Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Basque Genealogy Websites


The Basques are doing a terrific job of allowing people access to records that are full of genealogical information. They may have had the genealogist in mind when creating these sites, but like most websites they are not only for us family history researchers. Here are my favorite sites for Basque family history research...keep in mind that not everything is online.

Parish Records

  • Archivo Ecclesiastico de Vizcaya ( http://www.aheb-beha.org ) This site has more than 1,400,000 extracted parish records (baptisms only) for the Diocese of Vizcaya (Bizkaia in Basque). The site is free to use, and available in English, Spanish, and Basque. If you find an ancestor on the site you can order a variety of different copies of the original document (see site for additional details). Prices vary from 3 Euros to 10 Euros depending on the type of the copy requested.
  • Archivo Historico Diocesano de San Sebastian ( http://mendezmende.org/artxiboa/ ) This site has extracted parish records for the Diocese of San Sebastian, which basically includes the entire province of Guipuzcoa (Gipuzkoa). This site is also free to use, and allows you to order copies of the original documents for a fee (see site for additional details).
  • Patrimonio documental de Euskadi ( http://www.irargi.org/ ) This site combines all the extracted parish records from the three Basque provinces (Vizcaya, Alava, and Guipuzcoa) and allows you to search them for free. The site does not allow you to order copies of original documents.

Civil Registration

Civil registration records include births, marriages, and deaths. The records were recorded by municipality beginning in 1870. You can order a birth, marriage, or death certificate from any municipality in the Basque Country for free at: http://www.justizia.net/registrocivil/
For more timely and better chances of success include the municipality where the event occurred, and an exact date (if possible).

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Conferencias Episcopales of Latin American Countires


Catholic Church ecclesiastical guides can be lifesavers in research, however, sometimes we don't have access to repositories that have these guides/directories in their collections. Historical guides/directories are the best type to use, but we sometimes have to compromise and improvise.

Las Conferencias Episcopales

When I teach classes about online resources for Central and South American countries I always spend a lot of time on the conferencias episcopales websites. Each country has one, whether we know it or not, and quite often they provide stellar genealogical information. Often times you will find Catholic Church ecclesiastical maps, which show the diocesan and archdiocesan boundaries within a country. My favorite is when the site also lists (with address and other contact information ) the parishes that reside in each dioceses. Some sites, like Costa Rica, will link you to a diocesan/archdiocesan website. In the case of Costa Rica the archdiocesan website for San Jose I found inventories, guides, and other documentation for the diocesan archive.

So how do you find them?

You can find the conferencia espiscopales websites in a couple different ways:
Where do you go once you get to a country's site?

This all depends what you are using the site for...I generally use the sites for determining ecclesiastical boundaries, finding parish contact information, and finding diocesan websites (if they exist) for contact information. Typically I search for the option on the site for "Jurisdicciones" or "Dioceses" then drill down through the site's layers to find the information I need.

I hope you find the conferencia episcopales sites as useful as I have!