Mexico, Durango, Catholic Church Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)

From FamilySearch Wiki
Revision as of 17:51, 2 August 2011 by ChelsieRedford (talk | contribs) (grammar, fixed bullets)

Jump to: navigation, search
FamilySearch Record Search This article describes a collection of historical records scheduled to become available at FamilySearch.org.
CID1554576
{{{CID2}}}
{{{CID3}}}
{{{CID4}}}
{{{CID5}}}
{{{CID6}}}
{{{CID7}}}
{{{CID8}}}
{{{CID9}}}


Foreign Language Title

Registros Paroquiales de la Iglesia Católica en el Estado de Durango, México.

Collection Time Period

This collection of parish records from Durango includes records for the years 1627-1978.

Record History

Catholic priests established parishes on the heels of the conquest starting in 1521. In 1527 the Roman Catholic Church established dioceses in Tlaxcala and Mexico City. Parishes were local congregations that may have included smaller villages within their boundaries. A large city may contain several parishes. The parishes had jurisdiction over both vice parishes (vice parroquias) and chapelries (feligresias). Multiple parishes (parroquias) were under the jurisdiction of a diocese. The highest level of government in the Catholic Church is the archdiocese (arquidiócesis), which is made up of several dioceses. In 1995 the Catholic Church in Mexico had 14 archdioceses; 58 dioceses; 5,345 parishes; and 1,611 chapelries (sub-parishes). In most cases, Mexican Catholic parish registers are the only record to identify individuals, parents, and spouses before 1859. After this date, civil authorities began registering vital statistics (nacimientos, matrimonios y defunciones) which by law includes people of all religions. The information in civil sources confirms and supplements the information in church records. Be sure to search both the parish and civil records after 1860. This collection covers the Catholic parishes in the state of Durango in which the majority of the population was Roman Catholic. Only in the late 19th century did other religious groups organize congregations in the area.

Why This Record Was Created

Authorized Catholic priests created separate parish registers to record the church sacraments of baptism (bautismo), confirmation (confirmación), marriage (casamiento/matrimonio), and burial (defunción/entierro) at the parish level.

Record Reliability

Catholic Church parish registers are a reliable source of information for family history research, and the primary source for baptisms, marriage, and death records in Mexico prior to 1859. Catholic Church parish records can be used to complement information found in civil registers after 1859.

Record Description

Separate books were kept for baptisms, confirmations, marriage banns, marriages, and burials or deaths. However, in smaller areas all records may be recorded on one register. The entries were normally made in chronological order. Most of the marriage banns (informaciones matrimoniales) were included in the marriage entry in smaller parishes. However, in larger parishes this records may be registered separately. In larger parishes a separate book of confirmations was usually maintained, while in smaller parishes the confirmations may have been included with the baptisms or even with marriages.

Record Content

The key genealogical facts found in most baptismal records are:
Mexico Durango Catholic Church Records Baptism.jpg
  • Date of baptism
  • Event place (most always the parish saint name)
  • Gender
  • Name of the person being baptized
  • Age of the person being baptized or birth date
  • Legitimacy
  • Parents names
  • Marital status of parents
  • Sometimes the place of origin and/or residence of the parents
  • Social class of the parents in baptismal entries prior to 1820
  • In some registers the race
  • Grandparents and godparents
The key genealogical facts found in most marriage records are:
Mexico Durango Catholic Church Records Marriage.jpg
  • Date of marriage
  • Event place (almost always the parish saint name)
  • Name of groom and bride
  • Age and civil status of groom and bride
  • Parents names
  • Place of origin and residence of the marriage partners, sometimes even that of the parents
  • In some registers the race
The key genealogical facts found in most burial/death records are:
Mexico Durango Catholic Church Records Burial.jpg
  • Date of death and/or burial
  • Event place (most always the parish saint name)
  • Name of the deceased person
  • Parents or /and spouse, if the person was married
  • Age of the deceased person
  • Place of origin and/or residence of the deceased
  • Legitimacy
  • In some registers the race

How to Use the Record

In most cases, Mexican Catholic parish registers are the only record to identify individuals, parents, and spouses before 1859. After this date, civil authorities began registering vital statistics (nacimientos, matrimonios y defunciones) which by law includes people of all religions. The information in civil sources confirms and supplements the information in church records. Be sure to search both the parish and civil records after 1860. Begin your search by finding your ancestors in the index. Name indexes to baptisms, marriages, and death or burials make it possible to access a specific record quickly. Remember that these indexes may contain inaccuracies, such as altered spellings, misinterpretations, and optical character recognition errors if the information was scanned.

When searching the index it is helpful to know the following:

  • The place where the event occurred
  • The name and surname of the person
  • The approximate date of the event
  • The name of the parents or spouse

Use the locator information found in the index (such as page, entry, or certificate number) to locate your ancestors in the records. Compare the information in the record to what you already know about your ancestors to determine if this is the correct person. You may need to compare the information of more than one person to make this determination.

When you have located your ancestor’s record, carefully evaluate each piece of information given. These pieces of information may give you new biographical details that can lead you to other records about your ancestors. Add this new information to your records of each family.

For example:

  • Use the marriage date and place as the basis for compiling a new family group or for verifying existing information.
  • Use the birth date or age along with the place of birth of each partner to find a couple's birth records and parents' names.
  • Use the birth date or age along with the place of birth to find the family in census records.
  • Use the residence and names of the parents to locate church and land records.
  • Occupations listed can lead you to employment records or other types of records such as military records.
  • Use the parent’s birth places to find former residences and to establish a migration pattern for the family.
  • The name of the officiator is a clue to their religion or area of residence in the county. However, ministers may have reported marriages performed in other counties.
  • Compile the marriage entries for every person who has the same surname as the bride or groom, this is especially helpful in rural areas or if the surname is unusual.
  • Continue to search the marriage records to identify children, siblings, parents, and other relatives of the bride and groom who may have married in the same county or nearby. This can help you identify other generations of your family or even the second marriage of a parent. Repeat this process for each new generation you identify.
  • Use the marriage number to identify previous marriages.
  • When looking for a person who had a common name, look at all the entries for the name before deciding which is correct.

Keep in mind:

  • The information in church records is usually reliable, but depends upon the reliability of the informant.
  • Earlier records may not contain as much information as the records created after the late 1800.
  • There is also some variation in the information given from one record to another.

If you are unable to find the ancestors you are looking for, try the following:

  • Check for variant spellings of the surnames.
  • Check for a different index. There are often indexes at the beginning of each volume.
  • Search the indexes and records of nearby localities.

Related Websites

This section of the article is incomplete. You can help FamilySearch Wiki by supplying links to related websites here.

Related Wiki Articles

Mexico Church Records

Source of This Collection

"Mexico, Durango Catholic Church Records," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org); from Durango Archdiocese, Durango, Durango, Mexico. Registros parroquiales, 1604-1985. Diocese of Durango (now Archdiocese), Durango, Mexico. FHL 617 microfilm reels. Family History Library, Salt lake City, Utah, USA.

Digital copies of originals are also housed in different parish archives throughout the State of Durango, Mexico.

The suggested format for citing FamilySearch Historical Collections is found in the following article: How to Create Source Citations for FamilySearch Historical Records Collections.

Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections

When you copy information from a record, you should also 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 Article: How to Cite FamilySearch Collections.

Examples of Source Citations for a Record in This Collection

  • United States. Bureau of the Census. 12th census, 1900, digital images, From FamilySearch Internet (www.familysearch.org: September 29, 2006), Arizona Territory, Maricopa, Township 1, East Gila, Salt River Base and Meridian; sheet 9B, line 71.
  • Mexico, Distrito Federal, Catholic Church Records, 1886-1933, digital images, from FamilySearch Internet (www.familysearch.org: April 22, 2010), Baptism of Adolfo Fernandez Jimenez, 1 Feb. 1910, San Pedro Apóstol, Cuahimalpa, Distrito Federal, Mexico, film number 0227023.