Quiché Department, Guatemala Genealogy

Guide to Department of Quiché ancestry, family history and genealogy: birth records, marriage records, death records, church records, parish registers, and civil registration.

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History

  • During the ten years after the fall of Zaculeu, the Spaniards tried to invade the Sierra de los Cuchumatanes to conquer the towns of the Chuj and Q'anjob'al peoples and to look for gold, silver and other riches; however, the remoteness and difficulty of the terrain prevented its conquest from being successful until it was finally completed in 1530.
  • The Department of Quiché was created on August 12, 1872.
  • During the 1980s a civil war centered on the Department of Quiché was carried out, killing thousands of people and destroying thousands of villages and hamlets.
  • The Department of Quiché has a population of approximately 656,000 people. [1]

Municipalities

IxcánChajulNebajCunénSan Juan CotzalUspantánChicamánSan Andrés SajcabajáSan Bartolomé JocotenangoSacapulasSan Pedro JocopilasCanilláChiniqueChichéSanta Cruz del QuichéSan Antonio IlotenangoPatzitéChichicastenango (Santo Tomás Chichicastenango)ZacualpaJoyabajPachalumGuatemala Quiché Department Map.png

Record Loss

In the 1970s and 1980s, there was an insurgency in the northern part of Guatemala, including this department. Since many of the insurgents were from Guatemala, they knew of record sources such as Government facilities and churches. So to keep the Government forces and policing agencies from finding out who they were, they burned various records in various places.

The end result is they burned many original vital records at their sources. Some had been filmed and many of those films are now available through the Family History Library, others were taken to other departments, in the case of Quiche some of the church records were taken to Quetzaltenango at times before the insurgents destroyed the rest. Some records that were saved were also those that are now in the National Archives in Guatemala City.

Civil Registration and Church Records

Most of the research you will do will be in these two records.


Additional online records may be listed in the Family History Library Catalog for places within Guatemala, Quiché.

Reading the Records

  • Online Learning Center class on reading Spanish handwriting:




Building a Family Record with a Search Strategy

Many articles on strategy are available on the Wiki, but here is a simple set of steps to guide you

  • Search for the relative or ancestor you selected. When you find his birth/baptism/christening record, then 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, and even the names of their 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.

References

  1. Wikipedia Collaborators, "Quiché (Guatemala)," In Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia, https://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quich%C3%A9_(Guatemala). Visited 1 August 2017.