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
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
Related Websites
Archive
Catholic Church Parishes


What Is in the Collection?

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.

To Browse This Collection

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?

Baptismal records Confirmation records Marriage records Death records
Baptism date and place Name Date and place of the marriage Date and place of death
Name of person baptized Parents’ names Name of groom Name and age of deceased
When and where the person was born Godparents Groom’s age, civil status and occupation Cause of death
Age at time of baptism Parish of origin Groom’s birth place and current residence Name of spouse if married
Legitimacy Parish of baptism Groom’s parents’ names Residence of deceased
Parents’ names, residence, and/or place of birth Name of bride Name of cemetery
Names of maternal and paternal grandparents Bride's age, civil status and occupation
Names of godparents Bride’s birth place and current residence
Bride’s parents' names
Godparents’names
Names of witnesses

Sample Images

Click on images for a larger view.

How Do I Search the Collection?

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.

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

View the Images

Indexes are available on some of these groups of images. If indexes are available, check these for the name first. Indexes are usually located at the beginning of a group of images or at the end. They are also located in individual folders. Find your ancestors name and look for the locator information next to the name (such as page, entry, or certificate number). This will help you find the record you are looking for in the collection.
View images in this collection by visiting the Browse Page.

1.Select the "City or Town"
2. Select the "Parish"
3. Select the "Record Type and Years" which takes you to 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.
  • Be aware there may be inaccuracies such as altered spellings, misinterpretations, and optical character recognition errors if the information was scanned.

What Do I Do Next?

I Found Who I Was Looking For, What Now?

  • Use the age to find an approximate birth year to begin your search in church or civil records.
  • Continue to search the records to identify children, siblings, parents, and other relatives who may have moved, been recruited or lived nearby. This can help you identify other generations of your family. Repeat this process for each new generation you identify. Compile the entries for every person who has the same surname; this is especially helpful in rural areas or if the surname is unusual. This compiled list can help you identify possible relations that can be further verified by researching vital records in the country.
  • When you have located your ancestor’s record, carefully evaluate each piece of information given. Save a copy of the image or transcribe the information. These pieces of information may give you new biographical details such as a title, an occupation, or land ownership. Add this new information to your records of each family. You should also look for leads to other records about your ancestors.

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

  • Switch to a different record collection. Depending on the time period, one or the other collection may be more helpful.
  • While searching, it is helpful to know such information as the ancestor’s given name and surname, 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 an ancestor and that the ancestor may have used nicknames or different names at different times.
  • Keep in mind that there may be more than one person in the records with the same name.
  • Standard spelling of names typically did not exist during the periods our ancestors lived in. Try variations of your ancestor’s name while searching the index or browsing through images. Pay special attention to how the name should have been pronounced and try variations on the pronunciation.
  • Remember that sometimes individuals went by nicknames or alternated between using first and middle names. Try searching for these names as well.

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 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

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:

"Costa Rica Catholic Church Records, 1595-1992." Database with Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2017. Parroquias de la Iglesia Católica, Costa Rica (Catholic Church parishes, Costa Rica).

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 Costa Rica, Catholic Church Records, 1595-1992.


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 Costa Rica, Catholic Church Records, 1595-1992.

How You Can Contribute

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.