Philippines Notarial Records
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The Family History Library has an excellent collection of notarial records from most provinces of the Philippines. Although difficult to use, they can provide valuable information.
Notarial records are written in English, Spanish, and various Philippine dialects. Some are indexed, but most are not. To use these records you need to know:
- The date your ancestor used the services of a notary.
- The notary’s name.
- The province where your ancestor lived.
- The place where the document was notarized.
Notarial records are in the Locality section of the FamilySearch Catalog under Notarial Records:
PHILIPPINES, AGUSAN DEL NORTE,
BUENAVISTA - NOTARIAL RECORDS
Sometimes you can find the name of the notary by looking in death registers. If you know the notary’s name, you can look for it in the Author/Title section of the catalog.
A few notarial records are from provinces (1900–70), but most are from Manila (1700–1970).
Notarial Records and Indexes (Protocolos e índices)
Research use: Excellent linkage source. Some records are indexed. Records show vital information for individuals, families and relatives. Records are the best back up source for church records when years are missing.
Record type: Records of local courts regarding wills, contracts, marriages, inheritance, sale and transfer of property, annuities, mortgages, inventories, orphans records.
Time Period: 1850-present.
Contents: Wills, codicils, probates: Testator’s names, heirs, witnesses, residences, dates, property descriptions, distributions, signatures. Marriage dowries, contracts: names, relatives, witnesses, dates, conditions, properties, signatures. Divisions of estates and deeds: heirs, sellers, buyers, witnesses, officials, residences, property descriptions, guardianship assignments for orphans, apprenticeships. Orphans records: Will abstracts, authorizations, prospective guardians, acceptances, appointments, orphans’ names, parents, relatives, guardians, ages, residences.
Location: National Bureau of Records Management, provincial and municipality archives. Population coverage: 15%.
Reliability: Very good.
- The Family History Department of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, “Family History Record Profile: Philippines,” Word document, private files of the FamilySearch Content Strategy Team, 1986-1999.