Philippines, Civil Registration, National (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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Philippines Civil Registration (National), 1945-1984
This article describes a collection of records at
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Record Description
Record Type: Civil Registration
Collection years: 1945-1984
Languages: Spanish
Title in the Languages: Filipinas, El Registro Civil, Nacional
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites
National Statistics Office of the Philippines

What Is In This Collection?

This collection consists of vital records from across the Philippines for the years 1945-1987. The original records are located in the National Census and Statistics Office, Manila, Philippines.

Records are not available for all localities and the content and time period vary by area. This is an active, ongoing collection and additional records may be added.

Image Visibility

Whenever possible, FamilySearch makes images of digitized records available for all users. However, the rights to view images on this website are ultimately granted by the record custodians. Due to their restrictions, some of the records in this collection are not allowed to be displayed in any electronic format, and therefore are not available for viewing online.

Reading These Records

Some of these records are written in Spanish; also see the section For Help Reading These Records for translation helps.

To Browse This Collection

You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for Philippines Civil Registration (National), 1945-1984.

What Can These Records Tell Me?

The following lists indicate potential information provided in these records. Every record may not provide all the listed information as record-keeping practices differed by area and changed over time.

Marriage records Death records
Names and ages of bride and groom Deceased’s name and age (keep in mind that death records for women may be filed under their married name)
Date and place of marriage Date and place of death
Names and ages of the groom’s parents Marital status/Name of spouse
Names and ages of the bride’s parents Date and place of burial (cremation or removal)
Names of witnesses Name of informant
Names of persons who gave consent On death certificates after 1958, names of parents
Beginning in 1945, birthplace of the husband and wife was recorded On death certificates after 1958, the birth date and place of deceased
Date of marriage license Date the certificate was filed/created by the local civil registrar
Date the certificate was created/filed (marriage contract) Date of burial or transit permit
Name of person who solemnized the marriage

Collection Content

The records include marriage and death certificates from various localities in the Philippines.

Sample Images

How Do I Search The 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

Search The Index

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

View The Images

View images in this collection by visiting the Browse Page

  1. Select Province
  2. Select Record Type
  3. Select Year Range
  4. Select Municipality to view the images.

For Help Reading These Records

The following guides may be of helpful for Spanish records:

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?

  • Add any new information to your records
  • Check the image the index was taken from to see if there is additional information
  • Make sure to fully transcribe and cite the record entry for future reference; see the section Citing this Collection for assistance. Save or print a copy of the image
  • Use the information which has been discovered to find more. For instance, use the age listed in the record to estimate a year of birth, if that is yet undetermined
  • Continue to search the index to identify children, siblings, parents, and other relatives. Remember that family members often appear on an individual's vital records, such as in the role of witnesses to a marriage

I Can’t Find the Person I’m Looking For, What Now?

  • Consult Philippines Record Finder table to find other records
  • Spelling was not standardized for much of the period of this collection, so names were often spelled as they were pronounced. Pay attention to how the name should have been pronounced and try spelling variations that could have that pronunciation
  • Spanish name abbreviations may also be helpful with names
  • Vary the search terms. For example, search by either the given name or surname to return broader list of possible candidates which can then be examined for matches. Alternatively, try expanding the date range
  • Search the records of nearby localities. While it was uncommon for an individual in this period to move more than about 20 miles from their place of birth, smaller relocations were not uncommon
  • Philippines Church Records are a good substitute when birth, marriage, and death records can’t be found or are unavailable
  • The Philippines Births and Baptisms, Coverage Table (FamilySearch Historical Records) may also be useful.

New information is constantly being indexed, microfilmed or updated. Periodically check back and see if your ancestor’s records have been added. You can see if the area you’ve been looking in has been recently updated by going to Historical Records Collections and notice the asterisk for recently added or updated records.

General Information about These Records

In 1889, the Spanish government created the Central Office of Statistics. This office required each parish priest to periodically give the government a list of the births, marriages, and deaths in his area. The Catholic clergy had previously maintained records about births, marriages and deaths, and sent copies to the government. After 1889, clergy were required to regularly submit detailed reports. This system continued until the end of the Spanish administration in 1898.

After the Philippine Revolution of 1898, the church and state became separate. Within the first few years, officials responsible for civil registration were appointed in each municipality. In 1930, civil registration became mandatory.

In 1932 the Bureau of Census and Statistics was created to oversee civil registration. Many civil records were destroyed during World War II.

Divorce is not legal in the Philippines, but some records of annulment and legal separation are kept in the National Census and Statistics Office and in the local Domestic Relations Court of First Instance.

Known Issues for this Collection

Important.png Problems with this collection?
See a list of known issues, workarounds, tips, restrictions, future fixes, news and other helpful information.

For a full list of all known issues associated with this collection see the attached Wiki article. If you encounter additional problems, please email them to 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

"Philippines, Civil Registration (National), 1945-1984." Images. FamilySearch. : accessed 2017. Citing National Census and Statistics Office, Manila, Philippines.

Record Citation:
When looking at a record, the citation is found below the record.
Image Citation:
When looking at an image, the citation is found on the Information tab at the bottom left of the screen.

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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.