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
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Related Websites


What is in This Collection?

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.

Reading These Records

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 Puerto Rico, Civil Registration,1805-2001.

What Can These Records Tell Me?

The following information is usually found in these records:

Birth records Marriage records Death records
Date, time and place of birth Date and place of marriage Name and age of deceased (keep in mind that death records for women may be filed under their married name)
Child’s name and gender Name and age of groom Marital status, residence and origin of deceased
Legitimacy of child Groom’s marital status, occupation, residence and origin Date and place of death
Parents’ names and ages Bride’s name and age Date and place of medical certificate
Parents’ marital status, occupation, residence and origin Bride’s marital status, occupation, residence and origin Informant’s age, marital status, occupation, residence and origin
Names of paternal grandparents Names of parents Names of parents and their origin
Names of maternal grandparents Names of person giving consent (usually bride’s father) Names of grandparents, if known
Date and place of registration Names of witnesses Date and place of burial

Collection Content

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.

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

Search The Index

If the collection is not published: 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 Municipality
  2. Select Record Type and Year Range to view the images.

For Help Reading These Records

For help reading these Spanish records, see the following wiki articles:

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?

To learn more about using the information available in these records, view these lessons for free:

I Found the Person I Was Looking For, What Now?

  • 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?

  • 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.

Known Issues with This Collection

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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 article. If you encounter additional problems, please email them to support@familysearch.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
"Puerto Rico, Civil Registration, 1805-2001." Database with Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2017. Citing Oficinas del ciudad, Puerto Rico [city offices, Puerto Rico].
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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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.

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