Paraguay Church Records

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For information about records for non-Christian religions in Paraguay, go to the Religious Records page.

Online Resources and Websites[edit | edit source]

Historical Background[edit | edit source]

The religious identities of the people of Paraguay, have since national independence been oriented towards Christianity, and specifically the Roman Catholic Church. In the most recent census (2002) Paraguayans of all ages 10 and older had their religious identities enumerated, and 89.6% were classified as Catholics.

The second largest religious affiliation in Paraguay is Protestantism, which like in North America shows a wide array of denominations. Lutherans and Mennonites are the more traditional groups which are dominated by rather recent immigrants of European ancestry and their descendants, while Evangelical and/or Charismatic [Pentecostal] churches have spread in recent decades mostly in the vast and long-established Mestizo population. The Bruderhof established a base in Paraguay in 1941, fleeing Nazi persecution. They left the country for North America in 1966, but returned and re-established themselves in 2010. [1][2]

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 Paraguay.
b. Click on Places within Paraguay 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 Spanish Letter Writing Guide for help with composing letters.

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

Writing for Records[edit | edit source]

Anglican Church of Paraguay
Casilla de Correo 1124
Asunción, CE

Email address:
Phone: +595 (0)21 200 933

Historical Background[edit | edit source]

The first mention of an Anglican presence in Paraguay goes back to 1812. The Anglican Church began growing in Asuncion from 1850 onwards, with the arrival of British engineers and technicians contracted by the government to develop heavy industry and railways. It grew in earnest after 1912, when the Saint Andrews Church was built under the impulsion of Dr. Stewart, who came here to found the Asuncion Medical School after having worked with Florence Nightingale at the Scutari Barracks Hospital, during the Crimean War.

Paraguay is now a See of the Anglican Church, which comprises the English-speaking parish of Asuncion and over thirty Spanish-speaking parishes covering the whole of the Republic.Today the Anglican Church gathers about 5000 faithfuls in Paraguay.[3]

Bruderhof Church Records[edit | edit source]

Writing for Records[edit | edit source]

Catholic Church Records[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 Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Asunción (Latin : Archidioecesis Sanctissimae Assumptionis ) is an ecclesiastical territory or diocese of the Roman Catholic Church in Paraguay. It was created as the Diocese of Paraguay by Pope Paul III on July 1, 1547, and was elevated to the rank of a metropolitan archdiocese by Pope Pius XI on May 1, 1929, with the suffragan sees of Benjamín Aceval, Caacupé, Carapeguá, Ciudad del Este, Concepción, Colonel Oviedo, Encarnación, San Juan Bautista de las Misiones, San Lorenzo, San Pedro, and Villarrica del Espiritu Santo. [4]

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]

The first member to visit Paraguay was a mission president in Argentina, Frederick S. Williams, in 1939. Church member Samuel J. Skousen introduced the gospel to some of Paraguay's first converts while employed in Paraguay with the United States government. The first convert was baptized in August 1948. An official congregation was organized that same year, in July. Missionaries arrived in 1949. By 1951, two congregations were organized. An entire group of 200 Nivacle Indians from Paraguay joined the Church in 1980. That year, there were more than 3,000 members in the country. [5]

Eastern Orthodox Church Records[edit | edit source]

Writing for Records[edit | edit source]

Historical Background[edit | edit source]

The Parish of the Protection of the Most-Holy Mother of God in Asuncion was established by Russian immigrants at the initiative of Major General Nikolai Erna in 1924. In 1926, there was a general gathering of Russian Orthodox Christians of Asuncion and the provinces of the Republic of Paraguay. On October 26th, 1928, the Church of the Protection of the Most-Holy Mother of God was consecrated. 1940-1960 was the golden age of the parish of Asuncion. The 1940s saw the establishment of the Association of White Russians, a Russian library, a Russian choir and theater. In the 1960s, due to the assimilation of Russians, the situation changed. Members of the first wave of immigrants passed to the next life, their children and grandchildren dedicated less time to associating with each other, which led to the parish’s decline. During this period Russians in Asuncion enjoyed the favor of government, headed by President General Alfredo Stressner. The Rector of Protection Church, Protopriest John Petrov was the only Russian Orthodox priest in the nation, which contained five churches.[6]

Lutheran Church Records[edit | edit source]

Writing for Records[edit | edit source]

Iglesia Evangelica Luterana del Paraguay
San Roque González 1010
6290 Hohenau — Itapúa

Phone: 005 95 763 200 77
Fax: 595-21-504135
Alt e-mail:
Web Site:

Historical Background[edit | edit source]

The Lutheran Church has been present in Paraguay since 1938. It is mainly composed of Lutheran immigrants. The Lutheran Church of Paraguay was officially recognized as a religious entity in the country in 1983. Its greatest challenge is to reach the native people of Paraguay.
Parishes: 12
Congregations: 62
Baptized Members: 3,954
Communicant Members: 2,648
Active Pastors: 13

Mennonite Church Records[edit | edit source]

Writing for Records[edit | edit source]

Historical Background[edit | edit source]

Mennonites in Paraguay are either ethnic Mennonites with mostly Flemish, Frisian and German ancestry and who speak Plautdietsch or of mixed (southern European/Amerindian) or Amerindian ancestry like the vast majority of Paraguayans. Ethnic Mennonites contribute heavily to the agricultural and dairy output of Paraguay.

In the 1760s Catherine the Great of Russia invited Mennonites from Prussia to settle north of the Black Sea in exchange for religious freedom and exemption from military service, a precondition founded in their commitment to non-violence. After Russia introduced the general conscription in 1874, many Mennonites migrated to the US and Canada. The members of the Menno Colony moved to Paraguay from Canada when universal, secular compulsory education was implemented in 1917 that required the use of the English language. More conservative Mennonites saw this as a threat to the religious basis of their community. 1743 pioneers came from Canada to Paraguay in 1927 and turned the arid Chaco into fertile farmland over the years. It was the first Mennonite colony in the region.

At the beginning, the pioneers in the Chaco had to overcome many adversities. Many became sick due to the lack of medical care, whereof 121 died and some 60 families returned to Canada.

In 1930 another wave of Russian Mennonite immigrants arrived in the Chaco area from Russia (mostly via a temporary stop in Germany) and founded the Fernheim Colony, fleeing the persecution by the Communists and a bad economic situation that was caused by the collectivization in the Soviet Union and eventually led to the Holodomor. More Russian Mennonites fled to the west with the receding German Army fearing persecution, Russian forced labor camps and deportation. Some 3,500 of these Mennonites arrived in Paraguay and founded Neuland and Volendam colonies in 1947.[8]

Pentecostal Church Records[edit | edit source]

Writing for Records[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Wikipedia contributors, "Paraguay", in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,, accessed 6 March 2020.
  2. Wikipedia contributors, "Religion in Paraguay", in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,, accessed 6 March 2020.
  3. "The Anglican Church in Paraguay",, accessed 10 March 2020.
  4. Wikipedia contributors, "Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Asunción", in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,ón, accessed 10 March 2020.
  5. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, "Facts and Statistics: Paraguay,, accessed 6 March 2020.
  6. Press Service of the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, "Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia", SOUTH AMERICAN DIOCESE: February 15, 2016,, 10 March 2020.
  7. "The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Paraguay, Iglesia Evangélica Luterana del Paraguay (IELP)",, 10 March 2020.
  8. Wikipedia contributors, "Mennonites in Paraguay", in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,, accessed 10 March 2020.