Puerto Rico Church Records

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Puerto Rico
Church Records

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


Church Records

Church records (parish registers, church books) are an important source for genealogical research in Puerto Rico. Catholic Church records of Puerto Rico are a reliable source for genealogical research especially before 1885. They recorded details of baptisms, marriages, deaths and burials. For research after the civil registration implementation in 1885, it is suggested to research both civil and church records and to compare the information.

History

  • The Roman Catholic Church was brought by Spanish colonists and gradually became the dominant religion in Puerto Rico. The first dioceses in the Americas, including that of Puerto Rico, were authorized by Pope Julius II in 1511. All municipalities in Puerto Rico have at least one Catholic church, most of which are located at the town center, or plaza. Source:Wikipedia
  • Protestantism in Puerto Rico officially was introduced in 1872 when the first Protestant church in the Anglican tradition was established on the island. United States Protestant denominations agreed to divide the island in order to facilitate missionary penetration. Presbyterians, Methodists, Baptists, Congregationalists and Disciples of Christ started the missionary work. Source:Wikipedia

Content

The following information may be found in these records:

Baptismal Records

  • Date and place of baptism
  • Child's name and gender
  • Child's legitimacy
  • Child's date and place of birth
  • Parents' names, their origin and residence
  • Names of paternal grandparents
  • Names of maternal grandparents
  • Names of godparents
  • Future marriage information may be found in the margin(s)

Confirmation Registers

  • Name of confirmed
  • Date of confirmation
  • Place of confirmation
  • Names of parents
  • Names of godparent(s)

Marriage Records

  • Date and place of marriage
  • Groom's name, age, marital status and origin
  • Names of groom's parents
  • Bride's name, age, marital status and origin
  • Names of bride's parents
  • Names of witnesses

Death/burial Records

  • Name, age and gender of deceased
  • Date and place of death
  • Parents' names and their origin and residence
  • Sometimes, name of spouse, if married
  • Sometimes, burial information

Where to Find Records

Online Records

FamilySearch has Catholic Church records from the Archdiocese of San Juan Historical Archive available online in its collection Puerto Rico Roman Catholic Church Records, 1645-1969. They include records from the municipalities of:

  • Aguadilla
  • Bayamón
  • Carolina
  • Cataño
  • Cayey
  • Dorado
  • Guaynabo
  • Loíza
  • Luquillo
  • Rincón
  • Río Grande
  • Río Piedras
  • San Francisco
  • San Juan
  • Santurce
  • Toa Alta
  • Toa Baja
  • Trujillo Alto
  • Trujillo Bajo
  • Vieques

A wiki article describing an online collection is found at:

Puerto Rico Catholic Church Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)

Writing for Records

Catholic Church

Church records prior to 1872, will always be Catholic.

Anglican (Episcopal)Church

Assembly of God

Baptist Churches

Disciples of Christ

Methodist Churches

Presbyterian Church