Central America, Colonial Census Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)
|This article describes a collection of historical records available at FamilySearch.org.|
Access the records: Central America, Colonial Census Records .
- 1 Title in the Language of the Record
- 2 Record Description
- 3 How to Use the Records
- 4 Known Issues with This Collection
- 5 Related Websites
- 6 Related Wiki Articles
- 7 Contributions to This Article
- 8 Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections
Title in the Language of the Record
Guatemala, Censos Coloniales de Centro América
This is a collection of various censuses of El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Mexico. The earlier censuses are handwritten in Spanish in narrative style; later censuses are written on formatted ledger-style forms.
The genealogical information found in the census includes:
- Name and surname
- Age at the time of the census
- Marital or civil status
The census is divided by municipalities or cantons.
For a list of records by date or locality currently published in this collection, select the Browse link from the collection landing page.
According to the “Instituto Nacional de Identificación” (National Institute of Identification), the only relevant statistical activity in the colonial period was the population censuses carried out in the province of Guatemala by the Catholic Church ecclesiastical authorities, which began in the early 1500s. Some of these colonial censuses are actually membership records. These records are housed at the Archivo Histórico Arquidiocesano (Historical Archive of the Archdiocese of Guatemala) and have great importance in the historical reconstruction of the social, economic, and cultural process of Guatemala and the Central American region of the colonial period. Some of these earlier records are quite damaged and therefore, some information is missing.
It wasn’t until the beginning of Guatemala’s independence in 1821 that civil authorities began keeping statistical records of the country’s population.
This collection includes a variety of civil and church censuses from about 1662-1921. In the colonial Guatemala region, the church censuses began to be recorded in the early 1500s and the civil censuses in the early 1800s.
The authorities’ mission for the census was that the statistics gathered would effectively contribute to the development and democracy of Guatemala.
The census was regularly taken by authorized citizens. They collected the information given to them from a member of the household, who may not have known the exact data. It is recommended to use the census information with caution as there may be some mistakes. However, the information gathered will help to find other information not found in vital records.
Citation for This Collection:
The following citation refers to the original source of the data and images published on FamilySearch.org Historical Records. It may include the author, custodian, publisher and archive for the original records.
- Guatemala Direccion General de Estadistica. Central America, Colonial Census Records. Archivo General de Centro America, Guatemala City, Guatemala.
Key genealogical facts found in civil census include:
- Name and surname
- Age at time of census
- Marital status
Key genealogical facts found in church census include:
- Name and surname
- Marital status
- Church parish of marriage
- Sometimes the parents’ names
- If the person has children and sometimes the children’s names and ages
How to Use the Records
To search the collection, select "Browse through images" on the initial collection page ⇒ Select the Pais ⇒ Select the Provincia/Departamento ⇒ Select the Pueblo/Ciudad ⇒ Select the Año y Tipo de Registro which takes you to the images.
Look at the images one by one comparing the information with what you already know about your ancestors to determine which one is your ancestor. You may need to compare the information about more than one person to make this determination.
Use this collection of records to find clues about the data needed to further research an ancestor in the vital records, such as civil registration or church records.
Known Issues with This Collection
For a full list of all known issues associated with this collection see the attached Wiki article. If you encounter additional problems, please email them to email@example.com. Please include the full path to the link and a description of the problem in your e-mail. Your assistance will help ensure that future reworks will be considered.
Related Wiki Articles
Contributions to This Article
| We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. We are looking for additional information that will help readers understand the topic and better use the available records. We also need translations for collection titles and images in articles about records written in languages other than English. For specific needs, please visit WikiProject FamilySearch Records. |
Please follow these guidelines as you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide.
Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections
When you copy information from a record, you should list where you found the information. This will help you or others to find the record again. It is also good to keep track of records where you did not find information, including the names of the people you looked for in the records.
A suggested format for keeping track of records that you have searched is found in the wiki aticle Help:How to Cite FamilySearch Collections.
Citation Example for a Record Found in This Collection
"Central America, Colonial Census Records," digital images, FamilySearch (https://familysearach.org; accessed 9 May 2012), Guatemala > Chiquimula > San Esteban > 1821-Padrones > Image 40 of 195 images, Guadalupe Gomes; citing Census Records, FHL microfilm 748,133 Item 2, Padrones de Guatemala : La Gomera, ladinos, Archivo General de Centro América, Guatemala.