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Belize Church Records

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

Online Resources and WebsitesEdit

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 BackgroundEdit

According to the 2010 census, 40.1% of Belizeans are Roman Catholics, 31.8% are Protestants (8.4% Pentecostal; 5.4% Adventist; 4.7% Anglican; 3.7% Mennonite; 3.6% Baptist; 2.9% Methodist; 2.8% Nazarene), 1.7% are Jehovah's Witnesses, 10.3% adhere to other religions (including The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims, Bahá'ís, Rastafarians and other).In addition to Catholics, there has always been a large accompanying Protestant minority. It was brought by British, German, and other settlers to the British colony of British Honduras. From the beginning, it was largely Anglican and Mennonite in nature. The Protestant community in Belize experienced a large Pentecostal and Seventh-Day Adventist influx tied to the recent spread of various Evangelical Protestant denominations throughout Latin America. Geographically speaking, German Mennonites live mostly in the rural districts of Cayo and Orange Walk. The Greek Orthodox Church has a presence in Santa Elena.[1][2]

Information Recorded in the RecordsEdit

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):

BaptismsEdit

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

MarriagesEdit

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.

BurialsEdit

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 RecordsEdit

Digital Copies of Church Records in the FamilySearch CatalogEdit

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 Belize.
b. Click on Places within Belize 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 RecordsEdit

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

Anglican (Episcopal) Church RecordsEdit

Writing for RecordsEdit

Historical BackgroundEdit

he Anglican Diocese of Belize was established in 1883.[1] The current bishop is Philip Wright. Established in 1883 as a member of the Church of the Province of the West Indies, the Diocese of Belize now comprises 31 churches spread throughout the country, and is engaged in missionary outreach on a national and international scale. In partnership with the government, it also operates 20 schools across the country of Belize.[3]

Baptist Church RecordsEdit

Writing for RecordsEdit

Catholic Church RecordsEdit

Writing to a Local ParishEdit

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 BackgroundEdit

The Catholic Church in Belize is part of the worldwide Catholic Church, under the spiritual leadership of the Pope in Rome. Bishops in Belize are members of the Antilles Episcopal Conference. Approximately 40% of the population of Belize is Catholic. The country comes under the jurisdiction of the Diocese of Belize City-Belmopan.[4][5]

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints RecordsEdit

Online RecordsEdit

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 BackgroundEdit

Total Church Membership: 5,429. Congregations: 12.
Missionary work opened in Belize on 5 May 1980, when President Samuel Flores of the Honduras Tegucigalpa Mission and Elder Robert Henke arrived to prepare for 10 additional missionaries coming the following day. On the day of their arrival, Elder Merlin Mikkelson was made president of a newly organized branch (a small congregation), and the first Sunday meeting was held 11 May, 1980. The Belize District was organized in 1983. Meetinghouses were completed in Orange Walk and San Ignacio in 1987. By 1987 some 1,000 members in seven branches comprised the Belize District. In 1990 the Honduras Tegucigalpa Mission was divided, and Belize was placed in the Honduras San Pedro Sula Mission. It is now part of the El Salvador San Salvador West/Belize Mission. [6]

Mennonite Church RecordsEdit

Writing for RecordsEdit

Historical BackgroundEdit

Mennonites in Belize form different religious bodies and come from different ethnic backgrounds. There are groups of Mennonites living in Belize who are quite traditional and conservative (e. g. in Shipyard and Upper Barton Creek), while others have modernized to various degrees (e. g. in Spanish Lookout and Blue Creek). There were 4,961 members as of 2014, but the total number including children and young unbaptized adults was around 12,000. Of these some 10,000 were ethnic Mennonites, most of them Russian Mennonites, who speak Plautdietsch, a Low German dialect. In addition to this, there were another 2,000 mostly Kriol and Mestizo Belizeans who had converted to Mennonitism.

The Friesian and Flemish ancestors of the vast majority of Belizean Mennonites settled in the Vistula delta, starting in the middle of the 16th century and migrated to southern Russia between 1789 and the early 1800s, settling the Chortitza and Molotschna Mennonite colonies. During the years in Russia they became an ethnoreligious group.

In the years after 1873, some 11,000 of them left the Russian Empire and settled in Manitoba, Canada and an equal number went to the US. The more conservative ones left Canada between 1922 and 1925 and settled in Mexico. In the years after 1958, some 1,700 Mennonites from the Mexican settlements moved to what was then British Honduras.

The Russian Mennonites speak Plautdietsch in everyday life among themselves. There are also some hundred Pennsylvania German-speaking Old Order Mennonites who came from the USA and Canada in the late 1960s and settle now in Upper Barton Creek and daughter settlements.

Mennonites from El Salvador moved to Belize during their civil war.[7]

Methodist Church RecordsEdit

Writing for RecordsEdit


Nazarene Church RecordsEdit

Writing for RecordsEdit

Orthodox Church RecordsEdit

Writing for RecordsEdit


St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church
George Price Highway
Ontario Village, Cayo, Belize

Telepnone: +501 669-3108
E-mail: fremmanuel@hotmail.com


St. Michael the Archangel Orthodox Monastery
16 Maxi Street
Santa Elena, Cayo District
Belize

Phone:+501 824-2382


Historical BackgroundEdit

The Orthodox Church in Belize was established in the year 1993 by Rev. Father Daniel J. Gorham and Rev. Father Joseph T. Magnin.

Pentecostal Church RecordsEdit

Writing for RecordsEdit

Seventh-day Adventist Church RecordsEdit

Writing for RecordsEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. Wikipedia contributors, "Belize", in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Belize, accessed 14 March 2020.
  2. Wikipedia contributors, "Religion in Belize", in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion_in_Belize, accessed 14 March 2020.
  3. Wikipedia contributors, "Anglican Diocese of Belize", in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anglican_Diocese_of_Belize, accessed 20 March 2020.
  4. Wikipedia contributors, "Religion in Belize", in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion_in_Belize, accessed 14 March 2020.
  5. Wikipedia contributors, "Catholic Church in Belize", in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catholic_Church__in_Belize, accessed 14 March 2020.
  6. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, "Facts and Statistics: Belize, https://newsroom.churchofjesuschrist.org/facts-and-statistics/country/Belize, accessed 20 March 2020.
  7. Wikipedia contributors, "Mennonites in Belize", in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mennonites_in_Belize, accessed 20 March 2020.