection

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
"Bolivia, registros parroquiales, 1566-1996." Database with images. FamilySearch. https://FamilySearch.org : 16 May 2018. Arzobispado de Cochambamba (Archbishop of Cochambamba), Bolivia.
Record Citation:
When looking at a record, the citation is found below the record.
Image Citation:
When looking at an image, the citation is found on the Information tab at the bottom left of the screen.

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Known Issues With This Collection

Important.png Problems with this collection?
See a list of known issues, workarounds, tips, restrictions, future fixes, news and other helpful information.

For a full list of all known issues associated with this collection see the attached Wiki article. If you encounter additional problems, please email them to support@familysearch.org. Please include the full path to the link and a description of the problem in your e-mail. Your assistance will help ensure that future reworks will be considered.

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How Can I Contribute to the FamilySearch Wiki?

We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. We are looking for additional information that will help readers understand the topic and better use the available records. We also need translations for collection titles and images in articles about records written in languages other than English. For specific needs, please visit WikiProject FamilySearch Records.

Please follow these guidelines as you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide.