Philippines, Civil Registration, National (FamilySearch Historical Records)Edit This Page

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FamilySearch Record Search This article describes a collection of historical records available at


Record Description

This collection includes civil records for 1902 to 1980. The records include birth, marriage and death certificates from various localities in the Philippines. Additional records for Manila can be found in the Philippines, Manila Civil Registration (FamilySearch Historical Records), 1899-1994 collection. Records are not available for all localities and the content and time period vary by locality.

This is an ongoing active collection. Additional records may be added to this collection. Check the wiki or browse the collection to determine current coverage. Original records are located in the National Census and Statistics Office, Manila, Philippines.

Record Categories

In 1901, the Philippines passed a law that established local civil registry offices. These offices were to record the events of birth, marriage, and death. This set is comprised of national copies of birth, marriage, and death certificates which were submitted to the National Census and Statistics Office. Records are not available for all localities and the coverage varies by locality. Marriage and Death records are handwritten in English for the most part. A few of the earlier marriage records are in Spanish. Spanish is also used in sections of later records.

Record Content

The information found in each record varies by year.

The recording of civil events in a person's life, such as birth, marriage and death, require valid evidence making these records very reliable.

For a list of records by localities and dates currently published in this collection, select the Browselink from the collection page.

Birth records usually contain the following information:

  • Child’s full name and gender
  • Date and place of birth
  • Names, ages, and residence of parents
  • Mother's maiden name
  • Birthplace of mother and father
  • Father's occupation
  • Religion of parents
  • Nationality

Marriage records usually contain the following information:

  • Names and ages of groom and bride
  • Date and place of marriage
  • Names and ages of the groom’s parents
  • Names and ages of the bride’s parents
  • Names of witnesses
  • Names of persons who gave consent
  • Name of person who solemnized the marriage
  • Beginning in 1945, birthplace of the husband and wife was recorded
  • Date of marriage license
  • Date the certificate was created/filed (marriage contract)

Death records usually contain the following information:

  • Deceased’s name and age (keep in mind that death records for women may be filed under their married name)
  • Date and place of death
  • Marital status/Name of spouse
  • Date and place of burial (cremation or removal)
  • Name of informant
  • Name of attending physician
  • Name of undertaker
  • On death certificates after 1958, names of parents
  • On death certificates after 1958, the birth date and place of deceased
  • Date the certificate was filed/created by the local civil registrar
  • Date of burial or transit permit

How to Use the Record

To begin your search you should know the following:

  • The person’s name.
  • The approximate location of an event.
  • An approximate time frame of an event.
  • Indexes are available on some of these groups of images. If indexes are available, check these for the name first. Indexes are usually located at the beginning or end of a group of images. Find your ancestor’s name and look for the locator information next to the name (such as page, entry, or certificate number). This will help you find the record you are looking for in the collection.
  • Some record sets have indexes; these indexes were created at the end of the year. Copy errors could have been made in the index, so you want to find the actual record to verify the information is correct.

Keep in mind:

  • There may be more than one person in the records with the same name.
  • You may not be sure of your own ancestor’s name.
  • The information in records is usually reliable, but depends upon the knowledge of the informant.
  • Regarding marriage and death records, name changes, shortened names, or nicknames may have been used by your ancestors, so pay attention to other relationships (parents, spouse, siblings, children, etc.) that can confirm whether you have the right person/record.
  • When looking for a person who had a common name, look at all the entries for the name before deciding which is correct.

Search the Collection

To browse the collection you will need to follow this series of links:
⇒Select "Browse through images" on the initial collection page:
⇒Select the appropriate "Province"
⇒Select the appropriate "Record Type"
⇒Select the appropriate "Year Range" category
⇒Select the appropriate "Municipality" which will take you to the images.

Look at the images and compare the information with what you already know about your ancestors to determine which one is your ancestor. 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.

Using the Information

  • Use the marriage date and place as the basis for compiling a new family group or for verifying existing information.
  • Use the birth date or age along with the place of birth of each partner to find a couple's birth records and parents' names.
  • Use the birth date or age along with the place of birth to find the family in census records.
  • Use the residence and names of the parents to locate church and land records.
  • Use the parents' birth places to find former residences and to establish a migration pattern for the family.
  • The name of a marriage officiator is a clue to their religion or area of residence in the county. However, ministers may have reported marriages performed in other counties.
  • Compile the marriage entries for every person who has the same surname as the bride or groom; this is especially helpful in rural areas or if the surname is unusual.
  • Continue to search the marriage records to identify children, siblings, parents, and other relatives of the bride and groom who may have married in the same county or nearby. This can help you identify other generations of your family or even the second marriage of a parent. Repeat this process for each new generation you identify.
  • Use the marital status/marriage number (how many times a person was married) to identify previous marriages.
  • When looking for a person who had a common name, look at all the entries for the name before deciding which is correct.
  • Witnesses often were relatives of the parents.
  • Continue to search the indexes and records to identify children, siblings, parents, and other relatives who may have lived in the same area or a nearby area

For Help Reading these Records

Some records may be in Spanish. For help reading the records see the following guides:

Unable to Find your Ancestor?

A boundary change could have occurred and the record of you ancestor is now in a neighboring province, or your ancestor immigrated to another country. Search the records of nearby areas or immigration/emigration records.

Church records are also a good substitute when birth, marriage, and death records can’t be found or are unavailable.

Known Issues for this Collection

Important.png Problems with this collection?
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 see the attached Wiki article. If you encounter additional problems, please email them to 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.

Related Websites

Philippine Islands Death Records

Related Wiki Articles

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.

Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections

Citations for individual image records are available for this collection. Browse through images in this collection and click on the "Show Citation" box: Philippines, Civil Registration (National), 1945-1982

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.

A suggested format for keeping track of records that you have searched is found in the wiki article Help:How to Cite FamilySearch Collections.

Citation for This Collection

The following citation refers to the original source of the information published in Historical Record collections. Sources include the author, custodian, publisher and archive for the original records.

"Philippines, Civil Registration (National), 1945-1981." Images. FamilySearch. : accessed 2013. Citing National Census and Statistics Office, Manila, Philippines.


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  • This page was last modified on 14 April 2014, at 17:47.
  • This page has been accessed 32,539 times.