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The death certificate (partida de defunción) contains the given name, both surnames, marital status, nationality, profession, and place of birth of the deceased. In addition, it frequently contains the date of birth. The names and surnames of the parents of the deceased are also given, and in some cases the cause of death, and the cemetery in which the deceased was buried. If the deceased was married it will give the name of the spouse, indicating whether the spouse is dead or alive, and the names of the children of the deceased, if any.
Deaths from the early years of civil registration should be searched with special care as they may give information about people born in the eighteenth century with greater detail than the parish records. Such records are especially important where parish records have been destroyed.
Before the invention of photocopies, when people requested a copy of a death record, the civil registration officials would provide a certificate or extract of the record. Death certificates could be a literal and complete transcription of the record or an extract of the same.
The Spanish terms used to refer to these are usually: acta de defunción, partida de defunción, certificado de defunción, and extracto de defunción. Sometimes, fallecimiento is used instead of defunción.
Partida de Fa=llesimiento nu=mero 1 ‡
En Tlaxcala á los dies dias del mes de Octubre demil ochosientos sesenta y siete ante mi el Juez del regis-tro de esta Capital, compareció el Ciuda[da]no Miguel Gal-ves, el que manifestó que en la Calle de Xicotencal Numero Falleció de raguitis su hija Maria Petra de tres meses ayerMiercoles cosa de media noche, aqu[e]lla fué hija lejítimadel que habla y de Maria Gregoria Muños ambos origina-rios y vesinos de esta Ciudad. Presentes los testigos Ciuda[da]n-os Mariano Glaves y Carpio Armas, ambos naturales yvesinos de esta Ciudad, el 1º viudo y abuelo de la finadade oficio alfarero y de sesenta y siete años de edad, y el 2º viudo de oficio Zapatero y de treinta y cuatro años deedad, manifestaron previa la protesta de decir verdad, ser ci[e]rto lo espuesto por el padre. El suscrito Juez lelló lapresente acta y despue[s] de leyda quedaron conformes el interesado y testigos: estendiendole la voleta para lara la inhuma-cion en el Senmenterio de la Yglecia de San Nicolas. José Maria Herrerias
Certificateof DeathNumber 1 ‡
In Tlaxcala on the tenth day of the month of October of eighteen sixty seven, before me, the Judge of the [Civil] Regist-er of this Capital, appeared the Citizen Miguel Gal-ves, who stated that on the Street of Xicotencal Number ...Passed away from rickets his daughter, Maria Petra, of three months [of age] yesterdayWednesday around midnight, who was the legitimate daughterof the declarant and of Maria Gregoria Muños ambos nativesand residents of this City. In the presence of the witnesses CitizensMariano Galves y Carpio Armas, both natives andresidents of this City, the 1st one widower and grandfather of the deceasedof occupation potter and of sixty-seven years of age, and the 2nd one widower of occupation shoemaker and of thirty-four years ofage, manifested, previous the promise of telling the truth, that the stated by the father was true. The undersigned Judge read the present certificate and after reading it the declarant and thewitnesses were satisfied, and the father of the deceased signed, not doing so the witnesses: issuing to him the paper [needed] for the burialin the cemetery of the Church of San Nicolas. José Maria Herrerias
For more examples of Death civil registration records click here.