Escuintla Department, Guatemala Genealogy
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|Local Research Resources|
Guide to Department of Escuintla ancestry, family history and genealogy: birth records, marriage records, death records, church records, parish registers, and civil registration.
- Pedro de Alvarado conquered the territory after diminishing the Zutuhiles.
- Protected by a torrential rain, he arrived at night and surprised the Indians who fought for three days to defend their territory. In the end, when Alvarado threatened to destroy their seedlings, cacao and corn crops, they turned themselves in. After having taken them prisoner, he massacred them. Because of this action, Alvarado was subjected to a residency trial (which resulted in the first trial for human rights violations known in Latin America, by judgement of Fray Bartolomé de las Casas).
- In colonial times, Escuintla was a province divided into two parties: Escuintla and Guazacapán.
- Guatemala /Escuintla was one of the original departments of the state of Guatemala that was founded in 1825.
- The creation of the state of Los Altos, an ephemeral independent republic, was authorized on December 25, 1838 by the Congress of the Federal Republic of Central America. Escuintla was part of the lands that were called Los Altos.
- The Department of Escuintla has a population of approximately 685,000 people. 
Civil Registration and Church Records
Most of the research you will do will be in these two records.
- 1877-2008 - Guatemala Civil Registration, 1877-2008 at FamilySearch — index and images
- 1877-1994 - Guatemala, Escuintla, Civil Registration, 1877-1994
- 1877-1994 - Guatemala, Escuintla, Civil Registration, 1877-1994. Additional towns.
- 1581-1977 - Escuintla, Guatemala, Catholic Church Records, 1581-1977
Additional online records may be listed in the Family History Library Catalog for places within Guatemala, Escuintla.
Reading the Records
- You do not have to be fluent in Spanish to read your documents. Genealogical records usually contain a limited vocabulary. Use this Spanish Genealogical Word List to translate the important points in the document. Handwriting skills are taught in BYU Spanish Script Tutorial.
- Online interactive slideshow lessons are available to help you learn to read these records:
- Detailed instructions for reading Spanish records, examples of common documents, and practice exercises for developing skills in translating them can be found in the Spanish Records Extraction Manual.
- The Spanish Documents Script Tutorial also provides lessons and examples.
Building a Family Record with a Search Strategy
Many articles on strategy are available on the Wiki, but here is a simple set of steps to guide you
- Search for the relative or ancestor you selected. When you find his birth/baptism/christening record, then search for the births of his brothers and sisters.
- Next, search for the marriage of his parents. The marriage record will have information that will often help you find the birth records of the parents, and even the names of their parents.
- You can estimate the ages of the parents and determine a birth year to search for their birth records.
- Search the death registers for all known family members.
- Repeat this process for both the father and the mother, starting with their birth records, then their siblings' births, then their parents' marriages, and so on.
- If earlier generations (parents, grandparents, etc.) do not appear in the records, search neighboring parishes.
- Wikipedia Collaborators, "Escuintla (departamento)," In Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia, https://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Escuintla_(departamento). Visited 13 July 2017.