Guatemala Civil Registration (FamilySearch Historical Records)Edit This Page
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Access the records: Guatemala Civil Registration, 1877-1934 .
Foreign Language Title
Registro Civil de Guatemala
Collection Time Period
This collection of civil registration records from Guatemala may cover the years from about the start of the civil registry in 1877 to the present.
This collection includes the civil registration records for various departments of Guatemala. The earlier records were handwritten in narrative style. Later the records were handwritten in formatted registers. The text of all these records is written in Spanish. Vast genealogical information for individuals can be found in the civil records.
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
- Names of the parents, their 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 status (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, 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
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.
Why This Collection Was Created?
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.
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Sources of Information for This Collection:
"Guatemala Civil Registration," database, FamilySearch; from Archibo General de Centro America, Guatemala, Guatemala. "Guatemala civil registration." General Archive of Central America, Guatemala City, Guatemala. FHL microfilm. Family History Library, Salt lake City, Utah, Usa.
The format for citing FamilySearch Historical Collections, including how to cite individual archives is found in the following link: How to Create Source Citations for FamilySearch Historical Records Collections
Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections
A suggested format for keeping track of records that you have searched is found in the Wiki Article: How to Cite FamilySearch Collections
Please add sample citations to this article following the format guidelines in the wiki article listed above.
Examples of Source Citations for a Record in This Collection:
"Guatemala Civil Registration, 1877-1934." database and images, FamilySearch: accessed March 24, 2011. entry for Mariano Rodriguez Rossignon and Amalia Trejo, married 29 October 1921; citing Marriage Records, FHL film 766837; Archibo General de Centro America, Guatemala, Guatemala.
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