Central America, Colonial Census Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)
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Central America, Colonial Records,1607-1902
|This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.|
|Countries in red are included in this collection|
|Title in the Language:||Censos Coloniales de América Central|
|Archivo Histórico Arquidiocesano del Arzobispado de Guatemala|
- 1 What is in This Collection?
- 2 What Can These Records Tell Me?
- 3 Collection Content
- 4 How Do I Search This Collection?
- 5 Known Issues With This Collection
- 6 Citing This Collection
- 7 How Can I Contribute to the FamilySearch Wiki?
What is in This Collection?
This collection includes censuses of El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Mexico from 1607 to 1902. The earlier censuses are handwritten in Spanish in narrative style; later censuses are written on formatted ledger-style forms.
According to the “Instituto Nacional de Identificación” (National Institute of Identification), the only relevant statistical activity in the colonial period was the population censuses carried out in the province of Guatemala by the Catholic Church ecclesiastical authorities, which began in the early 1500s. Some of these colonial censuses are actually membership records. These records are housed at the Archivo Histórico Arquidiocesano (Historical Archive of the Archdiocese of Guatemala) and have great importance in the historical reconstruction of the social, economic, and cultural process of Guatemala and the Central American region of the colonial period. Some of these earlier records are quite damaged and therefore, some information is missing.
The census was regularly taken by authorized citizens. They collected the information given to them from a member of the household, who may not have known the exact data. It is recommended to use the census information with caution as there may be some mistakes. However, the information gathered will help to find other information not found in vital records. The authorities’ mission for the census was that the statistics gathered would effectively contribute to the development and democracy of Guatemala.
It wasn’t until the beginning of Guatemala’s independence in 1821 that civil authorities began keeping statistical records of the country’s population.
While Mexico is not always considered part of Central America, it has been included here to reflect the original organization of the collection.
Reading These Records
These records are written in Spanish. For help reading these records see the following guides:
- Spanish Genealogical Word List
- BYU Spanish Script Tutorial
- 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:
- Registros Civiles y Parroquiales – Spanish
To Browse This Collection
|You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for Central America, Colonial Records, 1607-1902.|
What Can These Records Tell Me?
The following information may be found in these records:
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
View the Images
|More images are available in the FamilySearch Catalog at Central America, Colonial Records, 1607-1902. Some catalog records link to multiple references. In this case, click on a reference to find a camera icon to see 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.
Known Issues With This Collection
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 email@example.com. 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.
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
- "Centroamérica, registros de los censos coloniales, 1607-1902." Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : 14 June 2016. Citing General Directorate of Statistics. Archivo General de Centro America, Ciudad de Guatemala (Central American Archives, Guatemala City).
When looking at an image, the citation is found on the Information tab at the bottom left of the screen.
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.