Spain, Catastro de Ensenada (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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Access the records: Spain, Catastro de Ensenada, 1749-1756 .

Title in the Language of the Records

Catastro del Marqués de la Ensenada, España

Record Description

For a list of localities currently published in this collection, select the [( Browse] link from the collection landing page.

These are census records of the Spanish regions of Andalucía, Asturias, Cantabria, Castilla-La Mancha, Castilla y León, Extremadura, Galicia, La Rioja, Madrid, and Murcia. The cadastre registers have been well-preserved. The cadastre generally includes information about the land, the income, the ownership, the assets, the head of household, and the heirs. The text is handwritten in Spanish.

The cadastre was divided into sections called: Memoriales (Memorials), Respuestas Generales (General Answers), Respuestas Particulares (Personal Answers), Libro de lo Real (Book of Real Estate), Libro de lo Personal o de Cabezas de Casa (Book of Personal Information or Heads of Household), Estados o Resúmenes (Quantitative Summaries). This cadastre is in the form of a register and includes the quantity, value, and ownership of real estate used in apportioning taxes. The Cadastre of the Marquis of Ensenada includes a description of the properties and the population—both the secular and ecclesiastical—throughout the 22 provinces of the Old Crown of Castile, which occupied 70% of the territory of modern-day Spain. This cadastre is known in Spanish as the “Catastro del Marqués de la Ensenada” and was conducted between 1750 and 1754 by Zenón de Somodevilla y Bengoechea, I Marquis of Esenada. He had been called by King Philip V of Spain as the Secretary of the Treasury and Chancellor of the Exchequer (or Minister of Finance) of the Crown of Castile.

This cadastre was created when the country was preparing for a profound fiscal reform. The reform was aimed at improving the state of the Castilian treasury, simplifying the system of contributions, and making the system fairer. The idea was to replace income from the provinces by a single tax, which was intended to be universal and proportional to the wealth of the taxpayers. It was thus necessary to investigate the wealth of the subjects. The cadastre became the official register of the quantity, value, and ownership of real estate used in apportioning taxes. 

The Cadastre of the Marquis of Ensenada was taken by assigned persons; it is a reliable source for research in Spain. 

Citation for This Collection

The following citation refers to the original source of the data and images published on Historical Records. It may include the author, custodian, publisher, and archive for the original records. 

Junta de la Unica Contribución. Spain, Catastro de Ensenada. Archivo Histórico Provincial de Guadalajara, Bustares, Spain.

Information about creating source citations for FamilySearch Historical Collections is listed in the wiki article Help:How to Create Source Citations For FamilySearch Historical Records Collections.

Record Content

Information found in the books of Real Estate and Personal or Heads of Household may include the following:

  • Names of property owners
  • Places where properties are located
  • A notation on the title page if there is an index of the people included in the cadastre
  • Sons and daughters that worked on the property
  • Type, measurement, value, and quality of the properties
  • Number of workers
  • Number of heirs

How to Use the Record

If no other vital sources are available, some genealogical information could be found in the books of Memorials (Memoriales) and Personals or Heads of Household (Personales o Cabezas de Casa). These include some vital information of some of the inhabitants for each of the land properties in the census. If Catholic Church records are available, it is suggested that you research those records first.

Related Websites

Spain GenWeb Project

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 Article: Help:How to Create Source Citations For FamilySearch Historical Records Collections.

Citation Example for Records Found in This Collection
  • “Spain, Catastro of Ensenada, 1749-1756,” digital images, "FamilySearch" ( accessed 14 March 2012), Toledo > Oreja > vol H-479-Bienes de eclesiásticos > image 56 of 76, Alphonso Palomino, 1752; citing Toledo Provincial Historical Archive, Catastro de Enesenada, Archivo Historical Nacional, Madrid.