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The process of marrying in Hispanic societies potentially generated several different records:

  • Pre-marriage investigation (información, diligencia, or expediente matrimonial)​
  • Parish marriage register entry (partida de matrimonio)
  • Marriage dispensation (dispensa matrimonial)
  • Church and civil court records relating to marital relations
  • Dowry inventories and pre-nuptial/post-nuptial contracts

The first two record types on the above list relate to the marriage performed by the parish priest. The third one refers to the application by a future bride and groom to the bishop, and subsequent investigation to waive an impediment to the proposed marriage. The fourth category refers generally to broken promises to marry—lawsuits and prosecutions relating to marital conflicts and annulments found in the diocesan and civil courts. The last items are contracts defining property contributions to and ultimate property distributions from the marriage, often not only involving the bride and groom, but their respective parents as well.


Marriage records for most Hispanic countries may include the following information, depending on the time period when they were created:

  • Date of the marriage
  • Given name and surnames of the bride and groom
  • Marital status of the bride and groom
  • Age of the bride and groom
  • Profession of the bride and groom
  • Given names, surnames, residence and birthplaces of the parents
  • Note regarding the reading of the banns
  • Note as to impediments dispensed with
  • Names of witnesses
  • Name or signature of the officiating priest

The information included in these records usually follows a specific order; however, it is not uncommon to find the same information in different order.



Use this exercise to learn about the vocabulary and the different portions that compose a typical christening record.
Click on the words of the record to see the meaning and usage of each word, descriptions of the document sections and the record's transcription.

(See also Spanish Records Extraction Guide - Chapter 2 : Section 2 - Marriage Entries​​.)

Sample Marriage Record

Partida 506 Nacional Manuel Valerio Taborda Taborda y Josefa Fernandez Fernandez Fabrica 1$ Mes de Julio de 1876 En esta Villa del Diamante parroquia de San Cipriano á los tres dias del mes de Julio del año mil ochocientos setenta y seis habiendose practicado las diligencias necesarias necesarias segun derecho para el matrimonio que pretendía pretendía contraer Don Manuel Valerio Taborda natural natural y vecino de este departamento e hijo legitimo de Don Calistro Taborda y de Doña Rosario Alba soltero de veinte años de edad de color labrador con Doña Josefa Fernandez natural y vecina de este departamento departamento e hija legitima de Don José Maria Fernandez y de Doña Melchora Pacheco soltera de diez y ocho años de edad blanca de color costurera despues de leidas las tres conciliares proclamas y no habiendo resultado resultado impedimento alguno y estando habiles en doctrina doctrina cristiana y sacramentalmente confesados yo el infrascrito cura y Vicario provisario de esta parroquia desposé por palabras de presente a los referidos contrayentes contrayentes Don Manuel Valerio Taborda y Doña Josefa Fernandez oidos sus mutuos consentimientos de que fueron testigos Don Tomas Villa y Doña Tomasa Tomasa Castillo Y por ser verdad lo firmo Pedro Anglada

  1. Marginal Notes
  2. Temporal Reference Phrase
  3. Place Phrase
  4. Record Date Phrase
  5. General Ceremony Phrase
  6. Groom: Identification Phrase - Name and Origin
  7. Groom: Parents Identification Phrase
  8. Groom: Additional Information
  9. Bride: Identification Phrase - Name and Origin
  10. Bride: Parents Identification Phrase
  11. Bride: Additional Information
  12. Banns Phrase
  13. Confession and Mass Phrase
  14. Priest Phrase
  15. Marriage and Veiling Phrase
  16. Witnesses Phrase
  17. Certification Phrase

Mes de Julio de 1876 En estaVilla del Diamante parroquia de San Cipriano á los tres días del mes de Julio del año mil ochocientos setenta y seis habiendose practicado las diligencias necesarias segun derecho para el matrimonio que pretendia contraer Don Manuel Valerio Taborda natural y vecino de este departamento é hijo legitimo de Don Calitro Taborda y de Doña Rosario Alba, soltero de veinte años de edad, blanco de color, labrador; con Doña Josefa Fernandez natural y vecina de este departamento é hija legitima de Don José María Fernandez y de Doña Melchora Pacheco soltera de diez y ocho años de edad, blanca de color, costurera; despues de leidas las tres consiliares proclamas, y no habiendo resultado impedimento alguno y estando habiles en doctrina cristiana y sacramentalmente confesados, yo el infrascrito cura y vicario provisorio de esta parroquia desposé por palabras de presente á los referidos contrayentes Don Manuel Valerio Taborda y Doña Josefa Fernandez oidos sus mutuos consentimientos de que fueron testigos Don Tomas Villa y Doña Tomasa Castillo. Y por ser verdad lo firmo.
                        Pedro Anglada
Record 506
Valerio Ta-
borda and 
Month of July of 1876
In this town of El Diamante parish of San Cipriano
on the third day of the month of July of the year of eighteen
hundred and seventy six having been practiced the necessary 
preparations according to the law for the marriage that was 
intended between Don Manuel Valerio Taborda native and 
resident of this department and legitimate son of Don Calitro
Taborda and of Doña Rosario Alba, single of twenty years 
of age, of white complexion, farmer; and Doña Josefa 
Fernandez native and resident of this department and legitimate 
daughter of Don José María Fernandez and of Doña Melchora 
Pacheco single of eighteen years of age, of white complexion, 
seamstress; after having read the three banns , and not having 
resulted any impediments and being able in the Christian 
doctrine and having received the sacrament of confession, 
I the undersigned provisional priest and vicar of this parish 
married, with words in the present tense, the referred parties 
Don Manuel Valerio Taborda and Doña Josefa Fernandez having 
heard their mutual consent, which was witnessed by Don Tomas 
Villa and Doña Tomasa Castillo. And being true, I sign it.
                        Pedro Anglada



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