Mexico Catholic Church Records Historical Background
General Historical Background
The first Catholic Mass in Mexican soil was in 1518 on the expedition of Juan de Grijalva. Catholic clergy have documented the history of Mexico in their church records since the early exploration of Mexico. Beginning in 1527, there are administrative, judicial, financial, and pastoral documents dealing with the work of the Catholic Church in Mexico City. Some of the earliest recorded baptisms for the Sagrario Metropolitano in Mexico City started in 1536. There are many other parishes that also started at an early period, these include:
- El Sagrario in Mérida, Yucatán, in 1543
- El Sagrario Metropolitano in Puebla de Zaragoza, Puebla, in 1545
- Asunción, in Pachuca, Hidalgo, in 1568.
In 1563 the Council of Trent formalized record-keeping practices that were already being followed in much of the Catholic world. Separate record books were to be maintained for baptisms, confirmations, marriages, and deaths or burials, and the format was standardized. Following this format, the Catholic Church was the primary record keeper for Mexico until civil registration started. A large percentage of the populace is listed in these records. Before Mexican independence racial distinctions were made in parish records.
Different Kinds of Parish Records
The most commonly used parish records in Mexican genealogical research include:
To learn more about other ecclesiastical records recorded by the Catholic Church click here.
Locating Catholic Church Parish Records
Many of the Mexico Catholic Church parish records have been microfilmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah. Click here to learn more about finding microfilmed parish records at the Family History Library and also finding records that have not been microfilmed.
Mexico, Aguascalientes Catholic Church Parish Records: a free Internet index and images to the Mexico, Aguascalientes Catholic Church Records can be viewed on the FamilySearch Record Search site. For a description of the collection see Mexico, Aguascalientes Catholic Church Parish Records article
Mexico, Chihuahua Catholic Church Parish Records: a free Internet index and images to the Mexico, Chihuahua Catholic Church Recordscan be viewed on the FamilySearch Record Search site. For a description of the collection see Mexico, Chihuahua Catholic Church Parish Records article