Guatemala Civil Registration (FamilySearch Historical Records)Edit This Page
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|This article describes a collection of historical records available at FamilySearch.org.|
Access the records: Guatemala, Civil Registration, 1877-2008 .
Title in the Language of the Records
Registro Civil de Guatemala
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.
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
- 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
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.
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, and family relationships. Remember that there may be more than one person in the records with the same name as your ancestor and that your ancestor may have used nicknames or different names at different times.
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.
For Help Reading These Records
These records are in Spanish. For help reading the records, see the following resources:
- Spanish Genealogical Word List
- BYU Spanish Script Tutorial
- FamilySearch Learning Center videos:
|FHL Place Guatemala items or FHL Keyword Guatemala items in the FamilySearch Library Catalog.|
Known Issues with This Collection
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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
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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.
Citation for This Collection
|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.|
The following citation refers to the original source of the information published in FamilySearch.org Historical Record collections. Sources include the author, custodian, publisher and archive for the original records.
- "Guatemala Civil Registration, 1877-2008." Index and Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2013. Citing Archivo General de Centro América, Guatemala City.
- This page was last modified on 25 June 2014, at 17:34.
- This page has been accessed 15,911 times.
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