Spain, Catastro de Ensenada (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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Spain, Catastro de Ensenada, 1749-1756 .
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This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
Spain
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Record Description
Record Type: Census
Collection years: 1749-1756
Languages: Spanish
Title in the Language: España, Catastro de Ensenada
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites
Archive
Portal de Archivos Españoles



What is in This Collection?

These are census records of the Spanish regions of Andalucía, Asturias, Cantabria, Castilla-La Mancha, Castilla y León, Extremadura, Galicia, La Rioja, Madrid, and Murcia. The cadastre registers have been well-preserved. The cadastre generally includes information about the land, the income, the ownership, the assets, the head of household, and the heirs.

This cadastre was created when the country was preparing for a profound fiscal reform. The reform was aimed at improving the state of the Castilian treasury, simplifying the system of contributions, and making the system fairer. The idea was to replace income from the provinces by a single tax, which was intended to be universal and proportional to the wealth of the taxpayers. It was thus necessary to investigate the wealth of the subjects. The cadastre became the official register of the quantity, value, and ownership of real estate used in apportioning taxes.

The cadastre was divided into sections called: Memoriales (Memorials), Respuestas Generales (General Answers), Respuestas Particulares (Personal Answers),Libro de lo Real (Book of Real Estate), Libro de lo Personal o de Cabezas de Casa (Book of Personal Information or Heads of Household), Estados o Resúmenes (Quantitative Summaries). This cadastre is in the form of a register and includes the quantity, value, and ownership of real estate used in apportioning taxes. The Cadastre of the Marquis of Ensenada includes a description of the properties and the population—both the secular and ecclesiastical—throughout the 22 provinces of the Old Crown of Castile, which occupied 70% of the territory of modern-day Spain.

This cadastre is known in Spanish as the “Catastro del Marqués de la Ensenada” and was conducted between 1750 and 1754 by Zenón de Somodevilla y Bengoechea, I Marquis of Esenada. He had been called by King Philip V of Spain as the Secretary of the Treasury and Chancellor of the Exchequer (or Minister of Finance) of the Crown of Castile.

Because the cadastre was made for tax purposes, you can learn interesting facts about the towns such as its principal industry, quantity and types of buildings, and how much land was under cultivation by examining the Respuestas generales. The Cadastre of the Marquis of Ensenada was taken by assigned persons; it is a reliable source for research in Spain.

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 Spain, Catastro de Ensenada, 1749-1756.

What Can These Records Tell Me?

The books of Real Estate and Personal or Heads of Household may include the following information:

  • Names of property owners
  • Places where properties are located and in some cases the names of neighbors
  • A notation on the title page if there is an index of the people included in the cadastre
  • Sons and daughters that worked on the property
  • Type, measurement, value, and quality of the properties
  • Number of workers
  • Number of heirs

Memoriales de legos o seglares and Personal de legos o seglares may include the following:

  • Names of the head of household as well as the
  • Name of spouse
  • Name(s) of child/children
  • Other people living in the home (could be relatives and servants)

Collection Content

Sample Images

How Do I Search The Collection?

Before using this collection it is helpful to know:

  • Your ancestor's given name and surname
  • Identifying information such as residence

View The Images

View images in this collection by visiting the Browse Page.

  1. Select Province
  2. Select Locality
  3. Select Volume and Section to view the images.

For Help Reading These Records

For help reading these Spanish records, see the following wiki articles:

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?

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

  • When you have located your ancestor’s record, carefully evaluate each piece of information given. Save a copy of the image or transcribe the information. These pieces of information may give you new biographical details such as a title, an occupation, or land ownership. Add this new information to your records of each family. You should also look for leads to other records about your ancestors.
  • Before you move on – Get a copy of the citation of exactly where you found your ancestors record for further reference. The image citation is available by clicking on the information tab at the bottom left of the screen where you’ve found your ancestor.
  • Use these records to find the birth/baptism, marriage, and death/burial records of your ancestors. Once you find those records compare them to the census to know if you have the right person(s).
  • Use the birth date or age along with the place of birth of each partner to find a couple's birth records and parents' names.
  • Use the residence and names of the parents to locate church records Spain Catholic Church Records (FamilySearch Historical Records).
  • Use the parents' birth places to find former residences and to establish a migration pattern for the family.
  • Use the marital status (whether a divorce or death dissolved a marriage) to identify previous marriages.
  • If no other vital sources are available, some genealogical information could be found in the books of Memorials (Memoriales) and Personals or Heads of Household (Personales o Cabezas de Casa). These include some vital information of some of the inhabitants for each of the land properties in the census. If Catholic Church records are available, it is suggested that you research those records first.
  • Generally the ages of the adults are given and often those of children are also included.

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.
  • 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.
  • There may be more than one person with the same name.
  • Continue to search the records to identify children, siblings, parents, and other relatives who may have lived in the same area or a nearby area.
    • 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

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

"Spain, Catastro de Ensenada, 1749-1756." Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2017. Citing Provincial Archives of Albacete, Alicante, Ávila, Badajoz, Cáceres, Ciudad Real, Córdoba, Cuenca, Guadalajara, Jaén, La Rioja, León, Madrid, Murcia, Salamanca, Segovia, Soria, Toledo, Valladolid, Spain.

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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