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Burkina Faso Church Records

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Burkina Faso Wiki Topics
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Beginning Research
Record Types
Country Background
Local Research Resources

For information about records for non-Christian religions in Burkina Faso, go to the Religious Records page.

Online Resources and Websites[edit | edit source]

Ancestry.com, findmypast.com, and MyHeritage.com can be searched free of charge at your local family history center or the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Historical Background[edit | edit source]

Burkina Faso is a religiously diverse society, with Islam being the dominant religion. According to a recent census (2019) conducted by the Government of Burkina Faso, 60.5% of the population adheres to Islam. The Government also estimated that 23.2% practices Christianity (19.0% being Roman Catholic, 4.2% being Protestant). [1][2]

Information Recorded in the Records[edit | edit source]

Different denominations, different time periods, and practices of different record keepers will effect how much information can be found in the records. This outline will show the types of details which might be found (best case scenario):

Baptisms[edit | edit source]

In Catholic and Anglican records, children were usually baptized a few days after birth, and therefore, the baptism record proves date of birth. Other religions, such as Baptists, baptized at other points in the member's life. Baptism registers might give:

  • baptism date
  • the infant's name
  • parents' names
  • father's occupation
  • status of legitimacy
  • occasionally, names of grandparents
  • names of witnesses or godparents, who may be relatives
  • birth date and place
  • the family's place of residence
  • death information, as an added note or signified by a cross

Marriages[edit | edit source]

Marriage registers can give:

  • the marriage date
  • the names of the bride and groom
  • indicate whether the bride and groom were single or widowed
  • their ages
  • birth dates and places for the bride and groom
  • their residences
  • their occupations
  • birthplaces of the bride and groom
  • parents' names (after 1800)
  • the names of previous spouses and their death dates
  • names of witnesses, who might be relatives.

Burials[edit | edit source]

Burial registers may give:

  • the name of the deceased
  • the date and place of death or burial
  • the deceased's age
  • place of residence
  • cause of death
  • the names of survivors, especially a widow or widower
  • deceased's birth date and place
  • parents' names, or at least the father's name



How to Find Records[edit | edit source]

Digital Copies of Church Records in the FamilySearch Catalog[edit | edit source]

Watch for digitized copies of church records to be added to the collection of the FamilySearch Library. Some records might have viewing restrictions, and can only be viewed at a Family History Center near you, and/or by members of supporting organizations. To find records:

a. Click on the records of Burkina Faso.
b. Click on Places within Burkina Faso and a list of towns will appear.
c. Click on your town if it appears, or the location which you believe was the parish which served your town or village.
d. Click on the "Church records" topic. Click on the blue links to specific record titles.
e. Some combination of these icons will appear at the far right of the listing for the record. FHL icons.png. The magnifying glass indicates that the record is indexed. Clicking on the magnifying glass will take you to the index. Clicking on the camera will take you to an online digital copy of the records.

Writing for Records[edit | edit source]

You will probably need to write to or email the national archives, the diocese, or local parish priests to find records. See French Letter Writing Guide for help with composing letters.



Catholic Church Records[edit | edit source]

Writing to a Local Parish[edit | edit source]

To locate the mailing address or e-mail address for a local parish, consult:

Historical Background[edit | edit source]

The first Catholics to enter what is today Burkina Faso arrived with the French colonialists in 1896.[2] In 1900 and 1901 Catholic missions were established at Koupéla and Ouagadougou, respectively and Joanny Thévenoud, a missionary helped to firmly establish Catholicism in the country over the following five decades.[3][4]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Wikipedia contributors, "Burkina Faso", in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burkina Faso, accessed 21 March 2020.
  2. Wikipedia contributors, "Religion in Burkina Faso", in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion_in_Burkina Faso, accessed 21 March 2020.
  3. Wikipedia contributors, "Religion in Burkina Faso", in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion_in_Burkina Faso, accessed 21 March 2020.
  4. Wikipedia contributors, "Catholic Church in Burkina Faso", in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catholic_Church_in_Burkina Faso, accessed 21 March 2020.