Guatemala Civil Registration (FamilySearch Historical Records)Edit This Page

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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.

You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for Guatemala, Civil Registration, 1877-2008.

Record Content

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

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

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

When searching:
As you are searching it is helpful to know such information as your ancestor's given name and surname, some identifying information such as residence, age, an estimated event year, and one or both of the parents' names.

Search the Collection

To search by index:
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 search by image:
To search the collection you will need to follow this series of links:
⇒Select the "Browse" link in the initial search page
⇒Select the "Province" category
⇒Select the "City or Municipality" category
⇒Select the "Record type and year range" category which takes you to the images

Search the collection by image comparing the information with what you already know about your ancestors to determine if the image relates to them. You may need to look at several images and compare the information about the individuals listed in those images to your ancestors to make this determination.

For Help Reading These Records

These records are in Spanish. For help reading the records, see the following resources:

Using the Information

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.

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Don't overlook FHL Place Guatemala items or FHL Keyword Guatemala items in the FamilySearch Library Catalog.

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. Guidelines are available to help you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide. If you would like to get more involved join the WikiProject FamilySearch Records.

Citations for This Collection

When you copy information from a record, you should list where you found the information; that is, cite your sources. This will help people find the record again and evaluate the reliability of the source. 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. Citations are available for the collection as a whole and each record or image individually.

Collection Citation:

"Guatemala Civil Registration, 1877-2008." Index and Images. FamilySearch. : accessed 2013. Citing Archivo General de Centro América, Guatemala City.

Record Citation (or citation for the index entry):

The citation for a record is available with each record in this collection, at the bottom of the record screen. You can search records in this collection by visiting the search page for Guatemala, Civil Registration, 1877-2008.

Image Citation:

The citation for an image is available on each image in this collection by clicking Show Citation at the bottom left of the image screen. You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for Guatemala, Civil Registration, 1877-2008.


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  • This page was last modified on 19 November 2014, at 19:29.
  • This page has been accessed 19,013 times.