Peru Catholic Church Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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Peru, Catholic Church Records, 1603-1992
This article describes a collection of records at
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Record Description
Record Type: Catholic Church Records
Collection years: 1603-1992
Languages: Spanish
Title in the Language: Registros parroquiales de la Iglesia Católica en Perú
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites
Parroquias Católicas, Peru (Catholic Church parishes, Peru)

What is in This Collection?

This collection of church records covers the years 1603 to 1992.

The earlier records from this collection are all handwritten in a narrative format. Some later records are handwritten on printed forms, which may vary slightly from one priest to another. Generally, these records were written in chronological order. In smaller parishes, one book was used for all the ordinances (such as baptism, marriage, and death). In larger cities, records of the different types of sacred ordinances were kept in separate books. Confirmations were generally written in the baptismal registers. Some of the older records are damaged, but most of the genealogical information can be extracted.

This collection of church records covers several parishes in dioceses and archdioceses of Peru. Some of the records in this collection may have been created in a different ecclesiastical jurisdiction than the one where these are currently housed. All the sacramental ordinances were created, registered, and kept by the priest in authority of his parish jurisdiction. The parish jurisdiction may include sub-parishes in other nearby localities. One copy of the records is kept at the parish archive; another copy is sent to the diocesan archive for preservation. Most of the parish records in this collection were acquired at the diocesan archives. 

Catholic Church parish registers were created by priests authorized to record the church sacraments of baptism, marriage, death, burial, and other ordinances in their parish jurisdiction.

As of 18 December 2017 this collection included records from the following departments.

La Libertad
Madre de Dios
San Martin

Reading These Records

These records are written in Spanish. For help reading these records see the following guides:

If you speak Spanish, the following free online lesson may be helpful to learn how to use the information in these records:

To Browse This Collection

You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for Peru, Catholic Church Records, 1603-1992.

What Can These Records Tell Me?

The following information may be found in these records:

Baptismal records

  • Date and parish of baptism
  • Name and gender of person baptized
  • Child's date of birth
  • Legitimacy
  • Father's name
  • Mother's maiden name
  • Names of godparents

Marriage records

  • Date and place of marriage
  • Groom's name, age, marital status and legitimacy
  • Names of groom's parents
  • Names of groom's godparents
  • Bride's name, age, marital status and legitimacy
  • Names of bride's parents
  • Names of bride's godparents
  • Witnesses’ names

Burial or death records

  • Date and place of burial
  • Name of deceased
  • Age and marital status of deceased
  • Spouse’s name, if married
  • Legitimacy (not always)
  • Residence of the deceased
  • Place of death
  • Cause of death

Collection Content

Sample Images

  • 1875 Baptism Record

  • 1879 Marriage Record

  • 1848 Death Record

  • 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 Department
    2. Select City or Town
    3. Select Parish
    4. Select Record Type and Years to view 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?

    • Add any new information to your records
    • Check the image the index was taken from to see if there is additional information
    • Make sure to fully transcribe and cite the record entry for future reference; see the section Citing this Collection for assistance. Save or print a copy of the image
    • Use the information to find more. For instance, use the age listed in the record to estimate a year of birth, if that is yet undetermined
    • Use the birth date or age along with the place of birth of each spouse to find a couple's birth records and parents' names
    • Compile the marriage entries for every person who has the same surname as the bride or groom; this is especially helpful in rural areas or if the surname is unusual.
    • When looking for a person who had a common name, look at all the entries for the name before deciding which is correct

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

    • Peru Civil Registration are also a good source of 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
    • 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
    • A boundary change could have occurred, and the record of your ancestor is now in a neighboring area. Search the records and indexes of neighboring cities, provinces, and regions
    • Your ancestor may have immigrated to another country. Search the records of nearby countries or immigration/emigration records: Peru Emigration and Immigration
    • New information is constantly being indexed, microfilmed or updated. Periodically check back to 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. Watch for an asterisk for recently added or updated records

    Research Helps

    The following articles will help you in your research for your family in Peru.

    Known Issues With 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 Wiki 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
    "Perú, registros parroquiales y diocesanos, 1603-1992." Database with Images. FamilySearch. : 21 December 2017. Arzobispado De Arequipa (Archbishopric of Arequipa), Peru.
    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.

    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.

    Please follow these guidelines as you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide.