Guatemala Department, Guatemala Genealogy

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Department of Guatemala

Guide to Department of Guatemala family history and genealogy: birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, family history, and military records.

Department of Guatemala

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Guatemala (Department) is the home of the national capital, Guatemala City. The capital was moved to the Valle de la Ermita after earthquakes partially destroyed its previous location in what is now known as "Antigua Guatemala"

Historically, Guatemala was the capital of Central America, then known as Capitanía General de Guatemala or General Capitancy of Guatemala and part of the Virreinato de la Nueva España (Viceroyalty of New Spain or Mexico). This is where many of the records of the nation are held, many going back to the 1500's, soon after the Spanish colonization and include some from other Central American countries.


Civil Registration and Church Records

Most of the research you will do will be in these records.

Additional online records may be listed in the Family History Library Catalog for places within Guatemala, Guatemala.

Census Records

In addition, this census record might help you.

A wiki article describing this collection found at:

Reading the Records

  • Online interactive slideshow lessons are available to help you learn to read these records:

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.