When teaching Hispanic genealogy classes, I am often asked for advice about researching our ancestors in Spain. I immediately explain that I have yet to trace my Mexican lines back to Spain. I am still stuck in 18th century Mexico with my ancestors, slowly going through those unindexed church parish records. DNA tells me that at least some of my ancestors came from what is now the Iberian peninsula. But I have no idea how far back that jump across the Atlantic Ocean took place. I still have possibly another 200 hundred plus years of Mexican records to consult.
Legacy Tree Genealogists recently published a good introduction on their blog for researching your ancestry in Spain.
Spain has a rich heritage of record keeping dating back to 1307. Early records are often handwritten in a narrative style. Later records are usually written in a formatted style within a register. Records were kept in chronological order. Some writing is in Latin, but most is in their native Spanish language.1
Pointers addressed in this article include:
- How Spain’s records are organized
- Using Spanish civil registration records
- Using Spanish Catholic church records
- Clues to watch for in Spanish records
- Suzanne Earnshaw, “Legacy Tree Onsite: A Guide to Spanish Genealogy & Family History Resources,” Legacy Tree Genealogists, The Legacy Tree Genealogists Blog, n.d. (https://legacytree.com/blog/exploring-ethnicity-with-dna-part-i : accessed 24 July 2018. ↩
Interested in Hispanic genealogy and history?
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