Philippines, Civil Registration, Spanish Period (FamilySearch Historical Records)
|This article describes a collection of historical records scheduled to become available at FamilySearch.org.|
This is a collection of births, marriages, and deaths recorded in register books in cities or municipalities where they occurred in the years 1753-1911. The Civil Registration was introduced in the Philippines by the colonists in 1889 and was based on the Civil Code of Spain. A central statistical office was created at about the same time, requiring pastors to submit to the Central Statistics Office in Manila a detailed account of the events of marriages and deaths that had occurred in their parishes during the previous year.
In 1901, the Philippines passed a law that established local civil registry offices. These offices were to record the events of birth, marriage, and death. While the Spanish rule ended in 1898, some of the books were continued up through 1911. Then in 1922, municipal secretaries or local civil registrars were required to send a copy of their registers each quarter to the "chief of the Division of Archives" in Manila. In 1932, the Bureau of Census and Statistics was created to oversee all civil registration.
In 1945, the bureau required local registrars to send in certificates for the births, marriages, and deaths. These certificates contained more information than the previous register copies had.
In 1974, the bureau changed its name to the National Census and Statistics Office and as of 2006, is now called the National Statistics Office. The text of these records was written in Spanish.
The key genealogical facts found in most birth records include:
- Date of registration
- Date, time, and place of birth
- Gender of newborn
- Name of the newborn
- Names of parents
- Names of witnesses
The key genealogical facts found in most marriage records include:
- Date and place of marriage
- Name of bride and groom
- Place of birth and residence of both
- Age of bride and groom
- Occupation of groom
- Names and place of origin of their parents
- Names of witnesses
The key genealogical facts found in most death records include:
- Date and place of death
- Cause of death
- Age at time of death
- Place of origin and/or residence
- Spouse’s name if married
- Parents' names
How to Use the Record
Civil registration is the best source for locating the date and place of an ancestor’s birth, marriage, or death. The birth and marriage records may also include information about the ancestor’s parents. You can use this information to help extend the lineage. Use place information to search for other records with genealogical content.
Birth records will usually include information that identifies a person and provides clues for further searching. Use the age, nationality, and birthplace of the parents to search for their birth records. The records also list the number of children born to a mother, and beginning in 1945, birth certificates tell how many of the children were still living. Use this information to ensure that you have identified all members of a family. Use the parents’ occupation to distinguish between families with similar names. Birth certificates issued after 1958 list the parents’ marriage date and place. Use this information to find the parents’ marriage record.
Marriage records give the age and residence of the couple, as well as the names of their parents. Use the age to estimate when the bride and groom were born, and then search for their birth records. If the individual has a common name, use the parents’ names to help you find the correct birth record.
Death records list the age of the deceased. Use this age to estimate the date of birth, and then search for the birth record. Starting in 1945, death certificates give the birthplace. After 1958 they list the birth date of the individual and give the parents' names, permitting a precise search for the individual’s birth record. Use the name of the surviving spouse (included on post-1945 records) to search for a marriage record.
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Contributions to This Article
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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.
Example of a Source Citation for a Record Found in This Collection
"Philippines, Civil Registration, 1945-1980" images, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org: accessed 29 September 2011).entry for Rebecca Labson, died January 5, 1955; citing Civil Records, Metropolitan Manila, Births, 1955, Manila Image 6: National Stataistics Office, Manila Philippines.
Citation for This Collection
The following citation refers to the original source of the data and images published on FamilySearch.org Historical Records. It may include the author, custodian, publisher and archive for the original records.
Philippines. Civil Registry. Registros civiles, 1753-1911. Bureau of Records Management, Manila, Philippines.
Information about creating source citations for FamilySearch Historical Collections is listed in the wiki article Help:How to Create Source Citations For FamilySearch Historical Records Collections.