Spain Marriage Information Files

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Marriage petitions (Expedientes matrimoniales)[edit | edit source]

Research use: Provides more complete documentation than parish registers on residence and parentage that helps to establish family groups and gives clues for searching in other records. Invaluable where parish registers have been destroyed.

Record type: Ecclesiastical administrative record.

General: It was standard procedure for prospective marriage partners to file a petition containing proof that they were of good standing in the Catholic Church and were qualified to be married. Some marriages needed a dispensation from the bishop, such as if the one or both parties were: related by blood or by adoption, non-catholic, or had taken a vow of chastity or celibacy.

Time period: 1451-present.

Contents: Contain copies of the baptismal certificates of the bride and groom, a declaration of intent by each to be married, the permission of the father or mother (if the bride or groom were less than 21 years old), and a certificate or license by the priest granting permission to have banns read and be married.

Location: Diocesan and sometimes in parish archives.

Population coverage: 40%. Many people died before being married or did not marry.

Reliability: High.[1]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. The Family History Department of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, “Family History Record Profile: Spain,” Word document, private files of the FamilySearch Content Strategy Team, 1984-1999.