Mission Identifier Codes and Mission Memos

Mission identifier codes are crucial to searching the ECPP. These are abbreviations for the mission or location where a sacrament was performed. During data entry it became clear that each mission’s records were idiosyncratic. Sometimes the Franciscans skipped numbers or used the same number twice. In other instances, pages were missing from the original registers, or they were illegible in part or in whole. Thus, for each mission, as we compiled data we made notes for future researchers. These memos can be found by clicking the hyperlinks below.

LPC La Purísima Concepcion
SAP San Antonio de Padua
SB Santa Barbara
SBV San Buenaventura
SC San Carlos Borromeo
SCL Santa Clara
SCZ Santa Cruz
SD San Diego
SFD San Francisco de Asís Mission and Presidio
SFR San Fernando
SFS San Francisco Solano
SG San Gabriel Arcángel
SI Santa Ynez
SJB San Juan Bautista
SJC San Juan Capistrano
SJS San Jose
SLD Nuestra Señora de la Soledad
SLO San Luis Obispo
SLR San Luis Rey
SMA San Miguel Arcángel
SRA San Rafael
BP Santa Barbara Presidio
LA Los Angeles Plaza Church


Searching Techniques

How to Perform a Basic Search

This search function mirrors the organization of the ECPP database, which itself is structured around the individual records that the missionaries created to document the administration of every baptism, marriage, and burial they performed in the California missions. Put simply, the search shows the records that meet your search criteria and gives you the opportunity to view the complete corresponding ECPP transcription of those same records in the form they appeared in the missions’ sacramental registers.

To search the ECPP first decide which of the records or tables you want to search (Baptism, Marriage, or Burials) keeping in mind that you can only search one type of record at a time. Once you have chosen to search either the baptism, or the marriage, or the burial records, you then must choose one of the corresponding search criterion for the type of records that you have chosen to search. You may then refine that search by adding another search criterion. You can refine your search by adding up to 9 search criteria.

You can also search for information contained in the subsets of the three principle registers, namely the Godparents (baptism), Witnesses (marriage) and Relatives (baptism) table, but most users will find most of the information they seek in the baptism, marriage, or burial registers.

So, for example, if you are interested in learning if anyone named Mariano Castro was baptized in California you would first select “Baptismal” as the record type.

Then you could search by “Ego’s Surname” by typing in Castro and clicking on the “Find” tab on the right side of the screen. This search yields 246 records.

Tips Figure 1

To narrow the results of the query, search for the Spanish name Mariano through the field “Ego’s Spanish Name.”

Refining the query limits the results to 4 records, as shown. Note that each time you refine the query, you need to add in the appropriate clause—And, Or, Not—or else the query will not run.



Gateway User Agreement

Publications, research reports, and websites based on the database must be cited appropriately.

Citation of the ECPP database should take the following form:

The Early California Population Project. Edition 1.1. General Editor, Steven W. Hackel (University of California, Riverside and The Henry E. Huntington Library, San Marino, California, 2022.)

NOTE: Review of data in the Early California Population Project database is not a substitute for the consultation of the original records.


Contact the library at:

Need additional help?

In-depth search strategies, as well as pertinent keywords and abbreviations, can be found in the Guide to Users.

Related Resources

Researchers can access copies of the original microfilmed mission registers at The Huntington. To inquire about setting up an appointment to view the microfilm and related materials, contact

N.B. The Huntington Library does not hold the original mission registers used to create the ECPP database.

California Mission records collection [microform], 1770-1965.
This collection contains copies of all the obtainable records of the missions of early California. These records consist mainly of baptismal, marriage and burial records, often with indices. There are also copies of historical material (Santa Clara Mission), church music (San Juan Bautista Mission), Indians Census Books and clothing distribution to the Indians (San Buenaventura), and account books (San Juan Bautista, Santa Cruz and San Carlos Borromeo Missions). View date ranges available for each mission in the online finding aid.
Call number: MSS MFilm 00528

Search for additional resources related to mission history in the Huntington library catalog using the subject headings: