Types of Parish Records: Marriages

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Marriage Records

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 generally refers 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.

Libros de Matrimonios or Marriage Entries

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 a different order. See the example below.

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

Sample Marriage Record


     Phrases:
  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
Line
Margin

Transcription

Line
Margin
Translation
1.
Partida 506
 
1.
Record 506
 
2.
Nacional
Mes de Julio de 1876
2.
National
Month of July of 1876
3.
Manuel
En esta Villa del Diamante parroquia de San Cipriano
3.
Manuel
In this town of El Diamante parish of San Cipriano
4.
Valerio Ta
á los tres días del mes de Julio del año mil ochocientos
4.
Valerio Ta
on the third day of the month of July of the year of eighteen hundred and 
5.
borda y
setenta y seis habiendose practicado las diligencias ne
5.
borda and
seventy six having been practiced the necessary
6.
Josefa
cesarias segun derecho para el matrimonio que pre
6.
Josefa
preparations according to the law for the marriage that was
7.
Fernan
tendia contraer Don Manuel Valerio Taborda na
7.
Fernan
intended between Don Manuel Valerio Taborda native 
8.
dez
tural y vecino de este departamento é hijo legitimo
8.
dez
and resident of this department and legitimate son 
9.
Fabrica
de Don Calistro Taborda y de Doña Rosario Alba,
9.
Fabrica
of Don Calistro Taborda and of Doña Rosario Alba, 
10.
1 $
soltero  de veinte años de edad, blanco de color, labrador; con
10.
1 $
single of twenty years of age, of white complexion, farmer; with 
 11. 
 
Doña Josefa Fernandez natural y vecina de este departa
11.
 
Doña Josefa Fernandez native and resident of this department 
12.
 
mento é hija legitima de Don José Maria Fernandez y 
12.
 
and legitimate daughter of Don José María Fernandez and 
13.
 
de Doña Melchora Pacheco soltera de diez y ocho años
13.
 
of Doña Melchora Pacheco single of eighteen years 
14.
 
de edad, blanca de color, costurera; despues de leidas
14.
 
of age, of white complexion, seamstress; after having read 
 15.
 
las tres consiliares proclamas, y no habiendo resulta
15.
 
the three banns, and not having
 16. 
 
do impedimento alguno y estando habiles en doctri
16.
 
resulted any impediments and being able in the Christian
 17.
 
na cristiana y sacramentalmente confesados, yo el
17.
 
doctrine and having received the sacrament of confession,
18.
 
infrascrito cura y vicario provisorio de esta parroquia
18.
 
I the undersigned provisional priest and vicar of this parish
19.
 
desposé por palabras de presente á los rederidos contrayen
19.
 
 marries, with words in the present tense, the referred parties
20.
 
tes Don Manuel Valerio Taborda y Doña Josefa
20.
 
Don Manuel Valerio Taborda and Doña Josefa
21.
 
Fernandez oidos sus mutuos consentimientos de que
21.
 
Fernandez having heard their mutual consent, which 
22.
 
fueron testigos Don Tomas Villa y Doña Toma
22.
 
was witnessed by Don Tomas Villa and Doña Toma
23.
 
sa Castillo. Y por ser verdad lo firmo.
23.
 
 sa Castillo.  And being true, I sign it.
24.
 
Pedro Anglada
24.
 
Pedro Anglada

 

 

Additional Samples ​​​​

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