Spain, Diocese of Santander, Catholic Church Records - FamilySearch Historical Records

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Spain, Diocese of Santander, Catholic Church Records, 1538-1985
This article describes a collection of records at
Cantabria, Spain
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 Flag of Cantabria Province
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Location of Cantabria, Spain
Location of Spain
Record Description
Record Type: Catholic Church Records
Collection years: 1538-1985
Languages: Spanish Castilian
Title in the Language: Registros Católicos de la Diócesis de Santander, España
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites
Roman Catholic Diocese of Santander

What is in This Collection?[edit | edit source]

This collection includes digital copies of records of baptisms, marriages, and burials of the parishes of the Diocese of Santander in Spain from 1538-1985 . Some records have been indexed and are searchable as part of this collection.

Parish priests performed the baptisms, marriages, deaths, burials, and other holy sacraments in their assigned parish or parishes. All the original parish records were kept in the parish archive, and a duplicate copy was and is centralized in the corresponding diocesan archive. Most of these records have been preserved relatively well, but some older entries may have some damage.

The Diocese of Santander contained the most important documents in the province. During the war of 1936, a large part of the records were destroyed. What was left of the records was transported to the Papelera de Arangueren to be preserved on paper.

Additional indexed records will be published as they become available.

Image Visibility[edit | edit source]

Whenever possible FamilySearch makes images and indexes available for all users. However, rights to view these data are limited by contract and subject to change. Because of this there may be limitations on where and how images and indexes are available or who can see them. Please be aware some collections consist only of partial information indexed from the records and do not contain any images. For additional information about image restrictions see Restrictions for Viewing Images in FamilySearch Historical Record Collections.

Reading These Records[edit | edit source]

These records are written in Spanish. For help reading them see:

If you speak Spanish, the following free online lesson may be helpful to learn how to use the information in these records:

To Browse This Collection[edit | edit source]

You can browse through images in this collection using the waypoints on the Collection Browse Page for Spain, Diocese of Santander, Catholic Church Records, 1538-1985.

What Can These Records Tell Me?[edit | edit source]

The following information may be found in these records:


  • Date and place of baptism
  • Name and gender
  • Legitimacy to parents (whether biological or adopted)
  • Date of birth or age
  • Parents’ names, their residence and origin
  • Names of paternal grandparents, their residence and origin
  • Names of maternal grandparents, their residence and origin
  • Names of godparents’, their residence and origin
  • Names of witnesses


  • Name and gender
  • Age or birth date
  • Parents' names
  • Date and place of confirmation
  • Names of godparents


  • Date and place of marriage
  • Groom's name and age
  • Groom's marital status and origin
  • Names of groom's parents, their residence and origin
  • Bride's name and age
  • Bride's marital status and origin
  • Names of bride's parents, their residence and origin
  • Names of witnesses’ and their origin


  • Name, gender, and age of deceased (keep in mind that
the records of women may be filed under their married name)
  • Date, time and place of death
  • Marital status, residence, and origin of deceased
  • Name of the spouse if married
  • Names of parents if a minor
  • Cause of death
  • Burial date and place

The information in each record may vary by year.

Collection Content[edit | edit source]

Sample Images[edit | edit source]

How Do I Search This Collection?[edit | edit source]

Search the Index[edit | edit source]

Search by name on the Collection Details Page.
  1. Fill in the search boxes in the Search Collection section with the information you know
  2. Click Search to show possible matches

View the Images[edit | edit source]

View images in this collection by visiting the Browse Page:

  1. Select Province
  2. Select City or Town
  3. Select Parish
  4. 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.

What Do I Do Next?[edit | edit source]

  • Add any new information to your records
  • Use the marriage date and place as the basis for compiling a new family group or for verifying existing information
  • Use the birth date or age along with the place of birth to find each of the couple's birth records and parents' names
  • Use the residence and names of the parents to locate civil records Spain Civil Registration - Vital Records
  • Use the parents' birth places to find former residences and to establish a migration pattern for the family
  • The name of a marriage officiator is a clue to their religion or area of residence in the province. However, ministers may have reported marriages performed in other provinces
  • Compile the marriage entries for every person who has the same surname as the bride or groom; this is especially helpful in rural areas or if the surname is unusual
  • Use the marital status (whether a divorce or death dissolved a marriage) to identify previous marriages
  • Witnesses often were relatives of the parents

I Found the Person I Was Looking For, What Now?[edit | edit source]

  • When looking for a person who had a common name, look at all the entries for the name before deciding which is correct
  • Regarding marriage and death records, name changes, shortened names, or nicknames may have been used by your ancestors, so pay attention to other relationships (parents, spouse, siblings, children, etc.) that can confirm whether you have the right person/record
  • Continue to search the marriage records to identify children, siblings, parents, and other relatives of the bride and groom who may have married in the same county or nearby. This can help you identify other generations of your family or even the second marriage of a parent. Repeat this process for each new generation you identify
  • Continue to search the indexes and records to identify children, siblings, parents, and other relatives who may have lived in the same area or a nearby area

I Can't Find the Person I'm Looking For, What Now?[edit | edit source]

Research Helps[edit | edit source]

The following articles will help you in your research for your family in Spain.

Known Issues[edit | edit source]

Click here for a list of known issues with this collection.

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.

Collection Citation:
The citation for this collection can be found on the Collection Details Page in the section Citing this Collection.
Record Citation:
When looking at a record, the citation can be viewed by clicking the drop-down arrow next to Document Information.
Image Citation:
When looking at an image, the citation is found on the Information tab at the bottom left of the screen.