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 includes the civil registration records for various departments of Guatemala. Earlier records were handwritten in narrative style; later records were handwritten in formatted registers. The text of all these records is written in Spanish. Immense genealogical information for individuals can be found in the civil records. Additional images will be published as they become available.
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). 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. For a list of records by date or locality currently published in this collection, select the Browse link from the collection landing page.
This collection of civil registration records from Guatemala covers the years 1877 to 2008.
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.
The civil registration records are a reliable source for acquiring the vital data of ancestors after 1877.
Citation for This Collection
The following citation refers to the original source of the information published in FamilySearch.org Historical Records collections. Sources include the author, custodian, publisher, and archive for the original records.
- Guatemala Civil Registry. Guatemala Civil Registration. Archivo General de Centro America, Guatemala.
The key genealogical facts found in most birth records are:
- 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
The key genealogical facts found in most marriage records are:
- 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
The key genealogical facts found in most death records are:
- 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
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.
Known Issues with This Collection
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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
"Guatemala Civil Registration, 1877-2008," index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/F6BJ-1JC : accessed 26 June 2012), Mariano Rodriguez Rossignon and Amalia Trejo, married 29 October 1921; citing Marriage Records, Guatemala Civil Registry, Guatemala Civil Registration, Archivo General de Centro America, Guatemala.
A suggested format for keeping track of records that you have searched is found in the wiki article Help:How to Cite FamilySearch Collections.