Uruguay Church Records

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Online Resources and Websites[edit | edit source]

Historical Background[edit | edit source]

Uruguay has no official religion; church and state are officially separated, and religious freedom is guaranteed. A 2008 survey by the INE of Uruguay showed Catholicism as the main religion, with 45.7% of the population and 9.0% are non-Catholic Christians. Among the sizeable Armenian community in Montevideo, the dominant religion is Christianity, specifically Armenian Apostolic. The first Anglican church in the country was erected in 1844 by British traders, and is considered a historical landmark. Other religious groups in Uruguay include the Jehovah's Witnesses. [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 Uruguay.
b. Click on Places within Uruguay 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 the Spanish Letter Writing Guide for help with composing letters.

Anglican (Episcopal) Church Records[edit | edit source]

Writing for Records[edit | edit source]

Historical Background[edit | edit source]

At the end of the first half of the 19th century, English merchants and businessmen launched into South America to invest in rail and other public services, as well as in industry, livestock and agriculture. With this they brought their faith and their traditions and for the year 1843 they managed to have the Rev. William Birch appointed as Chaplain of Montevideo. He celebrated the first religious service on June 4 of the same year in a room located behind the Church of San Francisco and three doors beyond the Claypole hotel. From that moment on they met weekly.

The English Chaplaincies in South America had their immediate reference in the Falklands, but later they developed and became Dioceses. One of them was that of Argentina, where the Church of Montevideo was included together with that of Fray Bentos and Salto. These were the three original congregations established in Uruguay. The first news of the celebration of offices in Spanish dates back to 1977, when a Bishop of Brazil asked Bishop Ricardo Cutts of Buenos Aires for permission to visit and celebrate offices in this language in Montevideo. In 1986, William Godfrey, who was appointed Archdeacon, arrived in Uruguay. With him, work began to form a new diocese in our country: the Anglican Church of Uruguay. This was achieved on December 10, 1988, establishing itself as part of the Province of the Southern Cone of America and having its episcopal seat in the former parish of the Holy Trinity, popularly known as the "English Temple", now converted into a Cathedral.[3]

Armenian Church Records (Catholic, Evangelical, and Apostolic)[edit | edit source]

Writing for Records[edit | edit source]

Historical Background[edit | edit source]

Armenian Uruguayans number around 15,000-19,000 of the population, making Uruguay to have one of the largest Armenian populations around the world. The Armenian community in Uruguay is one of the oldest communities in South America, with most of them residing in the capital Montevideo. Many of them are third- or even fourth-generation descendants of the first wave of immigrants coming from the Ottoman Empire between the end of the 19th century and 1923. Most Armenians belong to the Armenian Apostolic Church. The main center is the Armenian Church of Montevideo, Uruguay (Spanish: Iglesia Armenia del Uruguay). There is also a significant presence of Armenian Catholics and Armenian Evangelicals.

The main Armenian places of worship in Montevideo are:[4]

Catholic Church Records[edit | edit source]

Writing to a Local Parish[edit | edit source]

Earlier records can be held at the diocese, with more recent records still kept in the local parish. To locate the mailing address or e-mail address for a diocese or local parish, consult:

Historical Background[edit | edit source]

There are 2.3 million Catholics in the country, 53% of the total population. There are 9 dioceses and the archdiocese of Montevideo.

Evangelization of Uruguay followed Spanish settlement in 1624. Montevideo became a diocese in 1878, after being erected as a Vicarate in 1830. Missionaries followed the reduction pattern of gathering Indians into communities, training them in agriculture, husbandry, and other arts, while forming them in the Faith.

The constitution of 1830 made Catholicism the religion of the state and subsidized missions to Indians. In 1878, Montevideo was elevated to Diocese and, in 1897, to Archdiocese. The constitution of 1917 enacted separation of Church and state.

Two Eastern Catholic churches are also present in Uruguay, the Armenian Catholic Church and the Maronite Church. [5]

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Records[edit | edit source]

Online Records[edit | edit source]

Online information is available to current members, for deceased members and immediate family members who are still living. Sign in to FamilySearch and then select Family Tree in the drop-down menu.

Historical Background[edit | edit source]

Total Church Membership: 106,177. Congregations: 139.

Uruguay's first contact with the Church occurred at the 1940 South American basketball championship game held in Montevideo. One of Argentina's star players, Rolf Larson, served as a missionary for the Church in Argentina, and brought publicity to the Church as a team member.

In 1944, the first congregation was organized for North Americans working in Uruguay. By the end of 1948, a mission and 14 congregations were organized. [6]

Jehovah's Witnesses Church Records[edit | edit source]

Writing for Records[edit | edit source]

Maronite Church Records[edit | edit source]

Writing for Records[edit | edit source]

Historical Background[edit | edit source]

The Church of Our Lady of Lebanon (Spanish: Iglesia de Nuestra Señora del Líbano) is a Maronite (Eastern Catholic) parish church in the neighbourhood of Sayago, Montevideo, Uruguay.

Uruguay has a strong presence of Lebanese immigrants and their offspring. In 1888, some of them asked the Roman Catholic bishop Inocencio María Yéregui for permission to have their own sacraments celebrated by a Maronite priest. Since 1924, the Maronite Order of the Blessed Virgin Mary is also in Montevideo. Their own parish was established on 30 November 1941. The present temple was built in 1984–1986, designed by engineer Eladio Dieste; it is dedicated to Our Lady of Lebanon. [7],

Pentecostal Church Records[edit | edit source]

Writing for Records[edit | edit source]

Seventh-day Adventist Church Records[edit | edit source]

Writing for Records[edit | edit source]

Historical Background[edit | edit source]

According to some accounts, the first Seventh-day Adventist in Uruguay was Mrs. Juan Rivoir, who, four years before immigrating to the country in 1890, heard Ellen White preach in Piedmont, Italy. In 1891 the first Adventist colporteurs, A. B. Stauffer, E. W. Snyder, and C. A. Nowlen, came to Montevideo briefly before going on to Buenos Aires. In 1893 Stauffer and Snyder returned with a young Englishman named Lionel Brooking. Stauffer began working among the German-speaking population, Snyder with English-speaking immigrants, and Brooking with French-speaking colonists. The first Adventist school was organized in 1908 in the home of Julio Ernst, with Otto Heydeker as teacher. Uruguay Adventist Academy was founded in 1944.[8]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Wikipedia contributors, "Uruguay", in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uruguay, accessed 11 March 2020.
  2. Wikipedia contributors, "Religion in Uruguay", in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion_in_Uruguay, accessed 11 March 2020.
  3. "Anglican Church in Uruguay: Identity", https://anglicanchurch.uy/pages/02identidad.html, accessed 11 March 2020.
  4. Wikipedia contributors, "Armenian Uruguayans", in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Armenian_Uruguayans, accessed 9 April 2021.
  5. Wikipedia contributors, "Catholic Church in Uruguay", in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catholic_Church_in_Uruguay, accessed 11 March 2020.
  6. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, "Facts and Statistics: Uruguay, https://newsroom.churchofjesuschrist.org/facts-and-statistics/country/Uruguay, accessed 11 March 2020.
  7. Wikipedia contributors, ""Nuestra Señora del Líbano, Montevideo"", in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuestra_Se%C3%B1ora_del_L%C3%ADbano,_Montevideo, accessed 11 March 2020.
  8. "Into Uruguay", in "Adventist World". https://archives.adventistworld.org/2008/june/into-uruguay.html, accessed 12 March 2020.