Spain has one of the most extensive collections of genealogical material in the world. Most Parish records start in the year 1542, when the Catholic Church began keeping Parish registers, some start as early as 1520.
Military records are an excellent source of information to find the place of origin of the men that served in the New World, as well as those that served in Spain.
Notary records can be found from as early as the 1300’s, containing details about any aspect of a person’s life, from sale of property to consent for marriage.
The Hidalguia records are unique to Spain. They are files of documents that a person had to submit in court to prove that he or she was descendant of a noble and Christian family. They are a wealth of information, which many times include transcripts of Parish records and census information.
Latin American Countries were part of Spain for centuries and their records were always kept by the Catholic Church. Their country's history might be slightly different, but their records keeping was very similar. The quality of the document sources vary put most are very rich and start in the 1600's for the oldest cities.
Most founding families were coming from Spain or Portugal and intermarried with the native population.