The Spanish word for marriages is matrimonios.
Use marriage records to:
- Find a couple’s marriage date and place and possibly their ages.
- Find names of parents of the bride and groom
- Find birth places of the bride and groom
- Find godparents and witnesses listed who may be family members
If you don’t find a marriage record, search nearby parishes. If marriage records don’t exist, you might try alternatives in notarial records such as marriage contracts (contractos matrimoniales) or dowry inventories (inventario de dote).
Marriage records usually contain the following information:
- Names, ages, occupations, and residences of the bride and groom
- Date and place of marriage
- Marital status, including if one or both were previously widowed and the name of the deceased spouse.
- Parental permission, if they were minors
- Names of witnesses
- May include birth place or residence of parents and grandparents, the dates the marriage banns were announced and whether or not there was an impediment to the marriage.
- Write down the names and residences of the godparents and witnesses. These may be relatives, friends, or important members of the community whose names may lead you to other relatives.
- To find a marriage record, look first in the parish where the first child was born. Then look in parishes where the parents were born, then nearby parishes. Couples usually married in the parish of the bride.
- Begin your search with the birth date of the oldest child and search backwards in time. Don’t go back nine months before the oldest child but rather start with his birth date as many times a woman might have been with child at the time of marriage.
Before you begin
Before searching for a marriage record you need to know:
- The names of the bride and groom
- The parish and town/city of birth or residence
- The approximate marriage date or the approximate birth date of the first child
Church Records Online
Millions of names can be found in the Spain online collections of FamilySearch
Spain, Baptisms, 1502-1940 No images are available, Search by name only.
Spain, Marriages, 1565-1950 No images are available, Search by name only.
Spain Deaths, 1600-1920 No images are available, Search by name only.
Spain, Catholic Church Records, 1500-1930 Browsable images. To use you must first choose the province, then the city, then the record type you wish to view.
More parish records can be found on FamilySearch under the name of the diocese. To use these records, choose the province, click on Browse Images, or enter a name if a search engine is available. If no search engine is available, click on Browse Record, then choose the town, then the parish, and then the record type you wish to view. Records are available for the following:
Spain, Diocese of Ávila, Catholic Church Records, 1502-1975 Indexed records and browseable images.
Spain, Diocese of Lugo, Catholic Parish Records, 1550-1930 Indexed records only
Spain, Diocese of Santander, Catholic Church Records, 1538-1984 Browseable images.
Spain, Diocese of Segovia, Catholic Church Records, 1533-1987 Browseable images.
Other online sites
Online parish indexes for País Vasco can be found at the site Dokuklik
To view the separate sites of each province of País Vasco, click on the name of the province below.
- Alava Archivo Histórico Diocesano in Vitoria.
- Guipúzcoa Archivo Histórico Diocesano in San Sebastián.
- Vizcaya Archivo Histórico Diocesano in Bilbao
In Tarragona, the archdiocese is currently digitizing parish books and many can be found at the online site Arxiu Històric Arxidiocesà de Tarragona. To view the images, you must register for a free account. For more information about how to use the site please read the article Archdiocese of Tarragona Online Parish Records.