Philippines GenealogyEdit This Page
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Guide to Philippines ancestry, family history and genealogy parish registers, transcripts, census records, birth records, marriage records, and death records.
The Philippines is a sovereign island country in Southeast Asia situated in the western Pacific Ocean. It consists of 7,107 islands, north and East of Indonesia.
Its location on the Pacific Ring of Fire and close to the equator makes the Philippines prone to earthquakes and typhoons, but also endows it with abundant natural resources and some of the world's greatest biodiversity
Typhoon season is primarily during the months of June through October. Most of these sweep in from the Eastern Pacific, with wind speeds up to 200 KM. per hour.
The Philippines also has a number of active volcanoes, and is regularly having many areas evacuated due to the volcanoes erupting. The most recent occurrence that affected large areas of the country was that of Mount Pinatubo, in June of 1991. Large areas of the Island of Luzon were covered by Lahar (the local name for dust from the volcano) to a depth of 3 - 4 meters.
The metatarsal of the Callao Man, reliably dated by uranium-series dating to 67,000 years ago replaced the Tabon Man of Palawan, carbon-dated to around 24,000 years ago, as the oldest human remains found in the archipelago.
The modern era of the Philippines started with the coming of Ferdinand Magellan in 1521 and marked the beginning of Spanish colonization. In 1543, Spanish explorer Ruy López de Villalobos named the archipelago Las Islas Filipinas in honor of Philip II of Spain.
More recently, aside from the period of Japanese occupation, the United States retained sovereignty over the islands until 1945. After World War II, the Philippines was recognized as an independent nation. Since then, the Philippines has often had a tumultuous experience with democracy, which includes the overthrow of a dictatorship by a nonviolent revolution.
Largely as a result of the Spanish colonization, most of the Philippines converted to the Roman Catholic religion. Today the country is the largest Christian enclave in Asia, with more than 90% of the population at least declaring a Christian bias.
The southern island of Mindanao is the one exception as it is overwhelmingly Muslim. There have been numerous uprisings and terrorist activities in the past 30 years, and it is by far the least democratic of the Philippines' many provinces.
One of the greatest benefits of the European conquests was that a degree of record keeping was followed. Beginning in the late 1500s, the Spaniards took various censuses known as vecindarios (local censuses), padrón de almas (head census), or estado de almas (people status). The latter two were religious censuses conducted by parish clergy. Read more...
The following map provides the locations of the many provinces in the Philippines, many of which have their own language:
In general, the Philippines has kept much better records than many of its neighbors. There is a national archive that is available for tracking Philippino families. It follows:
Finding a grave is difficult: The following may help:
- Listing of all records collections for Philippines available on FamilySearch.org
Wiki articles describing online collections are found at:
- Philippines Birth and Baptisms (FamilySearch Historical Records)
- Philippines Deaths and Burials (FamilySearch Historical Records)
- Philippines, Lingayen-Dagupan Catholic Archdiocese Parish Registers (FamilySearch Historical Records)
- Philippines, Local Civil Registration (FamilySearch Historical Records)
- Phiippines Marriages (FamilySearch Historical Records)
- Philippines, National Civil Registration (FamilySearch Historical Records)
- This page was last modified on 16 March 2015, at 12:06.
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