Cañamero Parish Research

While the majority of Spanish parishes have centralized their records into Diocesan archives, some priests have chosen to keep their church registers within the parish. This was the case in Cañamero.

We had called a few days ahead of time and asked if it would be possible to research from the books. The nun was very polite, and told us what days and times she could let us come. Because this is not an archive, we could only come when the priest and/or the nuns were not otherwise occupied, and it was an incredible blessing that she had an entire afternoon open the weekend we would be near the parish.

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We arrived exactly when we had arranged to come, and after chatting about what we wished to do, we cleared a place at the kitchen table and sat down with the books. We did not feel it was appropriate to ask to take pictures, but we took extensive notes and were allowed to work for several hours.

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Our time in the parish was a lovely break from typical archival research. People came and went as we researched, the nuns were singing and chatting together in the next room, and there was a pile displaced dishes and silverware just off to my right. We were able to find many people in the early parish baptism books that we never would have been able to locate another way. When it was close to dinnertime, we packed our belongings, thanked everyone for being so accommodating, and left with the promise we would call when we were next in Spain to set up a return appointment. It truly was a unique and rewarding experience.

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