Mendoza, Argentina Genealogy

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Mendoza Province

Guide to Mendoza Province family history and genealogy: birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, family history, and military records.

Province of Mendoza

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History

The first Spanish conquerors came around 1550 from the Viceroyalty of Peru. In 1561 Mendoza was founded by the conquistador Pedro del Castillo. Until the creation of the Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata in 1776, the area of what is now Mendoza Province belonged to the Captaincy General of Chile.
de Córdoba del Tucumán, but in 1813 the intendency was separated and de Córdoba del Tucumán received important support from Mendoza when he led his Army of the Andes from Plumerillo to the 1817 crossing of the Andes, this was during his campaign to end Spanish rule in Chile.<br The 1861 earthquake nearly destroyed the city of Mendoza, which had to be almost entirely reconstructed. In 1885 railways were built to the province, allowing for easy transport of the region's wines to the country's trade hub of Buenos Aires.
Partly in reaction to President Juan Perón's populist policies, some of which taxed agriculture heavily to finance urban development and public works, Mendoza landowners formed the conservative Democratic Party, which secured the Vice Governor's post in 1958. In contrast to the pragmatism that had distinguished his 1963–66 term, Gabrielli governed with a hard line, freezing state salaries and ordering large utility rate increases, used the Mendoza police to repress dissent and took foreign policy prerogatives like collaborating with Chilean saboteurs opposed to their country's new Marxist president. These events came to a head in April, 1972, however, when violent protests forced the newly unpopular Gabrielli to resign. Quickly enacting needed labor and land reforms, Martínez Baca, however, made the mistake of appointing affiliates of the extreme-left Montoneros movement, an organization whose armed wing had perpetrated a string of violent crimes since 1970. Becoming more politically independent-minded following these two disappointments, Mendoza voters elected centrist Radical Governor Alfredo Cornejo (left) and president Mauricio Macri (right) in 2003. Radical Civic Union Governor Julio Cobos highlighted this independent sentiment by parting ways with many in his party and endorsing newly elected Peronist President Néstor Kirchner's policies in 2004. Over the opposition of his party, Julio Cobos accepted the post of running mate to first lady Cristina Fernández de Kirchner of the ruling Front for Victory, in the presidential elections of October 2007.
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Getting started with research in Mendoza

See FamilySearch Tutorials on Latin American Research.

Most of your genealogical research for Argentina will be in two main record types: civil registration and church records. This article will teach you methods for locating and searching these two record groups.

Civil Registration

  • Civil registration records are government records covering birth, marriage, and death. They are an excellent source of names, dates, places, and relationships.
  • Civil authorities began registering births, marriages, and deaths in 1886. Even though the law was passed in 1886 most of the provinces started keeping records at different times. Most had the system going by 1900.
  • Every municipal district was to make duplicate copies of their books. In Mendoza they kept the original books and send the copies to the Archivo General de Tribunales in the Federal District. In the provinces they were to be send the copies to the provincial or judicial archives of each province.
  • According to the law, the public has liberal access to the civil records. The director of the civil archive is required to provide interested parties with a complete copy of any record, including marginal notes, under his jurisdiction.
  • The Family History Library has not microfilmed the civil registration records of Argentina. The Library's collection continues to grow as new records are microfilmed and added to the collection from numerous sources. Don't give up if records are not available yet. The FamilySearch Catalog is updated periodically. Check it again every year for the records you need.


Locating Civil Registration Records

Civil registration records are kept at the local municipal district civil registration office (Dirección del Registro Civil). Therefore, you must determine the municipal district where your ancestor lived before you can find the records. The original book stays in the municipal office and duplicate copies are sent to the provincial or judicial archives of the province or the General Archive of the Tribunal in the federal district. Therefore, duplicates may also be available at the provincial level. If a letter to the town/city fails, write to the provincial office.

Your ancestor may have lived in a village that belonged civilly to a larger nearby town. In large cities, there may be many civil registration districts. You may need to use gazetteers and other geographic references to identify the place your ancestor lived and the civil registration office that served it. See Diccionario geográfico estadístico nacional argentino (1885). Although this gazetteer is in Spanish, the province is listed immediately after the name of the town.

Local Archives

Civil officials will generally answer correspondence in Spanish. Use the following address:

Dirección del Registro Civil
        Oficina de Inscripciones y Rectificaciones
        (*postal code) (City), (Province), Argentina

Provincial Archives and Tribunal Archives

These archives maintain the duplicates sent to them by the municipal districts. You may write to these archives and request searches of the records. The public has access to these records. For the province of Mendoza, you will need to write to the following address:

Registro Provincial de las Personas
Casa de Gobierno P.Baja
Cuerpo Central
CP 5500 Mendoza
Argentina
Telefono: 0261 4 492200 / 4 492245

After deciding who has jurisdiction over the records for the time period you need, write a brief request to the proper office. Send the following:

  • Full name and the sex of the person sought.
  • Names of the parents, if known.
  • Approximate date and place of the event.
  • Your relationship to the person.
  • Reason for the request (family history, medical, etc.).
  • Request for a photocopy of the complete original record.
  • Check or cash for the search fee (usually about $10.00).

Write your request in Spanish whenever possible. For writing your letter in Spanish, use the translated questions and phrases in this Spanish Letter-writing Guide.

Church Records

The vast majority of Argentines were Catholic and were registered in the records of the local parish or diocese which are called registros parroquiales (parish registers). These records include entries for baptisms, marriage information, marriages, deaths, and burials. Often two and sometimes three generations are indicated in the records. In addition, church records may include church censuses, account books, confirmations, and other church-related records.

Church records are crucial for genealogical research, since civil authorities did not begin registering vital statistics until after 1886. After this date one should search in both church and civil records as there may be information in one that does not appear in the other. For instance the church records may only list the godparents whereas the civil records may list the grandparents.

1. Online Digital Records for Church Records

For some localities, digital copies of Catholic church records can be searched online:

Bautismos are infant baptisms, which are used for birth information. Información matrimonial are documents collected in preparation for a marriage. Matrimônios' are marriages. Defunciones are deaths. Entierros are burials'". Índice is the index.

2. Microfilm Copies of Church Records Searched at a Family History Center

If the locality and time period you need are not included in the online records, the next step is to find them in the microfilm collection of the Family History Library. Currently, they are being digitized, and plans are to complete that project by 2020. Check back occasionally to see if your records have become available. In the meantime, some of them might be available at a Family History Center near you.
To find a microfilm:

a. Click on this link to see a list of records for Argentina, Province of Mendoza.
b. Click on "Places within Argentina, Mendoza" and a list of towns and cities will open.
c. Click on the town or city you wish to search.
d. Click on "Church Records" topic. Click on the blue links to specific record titles.
e. Choose the correct event and time period for your ancestor.
f. Some combination of these icons will appear at the far right of the microfilm listed for the record. FHL icons.png. 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 microfilm.

3. Writing to a Catholic Priest for Church Records

Baptism, marriage, and death records may be searched by contacting or visiting local parish or diocese archives in Argentina. Argentina has no single repository of church records. Write your request in Spanish whenever possible. This method is not always reliable. Officials might or might not respond.

Write a brief request in Spanish to the proper church using this address as guide replacing the information in parentheses:

Reverendo Padre
Parroquia de (name of parish)
(postal code), (city), Corrientes
Argentina


When requesting information, send the following:

  • Money for the search fee, usually $10.00, and an international reply coupon (IRC)
  • Full name and the sex of the ancestor sought
  • Names of the ancestor’s parents, if known
  • Approximate date and place of the event
  • Your relationship to the ancestor
  • Reason for the request (family history, medical, and so on)
  • Request for a photocopy of the complete original record


Write your request in Spanish whenever possible. For writing your letter in Spanish, use the translated questions and phrases in this Spanish Letter-writing Guide.]

Reading the Records

  • Online interactive slideshow lessons are available to help you learn to read these records:




Tips for finding your ancestor in the records

Effective use of church records includes the following strategies.

  • Search for the relative or ancestor you selected. When you find his birth record, search for the births of his brothers and sisters.
  • Next, search for the marriage of his parents. The marriage record will have information that will often help you find the birth records of the parents.
  • You can estimate the ages of the parents and determine a birth year to search for their birth records.
  • Then repeat the process for both the father and the mother.
  • If earlier generations (parents, grandparents, etc.) do not appear in the records, search neighboring parishes.
  • Search the death registers for all known family members.

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