Guatemala Civil Registration (FamilySearch Historical Records)
|Access the Records|
Guatemala, Civil Registration, 1877-2008
|This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.|
|Flag of the Republic of Guatemala|
|Location of Guatemala|
|Record Type:||Civil Registration|
|Title in the Language:||Guatemala, Registro Civiles|
|El Registro Nacional de las Personas|
- 1 What is in This Collection?
- 2 What Can These Records Tell Me?
- 3 Collection Content
- 4 How Do I Search This Collection?
- 5 What Do I Do Next?
- 6 Known Issues with This Collection
- 7 Citing This Collection
- 8 How Can I Contribute to the FamilySearch Wiki?
What is in This Collection?
Guatemala established the civil registry on September 9, 1877, and set the regulations of the institution. The entire population must be registered at birth; there is a registration office in each municipality.
This collection of civil registration records from Guatemala covers the years 1877 to 2008 and includes birth, marriage, and death records.
Most of the records are in relatively good preservation. However, some of the older registers may have some physical damage, but in general they are in good condition for the extraction of genealogical information. Additional images will be published as they become available.
The civil registry registers all the principal events in the life of the people of Guatemala, from their birth to their death. A unique code is assigned to each citizen at the time of the birth registration. This code includes the department and municipality codes of the place where the person was born. These codes are determined by the board of directors of the National Registry of the People (RENAP – Registro Nacional de las Personas). RENAP is an institution under the Judicial Department, with the seat in Guatemala City.
The link to the Guatemala, Civil Registration, 1877-2008 collection covers all of Guatemala, but is not a complete collection. For a list of all the departments and cities contained in this collection, see the Provinces of Guatemala - Civil Registration coverage table.
Reading These Records
These records are written in Spanish. For help reading these records see the following guides:
- Spanish Genealogical Word List
- Reading Spanish handwritten records
- Script tutorial for Spanish
- BYU Spanish Script Tutorial
- FamilySearch Learning Center videos:
If you speak Spanish, the following free online lessons may be helpful to learn how to use the information in these records:
To Browse This Collection
|You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for Guatemala, Civil Registration, 1877-2008.|
What Can These Records Tell Me?
The following information may be found in these records:
Click on the name of the department in the list or the department itself (map) to see what civil records are available for that area.
How Do I Search This Collection?
You can search the index or view the images or both. 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
- Family relationships
Search the Index
View the Images
View images in this collection by visiting the Browse Page:
- Select Department
- Select City or Municipality
- Select Record Type and Years to view the images.
|More images are available in the FamilySearch Catalog at Guatemala Civil Registration, 1877-2008. Some catalog records link to multiple references. In this case, click on a reference to find a camera icon to see images.|
How Do I Analyze the Results?
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?
I Found the Person I Was Looking For, What Now?
- The civil registration records of Guatemala are an excellent source for genealogical research after 1877. If you're looking for an ancestor in Guatemala prior to 1877, try searching the collection Guatemala Catholic Church Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)
- If possible, look at the actual image of the record to verify the information found in the online description
- Use the birth date or age along with the place of birth to find the family in census records
- Use the parents' birth places to find former residences and to establish a migration pattern for the family
- Compile information for every person who has the same surname as your ancestor; this is especially helpful in rural areas or if the surname is unusual
- Continue to search the records to identify children, siblings, parents, and other relatives 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
I Can’t Find the Person I’m Looking For, What Now?
- 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
- Civil registration records are also a good source of genealogical information. You should obtain copies of both church records and civil registration, when possible, since they do not necessarily provide the same information. For example, baptismal registers sometimes provide the names of the fathers of illegitimate children when the civil registration does not
- A boundary change could have occurred and the record of your ancestor is now in a neighboring area. Search the records and indexes of neighboring cities, provinces, and regions
- Your ancestor may have immigrated to another country. Search the records of nearby countries or immigration/emigration records
- Hispanic Genealogy Research community on Facebook is a page sponsored by FamilySearch and here you may also post a question or upload an image of a document for further assistance.
- Investigación Genealógica en Guatemala is another FamilySearch research community page on Facebook where you can post questions and upload images of documents. The majority of the posts on this page are in Spanish but you are welcome to post on the page in English. Be sure to click like on the page on
Consult the Guatemala Record Finder to find other records
Known Issues with This Collection
For a full list of all known issues associated with this collection, please read the attached Wiki article. If you encounter additional problems, feel free to report them at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include the full path to the link and a description of the problem in your e-mail. Your assistance will help ensure that future reworks will be considered.
Citing This Collection
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
- "Guatemala Registro Civil, 1877-2008." Database with images. FamilySearch. https://FamilySearch.org : 2 May 2018. Archivo General de Centro America (Central American Archives), Guatemala City.
When looking at a record, the citation is found below the record.
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?
| 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 Records. |
Please follow these guidelines as you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide.