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Diligencias Matrimoniales from Guadalupe del Paso (Marriage Investigations, Juarez) 1715 – 1730, 1750 - 1769: Home

Woman and boy with small burro twins, Juarez, Mexico, ca.1905. California Historical Society Collection, 1860-1960. USC Libraries Special Collections.

Diligencias Matrimoniales from Guadalupe del Paso (modern-day Juarez)

This online guide contains pre-nuptial investigations (diligencias matrimoniales) extracted from a reel of microfilm from the Cleofas Calleros collection. Cleofas Calleros was a Mexican historian and activist who took a great interest in the history of the Juarez area in northern Mexico (Guadalupe del Paso). There are approximately four hundred diligencias matrimoniales, or pre-nuptial investigations of people in the Juarez area marrying in the 1700s. There are also scattered documents that some may find helpful in understanding the life and times of the people of the Juarez-El Paso area in the 18th century (misc. entries). This collection of records is a fantastic resource for genealogists in New Mexico and beyond. The brief overview is included in the text for both brides and grooms. You will need to view the full diligencia for additional information.

Pre-nuptial investigations were required by the Catholic Church to ensure the sacrament of marriage being entered by a couple would be valid and licit. Witnesses would be called to attest to the viability of the individuals seeking to marry, in other words, they were not previously married to someone else, or if they were, their spouse had passed away. Other impediments that might come up would be relationship by consanguinity or affinity that may impair the marriage.

Viewing such sacramental documents from the area can be challenging, since such documents are scattered and kept in various repositories, such as the Catholic Church of Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe in Juarez, the University of Texas-El Paso, and the Catholic Archives at the University of Texas-Austin. Many of these have been extracted by Rick Hendricks and Rob Martinez and can be found in the following publication, and in the work of Aaron Magdaleno:

This online guide is the result of many years of State Historian of New Mexico Rob Martinez extracting information from a microfilm reel from the Cleofas Calleros Collection. A collaboration with the Southwest Collection Librarian Amy Schaefer at the New Mexico State Library made this collection accessible to people everywhere.

Notes on using this guide:

  • Spelling of surnames and first names vary, as there was no standardized rules of writing in the 1700s. As such, some names will use a “v” and other “b” or “s” instead of “z.” Be sure to consider all spelling variations when searching for an ancestor or family. When  surnames were not included in the record, first names were used for alphabetization.
  • Images of the full diligencia accompany only the entries for the grooms. This choice was made simply to keep the length of the guide manageable. If you find the entry you need under the bride, find the entry for the groom to see the images. To view the images, right click on the document, then select “Open Image in New Tab.Images are continually being uploaded, so if there aren't any yet for the entry you need, please keep checking back.
  • Finally, do not rely on the search function at the top of the guide. More often than not we find that it doesn't provide reliable results.

Please email Amy and/or Rob if you find errors, have feedback, or if you have questions.

Amy Schaefer, Southwest Librarian

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Amy Schaefer
1209 Camino Carlos Rey
Santa Fe, NM