Dominican Republic, Catholic Church Records - FamilySearch Historical Records

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Dominican Republic

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Dominican Republic, Catholic Church Records, 1590-1955
This article describes a collection of records at
Dominican Republic
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Record Description
Record Type: Church
Collection years: 1590-1955
Languages: Spanish
Title in the Language: Registros Parroquiales de la Iglesia Católica
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites
Parroquias Católicas, República Dominicana (Catholic Church parishes, Domincan Republic)

What is in This Collection?[edit | edit source]

This collection includes Catholic church baptism, marriage, and burial records from 1590 to 1955 for parishes throughout the Dominican Republic. For a complete list of all the parishes contained in this collection, see the Parishes of the Dominican Republic coverage table. The records in this collection were created in different Catholic Church jurisdictions throughout the Dominican Republic. Authorized priests received an order from the Queen of Spain to record the events of baptism, marriage, and burial of his parish jurisdiction. The records were to be recorded in registers that were kept at the parish level archive, and a copy was sent to the diocesan archive for preservation. Earlier records were handwritten in narrative style, and later records were handwritten in formatted registers. Depending on the priest, some records have more information than others. The Catholic Church records of the Dominican Republic are the best reliable source for genealogical research. For research after the civil registration implementation in 1944, it is suggested to research both civil and church records and to compare the information. These records were obtained from public access sources in the Dominican Republic and may be used for informational and research purposes only. Please direct inquiries, requests, or concerns to the e-mail listed at the bottom of the FamilySearch Privacy Policy (

Image Visibility[edit | edit source]

Whenever possible FamilySearch makes images and indexes available for all users. However, rights to view these data are limited by contract and subject to change. Because of this there may be limitations on where and how images and indexes are available or who can see them. Please be aware some collections consist only of partial information indexed from the records and do not contain any images.

For additional information about image restrictions see Restrictions for Viewing Images in FamilySearch Historical Record Collections.

Reading These Records[edit | edit source]

These records are written in Spanish. For help reading them see:

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 using the waypoints on the Collection Browse Page for Dominican Republic, Catholic Church Records, 1590-1955.

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

The following information is often found in these records:

Baptism Records

  • Date and place of baptism
  • Name
  • Birth date
  • Parents’ names
  • Grandparents’ names
  • Godparents’ names

Marriage Records

  • Date and place of marriage
  • Names of bride and groom
  • Groom's age, origin, civil status and occupation
  • Groom's parents' names
  • Bride's age, origin, civil status and residence
  • Bride's parents' names
  • Witnesses' names

Burial Records

  • Date and place of death (keep in mind that death records for women may be filed under their married name)
  • Name of deceased
  • Age, civil status, and origin of deceased
  • Cause of death
  • Parents' names
  • Burial place

Collection Content[edit | edit source]

Sample Images[edit | edit source]

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

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

Search the Index[edit | edit source]

Search by name on 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 Province
  2. Select City or Town
  3. Select Parish
  4. 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
  • Some record sets have indexes; which were created at the end of the year. Copy errors could have been made in the index, so you want to find the actual record to verify the information is correct. Using the index is a helpful way to find the actual record
  • If indexes are available, check these for the name first. Indexes are usually located at the beginning of a group of images, at the end or in individual folders. Find your ancestor’s 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
  • Regarding marriage and burial records, name changes, shortened names, or nicknames may have been used by your ancestors, so pay attention to other relationships (parents, spouse, siblings, children, etc.) that can confirm whether you have the right person/record
  • 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 spouse to find a couple's birth records and parents' names
  • Use the parents' birth places to find former residences and to establish a migration pattern for the family
  • 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 one or both of the surnames is unusual
  • Use the marital status to identify previous marriages, that is, whether a divorce or death dissolved a previous marriage
  • Witnesses often were relatives of the parent
  • Continue to search the marriage records to identify children, siblings, parents, and other relatives of the bride and groom who may have married 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
  • Continue to search the indexes and records to identify children, siblings, parents, and other relatives who may have lived in the same area or a nearby area

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

  • The birth of a child must be registered within 30 days of the birth. After that, it is considered a late registration and has penalties. Therefore, if parents knew they wouldn't meet the deadline, then to avoid the penalties, many children were not registered
  • A boundary change could have occurred and the record of you ancestor is now in a neighboring state or region, or your ancestor immigrated to another country. Search the records of nearby areas or immigration/emigration records Dominican Republic Miscellaneous Records - FamilySearch Historical Records
  • Civil records are also a good substitute when baptism, marriage, and burial records can’t be found or are unavailable Dominican Republic Civil Registration - FamilySearch Historical Records
  • 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. Click here for a list of Spanish name abbreviations

Research Helps[edit | edit source]

The following articles will help you in your research for your family in the Dominican Republic.

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.