Mexico, Sonora, Catholic Church Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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Mexico, Sonora, Catholic Church Records, 1657-1994
This article describes a collection of records at
Sonora, Mexico
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Location of Sonora, Mexico
Record Description
Record Type: Church
Collection years: 1657-1994
Languages: Spanish
Title in the Language: Registros Paroquiales de la Iglesia Católica del Estado de Sonora, Mexico.
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites
Catholic Church Parishes, Sonora

What is in This Collection?

This collection of Catholic Church records, such as baptisms, marriages, deaths, and burials from several states in Mexico includes years from about 1657 to 1994.

Often in Catholic Church records, separate books were kept for baptisms, confirmations, marriage information documents, marriages, and deaths. However, in smaller areas, all records may be recorded on one register. In larger parishes a separate book was usually maintained for confirmations, while in smaller parishes the confirmations may have been included with the baptisms. In larger parishes, most of the marriage banns (informaciones matrimoniales) may be registered separately. In smaller parishes, these records were included in the marriage entry or the confirmations may have been included with the baptisms or even with marriages. In larger parishes, a separate book of confirmations was usually maintained. These records are in relatively fair condition, with the exception of some older records that may be damaged and, therefore, hard to read or missing some information. Most of the older records are handwritten in narrative style and follow a common text with some variations depending on the style used by the priest. Newer records are handwritten in formatted registers; some are even written in ledger style registers.

For additional details about the history of these records and help using them, see the wiki article Mexico Catholic Church Records (FamilySearch Historical Records).

Reading These Records

For help reading these Spanish records, see the following guides:

To Browse This Collection

You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for Mexico, Sonora, Catholic Church Records, 1657-1994.

What Can These Records Tell Me?

The following information may be found in these records:

Birth Records

  • Date of baptism
  • Place of the event and usually the parish saint name
  • Name of the person being baptized
  • Names of the parents
  • Age or birthdate of the person being baptized
  • Gender
  • Legitimacy
  • Before 1820, social class of the parents
  • Sometimes the person’s race

Marriage Records

  • Date of marriage
  • Place of the event and usually the parish saint name
  • Names of the betrothed
  • Names of the parents
  • Names of the witnesses
  • Ages and marital statuses of the betrothed
  • Places of origin and residence of the betrothed and sometimes that of the parents
  • Legitimacy of the betrothed
  • Sometimes the race of the betrothed

Death Records

  • Date of death or burial
  • Place of burial or death
  • Name of the deceased person
  • Sometimes the names of the parents or the spouse, if the deceased was married
  • Age of the deceased person at time of death
  • Place of residence or origin of the deceased person
  • Sometimes the race of the deceased

Collection Content

Sample Images

How Do I Search This Collection?

You can search the index or view the images or both. 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

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

View the Images

View images in this collection by visiting the Browse Page

  1. Select the "City or Town"
  2. Select the "Parish" category
  3. Select the "Record Type and Years" category 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. Keep track of your research in a research log.

What Do I Do Next?

I Found the Person I Was Looking For, What Now?

  • Compile information for every person who has the same surname as your ancestor; this is especially helpful in rural areas or if the surname is unusual
  • Continue to search the records to identify children, siblings, parents, and other relatives 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

I Can’t Find the Person I’m Looking For, What Now?

Try looking through records in the surrounding localities. Baja California is to the northwest, Arizona to the north (and a little bit of New Mexico), Chihuahua to the east, and Sinaloa to the southeast

  • New information is constantly being indexed, microfilmed or updated. Periodically check back and see if your ancestor’s records have been added. You can see if the area you’ve been looking in has been recently updated by going to Historical Records Collections and notice the asterisk for recently added or updated records
  • Use the birth date or age along with the place of birth to find the family in 1930, Mexico National Census
  • Use the residence and names of the parents to locate Sonora Civil 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
  • Consult the Mexico Record Finder to find other records

Known Issues with This Collection

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See a list of known issues, workarounds, tips, restrictions, future fixes, news and other helpful information.

For a full list of all known issues associated with this collection see the attached article. If you encounter additional problems, please email them to 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

"México, Sonora, registros parroquiales, 1657-1994."Database and images. FamilySearch. : 14 June 2016. Parroquias de la Iglesia Católica, Sonora (Catholic Church parishes, Sonora).

Record Citation:
When looking at a record, the citation is found below the record.
Image Citation:
When looking at an image, the citation is found on the Information tab at the bottom left of the screen.

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How Can I Contribute to the FamilySearch Wiki?

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.

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