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Puerto Rico, Civil Registration - FamilySearch Historical Records

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Puerto Rico

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Puerto Rico, Civil Registration, 1805-2001
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This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
Puerto Rico
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Record Description
Record Type: Civil
Collection years: 1805-2001
Languages: Spanish
Title in the Language: Registro Civil y Demográfico de Puerto Rico
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites
Archive
Pureto Rico Departamento de Salud and Igesia Catolica (Puerto Rico Deparment of Health and Catholic churches), Toa Alta


What is in This Collection?[edit | edit source]

This collection contains civil records from 1805 to 2001 from the 78 municipalities (municipios) in Puerto Rico. The older records are handwritten in narrative style, and the newer ones are handwritten in formatted records.

Image Visibility[edit | edit source]

Whenever possible FamilySearch makes images and indexes available for all users. However, rights to view these data are limited by contract and subject to change. Because of this there may be limitations on where and how images and indexes are available or who can see them. Please be aware some collections consist only of partial information indexed from the records and do not contain any images.

For additional information about image restrictions, please see the Restrictions for Viewing Images in FamilySearch Historical Record Collections page.

Reading These Records[edit | edit source]

These records are written in Spanish. For help reading these records see the following guides:

If you speak Spanish, the following free online lesson may be helpful to learn how to use the information in these records:

To Browse This Collection[edit | edit source]

You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for Puerto Rico, Civil Registration,1805-2001.

What Can These Records Tell Me?[edit | edit source]

The following information is usually found in these records:

Birth

  • Date, time and place of birth
  • Child’s name and gender
  • Legitimacy of child
  • Parents’ names and ages
  • Parents’ marital status, occupation, residence and origin
  • Names of paternal grandparents
  • Names of maternal grandparents
  • Date and place of registration

Marriage

  • Date and place of marriage
  • Name and age of groom
  • Groom’s marital status, occupation, residence and origin
  • Bride’s name and age
  • Bride’s marital status, occupation, residence and origin
  • Names of parents
  • Names of person giving consent (usually bride’s father)
  • Names of witnesses

Death

  • Name and age of deceased (keep in mind that death records for women may be filed under their married name)
  • Marital status, residence and origin of deceased
  • Date and place of death
  • Date and place of medical certificate
  • Informant’s age, marital status, occupation, residence and origin
  • Names of parents and their origin
  • Names of grandparents, if known
  • Date and place of burial

Collection Content[edit | edit source]

The civil registration records in Puerto Rico are an excellent source for genealogical research after 1885. Important genealogical data can be found in these records; see below. The data may even help to find information about an earlier generation.

Sample Images[edit | edit source]

How Do I Search This Collection?[edit | edit source]

Before using this collection it is helpful to know:

  • Your ancestor's given name and surname
  • Identifying information such as residence
  • Estimated marriage or birth year

Search the Index[edit | edit source]

Search by name by visiting the Collection Details Page.
  1. Fill in the search boxes in the Search Collection section with the information you know
  2. Click Search to show possible matches

View the Images[edit | edit source]

View images in this collection by visiting the Collection Browse Page:
  1. Select Municipality
  2. Select Record Type and Year Range to view the images


How Do I Analyze the Results?[edit | edit source]

Compare each result from your search with what you know to determine if there is a match. This may require viewing multiple records or images.Keep track of your research in a research log.

What Do I Do Next?[edit | edit source]

I Found the Person I Was Looking For, What Now?[edit | edit source]

  • Use the marriage date and place as the basis for compiling a new family group or for verifying existing information
  • Use the birth date or age along with the place of birth of each partner to find a couple's birth records and parents' names
  • Use the birth date or age along with the place of birth to find the family in census records Puerto Rico Census
  • Use the residence and names of the parents to locate church records Puerto Rico Catholic Church Records - FamilySearch Historical Records
  • Use the parents' birth places to find former residences and to establish a migration pattern for the family
  • Compile the marriage entries for every person who has the same surname as the bride or groom; this is especially helpful in rural areas or if the surname is unusual
  • Use the marital status to identify previous marriages (whether a divorce or death dissolved a marriage)
  • Witnesses often were relatives of the parents

I Can’t Find the Person I’m Looking For, What Now?[edit | edit source]

  • When looking for a person who had a common name, look at all the entries for the name before deciding which is correct
  • Check for variants of given names, surnames, and place names. Transcription errors could occur in any handwritten record; also, it was not uncommon for an individual be listed under a nickname or an abbreviation of their name. Click here for a list of Spanish name abbreviations
  • Continue to search the marriage records to identify children, siblings, parents, and other relatives of the bride and groom who may have married in the same county or nearby. This can help you identify other generations of your family or even the second marriage of a parent. Repeat this process for each new generation you identify
  • A boundary change could have occurred and the record of your ancestor is now in a neighboring state or region, or your ancestor immigrated to another country. Search the records of nearby areas or immigration/emigration records
  • Church records are also a good substitute when birth, marriage, and death records can’t be found or are unavailable

Research Helps[edit | edit source]

The following articles will help you in your research for your family in Puerto Rico.

Citing This Collection[edit | edit source]

Citations help you keep track of places you have searched and sources you have found. Identifying your sources helps others find the records you used.

Collection Citation:
The citation for this collection can be found on the Collection Details Page in the section Citing this Collection.
Record Citation:
When looking at a record, the citation can be viewed by clicking the drop-down arrow next to Document Information.
Image Citation:
When looking at an image, the citation is found on the Information tab at the bottom left of the screen.

How Can I Contribute to the FamilySearch Wiki?[edit | edit source]

We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. We are looking for additional information that will help readers understand the topic and better use the available records. We also need translations for collection titles and images in articles about records written in languages other than English. For specific needs, please visit WikiProject FamilySearch Historical Records.

Please follow these guidelines as you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide.