Your Guide to Researching Your Spanish Ancestors

Spain is a southern european country, with a rich history. It is divied into fifteen regions that correspond to the the smaller kingdoms from which Spain was created in 1492. These regions are further diveded into a total of fifteen provinces. Church records are the primary source for genealogical research in Spain, which is predominately Catholic. Civil registration began in 1870. Many of the church records have been filmed, but you have to write to the local Court of First Instance for the civil records.


Books, articles, CD's, Tapes etc.
On the Web.

Herrera Saucedo, George E.
An introduction to Hispanic genealogical research: a manual -- primarily covers records of Mexico and Spain

Ryskamp. Finding Your Hispanic Roots -- this is the classic textbook on researching Hispanic ancestors

Indice biografico de España, Portugal e Iberoamerica (Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Biographical Index). Munchen: K.G. Saur, 1990.

There isn't a Research Outline for Spain at --let's hope they remedy that soon! They suggest you use the SpanishLetter Writing Guide .

Brigham Young University offers a Spanish Extraction Guide online; it is not specific to Spain, but is an excellent guide to working with records written in Spanish. They also have a Spanish Town List , a list of Spanish given names and a list of Spanish surnames (but the link is broken)

World GenWeb: Spain -- note it is in Spanish and there is no English version of the page.

Spain's National Library is the Biblioteca Nacional. (They also offer an English version) Try searching their catalog (alphabetical indexed) by using the dropdown "subject" and word "genealogia")

How to investigate in Spain

Spanish Genealogy is a bilingual site with some very helpful informtion.

I don't usually link to sites because of the intrusive advertising on the site, but I'm going to make an exception for these 2 pages (Be sure your pop-up blocker is on) : Spanish Surname Meanings and Origins and Researching Your Hispanic Heritage

Spanish and Portuguese Heraldry

Index to the Enciclopedia Heráldica Hispano-Americana of Alberto and Arturo García Carraffa

Spain: Kingdoms and Provinces
See maps at Map of Notice on the right you can click to get maps of regions and cities.

Spanish Censuses of the 16th Century. BYU Family Historian vol. 1 no. 1

Local Catholic Church History and Ancestors: Spain

Hispanic Family Research includes a bibliography for Spain.

Read or leave a query at the the GenForum for Spain or the Ancestry/Rootsweb

More Links...

Cyndi's List: Spain and the Basque Country Spain Genealogy

Regions and Provinces of Spain

Andalusia: Almeria, Cadiz, Cordoba, Granada, Huelva, Jaen, Malaga, Sevilla.
Aragon: Huesca, Teruel, Zaragoza.
Baleares (Balearic Islands) : Baleares
Canarias (Canary Islands):
Las Palmas, Tenerife.
Avila, Burgos, Logroño, Santander, Segovia, Soria.
Ciudad Real, Cuenca, Guadalajara, Madrid, Toledo.
Barcelona, Gerona, Lerida, Tarragona.
Badajoz, Caceres.
La Coruña, Lugo, Orense, Pontevedra.
Leon, Palencia, Salamanca, Valladolid, Zamora
Albacete, Murcia.
Alicante, Castellon, Valencia.
Alava, Guipuzcoa, Vizcaya.

back to top of page

Return to Bobbie's Genealogy Classroom
This page last updated Wednesday, September 5, 2007 5:30 PM