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Costa Rica, Catholic Church Records - FamilySearch Historical Records

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Costa Rica

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Costa Rica, Catholic Church Records, 1595-1992
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This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
Costa Rica
Flag of Costa Rica (state).svg.png
Flag of the Republic of Costa Rica
Costa Rica Map Alajuela.png
CR locator map Costa Rica.png
Location of Costa Rica
Record Description
Record Type: Church
Collection years: 1595-1992
Language: Spanish
Title in the Language: Registros Parroquiales de la Iglesia Católica en Costa Rica
FamilySearch Resources
Archive
Catholic Church Parishes


What is in This Collection[edit | edit source]

This collection includes records from 1595 to 1992.

Parish priests performed the baptisms, confirmations, marriages, deaths, burials, and other holy sacraments in their assigned parish or parishes. For a complete list of all the parishes included in this collection, see the Parishes of Costa Rica coverage table.

All the original parish records were kept in the parish archive; however, the older records were centralized in the archdiocesan archive, as it is done currently. Parish records cover 95 to 100% of a city’s population. This collection only includes the parish records that were centralized at the archdiocesan archive at the time of filming.

These parish records have been preserved relatively well. Some of the older registers may appear to have some physical damage; therefore some data may have been lost or may be very difficult to read, however, in general they are in good condition to extract genealogical information.

The Catholic Church parish records are an excellent source for genealogical research in Costa Rica. These may also be the only records available before the implementation of the civil registration in 1887.

Reading These Records[edit | edit source]

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

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 by visiting the browse page for Costa Rica, Catholic Church Records, 1595-1992.

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

The following information may be found in these records:

Baptismal

  • 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 orgin
  • Parish of baptism

Marriage

  • Date and place of birth
  • 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 birthplace and current residence
  • Bride's parents' names
  • Godparents'names
  • Names of witnesses

Death

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

Collection Content[edit | edit source]

Sample Images[edit | edit source]

Click on images for a larger view.


Coverage Map[edit | edit source]

A boundary change could have occurred, and the record of you ancestor is now in a neighboring area. Search the records and indexes of neighboring cities, provinces, and regions

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

Search the Index[edit | edit source]

Search by name by visiting 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 Browse Page

  1. Select City or Town
  2. Select Parish
  3. 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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

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

  • Costa Rica Civil Registration are also a good substitute when church records of births, marriages, and deaths cannot be found or are unavailable
  • Check for variants of given names, surnames, and place names. Transcription errors could occur in any handwritten record; also, it was not uncommon for an individual be listed under a nickname or an abbreviation of their name
  • A boundary change could have occurred, and the record of you ancestor is now in a neighboring province. Search the records and indexes of neighboring cities, provinces, and regions
  • Improve your Search Results in FamilySearch Hispanic Records is in English and could be helpful as you look for your Hispanic ancestors
  • 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

Research Helps[edit | edit source]

The following articles will help you in your research for your family in Costa Rica.

Known Issues With This Collection[edit | edit source]

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.

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.

How You Can Contribute[edit | edit source]

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.