Spain, Cadiz, Testaments (FamilySearch Historical Records)
|Access the Records|
Spain, Cadiz, Testaments, 1531-1920
|This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.|
|Flag of the Kingdom of Spain|
|Flag of Cádiz|
|Location of Cádiz, Spain|
|Record Type:||Testament Records|
|Title in the Language:||España, Testamentos Notariales de Cádiz|
|Archivo Histórico Provincial de Cádiz|
- 1 What is in This Collection?
- 2 What Can These Records Tell Me?
- 3 Collection Content
- 4 How Do I Search This Collection?
- 5 What Do I Do Next?
- 6 Citing This Collection
What is in This Collection?
This collection of notary public wills (testaments) is for the years 1531-1920 from the province of Cádiz. It was created before a notary public, who kept the original document until the death of the person that created the will; another copy was kept at the General Registry of Wills (Registro General de Actos de Última Voluntad). Through the life of the testator, the General Registry kept the will as a secret document, unauthorized to be viewed by anyone until the death of the testator. At the death of the person, the family would inquire at the General Registry of Wills to find out which will was the latest created by the testator and where it was created, especially if the family did not know which notary public was holding the original copy.
A wealthy person usually created a will in order to leave properties and goods as an inheritance to his or her children and others. In order to do this, the person would hire a notary public. The notary had the knowledge to write this kind of document, which needed to fulfill legal formalities.
The vital information contained in these wills may be reliable since the testator had to provide his or her legal identification and proof of property and goods ownership, as well as the names and personal identification of the inheritors.
Reading These Records
These records are written in Spanish. For help reading these records see the following guides:
- Spanish Genealogical Word List
- BYU Spanish Script Tutorial
- FamilySearch Learning Center videos:
If you speak Spanish, the following free online lesson may be helpful to learn how to use the information in these records:
- Registros Civiles y Parroquiales – Spanish
To Browse This Collection
|You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for Spain, Cadiz, Testaments, 1531-1920.|
What Can These Records Tell Me?
Wills (Testaments) may contain the following information:
- Name of testator
- Place of birth
- Current residence
- Spouse's name
- Parents’ names
- Marriage date and place of testators
- Names of children/heirs and their vital information
- Executor’s name
- Witnesses’ names
- Burial request
How Do I Search This Collection?
Before searching this collection, it is helpful to know:
- Your ancestor's given name and surname
- Identifying information such as residence
- Estimated marriage or birth year
- Family relationships
View the Images
View images in this collection by visiting the Browse Page:
- Select Province
- Select City
- Select Notary and Years of Service
- Select Volume 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?
Use these records to learn information that would lead to finding baptismal/birth, marriage, and/or death/burial records. Wills/testamentos are good for learning the death date and place, what family/friends he/she had at the time of death, his/her wealth status at the time of death; for example, if your ancestor gave parcels of owned land to descendants/relatives, then you know to look for land records.
- Use the age to calculate a birth date
- Use the names of family members and look for their records
- Use the place of residence as a starting point and search nearby towns for further records and ancestors
I Found the Person I Was Looking For, What Now?
- Add any new information to your records
- 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
I Can't Find the Person I'm Looking For, What Now?
- Church records are also a good source for birth, marriage, and death information
- Or your ancestor immigrated to another country. Search the records of nearby areas or immigration/emigration records:
- 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
The following articles will help you in your research for your family in Spain.
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
- "España, Provincia de Cádiz, testamentos, 1531-1920." Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : Archivo Histórico Provincial de Cádiz, Cádiz (Cádiz Province Historical Archives, Cádiz).
When looking at an image, the citation is found on the Information tab at the bottom left of the screen.