Mexico, Chihuahua, Civil Registration (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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Mexico, Chihuahua, Civil Registration, 1861-1997 .
This article describes a collection of records at
Chihuahua, Mexico
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Location of Chihuahua, Mexico
Record Description
Record Type: Civil Registration
Collection years: 1861-1997
Languages: Spanish
Title in the Language: Registros Civiles del Estado de Chihuahua, México
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites
Chihuahua City Central Civil Registration Archive

What is in This Collection?

This is a collection of civil registration records for Chihuahua, Mexico. It covers the years of 1861 to 1997 (excepting 1909 and 1911-1913). Earlier records were handwritten in narrative style; later records were handwritten in formatted registers.

Civil records in Mexico cover about 90 to 95% of the population. Beginning in 1859, the Mexican government began requiring births, marriages, and deaths to be recorded by civil authorities on a municipality/district level. 

Although these records are a great source of genealogical information, they are not complete as civil registration wasn't strictly enforced in Mexico until 1867 and people did not always comply. For this reason, church registers should be used alongside the civil records. The civil records of Mexico have been preserved relatively well. Only some of the older registers may have some physical damage. However, in general, they are in good condition to extract genealogical information. 

Reading These Records

These records are written in Spanish; also see the section For Help Reading These Records for translation helps.

To Browse This Collection

You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for Mexico, Chihuahua, Civil Registration, 1861-1997.

What Can These Records Tell Me?

The following information may be found in these records:

Birth Records

  • Date and place of baptism
  • Child's name and gender
  • Legitimacy
  • Child’s date and place of birth
  • Parents' names and their residence or place of origin
  • Paternal grandparents' names and their residence
  • Maternal grandparents' names and their residence
  • Names of witnesses
  • Witnesses' age, civil status, occupation and residence

Marriage Records

  • Date and place of marriage
  • Groom name and age
  • Groom's origin and nationality
  • Groom's civil status, occupation and residence
  • Names of groom's parents and their residence
  • Groom's parents' occupation, origin and nationality
  • Bride's name and age
  • Bride's origin and nationality
  • Bride's civil status, occupation and residence
  • Names of bride's parents and their residence
  • Bride's parents' occupation, origin and nationality
  • Names of witnesses and their residence

Death Records

  • Name of person making declaration and relationship to deceased
  • Declarant's age, gender, civil status, occupation and residence
  • Name and age of deceased
  • Occupation, origin and residence of deceased
  • Date and place of death
  • Cause of death
  • Spouse's name, if married
  • Parents' names, occupation, origin and residence
  • Names of witnesses, their age(s) and occupation
  • Sometimes place of burial

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 City or Municipality
  2. Select Record Type and Years to view the images.

For Help Reading These Records

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

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.

What Do I Do Next?

  • When you have found your ancestors original record, it is a good idea to make a copy of it or cite where you found it for future reference.
  • It's always a good idea to keep your citation on a Research Log. This is an important tool to help keep track of what you have and have not found. Family search wiki has a Research Log that you can download and use.

To learn more about using the information available in these records, view these lessons for free:

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

  • Use the birth date or age along with the place of birth to find the family in 1930, Mexico National Census.
  • Church records are also a good source of genealogical information. You should obtain copies of both church records and civil registration, when possible, since they do not necessarily provide the same information. For example, baptismal registers sometimes provide the names of the fathers of illegitimate children when the civil registration does not.
  • Vary the search terms. For example, search by either the given name or surname to return broader list of possible candidates which can then be examined for matches. Or try expanding the date range; this is especially useful in searching baptismal records, as it was not unusual for a child to be baptized weeks or even months after birth.
  • 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
  • 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.

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

  • 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.
  • A boundary change could have occurred and the record of your ancestor is now in a neighboring state. Try looking through records in the surrounding localities. Sinaloa is on the southwestern border, Sonora on the west, New Mexico on the north, Texas on the northeast, Coahuila on the east, and Durango on the south.

Known Issues in This Collection

Important.png Problems with this collection?
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
"Mexico, Chihuahua, Civil Registration, 1861-1997." Database with Images. FamilySearch. : accessed 2017. Citing Archivo Central del Registro Civil de la Ciudad de Chihuahua [Chihuahua City Central Civil Registration Archive, Chihuahua].
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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