Mexico, Michoacan, Civil Registration (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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Mexico, Michoacán, Civil Registration, 1859-1940
This article describes a collection of records at
Michoacán, Mexico
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Location of Michoacán, Mexico
Record Description
Record Type: Civil Registration
Collection years: 1859-1940
Languages: Spanish
Title in the Language: Registro Civil del Estado de Michoacán, México
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites
Michoacán Civil Registry State Archives

What is in the Collection?

This collection of civil records for Michoacán covers the years 1859 to 1940.

The civil registration records for Mexico cover the vital events of birth, marriages, and deaths. They are organized by state and then by municipality/city. Earlier records were handwritten in narrative style; later records were handwritten in formatted registers.

These records are written in Spanish. Here is a link to a Spanish Genealogical Word List which may be helpful. Also, see the section For Help Reading These Records for translation helps.

Civil records in Mexico cover about 90 to 95 % of the population. Beginning in 1859, the Mexican government began requiring births, marriages, and deaths to be recorded by civil authorities on a municipality/district level. Although these records are a great source of genealogical information, they are not complete as civil registration wasn't strictly enforced in Mexico until 1867 and people did not always comply. For this reason, it is suggested to use church registers alongside the civil records to help in your research. The civil records of Mexico have been preserved relatively well. Only some of the older registers may have some physical damage; however, in general they are in good condition and are a reliable source to extract genealogical information.

To Browse this Collection

You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for Mexico, Michoacán, Civil Registration, 1859-1940.

Collection Contents

Sample Images

Birth records may contain the following information:

  • Date and place of event
  • Name and gender of child
  • Child's date and place of birth
  • Parents names, age and civil status
  • Paternal grandparents
  • Maternal grandparents

Marriage records may contain the following information:

  • Date and place of marriage
  • Names of the bride and groom
  • Groom's age, civil status, occupation, origin and residence
  • Names of groom's parents
  • Groom's parents' age, civil status and occupation
  • Bride's age, civil status, occupation, origin and residence
  • Names of bride's parents
  • Bride's parents' age, civil status and occupation
  • Names of witnesses
  • Witnesses' names, age, civil status, occupation and residence

Death records may contain the following information:

  • Name and age of deceased
  • Date and place of death
  • Cause of death
  • Civil status of deceased at time of death
  • Civil status and name of spouse, if married at time of death
  • Parents’ names
  • Burial information

How Do I Search the Collection?

View images in this collection by visiting the Browse Page
⇒ Select the "City or Municipality"
⇒ Select the "Record Type and Years" which takes you to the images.

Search the collection by image 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.

For Help Reading These Records

These records are in Spanish. For help reading the records, see the following resources:

What Do I Do Next?

When you have located your ancestor’s birth, marriage, or death record, carefully evaluate each piece of information about them. These pieces of information may give you new biographical details that can lead you to other records about your ancestors. For example:

  • Use the date along with the place to find the family in census records.
  • Use the residence and names of the parents to locate church and land records.
  • The father’s occupation can lead you to employment records, military records, or other types of records.
  • The parent’s birth places can tell you former residences and can help to establish a migration pattern for the family.

It is often helpful to extract the information on all children with the same parents. If the surname is unusual, you may want to compile entries for every person of the same surname and sort them into families based on the names of the parents. Continue to search the records to identify siblings, parents, and other relatives in the same or other generations who were born in the same town or nearby location.

If you find a record of your ancestor print a copy of the original document, if possible, or at least the information where you found it. Sometimes you may find errors in the indexed or hand-copied documents. Also, in the original, you may find more information about your ancestor.

Keep in mind:

  • The information in civil 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 1800s.
  • There is also some variation in the information given from record to record.

I Can’t Find Who I’m Looking For, What Now?

If you are unable to find your ancestor try looking through records in the surrounding localities. Colima is to the west, Jalisco to the northwest, Guanajuato to north, Querétaro to the northeast, Estado de México to the east, and Guerrero to the southeast.

Citing This Collection

Citations help you keep track of places you have searched and sources you have found. Identifying your sources helps others find the records you used.

Collection Citation
"Mexico, Michoacán, Civil Registration, 1859-1940." Images. FamilySearch. : accessed 2017. Direccion del Registro Civil y Notarias de Michoacán (Michoacán Civil Registry State Archives).
Image Citation:
When looking at an image, the citation is found on the Information tab at the bottom left of the screen.

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