Difference between revisions of "Oaxaca, Mexico Genealogy"

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Guide to '''State of Oaxaca ancestry, family history and genealogy:''' birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, parish registers, and military records.
 
 
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Guide to '''State of Oaxaca ancestry, family history and genealogy:''' birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, parish registers, and military records.
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|<div id="fsButtons"><span class="online_records_button">[[Mexico Online Genealogy Records]]</span>
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{{Click|File:MexicoOGR.png|Mexico Online Genealogy Records}} [[File:Ask the Community Button New Version.jpg|link=FamilySearch Genealogy Research Groups on Facebook]]
 
 
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'''Most of your genealogical research for Oaxaca will be in two main record types: civil registration and church records. This article will teach you methods for locating and searching these two record groups.'''
 
'''Most of your genealogical research for Oaxaca will be in two main record types: civil registration and church records. This article will teach you methods for locating and searching these two record groups.'''
 
<br>
 
<br>
 +
==History==
 +
The first Aztecs arrived to the Oaxaca area in 1250, but the true expansion into the region began in the 15th century and the Aztec rule in Oaxaca would last only a little more than thirty years.The Aztecs were stopped by the Spanish Conquest who arrived shortly after the fall of Tenochtitlan (Mexico City).
 +
Spanish conquest and subsequent colonization had a devastating effect on the native population, due to European diseases and forced labor. In some areas the native population nearly or completely disappeared.<br>
 +
Most politics and social issues were strictly on the local level. Despite Spanish domination, the indigenous peoples of Oaxaca have maintained much of their culture and identity, more so than most other places in Mexico.
 +
During the 19th century, Oaxaca and the rest of Mexico was split between liberal and conservative factions the political and military struggles between the factions resulted in wars and intrigues.<br>
 +
After the Mexican Revolution broke out, the rest of the war was among the various factions that had power in different parts of the country. The most important force in the area was the Liberation Army of the South. This army would ally and fight against the previous leaders, and they held various portions of the state until 1920. At the end of the Revolution, a new state constitution was written and accepted in 1922.<br>
 +
[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oaxaca]
 +
==How to Find the Town of Origin in Mexico==
 +
To search the records effectively, you need to know the town in Mexico where your ancestor lived.  For a checklist of sources to search for that information, use [[Mexico Locating Place of Origin|'''Mexico Locating Place of Origin.''']]<br><br>
 +
Also, see these two online classes:
 +
*[https://www.familysearch.org/help/helpcenter/lessons/u-s-hispanic-immigrants-finding-their-place-of-origin '''U.S. Hispanic Immigrants: Finding their Place of Origin''']
 +
*[https://www.familysearch.org/help/helpcenter/lessons/u-s-hispanic-immigration '''U.S. Hispanic Immigration''']
 +
 +
 
==Civil Registration==
 
==Civil Registration==
 
*Civil registration records are government records covering birth, marriage, and death. They are an excellent source of names, dates, places, and relationships. <br>
 
*Civil registration records are government records covering birth, marriage, and death. They are an excellent source of names, dates, places, and relationships. <br>
Line 24: Line 39:
 
*Civil authorities began registering births, marriages, and deaths in 1859, and most individuals who lived in Mexico after 1867 are recorded. Because the records cover such a large percentage of the population, they are extremely important sources for genealogical research in Mexico.  Initially, the Mexican populace, accustomed to registering its vital events with the local parish church, opposed the register. It was not until the republic was restored in 1867 that civil registration was vigorously enforced.<br>
 
*Civil authorities began registering births, marriages, and deaths in 1859, and most individuals who lived in Mexico after 1867 are recorded. Because the records cover such a large percentage of the population, they are extremely important sources for genealogical research in Mexico.  Initially, the Mexican populace, accustomed to registering its vital events with the local parish church, opposed the register. It was not until the republic was restored in 1867 that civil registration was vigorously enforced.<br>
  
 +
===Find the Municipality for Your Town===
 
*You will need to know the '''town where your family lived''' and to which '''municipio''' the town belonged. This [http://cdigital.dgb.uanl.mx/la/1080011597_C/1080011597_C.html '''gazetteer'''] will help you find the municipio level for your town.
 
*You will need to know the '''town where your family lived''' and to which '''municipio''' the town belonged. This [http://cdigital.dgb.uanl.mx/la/1080011597_C/1080011597_C.html '''gazetteer'''] will help you find the municipio level for your town.
 
 
=== 1. Online Digital Records for Civil Registration ===  
 
=== 1. Online Digital Records for Civil Registration ===  
 
For many localities, digital copies of civil registration can be searched online:
 
For many localities, digital copies of civil registration can be searched online:
  
*'''1861-2002''' - {{RecordSearch|1923401|Mexico, Mexico, Oaxaca and Oaxaca, Civil Registration, 1861-2002|access=browse}} at [http://familysearch.org/search FamilySearch Historical Records] - free, '''browseable images only''', not complete for all localities.
+
*'''1861-2002''' - {{RecordSearch|1923401|Mexico, Oaxaca, Civil Registration, 1861-2002}} at [https://familysearch.org/search FamilySearch] — index and images
 +
*'''1861-2002''' - {{RecordSearch|1923401|Mexico, Mexico, Oaxaca and Oaxaca, Civil Registration, 1861-2002|access=browse}} at [http://familysearch.org/search FamilySearch Historical Records] - free, '''browsable images only''', not complete for all localities.
 +
*'''1861-1930''' - [https://search.ancestry.mx/search/db.aspx?dbid=60413 Oaxaca, Mexico, Civil Registry, Births, 1861-1930], at Ancestry.com, index and images, ($).
 +
*'''1861-1950''' - [https://search.ancestry.mx/search/db.aspx?dbid=60449 Oaxaca, Mexico, Civil Registry, Marriages, 1861-1950], at Ancestry.com, index and images, ($).
 +
*'''1861-1987''' - [https://search.ancestry.mx/search/db.aspx?dbid=60478 Oaxaca, Mexico, Civil Registry, Deaths, 1861-1987], at Ancestry.com, index and images, ($).
 +
 
 +
 
 +
====Ancestry.com/mx====
 +
*[https://search.ancestry.mx/search/group/mexicocivilbirth Civil records of birth of Mexico, 1859-varies], index and mages, ($)
 +
*[https://search.ancestry.mx/search/group/mexicocivilmarriage Civil marriage records of Mexico, 1859-varies], index and images, ($)
 +
*[https://search.ancestry.mx/search/group/mexicocivildeaths Civil death records of Mexico, 1859-varies], index and images, ($)
 +
 
 +
<br>
 
'''"Nascimientos"''' are births. '''Matrimonios''' are marriages. ''' "Defunciones"''' are deaths.
 
'''"Nascimientos"''' are births. '''Matrimonios''' are marriages. ''' "Defunciones"''' are deaths.
  
=== 2. Microfilm Copies of Civil Registration Records Searched at a Family History Center ===
+
=== 2. Microfilm Copies of Civil Registration Records in the FamilySearch Catalog ===
If the locality and time period you need are not included in the online records, the next step is to find them in the microfilm collection of the Family History Library. These microfilms may be viewed at [https://familysearch.org/locations/ Family History Centers] around the world. To find a microfilm:
+
If the locality and time period you need are not included in the online records, the next step is to find them in the microfilm collection of the Family History Library. Currently, they are being digitized, and plans are to complete that project by 2020. Check back occasionally to see if your records have become available. In the meantime, some of them might be available at a [https://www.familysearch.org/help/fhcenters/locations/ '''Family History Center'''] near you. <br>
 +
To find a microfilm:
  
 
:::a. Click on this link to see a list of [https://familysearch.org/search/catalog/results?count=20&placeId=178911&query=%2Bplace%3A%22Mexico%2C%20Oaxaca%22 '''records for Mexico, Oaxaca'''].
 
:::a. Click on this link to see a list of [https://familysearch.org/search/catalog/results?count=20&placeId=178911&query=%2Bplace%3A%22Mexico%2C%20Oaxaca%22 '''records for Mexico, Oaxaca'''].
Line 40: Line 68:
 
:::d. Click on '''"Civil Registration"''' topic. Click on the blue links to specific record titles.
 
:::d. Click on '''"Civil Registration"''' topic. Click on the blue links to specific record titles.
 
:::e. Choose the correct '''event and time period''' for your ancestor.   
 
:::e. Choose the correct '''event and time period''' for your ancestor.   
:::f. Some combination of these icons will appear at the far right of the microfilm listed for the record. [[File:FHL icons.png|100px]].  The magnifying glass indicates that the microfilm 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 microfilm. Clicking on the microfilm reel will lead to information on how to rent the film. Family history center staff will assist you in ordering the film.
+
:::f. Some combination of these icons will appear at the far right of the microfilm listed for the record. [[File:FHL icons.png|100px]].  The magnifying glass indicates that the microfilm 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 microfilm.  
  
 
===3. Writing for  Civil Registration Certificates===
 
===3. Writing for  Civil Registration Certificates===
If the records are not online, and you do not have ready access to the microfilms, civil registration records in Mexico can be obtained by writing to the local civil registry in the municipality.  This is particularly true for more recent records, which are covered by privacy laws.  Relatives are allowed to request recent records for genealogy purposes.  Civil officials will generally answer correspondence in Spanish. Your request may be forwarded if the records have been sent to state archives. '''''This method is not always reliable. Officials might or might not respond.''''' <br>
+
If the records are not online, and you do not have ready access to the microfilms, civil registration records in Mexico can be obtained by writing to the local civil registry in the municipality.  This is particularly true for more recent records, which are covered by privacy laws.  Relatives are allowed to request recent records for genealogy purposes.  Civil officials will generally answer correspondence in Spanish. Your request may be forwarded if the records have been sent to state archives. '''''This method is not always reliable. Officials might or might not respond.''''' <br><br>
Write a brief request in Spanish to the proper office using this address as a guide, replacing the information in parentheses:<br>
+
 
 +
*Each state now has a central civil registration office to which you can write for information. The address of the state civil registration office for the Oaxaca is:
 +
 
 +
Dirección General del Registro Civil del Estado de Oaxaca<br>García Vigil No 602, Col Centro<br>Oaxaca, Oaxaca CP 68000<br>Tel (951) 517-3911<br>
 +
<br> <br>
 +
*[http://www.oaxaca.gob.mx Civil Registration online] This site is in Spanish. Use a translation service such as [http://translate.google.com/ Google Translate] or open the site in a browser such as [http://google.com/chrome Google Chrome] to translate the page.
 +
<br>
 +
<br>
 +
*You can also write to the local town registrar. Write a brief request in Spanish to the proper office using this address as a guide, replacing the information in parentheses:<br>
  
 
:'''Oficino del Registro Civil'''  
 
:'''Oficino del Registro Civil'''  
Line 54: Line 90:
 
Send the following:
 
Send the following:
  
*Money for the search fee, usually $10.00, and an international reply coupon (IRC)
+
*Money for the search fee, usually $10.00
 
*Full name and the sex of the ancestor sought
 
*Full name and the sex of the ancestor sought
 
*Names of the ancestor’s parents, if known
 
*Names of the ancestor’s parents, if known
Line 76: Line 112:
 
*'''1559-1988''' - {{RecordSearch|1909191|Mexico, Oaxaca and Oaxaca, Catholic Church Records, 1559-1988}} at [http://familysearch.org/search FamilySearch Historical Records], index, not complete.
 
*'''1559-1988''' - {{RecordSearch|1909191|Mexico, Oaxaca and Oaxaca, Catholic Church Records, 1559-1988}} at [http://familysearch.org/search FamilySearch Historical Records], index, not complete.
 
Also at [http://search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=60028 Ancestry.com], images, incomplete, ($) <br>
 
Also at [http://search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=60028 Ancestry.com], images, incomplete, ($) <br>
 +
*'''1560-1950''' - [https://search.ancestry.mx/search/db.aspx?dbid=9297 Mexico, partial list of baptism records, 1560-1950], index, incomplete, ($).
 +
*'''1556-1989''' - [https://search.ancestry.mx/search/db.aspx?dbid=9299 Mexico, partial list of marriage records, 1556-1989], index, incomplete, ($).
 +
*'''1680-1940''' - [https://search.ancestry.mx/search/db.aspx?dbid=9298 Mexico, partial list of death records, 1680-1940], index, incomplete, ($).
 +
*'''1560-1950''' - {{RecordSearch|1473011|Mexico Baptisms, 1560-1950}}, index, incomplete.
 +
*'''1680-1940''' - {{RecordSearch|1473013|Mexico Deaths, 1680-1940}}, index, incomplete.
 +
*'''1570-1950''' - {{RecordSearch|1473012|Mexico Marriages, 1570-1950}}, index, incomplete.
 +
 
'''Bautismos''' are infant baptisms, which are used for birth information. '''Información matrimonial''' are documents collected in preparation for a marriage. '''Matrimônios'''' are marriages. '''Defunciones''' are deaths.  '''Entierros''' are burials'". Índice''' is the index.
 
'''Bautismos''' are infant baptisms, which are used for birth information. '''Información matrimonial''' are documents collected in preparation for a marriage. '''Matrimônios'''' are marriages. '''Defunciones''' are deaths.  '''Entierros''' are burials'". Índice''' is the index.
  
=== 2.  Microfilm Copies of Church Records Searched at a Family History Center ===
+
=== 2.  Microfilm Copies of Church Records in the FamilySearch Catalog ===
If the locality and time period you need are not included in the online records, the next step is to find them in the microfilm collection of the Family History Library. These microfilms may be viewed at [https://familysearch.org/locations/ Family History Centers] around the world. To find a microfilm:
+
If the locality and time period you need are not included in the online records, the next step is to find them in the microfilm collection of the Family History Library. Currently, they are being digitized, and plans are to complete that project by 2020. Check back occasionally to see if your records have become available. In the meantime, some of them might be available at a [https://www.familysearch.org/help/fhcenters/locations/ '''Family History Center'''] near you. <br>
 +
To find a microfilm:
  
 
:::a. Click on this link to see a list of [https://familysearch.org/search/catalog/results?count=20&placeId=178911&query=%2Bplace%3A%22Mexico%2C%20Oaxaca%22 '''records for Mexico, Oaxaca'''].
 
:::a. Click on this link to see a list of [https://familysearch.org/search/catalog/results?count=20&placeId=178911&query=%2Bplace%3A%22Mexico%2C%20Oaxaca%22 '''records for Mexico, Oaxaca'''].
Line 86: Line 130:
 
:::d. Click on '''"Church Records"''' topic. Click on the blue links to specific record titles.
 
:::d. Click on '''"Church Records"''' topic. Click on the blue links to specific record titles.
 
:::e. Choose the correct '''event and time period''' for your ancestor.  
 
:::e. Choose the correct '''event and time period''' for your ancestor.  
:::f. Some combination of these icons will appear at the far right of the microfilm listed for the record. [[File:FHL icons.png|100px]].  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 microfilm.  Clicking on the microfilm reel will lead to information on how to rent the film. Family history center staff will assist you in ordering the film.
+
:::f. Some combination of these icons will appear at the far right of the microfilm listed for the record. [[File:FHL icons.png|100px]].  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 microfilm.   
  
 
=== 3. Writing to a Catholic Priest for Church Records ===
 
=== 3. Writing to a Catholic Priest for Church Records ===
 +
*[http://www.thecatholicdirectory.com/directory.cfm?fuseaction=show_country&country=MX '''The Catholic Directory''']
 +
 +
*[http://parroquiasdemexico.com/ '''Dondehaymisa.com'''], select the state from the drop-down menu "Estado".
 +
<br>
 
Baptism, marriage, and death records may be searched by contacting or visiting local parish or diocese archives in Mexico. Mexico has no single repository of church records. Write your request in Spanish whenever possible. '''''This method is not always reliable. Officials might or might not respond.'''''  
 
Baptism, marriage, and death records may be searched by contacting or visiting local parish or diocese archives in Mexico. Mexico has no single repository of church records. Write your request in Spanish whenever possible. '''''This method is not always reliable. Officials might or might not respond.'''''  
  
Line 103: Line 151:
 
When requesting information, send the following:<br>  
 
When requesting information, send the following:<br>  
  
*Money for the search fee, usually $10.00, and an international reply coupon (IRC)
+
*Money for the search fee, usually $10.00  
 
*Full name and the sex of the ancestor sought  
 
*Full name and the sex of the ancestor sought  
 
*Names of the ancestor’s parents, if known  
 
*Names of the ancestor’s parents, if known  
Line 111: Line 159:
 
*Request for a photocopy of the complete original record
 
*Request for a photocopy of the complete original record
 
<br>
 
<br>
'''Write your request in Spanish whenever possible. For writing your letter in Spanish, use the translated questions and phrases in this [https://familysearch.org/wiki/en/images/a/aa/LWGSpanish.pdf Spanish Letter-writing Guide.]]'''
+
'''Write your request in Spanish whenever possible. For writing your letter in Spanish, use the translated questions and phrases in this [https://familysearch.org/wiki/en/images/a/aa/LWGSpanish.pdf Spanish Letter-writing Guide.]'''
 
<br>
 
<br>
  
 
==Reading the Records==
 
==Reading the Records==
  
*You do not have to be fluent in Spanish to read your documents. Genealogical records usually contain a limited vocabulary. Use this [[Spanish Genealogical Word List|Spanish Genealogical Word List]] to translate the important points in the document.  Handwriting skills are taught in [https://script.byu.edu/Pages/Spanish/en/welcome.aspx BYU Spanish Script Tutorial].
+
*You do not have to be fluent in Spanish to read your documents. Genealogical records usually contain a limited vocabulary. Use this [[Spanish Genealogical Word List|'''Spanish Genealogical Word List''']] to translate the important points in the document.  Handwriting skills are taught in [https://script.byu.edu/Pages/the-spanish-documents-pages/the-spanish-documents(english) '''Reading Spanish Handwriting'''].
 
+
<br>
*Online interactive slideshow lessons are available to help you learn to read these records:  
+
*Detailed instructions for reading Spanish church records, examples of common documents, and practice exercises for developing skills in translating them can be found in the [[Spanish Records Extraction Manual|'''Spanish Records Extraction Manual.''']]
 +
<br>
 +
These guides are also helpful:
 +
*[[Mexico How to Guides|"How to" Guides]]:  
 +
**Inserting Special Characters
 +
**Catholic Church Records
 +
**Reading Spanish Handwritten Records
 +
**Reading Baptism Records
 +
**Reading Marriage Records
 +
**Reading Death Records
  
:*[https://familysearch.org/learningcenter/lesson/reading-spanish-handwritten-records-lesson-1-the-spanish-alphabet/217 Reading Spanish Handwritten Records, Lesson 1]
 
:*[https://familysearch.org/learningcenter/lesson/reading-spanish-handwritten-records-lesson-2-words-and-dates/218 Reading Spanish Handwritten Records, Lesson 2]
 
:*[https://familysearch.org/learningcenter/lesson/reading-spanish-handwritten-records-lesson-3-reading-spanish-records/220 Reading Spanish Handwritten Records, Lesson 3]
 
<br>
 
  
Detailed instructions for reading Spanish records, examples of common documents, and practice exercises for developing skills in translating them can be found in the [[Spanish Records Extraction Manual|'''Spanish Records Extraction Manual.''']]
 
<br>
 
  
  
Line 148: Line 199:
 
*If earlier generations (parents, grandparents, etc.) do not appear in the records, search neighboring parishes.  
 
*If earlier generations (parents, grandparents, etc.) do not appear in the records, search neighboring parishes.  
  
{{H-langs|es=Oaxaca, México - Genealogía|en=Oaxaca, Mexico Genealogy}}
+
[[es:Oaxaca, México - Genealogía]]
 
[[Category:States of Mexico]]
 
[[Category:States of Mexico]]
 
[[Category:Oaxaca, Mexico]]
 
[[Category:Oaxaca, Mexico]]

Latest revision as of 21:44, 17 February 2021

Oaxaca Wiki Topics
Beginning Research
Record Types
Oaxaca Background
Local Research Resources
Mapa Oaxaca

Guide to State of Oaxaca ancestry, family history and genealogy: birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, parish registers, and military records.

Ask the
Community


Most of your genealogical research for Oaxaca will be in two main record types: civil registration and church records. This article will teach you methods for locating and searching these two record groups.

History[edit | edit source]

The first Aztecs arrived to the Oaxaca area in 1250, but the true expansion into the region began in the 15th century and the Aztec rule in Oaxaca would last only a little more than thirty years.The Aztecs were stopped by the Spanish Conquest who arrived shortly after the fall of Tenochtitlan (Mexico City). Spanish conquest and subsequent colonization had a devastating effect on the native population, due to European diseases and forced labor. In some areas the native population nearly or completely disappeared.
Most politics and social issues were strictly on the local level. Despite Spanish domination, the indigenous peoples of Oaxaca have maintained much of their culture and identity, more so than most other places in Mexico. During the 19th century, Oaxaca and the rest of Mexico was split between liberal and conservative factions the political and military struggles between the factions resulted in wars and intrigues.
After the Mexican Revolution broke out, the rest of the war was among the various factions that had power in different parts of the country. The most important force in the area was the Liberation Army of the South. This army would ally and fight against the previous leaders, and they held various portions of the state until 1920. At the end of the Revolution, a new state constitution was written and accepted in 1922.
[1]

How to Find the Town of Origin in Mexico[edit | edit source]

To search the records effectively, you need to know the town in Mexico where your ancestor lived. For a checklist of sources to search for that information, use Mexico Locating Place of Origin.

Also, see these two online classes:


Civil Registration[edit | edit source]

  • Civil registration records are government records covering birth, marriage, and death. They are an excellent source of names, dates, places, and relationships.
  • Civil authorities began registering births, marriages, and deaths in 1859, and most individuals who lived in Mexico after 1867 are recorded. Because the records cover such a large percentage of the population, they are extremely important sources for genealogical research in Mexico. Initially, the Mexican populace, accustomed to registering its vital events with the local parish church, opposed the register. It was not until the republic was restored in 1867 that civil registration was vigorously enforced.

Find the Municipality for Your Town[edit | edit source]

  • You will need to know the town where your family lived and to which municipio the town belonged. This gazetteer will help you find the municipio level for your town.

1. Online Digital Records for Civil Registration[edit | edit source]

For many localities, digital copies of civil registration can be searched online:


Ancestry.com/mx[edit | edit source]


"Nascimientos" are births. Matrimonios are marriages. "Defunciones" are deaths.

2. Microfilm Copies of Civil Registration Records in the FamilySearch Catalog[edit | edit source]

If the locality and time period you need are not included in the online records, the next step is to find them in the microfilm collection of the Family History Library. Currently, they are being digitized, and plans are to complete that project by 2020. Check back occasionally to see if your records have become available. In the meantime, some of them might be available at a Family History Center near you.
To find a microfilm:

a. Click on this link to see a list of records for Mexico, Oaxaca.
b. Click on "Places within Mexico, Oaxaca" and a list of towns and cities will open.
c. Click on the town or city you wish to search.
d. Click on "Civil Registration" topic. Click on the blue links to specific record titles.
e. Choose the correct event and time period for your ancestor.
f. Some combination of these icons will appear at the far right of the microfilm listed for the record. FHL icons.png. The magnifying glass indicates that the microfilm 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 microfilm.

3. Writing for Civil Registration Certificates[edit | edit source]

If the records are not online, and you do not have ready access to the microfilms, civil registration records in Mexico can be obtained by writing to the local civil registry in the municipality. This is particularly true for more recent records, which are covered by privacy laws. Relatives are allowed to request recent records for genealogy purposes. Civil officials will generally answer correspondence in Spanish. Your request may be forwarded if the records have been sent to state archives. This method is not always reliable. Officials might or might not respond.

  • Each state now has a central civil registration office to which you can write for information. The address of the state civil registration office for the Oaxaca is:

Dirección General del Registro Civil del Estado de Oaxaca
García Vigil No 602, Col Centro
Oaxaca, Oaxaca CP 68000
Tel (951) 517-3911




  • You can also write to the local town registrar. Write a brief request in Spanish to the proper office using this address as a guide, replacing the information in parentheses:
Oficino del Registro Civil
(postal code), (city), Oaxaca
Mexico

Send the following:

  • Money for the search fee, usually $10.00
  • Full name and the sex of the ancestor sought
  • Names of the ancestor’s parents, if known
  • Approximate date and place of the event
  • Your relationship to the ancestor
  • Reason for the request (family history, medical, and so on)
  • Request for a photocopy of the complete original record


Write your request in Spanish whenever possible. For writing your letter in Spanish, use the translated questions and phrases in this Spanish Letter-writing Guide.

Church Records[edit | edit source]

Although civil registration records are an important source for genealogical research in Mexico, many births, marriages, and deaths were never recorded by civil authorities; therefore, you must use church records to supplement this genealogical source.

The vast majority of Mexicans were Catholic and were registered in entries for baptisms, marriages, deaths, and burials in the local church records. Often two and sometimes three generations are indicated in the registers, with personal information on the family. Church records are the main source prior to 1850, when civil registration began. After this date one should search in both church and civil records, since there may be information in one record that does not appear in the other. For instance, the church records may only list the godparents, while the civil records may list the grandparents.

1. Online Digital Records for Church Records[edit | edit source]

For some localities, digital copies of Catholic church records can be searched online:

Also at Ancestry.com, images, incomplete, ($)

Bautismos are infant baptisms, which are used for birth information. Información matrimonial are documents collected in preparation for a marriage. Matrimônios' are marriages. Defunciones are deaths. Entierros are burials'". Índice is the index.

2. Microfilm Copies of Church Records in the FamilySearch Catalog[edit | edit source]

If the locality and time period you need are not included in the online records, the next step is to find them in the microfilm collection of the Family History Library. Currently, they are being digitized, and plans are to complete that project by 2020. Check back occasionally to see if your records have become available. In the meantime, some of them might be available at a Family History Center near you.
To find a microfilm:

a. Click on this link to see a list of records for Mexico, Oaxaca.
b. Click on "Places within Mexico, Oaxaca" and a list of towns and cities will open.
c. Click on the town or city you wish to search.
d. Click on "Church Records" topic. Click on the blue links to specific record titles.
e. Choose the correct event and time period for your ancestor.
f. Some combination of these icons will appear at the far right of the microfilm listed for the record. FHL icons.png. 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 microfilm.

3. Writing to a Catholic Priest for Church Records[edit | edit source]


Baptism, marriage, and death records may be searched by contacting or visiting local parish or diocese archives in Mexico. Mexico has no single repository of church records. Write your request in Spanish whenever possible. This method is not always reliable. Officials might or might not respond.

Write a brief request in Spanish to the proper church using this address as guide replacing the information in parentheses:

Reverendo Padre
Parroquia de (name of parish)
(postal code), (city), Oaxaca
Mexico


When requesting information, send the following:

  • Money for the search fee, usually $10.00
  • Full name and the sex of the ancestor sought
  • Names of the ancestor’s parents, if known
  • Approximate date and place of the event
  • Your relationship to the ancestor
  • Reason for the request (family history, medical, and so on)
  • Request for a photocopy of the complete original record


Write your request in Spanish whenever possible. For writing your letter in Spanish, use the translated questions and phrases in this Spanish Letter-writing Guide.

Reading the Records[edit | edit source]


  • Detailed instructions for reading Spanish church records, examples of common documents, and practice exercises for developing skills in translating them can be found in the Spanish Records Extraction Manual.


These guides are also helpful:

  • "How to" Guides:
    • Inserting Special Characters
    • Catholic Church Records
    • Reading Spanish Handwritten Records
    • Reading Baptism Records
    • Reading Marriage Records
    • Reading Death Records



Tips for finding your ancestor in the records[edit | edit source]

  • Births were usually reported within a few days of the birth by the father of the child, a neighbor, or the midwife. A search for a birth record should begin with the known date of birth and then searching forward in time, day by day, until the record is found. It might be found within a few days of the actual birth date, but in some instances, it might be weeks or months later. Birth, marriage, and death records are often indexed by given name or surname.


  • The Catholic Church continued keeping records after the creation of the civil registration in 1859. Therefore two types of records are available for the marriages. Be sure to search both records. With the separation of church and state in Mexico, formalized by the 1917 constitution, civil authorities determined that for couples to be legally married they had to be married by the state. Because of the close affinity of the Catholic Church and the state authorities, this rule was not always followed, and church weddings were accepted by the state. Normally, however, couples were married by civil authorities prior to a church wedding. On rare occasions they were married civilly after a church wedding.


  • Some municipios are small and therefore only have one civil registration office, but there are other larger municipios that have several sub civil registration offices that report to the main municipio office.


  • Death records can be particularly helpful for people who may not have had a civil birth or marriage record but died during the period when civil registration had begun.



Search Strategy[edit | edit source]

  • Search for the relative or ancestor you selected. When you find his birth record, search for the births of his brothers and sisters.
  • Next, search for the marriage of his parents. The marriage record will have information that will often help you find the birth records of the parents.
  • You can estimate the ages of the parents and determine a birth year to search for their birth records.
  • Search the death registers for all known family members.
  • Repeat this process for both the father and the mother, starting with their birth records, then their siblings' births, then their parents' marriages, and so on.
  • If earlier generations (parents, grandparents, etc.) do not appear in the records, search neighboring parishes.