Colombia Civil Registration

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Civil Registration[edit | edit source]

FamilySearch Online Collections[edit | edit source]

How to Find the Records[edit | edit source]

Obtaining copies of civil registration can be difficult from the National Registry. But many notarial records from the 19th century are microfilmed and are available online through FamilySearch or through microfilm and often these are indexed.

FamilySearch microfilms available. An index for the First, Second, Third and Fourth Notaries of Bogata, including records from neighboring localities and all of Colombia is:

Wiki articles describing online collections are found at:

Once you have identified the name and jurisdiction of the town of your ancestors you will want to check the FamilySearch Catalog and FamilySearch Record Collections for records about your ancestors. For more information about how to search the FamilySearch catalog you will want to read Using the FamilySearch Catalog.

To search the catalog, as well as indexed records and images available online from FamilySearch, you will need to visit To find the record collections for Colombia, click on South America and choose Colombia from the list. Finally, click on Start researching in Colombia.

For additional information about finding records, see Colombia Finding Records.

Offices to Contact[edit | edit source]

Mexican states are divided into municipalities. Each municipality elects a council, which is headed by a mayor. Municipalities keep the civil registration records.

In large cities, there may be several municipal offices. Some small towns may not be their own municipality, and therefore their records will not be kept in that town. You will need to determine the correct municipality or municipio in order to locate the civil registration records.

Municipality records will be located in the FamilySearch catalog under the name of the municipio. For more information about using the FamilySearch Catalog, see Introduction to the FamilySearch Catalog.

Historical Background[edit | edit source]

Civil Registration began in Colombia in 1865 but wasn't fully adopted everywhere in the country till 1888.[1] Till 1926, the civil registration records were included as part of the notarial records. Now the Registraduría Nacional del Estado Civil (the National Registry of Civil Status) maintains the civil registration; their website is

Coverage and Compliance[edit | edit source]

  • Law 2159 of 1852 required the keeping of birth, marriage, legitimations, and recognition of natural children.
  • Law 57 of 1887 established that marital status could be proven with Catholic baptism, marriage, or death certificates issued by priests.[2]
  • Before 1926, civil registration was included in the notary protocol records.
  • With Law 92 in 1938, civil registration was established as an exclusive responsibility of the State.
  • Now the Registraduría Nacional del Estado Civil (National Registry of Civil Status) keeps civil registration records. Its website is Civil Registration.

For more information about the history of Civil Registration in Colombia, go to Historia de la identificación.

The process to obtain a copy of a record from the Registraduría Nacional can be difficult. However many of the notarial records of the 19th century are on FamilySearch films, and many of these registers have indexes.

Information Recorded in the Records[edit | edit source]

1800-1888[edit | edit source]

Extracts of births, marriages, and deaths taken from notarial records of Bogota include the following information:


  • Child's name
  • Parents' names
  • Date of birth or baptism
  • Sometimes names of grandparents


  • Names of bride and groom
  • Date of Marriage
  • Residences
  • Sometimes names of parents (until about the 1960/70s)


  • Name of deceased
  • Name of spouse or parents
  • Date of death or burial
  • Place of death

1865-1887[edit | edit source]

NOTE Between 1865-1887, the notary #2 of Bogota also kept separate books for births, marriages, and deaths for the capital and contingent areas. These registers consisted of:

  • Monthly lists of baptisms, marriage, and deaths of various parishes
  • Certified copies of individual entries without order

1936 to the Present[edit | edit source]

In Colombia, the registration system of births, marriages, and deaths since 1936, have been in the following ways:

  • Where there are public notaries in a municipality, they make the records.
  • Where there are no public notaries in a municipality, a statistics officer (un oficial de Estadisticas) in the mayor's office creates the records.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Ryskamp, George. Finding Your Hispanic Roots. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1997.
  2. Registraduría Nacional del Estado Civil, "Historia de la identificación",, visitado el 11 de febrero de 2020.