Guatemala Civil Registration (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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Access the records: Guatemala Civil Registration, 1877-2008 .

Title in the Language of the Records

Registro Civil de Guatemala

Record Description

This collection of civil registration records from Guatemala covers the years 1877 to 2008. For a complete list of all the provinces contained in this collection, see the Provinces of Guatemala - Civil Registration coverage table.

Guatemala established the civil registry on September 9, 1877, and set the regulations of the institution. With the civil code of 1933, the same regulations were kept with a few modifications. With the civil code of 1964 and decree number 106, a few amendments were made which set the civil registration as it currently exists. The entire population must be registered at birth; there is a registration office in each municipality. The first records were handwritten in narrative style. Later ones were created in formatted records. 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).

The National Registry of the People (RENAP – Registro Nacional de las Personas) is an institution under the Judicial Department, with the seat in Guatemala City. By law, it has offices in all the municipalities of the country. This institution is in charge of organizing and maintaining a unique registration of the native people of Guatemala and issuing a personal identification for each citizen.

Earlier records were handwritten in narrative style; later records were handwritten in formatted registers. The text of all these records is written in Spanish. 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.

If looking for an ancestor in Guatemala prior to 1877, try searching in the Guatemala, Catholic Church Records.

For a list of records by date or locality currently published in this collection, select the Browse link from the collection landing page.

Citation for This Collection

The following citation refers to the original source of the information published in Historical Record collections. Sources include the author, custodian, publisher and archive for the original records.

Guatemala Civil Registry. Guatemala Civil Registration. Archivo General de Centro America, Guatemala.

Suggested citation format for a record in this collection.

Record Content

These birth records generally contain the following information:
  • Date and place of the birth
  • Name of the child
  • Child’s gender
  • Child’s date of birth
  • Legitimacy
  • Parents' names, residence, or places of origin
  • Names of the witnesses

These marriage records generally contain the following information:

  • Date and place of the event
  • Names of the bride and groom
  • Their civil statuses (widowed, single, divorced) at the time of the marriage
  • Places of origin and residence of the bride and groom
  • Names of the parents
  • Names of the witnesses

These death records generally contain the following information:

  • Place and date of death
  • Name of the deceased
  • Civil status of the deceased at the time of death
  • Civil status and the name of the spouse, if married at the time of death
  • Names of the parents
  • Sometimes included the place of burial

How to Use the Records

The civil registration records of Guatemala are an excellent source for genealogical research after 1877. Important genealogical data can be found in these records, which may also include data about other generations of ancestors. It is suggested to search the indexes, whenever possible, for the surnames of ancestors.

To search by name:
Fill in the requested information in the initial search page. This search will return a list of possible matches. Compare the information about the ancestors in the list to what you already know about your ancestors to determine if this is the correct family or person. You may need to compare the information about more than one person to find your ancestor.

To browse the collection you will need to follow this series of links:
⇒Select the "Browse" link in the initial search page
⇒Select the "Provincia" category
⇒Select the "Ciudad o municipio" category
⇒Select the "Record type and year range" category which takes you to the images

Look at the images one by one comparing the information with what you already know about your ancestors to determine which one is your ancestor. You may need to compare the information about more than one person to make this determination.

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, please read the attached Wiki article. If you encounter additional problems, feel free to report them at 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.

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Contributions to This Article

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.

Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections

When you copy information from a record, you should list where you found the information. This will help you or others to find the record again. It is also good to keep track of records where you did not find information, including the names of the people you looked for in the records.

A suggested format for keeping track of records that you have searched is found in the wiki article Help:How to Cite FamilySearch Collections.

Citation Example for a Record Found in This Collection

"Guatemala Civil Registration, 1877-2008," index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 26 June 2012), Mariano Rodriguez Rossignon and Amalia Trejo, married 29 October 1921; citing Marriage Records, Guatemala Civil Registry, Guatemala Civil Registration, Archivo General de Centro America, Guatemala.