Puerto Rico Civil Registration
|Puerto Rico Wiki Topics|
|Puerto Rico Background|
|Local Research Resources|
Civil registration, also called vital records, are the records of births, marriages, deaths kept by governments
- The civil registration in Puerto Rico began in early 1885. The whole population of Puerto Rico living since 1885 is registered in these records.  Most municipalities have births, marriages, and deaths from 1885, but some have records from earlier years.
- The Demographic Registry Office of Puerto Rico (Registro Demográfico de Puerto Rico) has the responsibility to preserve all the vital data of the citizens of Puerto Rico, such as the registration of births, marriages, and deaths.
- Before 1885, the vital information of a person was registered in the Catholic Church parish records.
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|
Where to Find the Records
- Puerto Rico, Civil Registration, 1805-2001 - at FamilySearch. Partial index, images, incomplete.
Births, marriages, deaths, indexes and other records created by civil registration offices in Puerto Rico. Some records may date prior to 1885 as a few municipalities began civil registration before that date. Some of these records have been indexed and are searchable as part of this collection. Additional indexed records will be published as they become available.
To search the partial index, use:
- Puerto Rico, Civil Registration, 1805-2001 - at FamilySearch. Index, incomplete.
To search the same collection by municipality, use:
- Puerto Rico, Civil Registration, 1805-2001 - at FamilySearch. Images, incomplete.
A wiki article describing an online collection is found at:
The same collection is available on Ancestry.com. Their database is partially indexed. If you do not have a membership, you can search these records for free at a Family History Center:
- Puerto Rico, Civil Registrations, 1885-2001, partial index and images, ($)
Sending for Records
If your municipality or needed time period are not found online, you can order records through the mail or by visiting the office in person:
Reading the Records
- Reading Aids for Civiol Registration Records
- Reading Spanish Handwritten Records:
- Lesson 1: The Spanish Alphabet
- Lesson 2: Words and Dates
- Lesson 3: Reading Spanish Records
- Spanish Genealogical Word List
- Spanish Records Extraction Manual. Practice reading documents
- BYU Spanish Documents Script Tutorial
- Spanish Letter Writing Guide
The following extract forms were created by Dr. George Ryskamp, JD, AG. These particular forms are designed to be used for Spanish research; however, they can help in other research areas, such as Italy, France, Portugal, etc. Click on the type of record form you would like to use and print it for your own files.
These forms are designed to help you quickly analyze and organize your documents. They can become a personal index for your family records.
- Ryskamp, George. Finding Your Hispanic Roots. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1997.