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Cyprus Census

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Census RecordsEdit

Research use: These records link families together and greatly supplement the reseach process. Helpful for establishing family relationships and generation linkages.

Record type: Nominative population enumeration. Ottoman Population Registers and Ottoman Detailed Cadastral Surveys fulfill a similar function for the period of Ottoman rule.

Time period: 1901, 1911, 1921, 1931, 1946, 1960, 1973 (partial census for certain areas), 1976 (the non-Turkish part of the country), 1982, and 1991.

Contents: Censuses are in family groups; they list names of family members, ages, relationships, etc.

Location: Office of the Ministry of the Interior, Nikosia.

Population coverage: 90% or better.[1]

Ottoman Population Registers [Turkish - Nüfus Defter]Edit

Research use: Records provide information identifying males and their families. They can be very useful for linking generations.

Record type: A census-like register of households. The Ottoman Empire began a system of periodic registration of the population in 1829-1831. These generally counted the number of households or even of persons, but apparently recorded few names. The Ottomans conducted an empire wide survey in 1860. It is not clear whether this and subsequent surveys included names of individuals. Ottoman census laws of 1875 began a system of regular population registers of males, heads of households, etc., which likely included names and specific descriptive information. Cyprus passed to British control in 1878 before the Ottomans enacted additional laws regarding population surveys. Further evaluation is needed to determine whether Cyprus has records as are found in other lands of the Turkish dominion. Population registration was somewhat like a system of civil registration, with population registers to update the census by adding new information about births, marriages, and deaths. Permanent registers were compiled in an initial census survey; thereafter vital information was added as births, marriages, and deaths occurred. Initial census surveys were conducted throughout the empire in 1876-1878, and again in 1882-1885, after Cyprus was no longer governed by Turkey. Supplemental registration of births, marriages, divorces, and deaths were sometimes added to the census/population register itself or sometimes compiled in separate registers after that date.

Time period: 1831 to 1878 or possibly later.

Contents: If records of Cyprus are similar to other areas of the Ottoman empire they would include counts of males and possibly names and other details from 1831 to 1860 (especially likely for Muslims). After 1860, and particularly after 1875, they would provide extensive information of specific genealogical value for all inhabitants including the name, birth year, birth date of those moving in from elsewhere, height, complexion, eye color, date of death or departure if moved, and other dates with regard to military service. It is assumed the military information is missing from the registers for non-Muslims. Certain registers apparently include widows who were heads of households. The census-like records included number of households for each village, unmarried mature males, brief physical descriptions and estimates of the value of crop yields and income from livestock. Also listed were contributions to the military forces. Children’s names were added as births occurred. The names of the deceased persons are crossed out with a death date noted.

Location: Muslim materials are at the Cyprus Turkish National Archive and Research Center, Girne (Kyrenia) in Northern Cyprus. Non-Muslim materials are likely at the Cyprus Research Center in Nikosia. Some may be in the Ottoman Archives at the Topkapi Palace in Istanbul, Turkey.

Population coverage: 30 to 50%.[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1 The Family History Department of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, “Family History Record Profile: Cyprus,” Word document, private files of the FamilySearch Content Strategy Team, 1994-1998.