This is the first paper in a series dedicated to investigating the kinematic properties of nearby associations of young stellar objects. Here we study the Taurus-Auriga association, with the primary objective of deriving kinematic parallaxes for individual members of this low-mass star-forming region. We took advantage of a recently published catalog of proper motions for pre-main sequence stars, which we supplemented with radial velocities from various sources found in the CDS databases. We searched for stars of the Taurus-Auriga region that share the same space velocity, using a modified convergent point method that we tested with extensive Monte Carlo simulations. Among the sample of 217 Taurus-Auriga stars with known proper motions, we identify 94 pre-main sequence stars that are probable members of the same moving group and several additional candidates whose pre-main sequence evolutionary status needs to be confirmed. We derive individual parallaxes for the 67 moving group members with known radial velocities and give tentative parallaxes for other members based on the average spatial velocity of the group. The Hertzsprung-Russell diagram for the moving group members and a discussion of their masses and ages are presented in a companion paper.
methods: data analysis - astrometry - stars: formation - stars: pre-main sequence - stars: fundamental parameters