Honduras Church Records

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The FamilySearch moderator for Honduras is Dwsmith2

Online Records[edit | edit source]


Historical Background[edit | edit source]

The International Religious Freedom Report, 2008, notes that a CID Gallup poll reported that 51.4% of the population identified themselves as Catholic, 36.2% as evangelical Protestant, 1.3% claiming to be from other religions, including Muslims, Buddhists, Jews, Rastafarians, etc. and 11.1% do not belong to any religion or unresponsive. 8% reported as being either atheistic or agnostic. Customary Catholic church tallies and membership estimates 81% Catholic where the priest (in more than 185 parishes) is required to fill out a pastoral account of the parish each year. The CIA Factbook lists Honduras as 97% Catholic and 3% Protestant.

In Honduras are thriving Anglican, Presbyterian, Methodist, Seventh-day Adventist, Lutheran, Latter-day Saint (Mormon) and Pentecostal churches. [1]

Information Recorded in the Records[edit | edit source]

Different denominations, different time periods, and practices of different record keepers will effect how much information can be found in the records. This outline will show the types of details which might be found (best case scenario):

Baptisms[edit | edit source]

In Catholic and Anglican records, children were usually baptized a few days after birth, and therefore, the baptism record proves date of birth. Other religions, such as Baptists, baptized at other points in the member's life. Baptism registers might give:

  • baptism date
  • the infant's name
  • parents' names
  • father's occupation
  • status of legitimacy
  • occasionally, names of grandparents
  • names of witnesses or godparents, who may be relatives
  • birth date and place
  • the family's place of residence
  • death information, as an added note or signified by a cross

Marriages[edit | edit source]

Marriage registers can give:

  • the marriage date
  • the names of the bride and groom
  • indicate whether the bride and groom were single or widowed
  • their ages
  • birth dates and places for the bride and groom
  • their residences
  • their occupations
  • birthplaces of the bride and groom
  • parents' names (after 1800)
  • the names of previous spouses and their death dates
  • names of witnesses, who might be relatives.

Burials[edit | edit source]

Burial registers may give:

  • the name of the deceased
  • the date and place of death or burial
  • the deceased's age
  • place of residence
  • cause of death
  • the names of survivors, especially a widow or widower
  • deceased's birth date and place
  • parents' names, or at least the father's name

How to Find Records[edit | edit source]

Digital Copies of Church Records in the FamilySearch Catalog[edit | edit source]

Watch for digitized copies of church records to be added to the collection of the FamilySearch Library. Some records might have viewing restrictions, and can only be viewed at a Family History Center near you, and/or by members of supporting organizations. To find records:

a. Click on the records of Honduras.
b. Click on Places within Honduras and a list of towns will appear.
c. Click on your town if it appears, or the location which you believe was the parish which served your town or village.
d. Click on the "Church records" topic. Click on the blue links to specific record titles.
e. Some combination of these icons will appear at the far right of the listing for the record. FHL icons.png. The magnifying glass indicates that the record is indexed. Clicking on the magnifying glass will take you to the index. Clicking on the camera will take you to an online digital copy of the records.

Writing for Records[edit | edit source]

You will probably need to write to or email the national archives, the diocese, or local parish priests to find records. See the Letter Writing Guide for Genealogy for help with composing letters.

Anglican (Episcopal) Church Records[edit | edit source]

Online Records[edit | edit source]

FindMyPast[edit | edit source]

Writing for Records[edit | edit source]

Historical Background[edit | edit source]

The Anglican Church had its first presence in Honduras as early as the 17th century when English traders, adventurers, and Buccaneers arrived on its soil to exploit the precious woods that made up its tropical forests. However, it was not until the 20th century that the Episcopal Church established Chaplaincies to serve the employees and their families of the fruit companies such as United, Standard, and Cuyamel Fruit Company.

The first Episcopal Church in Honduras, Emmanuel Church by the Sea, was founded in the Bay Island of Roatan. Eventually the church spread to the mainland in Trujillo, Colón in 1827, where the St. Paul Mission founded.

Subsequently churches were founded throughout Honduras including St. John’s Episcopal Church in Puerto Cortes, Holy Trinity Church in La Ceiba, and Holy Spirit in the city of Tela. These last three churches were subsequently maintained by lay readers from the Afro-Honduran Community who were Afro-Caribbean descendants of those who came to build the Panama Canal and the railroads throughout the Caribbean coast of Central America for United Fruit Company in the 19th and 20th centuries.

In 1968 the Diocese of Honduras was formed with a total of four congregations; Holy Spirit in Tela, St. John’s the Baptist in Puerto Cortes, Holy Trinity in La Ceiba and Emmanuel by the Sea in Roatan.

In addition to the 156 Episcopal parishes, the diocese is ministering to the nation through its seven bi-lingual schools; the El Hogar farm school, technical school, girl’s boarding school, orphanage; 3 HIV clinics; Anglidesh an organization for the development of Honduras through micro-business finance; and the Faith, Hope, and Joy Housing Project. Today, the Church is subdivided into two (2) regions (North-Western and Central-South-East) with (10) deaneries.[2]

Catholic Church Records[edit | edit source]

Online Records[edit | edit source]

FamilySearch Historical Records[edit | edit source]

Ancestry.com[edit | edit source]

MyHeritage[edit | edit source]

Writing to a Local Parish[edit | edit source]

Earlier records can be held at the diocese, with more recent records still kept in the local parish. To locate the mailing address or e-mail address for a diocese or local parish, consult:

Historical Background[edit | edit source]

The first Roman Catholic mass celebrated in the continental New World was on August 14, 1502 in Punta Caxinas, which was two weeks after the supposed "discovery" of Honduras by Christopher Columbus. Since then, the Spanish began a process of converting and baptizing Honduran natives to the Catholic faith. The Catholic Church in Honduras is composed of eight dioceses: Tegucigalpa, Comayagua, Choluteca, Olancho, Yoro, San Pedro Sula, Trujillo and Copán which are a part of the Conference Episcopal of Honduras. [3]

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Records[edit | edit source]

Online Records[edit | edit source]

Online information is available to current members, for deceased members and immediate family members who are still living. Sign in to FamilySearch and then select Family Tree in the drop-down menu.

Historical Background[edit | edit source]

Spencer W. Kimball and Marion G. Romney of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles visited Honduras in the early 1950s. They left Church literature with a hotel waiter who later was baptized. Missionaries came to Honduras in December 1952. They baptized the first converts and organized the first congregation in March 1953. [4]

Lutheran Church Records[edit | edit source]

Writing for Records[edit | edit source]

Historical Background[edit | edit source]

The Christian Lutheran Church of Honduras is a Lutheran denomination in Honduras. Lutheran missions in Honduras began in 1951, when missionaries from El Salvador began ministering in the community of San Nicolás Olancho. Three decades later, in 1981, two Guatemalan missionaries began serving congregations in San Pedro Sula and Tegucigalpa. Two years later, the ICLH was officially founded under the leadership of the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod. The ICLH joined the Lutheran World Federation in 1994. Today, the church body numbers some 1,700 members in nine congregations.[5]

Evangelical (including Pentecostal) Church Records[edit | edit source]

Writing for Records[edit | edit source]

Historical Background[edit | edit source]

There are over 300 evangelical groups in Honduras. The most prominent evangelical churches in the country include the "Abundant Life", the "Living Love", and the Great Commission Churches. A growing number of evangelical churches have no denominational affiliation. The National Association of Evangelical Pastors represents the evangelical leadership. [6]
The most prominent evangelical churches include the Church of God, the Assemblies of God, the Abundant Life Church, the Living Love Church, the International Christian Center, and various Great Commission churches. A growing number of evangelical churches have no denominational affiliation.[7]

Methodist Church Records[edit | edit source]

Writing for Records[edit | edit source]

Historical Background[edit | edit source]

The Central United Methodist Church of Danlí is considered the first organized church of the United Methodist mission in Honduras. It began in 1997 as a mission initiative of Bishop Armando Rodriguez, who was the leader of the Methodist Church in Cuba. The Rev. Jose Roberto Peña Nazario, the current pastor of the church, said that The United Methodist Church of Excuapa was organized after Hurricane Mitch devastated several regions in Honduras in 1998. The Excuapa congregation continued to grow and developed another congregation — Ríos de Agua Viva United Methodist, located in the town of Jagua. [8]

In 1994, the General Board of Global Ministries of the United Methodist Church launched The Honduras Initiative. Today, the United Methodist Church in Honduras has 12 vital congregations and many others under development. Knowing that God continues to ask each of us to move beyond our comfort zones and to walk our faith journey alongside Christian brothers and sisters in other cultures, The Illinois Great Rivers Conference launched a mission partnership with the United Methodist Church in Honduras in August 2012.[9]

Presbyterian Church Records[edit | edit source]

Writing for Records[edit | edit source]

Historical Background[edit | edit source]

The Presbyterian Church in Honduras was founded in 1960, by the National Evangelical Presbyterian Church of Guatemala. Presbyterian settlers come to Honduras and asked the Presbyterian Church in Honduras to send missionaries. The first church was formed in Guimaca. [10]

The Presbyterian Church in Honduras consists of 18 Presbyterian churches located in a 60-mile radius of the capital city, Tegucigalpa. The enthusiastic churches of this region serve attendees Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday. Honduras is a largely mountainous, sparsely populated country in Central America, once the center of the Mayan empire. Honduras’ income is one of the lowest in Latin America.[11]

Seventh-day Adventist Church Records[edit | edit source]

Writing for Records[edit | edit source]

Historical Background[edit | edit source]

Elizabeth, the eldest daughter of Governor Elwin, residents in Guanaja, Bay Islands, Honduras, was sent by her father to study in Belize, with the purpose that when she returned home she was the teacher of her other brothers. Howewer, she married, was widowed and remarried, became Elizabeth Elwin de Gauterau. After their wedding, the Gauteraus moved to New York and later settled in San Francisco, California. A neighbor of the Gauteraus, Mrs. Able, invited Elizabeth to an Adventist meeting. There she accepted Christ and became a Seventh-day Adventist. In 1887 Elizabeth, eager to share her new faith, packed a trunk with books and magazines and returned to the Bay Islands, Honduras. In a short time, she managed to share his faith with a dozen islanders. In 1891, Pastor Francisco J. Hutchins arrived with his wife Cora, and they established their work center on the island of Roatán, Honduras.[12]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Wikipedia contributors, "Honduras", in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honduras, accessed 29 February 2020.
  2. "Church History," "The Episcopal Church of Honduras", https://www.episcopalchurchhonduras.org/history, 29 February 2020.
  3. Wikipedia contributors, "Religion in Honduras", in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion_in_Honduras, accessed 29 February 2020.
  4. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, "Facts and Statistics: Honduras, https://newsroom.churchofjesuschrist.org/facts-and-statistics/country/honduras, accessed 29 February 2020.
  5. Wikipedia contributors, "Christian Lutheran Church of Honduras", in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_Lutheran_Church_of_Honduras, accessed 29 February 2020.
  6. Wikipedia contributors, "Religion in Honduras", in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion_in_Honduras, accessed 29 February 2020.
  7. "Honduras Religion, in GlobalSecurity.org", https://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/centam/ho-religion.htm, accessed 29 February 2020.
  8. "CHURCH IN HONDURAS HAS PLANTED FOUR OTHER CHURCHES", http://www.umcgiving.org/impact-articles/church-in-honduras-has-planted-four-other-churches, 29 February 2020.
  9. "Methodists On A Mission in Honduras", https://www.wesley-umc.com/2019/02/methodists-on-a-mission-in-honduras/, accessed 29 February 2020.
  10. Wikipedia contributors, "Presbyterian Church in Honduras", in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Presbyterian_Church_in_Honduras, accessed 29 February 2020.
  11. "Presbytery of Carlisle Honduras Mission Partnership", https://carlislepby.org/presbytery-mission/honduras/, accessed 29 February 2020.
  12. "Historical Review, Honduran Union", http://uh.interamerica.org/historia-honduras, accessed 29 February 2020.