Honduras Genealogy and History Research

Transcriptions of Municipal Censuses

Honduran municipal or township censuses are an excellent source of information for people researching their ancestry. They include the inhabitants of a particular locality – usually a city or township (municipality). Most municipal censuses – padrones as they are called in Spanish – are in columnar format and generally include the given name(s) and surname(s), sex, age, marital status, profession or occupation, whether an individual can read and write, and sometimes other information or observations. They are also usually arranged by household, beginning with the head of household, spouse and children, generally from oldest to youngest. Non-family members in a household are sometimes included. However, the quantity and quality of information available varies greatly from place to place and from year to year, and some padrones contain only names and ages.

There are several hundred padrones covering much of Honduras, the only exception being the North Coast departments of Atlántida, Cortés, and Colón.

Although national censuses were conducted on several occasions, only a small part of the 1881 census is available at the Archivo Nacional de Honduras, specifically the census of inhabitants of La Plazuela, Tegucigalpa.

Electoral Registers/Voters Lists

Electoral registers or voters’ lists date from at least 1860. The earliest lists contain just the names or names and ages of voters. Later lists include profession or trade, whether the individual can read and write, and sometimes other information. The lists are much more limited than padrones, as they contain only eligible male voters 18 years and older (women didn’t have the right to vote in Honduras until 1954).

There are electoral lists for all the municipalities of Francisco Morazan for the year 1896 with the exception of Tegucigalpa. However, there is a list for Tegucigalpa for 1897.

Other lists and registers
In addition to padrones and censos electorales, many other lists exist, such as taxpayers’ rolls, military and militia rolls, firearm registry lists, and lists of convicts. Most of these lists include only the name of the individual, although sometimes they include age and profession. Military rolls usually include the rank of the individual.