Venezuela Church Records

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For information about records for non-Christian religions in Venezuela, go to the Religious Records page.

Online Church Records[edit | edit source]

Historical Background[edit | edit source]

The influence of the Catholic Church was introduced in its colonization by Spain. According to a 2011 poll, 88 percent of the population is Christian, primarily Roman Catholic (71%), and the remaining 17 percent Protestant, primarily Evangelicals (in Latin America Protestants are usually called Evangelicos). LDS Church (Mormons) claims 165,527 members (April 2016) mostly in and around Caracas. [1][2]

Information Recorded in the Records[edit | edit source]

Different denominations, different time periods, and practices of different record keepers will effect how much information can be found in the records. This outline will show the types of details which might be found (best case scenario):

Baptisms[edit | edit source]

In Catholic and Anglican records, children were usually baptized a few days after birth, and therefore, the baptism record proves date of birth. Other religions, such as Baptists, baptized at other points in the member's life. Baptism registers might give:

  • baptism date
  • the infant's name
  • parents' names
  • father's occupation
  • status of legitimacy
  • occasionally, names of grandparents
  • names of witnesses or godparents, who may be relatives
  • birth date and place
  • the family's place of residence
  • death information, as an added note or signified by a cross

Marriages[edit | edit source]

Marriage registers can give:

  • the marriage date
  • the names of the bride and groom
  • indicate whether the bride and groom were single or widowed
  • their ages
  • birth dates and places for the bride and groom
  • their residences
  • their occupations
  • birthplaces of the bride and groom
  • parents' names (after 1800)
  • the names of previous spouses and their death dates
  • names of witnesses, who might be relatives.

Burials[edit | edit source]

Burial registers may give:

  • the name of the deceased
  • the date and place of death or burial
  • the deceased's age
  • place of residence
  • cause of death
  • the names of survivors, especially a widow or widower
  • deceased's birth date and place
  • parents' names, or at least the father's name

How to Find Records[edit | edit source]

Digital Copies of Church Records in the FamilySearch Catalog[edit | edit source]

Watch for digitized copies of church records to be added to the collection of the FamilySearch Library. Some records might have viewing restrictions, and can only be viewed at a Family History Center near you, and/or by members of supporting organizations. To find records:

a. Click on the records of Venezuela.
b. Click on Places within Venezuela and a list of towns will appear.
c. Click on your town if it appears, or the location which you believe was the parish which served your town or village.
d. Click on the "Church records" topic. Click on the blue links to specific record titles.
e. Some combination of these icons will appear at the far right of the listing for the record. FHL icons.png. The magnifying glass indicates that the record is indexed. Clicking on the magnifying glass will take you to the index. Clicking on the camera will take you to an online digital copy of the records.

Writing for Records[edit | edit source]

You will probably need to write to or email the national archives, the diocese, or local parish priests to find records. See the Spanish Letter Writing Guide for help with composing letters.

Anglican (Episcopal) Church Records[edit | edit source]

Writing for Records[edit | edit source]

Historical Background[edit | edit source]

The Episcopal Diocese of Venezuela is headquartererd in Caracas, and comprises 10 churches, 14 missions, and four preaching stations, which are served by the bishop (currently in transition), nine priests, three deacons, and 17 lay ministers.[3]

Baptist Church Records[edit | edit source]

Writing for Records[edit | edit source]

Catholic Church Records[edit | edit source]

Writing to a Local Parish[edit | edit source]

Earlier records can be held at the diocese, with more recent records still kept in the local parish. To locate the mailing address or e-mail address for a diocese or local parish, consult:

Historical Background[edit | edit source]

The Roman Catholic Church in Venezuela comprises nine archdioceses, three vicariates, a military ordinariate, and two Eastern Rite exarchates under the spiritual leadership of the Pope, the Curia in Rome and the Venezuelan Bishops Conference. According to The World Factbook, 2009, 96% of the population is Roman Catholic. In 2018, Latinobarómetro, estimated that 66% of the population is Roman Catholic.

In 1515, Cumaná was the first European settlement founded in South America by Franciscans and Dominicans. Friars founded it with the name of Nueva Toledo. Due to successful attacks by the indigenous people, it had to be refounded several times. Coro is the oldest city in the west of Venezuela. It was founded on July 26, 1527. It has a wide cultural tradition that comes from being the urban settlement founded by the Spanish conquerors who colonized the interior of the continent. It was the first capital of the Venezuela Province. It was established on June 21, 1531. That diocese was suppressed on 20 June 1637, and its territory used to establish the Diocese of Caracas, elevated to Metropolitan Archdiocese of Caracas by Papal Bull in 1803. Until the middle of the nineteenth century, the ranking clergy had close ties with the governing conservative oligarchy, and the church played a dominant role in the educational system. [4]

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Records[edit | edit source]

Online Records[edit | edit source]

Online information is available to current members, for deceased members and immediate family members who are still living. Sign in to FamilySearch and then select Family Tree in the drop-down menu.

Historical Background[edit | edit source]

An official congregation was organized in November 1966 by a Church Apostle, Elder Marion G. Romney. Prior to that time, United States expatriates working in Venezuela held meetings at home. Missionaries were sent from the Costa Rica Mission to Venezuela, and in February 1967, the first convert was baptized. Total Church Membership: 166,688. Congregations: 231.[5]

Eastern Orthodox Church Records[edit | edit source]

Writing for Records[edit | edit source]

Historical Background[edit | edit source]

According to data from the Consular Office of the Greek Embassy in Caracas, the Greek community does not exceed 3.000 persons, mainly occupied in trade and similar business activities. There are organized Greek communities in Caracas and Valencia, where Greek Orthodox churches and Greek-language schools operate, and Greek communities can be found in Maraca Ibo, Puerto Ordaz and Barquisimeto. Venezuela is under the ecclesiastical jurisdiction of the Greek Orthodox Metropolitanate of Mexico and Central America, seated in Mexico City.[6]

The Serbian population settled in the country was configured mainly by political emigrants, that arrived at Venezuela after the Second World War, due to disagreements with the then Yugoslav communist regime. The estimated population of serbs-Venezuelans range between 1,000 - 2,000. In 1955, it's founded the Serbian Orthodox Christian Community in Caracas, later they built the Serbian Orthodox Church in 1966.[7]

The Russian Orthodox Church: Orthodox Christianity came to the country in 1947 when Archpriest Vladimir Chekanovsky arrived with the first group of émigrés. Thanks to the efforts of another cleric, Archpriest John Baumanis, Russian Orthodox parishes were founded in Caracas, Valencia, Barquisimeto, Maracay and Barcelona.

By the early 1950s, Orthodox parishes had been established in virtually all areas of Russian settlement. These parishes were under the jurisdiction of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia. The first Orthodox church in Venezuela – the Church of the Sign of the Mother of God in Valencia – was built in 1950 under the initiative of Vadim Ordovsky-Tanaevsky (father of Rostislav) and accordiENDTARGETng to an architectural design by V.E. Sheffer. In 1955, the Cathedral of St. Nicholas was consecrated in the Dos Caminos region of Caracas. To this day, the cathedral remains an integral part of Russian spiritual life in Venezuela. Two additional stone churches were built in the provinces – St. Peter and Paul in Maracay and St. Nicholas in Barquisimeto.

Over the following decades, the Russian Orthodox parishes served as the focal point of the Russian diaspora’s spiritual life in Venezuela. These parishes opened Sunday schools for the children of Russian immigrants. At the Cathedral of St. Nicholas in Caracas, a funeral box was established to pay for the burials of the poor, and in 1965, a decision was made to purchase a section of the municipal cemetery. [8]

Jehovah's Witnesses Church ecords[edit | edit source]

Writing for Records[edit | edit source]

Historical Background[edit | edit source]

A few countries have shown a high growth rate of Jehovah’s Witnesses including Venezuela which has jumped from 38,000 in 1987 to 140,226 today. These growths are due to “construction teams” which have traveled to those particular countries in order to increase the number of kingdom halls, in response to previous immense growth. [9]

Pentecostal Church Records[edit | edit source]

Writing for Records[edit | edit source]

Historical Background[edit | edit source]

The Evangelical Pentecostal Union of Venezuela (UEPV) is a grassroots Pentecostal church which was established in 1958. It was originally founded by leaders from the Assemblies of God and members of the Pentecostal movement. The UEPV, based in Maracaibo, Venezuela, has been in partnership with Global Ministries for over 40 years. [10]

Presbyterian Church Records[edit | edit source]

Writing for Records[edit | edit source]

Historical Background[edit | edit source]

In 1897 the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. sent its first mission workers, Theodore and Julia Pond, to Venezuela. The couple was well-accomplished at the time of their appointment; they had spent over 20 years serving in Syria and had been working in Colombia since 1890. In Venezuela the Ponds encountered resistance from a largely Catholic population, but by 1900 were able to establish The Church of the Redeemer (Iglesia Evangélica Presbiteriana El Redentor) in the capital, Caracas. In 1912 the Board of Foreign Missions formally recognized the Venezuela efforts, and sent Frederick and Mary Darley to join the Ponds.[11]

Seventh-day Adventist Church Records[edit | edit source]

Writing for Records[edit | edit source]

Historical Background[edit | edit source]

See The Seventh-day Adventist Church in Venezuela

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Wikipedia contributors, "Venezuela", in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,, accessed 6 March 2020.
  2. Wikipedia contributors, "Religion_in_Venezuela", in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,, accessed 6 March 2020.
  3. "Venezuela", The Episcopal Church,, accessed 10 March 2020.
  4. Wikipedia contributors, "Catholic Church in Venezuela", in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,, accessed 9 March 2020.
  5. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, "Facts and Statistics: Venezuela,, accessed 6 March 2020.
  6. Hellenic Republic Ministry of Foreign Affairs. "Cultural Relations and Greek Community",, accessed 10 March 2020.
  7. Wikipedia contributors, "Serbian Venezuelans", in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,, accessed 10 March 2020.
  8. Wikipedia contributors, "Russians in Venezuelan", in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, _in_Venezuela, accessed 10 March 2020.
  9. "Jehovah's Witnesses", ESRI,, accessed 10 March 2020.
  10. "Evangelical Pentecostal Union of Venezuela (UEPV)", "Global Ministries",, 10 March 2020.
  11. "Presbyterian Mission to Venezuela: A Brief History", in "Presbyterian Historical Society National Archives", accessed 10 March 2029.

Referemces[edit | edit source]