Church records in Mexico are among the oldest genealogical records that can be found in any community. This is the result of colonial Mexico being almost exclusively Catholic and the Council of Trent requiring that every parish keep records of baptisms and marriages performed. Thus, Baptism and Marriage records can be found dating back to the 15th century. While other genealogical records (death, confirmation, etc) were not produced until the 16th century and even then were not consistent.

Mexican Baptism records generally contain the following genealogical data; Baptism Date, Childs Name, Age of child (in days), Church/Community where Baptism was preformed, Name of Priest, Father’s first name, Father’s surname, Mother’s first name, Mother’s surname, Community Parents are from, Sponsor(s) names (Padrinos). Baptism records prior to the 18th century also tended to include race of the child and sometimes the race of the parents. Baptism records from the 18th century also contain the first name and surnames of both paternal and maternal grandparents. These genealogical records could also contain other valuable information like; ages of parents, profession of parents, whether parents were married (legitimate), parent(s) were slaves, tribe (Indian parents), etc.

Mexican Marriage records generally contain the following genealogical data; Marriage date, Church/Community where the marriage was preformed, Name of the Priest, first name and surname of Groom, Names of Groom’s parents, Legitimacy of Groom, Community Groom is from, first name and surname of Bride, Name of Bride’s parents, Legitimacy of Bride, Community Bride is from, Sponsor(s) names (Padrinos). Marriage records prior to the 18th century tended to include race of the Bride and Groom, race of the couples parents. Marriage records from the 18th century included first name and surnames of both paternal and maternal grandparents. These genealogical records sometimes contain additional information on the couple’s ages, profession, previous spouses name if deceased, etc.

Death records are more inconsistent in the information they contain, but generally contain the following genealogical data; Death record date, first name and surname of deceased, Age of deceased, cause of death, Spouses name (if married), parents names (if child). Some death records include the deceased profession, race, community of origin, where deceased died, surviving relative name(s), etc.

Other Church records that aid your genealogy research by placing your ancestor at a particular date and location are:

  • Confirmation list: Date of Confirmation, Childs Name, parent/sponsor’s first name and surname
  • Donation list: Date of Donation, Contributor’s first name and surname, Amount donated
  • Membership list: Name of organization, Date of Membership listing, first name and surname of Member

Marriage information records and dispensation records are larger documents that often contain a wealth of genealogical information. It is more time consuming to read these lengthily documents, but they often contain more information on the couple (names, ages, profession, previous marriages, etc), their parents, grandparents, and other relatives.

Common Titles to aid your Mexican genealogy research

Many civil and church records will record the title(s) of individuals with important social or government positions with their names. The following list contains some of the most common titles with their description:


TitleDescription
CaballeroNobleman
CapitánCaptain
DirectorDirector
DoctorDoctor
CiudadanoCitizen
curaPriest
frayFriar
VecinoNeighbor
DonSir
DoñaLady (madam)
SeñorMr.
SeñoraMrs.


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