Philippines, Civil Registration, Local (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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Philippines

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Philippines Civil Registration (Local), 1888-1984 .
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This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
Philippines
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Record Description
Record Type: Civil Registration
Collection years: 1888-1984
Languages: Spanish
Title in the Languages: Filipinas, El Registro Civil, Local
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites
Archive
National Statistics Office of the Philippines


What is in the Collection?

This collection consists of governmental vital records from across the Philippines for the years 1888-1984. The originals are housed at the Bureau of Records Management in Manila. Additional records will be added to this collection as they become available.

Browse the collection in FamilySearch to determine current coverage. For local civil registration records for Metropolitan Manila, please see the collection Philippines, Manila Civil Registration (FamilySearch Historical Records). Records are not available for all localities; the coverage varies by city/locality.

Collection Content

This collection contains birth, marriage, and death records. The records are evenly balanced by type, with births, marriages, and deaths each constituting an approximately equal portion of the collection.

Sample Images

What Can This Collection Tell Me?

The following lists indicate potential information given in each type of record. It must be remembered that every record may not provide all the listed information, as record-keeping practices often varied by time and location.

Birth records may contain:

  • City and province of birth
  • Name of child
  • Gender, nationality, and race of child
  • Date of birth
  • Full names of father and mother, including maiden names
  • Occupation of father
  • Residence of mother, including street address, city, and province
  • Ages of parents at child's birth
  • Birthplaces of father and mother
  • Nationality, race, and religion of parents
  • Number of previous births to the mother
  • Legitimacy of birth
  • Date of parents' marriage, if legitimate
  • Child's weight at birth

Marriage records may contain:

  • Date and place of marriage
  • Groom's name and age
  • Groom's nationality, residence and marital status
  • Name of groom's father and his nationality
  • Maiden name of husband's mother and her nationality
  • Bride's name and age
  • Bride's nationality, residence and marital status
  • Name of bride's father and his nationality
  • Maiden name of bride's mother and her nationality
  • Names of the witnesses and their residence
  • Names of the persons who gave consent to the marriage
  • Name and title of person who solemnized marriage
  • Beginning in 1945, birthplace of bride and groom are given

Death records may contain:

  • City and province where death occurred
  • Name of medical institution if death occurred there
  • Name and gender of deceased (Sometimes the death record for a woman will be filed under her married name and not her maiden name.)
  • Age given in years, months, days and hours
  • Date of death
  • Cause of death
  • Birthplace and occupation of deceased
  • Name of surviving spouse, if married
  • In what country did deceased have citizenship
  • Parents' names, including mother's maiden name
  • Name of informant and their relationship to deceased
  • Name of attending physician
  • Burial information

How Do I Search the Collection?

Before beginning a search in these records, it is best to know the full name of the individual in question, as well as an approximate time range for the desired record. When entered into the search engine on the Collection Page, this information provides the quickest, most reliable path to finding the correct person. Of course, other information can be substituted as necessary.

Search by Name by Visiting the Collection Page

Fill in the requested information in the initial search page to return a list of possible matches. Compare the individuals on the list with what is already known to find the correct family or person. This step may require examining multiple individuals before a match is located.

View Images in This Collection by Visiting the Browse Page

If granted the rights to view the digitized records in this collection, the images may be accessed by following this series of links:
⇒ Select Browse through images on the initial collection page
⇒ Select the appropriate Province category
⇒ Select the appropriate Municipality category
⇒ Select the appropriate Record Type category
⇒ Select the appropriate Year Range category to go to the images

Look at the image and compare the information with what you already know about your ancestors to determine if the image relates to them. 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.

For Help Reading these Records

For help reading the Spanish-era records see the following guides:

What Do I Do Next?

I Found the Person I Was Looking for, What Now?

  • Make sure to fully transcribe and cite the record entry for future reference; see below for assistance in citing this collection. Save or print a copy of the image if possible.
  • Use the information which has been discovered to find more. For instance, use the age listed in the record to estimate a year of birth, if that is yet undetermined.
  • Use the birth date or age along with the place of birth to find the family in the Philippines Census.
  • Use the residence and names of the parents to locate church and property records.
  • Continue to search the index to identify children, siblings, parents, and other relatives. Note that family members often appear on an individual's vital records, such as in the role of witnesses to a marriage.

I Can’t Find the Person I’m Looking for, What Now?

  • When looking for a person with a common name, look at all the entries for the name before deciding which individual is correct. Use other information, such as place of birth, age, occupation, or names of parents, to determine which candidate is the correct person. If listed, a personal title may be a clue to property ownership or occupation, either of which might be noted in other records.
  • Check for variants of given names, surnames, and place names. Transcription errors could occur in any record; also, it was not uncommon for an individual be listed under a nickname or an abbreviation of their name. See Abbreviations Found in Genealogy Records for examples of common abbreviations. Note that some women reverted to their maiden name when their husband died, and therefore could be buried under their maiden name.
  • Vary the search terms. For example, search by either the given name or surname to return broader list of possible candidates which can then be examined for matches. Alternatively, try expanding the date range; this is especially useful in searching baptismal records, as it was not unusual for a child to be baptized weeks or even months after birth.
  • Search the records of nearby localities. While it was uncommon for an individual in this period to move more than about 20 miles from their place of birth, smaller relocations were not uncommon.
  • Look at the actual image of the record to verify the information found in the online description, if possible.

Citing this Collection

Citing sources correctly makes it easier to refer back to information that has already been discovered; proper citations are therefore indispensable to keeping track of genealogical research. Following established formulae in formatting citations also allows others to verify completed research by helping them find and examine records for themselves.

To be of use, citations must include information such as the author, custodian, publisher, and archive for the original records, if available. The following examples demonstrate how to present this information for both this particular collection as well as individual records and images within the collection:

Collection Citation:

"Philippines, Civil Registration (Local), 1888-1984." Database with Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org: accessed 2016. Citing National Census and Statistics Office, Manila, Philippines.

Record Citation (or citation for the index entry):

The citation for a record is available with each record in this collection, at the bottom of the record screen. You can search records in this collection by visiting the search page for Philippines, Civil Registration (Local), 1888-1984.

Image Citation:

The image citation is available by clicking on the Information tab at the bottom left of the screen. You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for Philippines, Civil Registration (Local), 1888-1984.

How You Can Contribute

We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. We are looking for additional information that will help readers understand the topic and better use the available records. We also need translations for collection titles and images in articles about records written in languages other than English. For specific needs, please visit WikiProject FamilySearch Records.

Please follow these guidelines as you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide.