Central America, Colonial Census Records - FamilySearch Historical Records
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Central America, Colonial Records,1607-1902
|This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.|
|Countries in red are included in this collection|
|Title in the Language:||Censos Coloniales de América Central|
|Archivo Histórico Arquidiocesano del Arzobispado de Guatemala|
- 1 What is in This Collection?
- 2 What Can These Records Tell Me?
- 3 Collection Content
- 4 How Do I Search This Collection?
- 5 Known Issues
- 6 Citing This Collection
What is in This Collection?[edit | edit source]
This collection includes censuses of El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Mexico from 1607 to 1902. The earlier censuses are handwritten in Spanish in narrative style; later censuses are written on formatted ledger-style forms.
According to the “Instituto Nacional de Identificación” (National Institute of Identification), the only relevant statistical activity in the colonial period was the population censuses carried out in the province of Guatemala by the Catholic Church ecclesiastical authorities, which began in the early 1500s. Some of these colonial censuses are actually membership records. These records are housed at the Archivo Histórico Arquidiocesano (Historical Archive of the Archdiocese of Guatemala) and have great importance in the historical reconstruction of the social, economic, and cultural process of Guatemala and the Central American region of the colonial period. Some of these earlier records are quite damaged and therefore, some information is missing.
The census was regularly taken by authorized citizens. They collected the information given to them from a member of the household, who may not have known the exact data. It is recommended to use the census information with caution as there may be some mistakes. However, the information gathered will help to find other information not found in vital records. The authorities’ mission for the census was that the statistics gathered would effectively contribute to the development and democracy of Guatemala.
It wasn’t until the beginning of Guatemala’s independence in 1821 that civil authorities began keeping statistical records of the country’s population.
While Mexico is not always considered part of Central America, it has been included here to reflect the original organization of the collection.
Image Visibility[edit | edit source]
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Reading These Records[edit | edit source]
These records are written in Spanish. For help reading them see:
- Spanish Genealogical Word List
- BYU Spanish Script Tutorial
- FamilySearch Learning Center videos:
If you speak Spanish, the following free online lesson may be helpful to learn how to use the information in these records:
- Registros Civiles y Parroquiales – Spanish
To Browse This Collection[edit | edit source]
|You can browse through images in this collection using the waypoints on the Collection Browse Page for Central America, Colonial Records, 1607-1902.|
What Can These Records Tell Me?[edit | edit source]
The following information may be found in these records:
- House number, street, square and parish where family lived
- Head of household
- Names of person living in household
- Marital or civil status
- Age at time of census
- Profession or occupation
- Number of adult males and females
- Number of male and female children
Collection Content[edit | edit source]
Sample Images[edit | edit source]
How Do I Search This Collection?[edit | edit source]
Before searching this collection, it is helpful to know:
- Your ancestor's given name and surname
- Identifying information such as residence
- Estimated marriage or birth year
- Family relationships
Search the Index[edit | edit source]
|This collection does not have a searchable index. Only images are available. See View the Images to access them.|
View the Images[edit | edit source]View images in this collection by visiting the Collection Browse Page:
- Select Country
- Select Province
- Select City or Town
- Select Record Type and Years to view the images
How Do I Analyze the Results?[edit | edit source]
Compare each result from your search with what you know to determine if there is a match. This may require viewing multiple records or images. Keep track of your research in a research log.
Known Issues[edit | edit source]
Citing This Collection[edit | edit source]
Citations help you keep track of places you have searched and sources you have found. Identifying your sources helps others find the records you used.
The citation for this collection can be found on the Collection Details Page in the section Citing this Collection.
When looking at an image, the citation is found on the Information tab at the bottom left of the screen.