Dominican Republic Civil Registration (FamilySearch Historical Records)Edit This Page
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Title in the Language of the Records
Registro Civil de la República Dominicana
The records are written both in narrative style and in formatted records. Some records appear damaged; however, genealogical information may still be extracted.
For a list of records by date or locality currently published in this collection, select the Browse link from the collection landing page
With the adoption of the Napoleonic civil code of 1804, the Dominican Republic began the practice of civil registration, creating the offices of the civil state (oficialías del estado civil) in charge of registering the events of birth, marriage, and death in the life of its citizens. However, only some civil registration books dating back to 1823 have been found in the Bayaguana Civil Registry (Oficialía del Estado Civil de Bayaguana). Before that time, the Dominican Republic was under Haitian dominion. It wasn’t until June of 1944 that the National Congress created civil registration law 659, which provided new regulations for the functionality of the civil registration institution. One of the regulations was the creation of the Central Office of the Civil State (Oficina Central del Estado Civil), with civil registration headquarters in the capital city and one or more offices in each municipality. The registration of civil records was to be made in duplicate, and one of the original registers was to be sent annually to the Central Office for preservation. The civil records in this collection cover several municipalities (municipios) throughout the country and may include approximately 370,000 names. The birth of a child must be registered within 30 days of the birth. After that, it is considered a late registration and has penalties. However, to avoid the penalties, many children were not registered.
This collection of the civil registration from the Dominican Republic covers the years 1801 to 2006.
Each civil registrar (Oficial del Estado Civil) is required to keep a duplicate registry of the original records of birth, marriage, divorce, and death. At the end of each year, the original registry, together with its corresponding index book, is sent to the Central Office of the Civil State. These civil registrations allow people to be identified as citizens and therefore able to receive governmental benefits in the future.
The civil registration in the Dominican Republic is considered a great and reliable source for genealogical research.
Citation for This Collection
The following citation refers to the original source of the data and images published on FamilySearch.org Historical Records. It may include the author, custodian, publisher and archive for the original records.
- Officials of the State. Dominican Republic Civil Registration. Archivio General de la Nacion, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.
The key genealogical facts found in most birth records are:
- Date and time of registration
- Place of registration
- Witnesses’ names
- Name of the registrant
- Date and time of birth
- Name of the child
- Child’s legitimacy
- Parents’ names
- Parents’ occupations and residence
- Sometimes the names of the grandparents
The key genealogical facts found in most marriage records are:
- Place and date of registration
- Registrant names (in this case the couple)
- Groom’s age, marital status, and occupation
- Groom’s legitimacy and parents' names
- Bride’s age and marital status
- Bride’s legitimacy and parents' names
- Residence of parents
- Witnesses’ names
- Witnesses’ age, marital status, and occupation
- Date of the betrothal promise
- Marriage date
The key genealogical facts found in most death records are:
- Place of registration
- Date of registration
- Time of registration
- Registrant name
- Registrant’s age, marital status, occupation, origin, and residence
- Date, time, and place of death
- Deceased name
- Deceased age, marital status, and legitimacy
- Deceased parents
- Parents' origin and residence
- Cause of death
- Witnesses' names
How to Use the Records
The registration of birth, marriage, and death are a great source for extracting important genealogical information such as: dates, places, given names and surnames, residence of the parents, and sometimes the residences of the grandparents. Witnesses often were relatives of the parents. In order to find a record, it is necessary to know the name and year of the event of an ancestor. It is recommended to first search for the name in the corresponding register’s index.
Known Issues with This Collection
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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 Example for a Record Found in This Collection
"Dominican Republic Civil Registration, 1801-2010," images, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org: accessed 19 June 2012), Santo Domingo > Santo Domingo > Vol. 443-2, 1855-1862 > Images 16 of 207, Francisca Trinidad, born 21 October 1855; citing Officials of the State, Dominican Republic Civil Registration. Archivio General de la Nacion, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.
A suggested format for keeping track of records that you have searched is found in the wiki article Help:How to Cite FamilySearch Collections.
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