Bulgaria Civil Registration
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Civil Registration is the registration of births, marriages, and deaths by civil authorities. Civil registration in Bulgaria was instituted in 1893. Early civil registration was not very effective and there are many gaps in the records. Beginning in 1945, the registration of births, marriages, and deaths became more efficient. In 1920, family registers were used for vital information.
Civil registration in Bulgaria was instituted in 1893 and continues to the present. Early registration was sparse but by 1945 it became more comprehensive and complete. Only 70% of the population was covered in these records in the beginning, but by 1945 the coverage became more comprehensive. Unlike church records which only cover a proportion of the population, civil registration covers the majority of the population.
Birth records list the exact date and time of the birth, name of the child and their parents, occupation and religious preference of the parents, name of the informant, and residence of the parents. Marriage records list the exact date of the marriage, name of the bride and groom and their parents, names of the witnesses, and residence of the bride and groom. Death records list the exact date of the death, name of the deceased, age at death, cause of death, place of burial, and residence of the deceased.
Accessing the Records
The records are located at the district archives in each of the twenty eight districts of Bulgaria. These records are available for official purposes. Storage conditions probably vary from site to site.  There are no vital records in the National Historical Archive in Sofia. The Family History Library has microfilmed 15% of these records. They have mainly been microfilmed for the districts of Sofia and Plovdiv; these records usually cover the 1893-1912 time period. These records are available as digital images on the FamilySearch Catalog. In the FamilySearch Catalog, search for the district or locality name in the Keywords search.
Civil registration is useful in uniquely identifying individuals and linking generations. It is especially useful in uniquely identifying individuals not found in church records.
- The Family History Department of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, “Family History Record Profile: Bulgaria,” Word document, private files of the FamilySearch Content Strategy Team, 1991-1998.