Guatemala Civil Registration

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Guatemala
Civil Registration

Definition

Civil registration is the records of births, marriages, and deaths that are kept by the government, rather than by a church.

Time Coverage

Civil registration of births, marriages, and deaths began in 1877.

Information Recorded in Civil Registers

The following information is usually found in these records:

Birth records Marriage records Death records
Date and place of birth Date and place of the marriage Date and place of death
Name of the child Name of the bride and groom Name and age of deceased
Child’s gender Their civil status at the time of marriage Civil status at the time of death
Legitimacy Bride and groom’s birth place and current residence Civil status and name of spouse if married
Parents’ names, residence, or places of origin Names of witnesses Names of parents
Names of witnesses Sometimes the place of burial

Locating Civil Registration Records

Online Records

FamilySearch Library

a. Click on this link to see a list of "Places within Guatemala" and a list of provinces will open.
b. Click on "Places within...." for the department list.
c. Click on the department you want.
d. Click on the town or city you wish to search.
e. Click on "Civil registration" topic. Click on the blue links to specific record titles.
f. Choose the correct event and time period for your ancestor. "Nascimentos" are births. Matrimônios and "Casamentos" are marriages. "Óbitos" are deaths. "Índice" is the index.
g. Some combination of these icons will appear at the far right of the microfilm listed for the record. FHL icons.png. The magnifying glass indicates that the microfilm is indexed. Clicking on the magnifying glass will take you to the index. Clicking on the camera will take you to an online digital copy of the microfilm.

Reading the Records

  • Online interactive slideshow lessons are available to help you learn to read these records:


Search Strategies

To effectively use civil records, follow these steps:

  1. Search for the relative or ancestor you have selected. When you find the person’s birth record, search for the births of his or her brothers and sisters.
  2. Search for the marriage of his or her parents. The marriage record will often give you information that leads to the parents’ birth record.
  3. Estimate the parents’ age and search for their birth records.
  4. Repeat the process for both the father and mother.
  5. If earlier generations are not in the record, search neighboring municipios.
  6. Search the death records for all family members.