Vietnam Church Records
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For information about records for non-Christian religions in Vietnam, go to the Religious Records page.
Christianity was brought to Vietnam by Catholic missionaries from Portugal, Spain, and France during the 16th and 17th centuries. In 1700 there were nearly one million Catholics, most of them concentrated in the Cochin China region in the south. The 18th century was a time of indiscriminate persecution of Catholic missionaries and converts, and their numbers declined significantly. After France established firm control of Vietnam in the 1880s the Catholic Church found itself strongly supported by the government. By the end of the French period there were approximately two million Catholics in the country, with almost half of them in the North. When the communist regime gained control in the North, most of the Catholics fled South.
Research use: Usually information given is quite complete and identifies parents and often grandparents and other relationships. There are gaps, however, in many church registers.
Record type: Births or baptisms, marriages, marriage proclamations, deaths or burials, and confirmations.
Time period: 1582-present. Records may exist for the following denominations:
- Catholic 1582-
- Lutheran and Reformed 1900-
- Methodist 1915-
- Presbyterian 1925-
Contents: Baptismal records: Baptism dates; children’s names; parents’ residence and names (sometimes mother's maiden name is given); witnesses’ and godparents’ names, and sometimes their residence and relationship to infants; sometimes grandparents’ names. Marriage records: Candidates’ names; marriage and/or proclamation dates; often birth places, residence, witnesses, former spouses and parents’ names. Death/burial records: Name of deceased; burial date; often age and cause of death; residence; spouse’s name, especially for women; parents’ names for deceased children. Confirmation records: Candidate’s name, age, residence and sometimes father’s name.
Location: Public and church archives.
Population coverage: 5%.
- The Family History Department of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, “Family History Record Profile: Vietnam,” Word document, private files of the FamilySearch Content Strategy Team, 2001.