Venezuela Church Records
|Venezuela Wiki Topics|
|Local Research Resources|
For information about records for non-Christian religions in Venezuela, go to the Religious Records page.
- 1 Parish Registers
- 2 Time Coverage
- 3 Contents of Parish Registers
- 4 Locating the Records
- 5 Reading the Records
- 6 Search Strategy
Parish registers are the documents kept by the Catholic Church since the year 1654 and contain books for registering church events: christenings, confirmations, marriages and deaths.
Depending on when the parish was created, it is possible to find records beginning in 1550.
Contents of Parish Registers
Day, month, year, place (parish) where the baptism was performed, sex of the child, name(s); names and surnames of the parents and the godparents. Very rarely the names of grandparents are annotated or the place from where the ancestors originated.
Name(s), surname(s), date of birth, place and date of marriage, residence, age of those nombre(s), age of the couple if it is a civil state, name(s) and surname(s) of the parents and sometimes of the grandparents.
Day and in which place the death occurred; name(s) and surname(s) of the deceased person, and the age and sex; name(s) and surname(s) of the parents and/or marital status (if the person is married or widowed); sometimes other types of information pertaining to the family or the character of the person.
Day and place of the event; name(s), surname(s) and age of the confirmed; name(s), surname(s) of the parents and/or godparent(s).
Locating the Records
Local Parishes in Venezuela
Parish registers are preserved in the original local church.
Online Church Records
- 1577 - 1995 Venezuela, Catholic Church Records, 1577-1995 at FamilySearch — index and images
- See also, Venezuela Catholic Church Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)
In the Family History Library catalog, look under "Venezuela, [PARISH NAME] - Church records" for microfilmed copies of the parish registers.
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 Peru. More recent Catholic parish records are kept at the local parish. The diocese keeps the records of parishes that no longer exist. 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 a guide replacing the information in parentheses:
- Reverendo Padre
- Parroquia de (name of parish)
- (parish), (state)
- (postal code)
Send the following when requesting information:
- 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. Use the translated questions and phrases in this Spanish Letter-writing Guide to assist you in writing your letter in Spanish.
Reading the Records
- You do not have to be fluent in Spanish to read your documents. Genealogical records usually contain a limited vocabulary. Use the Spanish Genealogical Word List to translate the important points in the document. Handwriting skills are taught in the BYU Spanish Script Tutorial.
- Online interactive slideshow lessons are available to help you learn to read these records:
- Search for the relative or ancestor you have selected to work on. 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.
- Search the death registers for all known family members.
- Repeat this process for both the father and the mother, starting with their birth records, then their siblings' births, then their parents' marriages, and so on.
- If earlier generations (parents, grandparents, etc.) do not appear in the records, search neighboring parishes.