Zaragoza, Spain Genealogy

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Guide to Zaragoza Province ancestry, family history and genealogy: birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, parish registers, and military records.

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Most of your genealogical research for Huesca will be in two main record types: civil registration and church records. This article will teach you methods for locating and searching these two record groups.

History[edit | edit source]

Zaragoza, also called Saragossa in English, is a province of northwest Spain in the central part of the autonomous community of Aragon. It was one of three provinces formed from the former Kingdom of León in 1833 when Spain was reorganized into 49 provinces. The province of Zaragoza is bordered by the provinces of Lleida, Tarragona, Teruel, Guadalajara, Soria, La Rioja, Navarre, and Huesca. The capital is the city of Zaragoza, which is also the capital of the autonomous community of Aragon and it contains 292 municipalities.[1]

Census Records[edit | edit source]

Civil Registration[edit | edit source]

  • Spanish civil registration records (government birth certificates, marriage certificates, and death certificates) began in 1871.
  • Births, marriages, and deaths were recorded by the local Juzgado de la Paz, or Oficinia del Registro Civil. The records are still housed in their local municpal archives. In addition, Spain does have a national index or central repository for civil registration.
  • Some municipios (towns/cities) may have civil registration records beginning as early as 1837. Some of them have been microfilmed and/or digitized by FamilySearch.
  • Larger cities may have multiple civil registration districts, and smaller towns may have their own civil registration office, or belong to an office of a nearby town. To determine the political jurisdiction for the town where your ancestors came from, please see the Spain Gazetteers article.

Here are several different approaches to obtaining these certificates:

1. Online Civil Registration Records[edit | edit source]

Search FamilySearch Historical Records and the FamilySearch Catalog for Zaragoza to see if there are online civil registration records for this area. If no records are available, order a certificate from the Ministerio de Justicia or write to the Municipality Civil Registry Office.

2. Microfilmed Civil Registration Records in the FamilySearch Catalog[edit | edit source]

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Microfilmed copies of Civil Registration records are often available and are being digitized for online access in the FamilySearch Catalog. Some images can only be viewed at a family history center. Find your closest Family History Center.
To search the FamilySearch Catalog:

a. Click on this link to see a list of records for Spain, Zaragoza.
b. Click on "Places within Spain, Zaragoza" and a list of towns and cities will open.
c. Click on the town or city you wish to search.
d. Click on "Civil Registration" topic. Click on the blue links to specific record titles.
e. Choose the correct event and time period for your ancestor.
f. Some combination of these icons will appear at the far right of the microfilm listed for the record. FHL icons.png The magnifying glass indicates that the microfilm 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 microfilm.

3. Ordering Certificates From the Ministerio de Justicia[edit | edit source]

  • Researchers can solicit the Ministerio de Justicia online for copies of certificates.
  • For detailed information on how to order these records online, please see the article Order Spain Vital Records Online. It will take you through the process step by step, and includes translation of terms you will find in that process.

4. Writing to the Civil Registry of a Municipality[edit | edit source]

NOTE: All lines of the international delivery address should appear in all capital letters. If possible, the address should have no more than five lines. For more information see USPS International Mail Manual.

  • Juzgado de la Paz (Court of Peace) or Oficina Registro Civil (Civil Registry Office) should be contacted if the online request for the certificate copy to the Ministerio de Justicia fails.
  • The complete address for the Civil Registry Office, including the postal code and other contact information for the towns/cities listed on the Registro Civil—Municipios for the Province of Zaragoza (Civil Registry—Municipalities) page appears after you select the town/city. Write or email a brief request in Spanish for the certificate copy using the address formats shown below.
  • The site has errors (at this time) with the diacritics and superscript for the civil registry addresses with this designators: JDO. 1? INSTANCIA E INSTRUCCI?N N? 1 and REGISTRO CIVIL N? 1. The address corrections are shown in the last two columns of the table:

Address Format

Address Correction Example, Abanto

Address Correction Example, Alfajarín

OFICINA REGISTRO CIVIL
(DIRECCIÓN=STREET ADDRESS)
(Código Postal=postal code)(LOCALIDAD=CITY)
ZARAGOZA
ESPAÑA
Tel.: +34 (9 digit phone#)
Fax: +34 (9 digit Fax#)
Email: (email address)
JDO. 1ª INSTANCIA E INSTRUCCIÓN Nº 1
PLAZA DE ESPAÑA, 6
50360 DAROCA
ZARAGOZA
ESPAÑA
Tel.: +34 976 800 279
Fax: +34 976 800 259
Email: mixto1daroca@justicia.aragon.es
REGISTRO CIVIL Nº 1
EDIFICIO FUEROS DE ARAGÓN.
AVDA. JOSÉ ATARÉS 89-97
50003 ZARAGOZA
ESPAÑA
Tel.: +34 976 207 711
Fax: +34 976 294 698
Email: registrocivilzaragoza@justicia.aragon.es

  • Write a brief request to the proper office. Send the following:
    • Full name and the sex of the person sought.
    • Names of the parents, if known.
    • Approximate date and place of the event.
    • Your relationship to the person.
    • Reason for the request (family history, medical, etc.).
    • Request for a photocopy of the complete original record.
    • Check or cash for the search fee (usually about $10.00).

Write your request in Spanish whenever possible. The Spanish Letter-writing Guide will help you with organizing your letter and phrasing your requests in Spanish using the translated questions and phrases.

Catholic Church Records[edit | edit source]

  • Catholicism's roots extend deep into Spain's history. Parish and diocesan records created by the Catholic Church in Spain have long been considered some of the richest genealogical records in the world. Ever since the Council of Trent, Catholic parish records have been consistently recorded, usually providing three generations in a single baptismal entry.
  • The vast majority of Spaniards are Catholic, and so almost every Spaniard can be found in the records of the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church was the primary record keeper of births, marriages, and deaths, until civil registration started in 1869.
  • Some church records have been lost or have deteriorated due natural disasters such as fire, flood, and earthquakes. Civil and political strife has also caused record loss, including during time of the Spanish Civil War.
  • The Catholic Church has created several different records. The most used in genealogical research include: baptisms (bautizos, bautismos), marriages (matrimonios), and burials (entierros, defunciones, fallecimientos). Other records include: confirmations (confimaciones) and pre-marriage investigations (expedientes matrimoniales, información matrimonial).
  • Tip: If you are researching after 1869, when Civil Registration started in Spain, both church and civil records should be searched since there may be information in one record that does not appear in the other.

1. Online Church Records[edit | edit source]

Search FamilySearch Historical Records and the FamilySearch Catalog for Zaragoza to see if there are online church records for this area. If no records are available, contact the archdiocese archives.

2. Microfilmed Church Records in the FamilySearch Catalog[edit | edit source]

Icon-warning.png

Microfilmed copies of Church records are often available and are being digitized for online access in the FamilySearch Catalog. Some images can only be viewed at a family history center. Find your closest Family History Center.
To search the FamilySearch Catalog:

a. Click on this link to see a list of records for Spain, Zaragoza.
b. Click on "Places within Spain, Zaragoza" and a list of towns and cities will open.
c. Click on the town or city you wish to search.
d. Click on "Church Records" topic. Click on the blue links to specific record titles.
e. Choose the correct event and time period for your ancestor.
f. Some combination of these icons will appear at the far right of the microfilm listed for the record. FHL icons.png The magnifying glass indicates that the microfilm 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 microfilm.

3. Writing to Request Catholic Church Records[edit | edit source]

NOTE: All lines of the international delivery address should appear in all capital letters. If possible, the address should have no more than five lines. For more information see USPS International Mail Manual.

  • Baptism, marriage, and death records may be searched by contacting or visiting local parish or diocese archives in Spain. Write your request in Spanish whenever possible. This method is not always reliable. Officials may or may not respond.
  • The Province of Zaragoza in the Aragon Autonomous Community is in the Archidiócesis de Zaragoza. Write or telephone to inquire whether the archdiocese holds the parish records:

EXCMO. Y REVMO. SR. ARZOBISPO
ARZOBISPADO DE ZARAGOZA
PLAZA DE LA SEO, 6
50001 ZARAGOZA ZARAGOZA
ESPAÑA
Tel.: +34 976 394 800
Fax: +34 976 203 036
Email: arzobispadodezaragoza@planalfa.es

  • When requesting information, be brief and write the request in Spanish. Please include the following:
    • Money for the search fee, usually $10.00
    • Full name and the sex of the ancestor sought
    • Names of the ancestor’s parents, if known
    • Approximate date and place of the event
    • Your relationship to the ancestor
    • Reason for the request (family history, medical, and so on)
    • Request for a photocopy of the complete original record

Write your request in Spanish whenever possible. The Spanish Letter-writing Guide will help you with organizing your letter and phrasing your requests in Spanish using the translated questions and phrases.

Reading the Records[edit | edit source]

  • You do not have to be fluent in Spanish to read your documents. Genealogical records usually contain a limited vocabulary. Use this Spanish Genealogical Word List to translate the important points in the document. Reading handwriting skills are taught in the BYU Spanish Script Tutorial.
  • Online Learning Center class on reading Spanish handwriting:

Tips for finding your ancestor in the records[edit | edit source]

Effective use of church records includes the following strategies.

  • Search for the birth record of the relative or ancestor you selected. When you find his birth record, search for the births of his brothers and sisters.
  • Then, search for the marriage of his parents. The marriage record will often help you find the birth records of the parents.
  • You can estimate the ages of the parents and determine a birth year to search for their birth records.
  • Search the death registers for all family members.
  • Then repeat the process for both the father and the mother.
  • If earlier generations are not in the record, search neighboring parishes.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Wikipedia contributors, "Province of Zaragoza," Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Province_of_Zaragoza (accessed September 21, 2020).