Your portal to Puerto Rico Genealogy!


      Birth, Marriage, Death & more...

   What they are...
 
Vital records — birth, marriage and death — are the foundations of genealogical research. Divorce records are sometimes classified as vital records, but more often, as court records. We are also including under this section records of "Marriage Dispensations" and "Widow's Pensions" only because we feel they are related to the marriage and death records respectively.

As you begin your research in vital records it is important to realize that in the early days of registration, not all births, marriages and deaths were reported. People living in rural areas often found it a real inconvenience to take a day from work to travel many miles to the local registrar. Some people were suspicious of the government's reasons for wanting such information and simply refused to register. Others may have registered the birth of one child, but not others.

The demographic registrars are official repositories of vital records in the Island since 1885. Prior to that time these events can be found recorded in the registers of christenings, marriages and burials maintained by parish churches.
 

   Family Search Indexing Project
 

The Indexing project is a non-profit community effort sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The Church has been actively gathering and preserving genealogical records worldwide for over 100 years.

Their presence in the web continues to grow and they have added to their web collection the images of the:

  • Puerto Rico Civil Registrations, 1836-2001
  • Puerto Rico Catholic Church Records, 1645-1969
  • Puerto Rico, Records of Foreign Residents, 1815-1845 [See   La Real Cédula de Gracia, 1815]

These images come from microfilmed data that you can also review if you visit one of their Family History Centers or on the web at Family Search, https://familysearch.org/.

Their intention is to have volunteers index these records to make it easier to search for a person. It seems that for now, they are only going to index birth records. So, to help our members,  Searching For Our Roots  will extract portions of these records, as time permits, to facilitate the search for ancestors to our members.

These is what we have done so far:
 
    Puerto Rico Civil Registrations, 1836-2001
    Puerto Rico Catholic Church Records, 1645-1969
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   Public Notices [Edictos]
 
These public notices are published in the Puerto Rico newspapers if the cemetery in question has decided to exhume corpses to make room for new ones. This is a general practice in most if not all of the municipal cemeteries in the island and the procedure is pretty much the same for all towns.

If a lease for a rented plot expired for more than seven years and is not renewed, it will be interpreted as that the tenant is not interested in preserving the remains and the government will proceed to publish their intent through a public notice in the newspaper. If the tenant or relative does not claim the bodies, then the government will exhume the bodies and place them in a mass grave as provided by the General Rules of Environmental Health and plots will be reuse.
   Funeral Cards

 

  Click HERE to read available Funeral Cards

 

   Records From Other Sources ...
 
 
   Suggested Reading and References

 
  • Los Registros Parroquiales y la Microhistoria Demografica en PR by Mario A. Rodriguez Leon, 1990

Last Update September 1, 2014
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