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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[edit | edit source]

This Collection will include records from

Catastro del Marqués de la Ensenada, España

Churches of the Assumption in Cueva de Ágreda, Soria, Castile and León, Spain.JPG
Provinces Crown of Castile 1590 svg.png

Record Description[edit | edit source]

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.

For a list of records by localities currently published in this collection, select the Browse through imageslink from the collection landing page and then choose the province and city desired.

Record Content[edit | edit source]

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 and in some cases the names of neighbors
  • 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

In the following sections you might find the names of the head of household as well as the name of their spouse, children, and any other people who may have been living in the home such as relatives and servants. Generally the ages of the adults are given and often those of children are also included.

  • Memoriales de legos o seglares
  • Personal de legos o seglares

Because the cadastre was made for tax purposes, you can learn interesting facts about the towns such as its principal industry, quantity and types of buildings, and how much land was under cultivation by examining the Respuestas generales.

How to Use the Record[edit | edit source]

To search the collection you will need to follow this series of links:
⇒Select the "Browse through images" link in the initial search page
⇒Select the "Province"
⇒Select the "Locality"
⇒Select the "Volume and Section" 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.

Keep in mind:

  • There may be more than one person in the records with the same name.
  • You may not be sure of your own ancestor’s name.
  • Your ancestor may have used different names or variations of their name throughout their life.

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.

For Help Reading These Records[edit | edit source]

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

Spanish Genealogical Word List

Known Issues with This Collection[edit | edit source]

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 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.

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Related Wiki Articles[edit | edit source]

Contributions to This Article[edit | edit source]

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 Historical Records.

Please follow these guidelines as you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide.

Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections[edit | edit source]

Citations for individual image records are available for this collection. Browse through images in this collection and click on the “Show Citation” box.Spain, Catastro de Ensenada, 1749-1756

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 Cite FamilySearch Collections.

Citation for This Collection[edit | edit source]

The following citation refers to the original source of the information published in Historical Record collections. Sources include the author, custodian, publisher and archive for the original records.

"Spain, Catastro de Ensenada, 1749-1756." Images. FamilySearch. : accessed 2013.