Philippines, Civil Registration, National (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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Philippines

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Philippines Civil Registration (National), 1945-1984 .
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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: 1945-1984
Languages: Spanish
Title in the Languages: Filipinas, El Registro Civil, Nacional
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites
Archive
National Statistics Office of the Philippines


What is in the Collection?

This collection consists of vital records from across the Philippines for the years 1945-1987. The original records are located in the National Census and Statistics Office, Manila, Philippines.

Records are not available for all localities and the content and time period vary by area. This is an active, ongoing collection and additional records may be added.

Collection Contents

The records include marriage and death certificates from various localities in the Philippines.

Sample Images

What Can This Collection Tell Me?

The following lists indicate potential information provided in these records. Every record may not provide all the listed information as record-keeping practices differed by area and changed over time.

Marriage records usually contain:

  • 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:

  • 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 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 images are available (see "Image Visibility" below), the images of digitized records may be accessed by following 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
⇒ Select the appropriate Municipality to go to the images

Compare the information found on the images with what is already known determine if a particular record relates to the correct person. This process may require examining multiple records before the correct person is located.

Language Helps

Some records may be in Spanish. The following guides may be of help:

Image Visibility

Whenever possible, FamilySearch makes images of digitized records available for all users. However, the rights to view images on this website are ultimately granted by the record custodians. Due to their restrictions, some of the records in this collection are not allowed to be displayed in any electronic format, and therefore are not available for viewing online.

What Do I Do Next?

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

  • Make sure to fully transcribe and cite the index entry for future reference; see below for assistance in citing this collection.
  • Look at an image of the original record, if possible. The online index entry generally lists only the most basic identifying information for an individual; the original record may contain further information which was not included in the index. Save or print a copy of the image.
  • 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.
  • Continue to search the index to identify children, siblings, parents, and other relatives. Remember 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 and surnames. An individual might appear under a different name in a record for a variety of reasons:
    • An individual might have been listed under a middle name, nickname, or abbreviation of their given name.
    • Spelling was not standardized for much of the period of this collection, so names were often spelled as they were pronounced. Pay attention to how the name should have been pronounced and try spelling variations that could have that pronunciation.
    • Some women reverted to their maiden names after the death of their husbands.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Church records are a good substitute when birth, marriage, and death records can’t be found or are unavailable.

For additional help searching online collections see FamilySearch Search Tips and Tricks.

General Information about These Records

In 1889, the Spanish government created the Central Office of Statistics. This office required each parish priest to periodically give the government a list of the births, marriages, and deaths in his area. The Catholic clergy had previously maintained records about births, marriages and deaths, and sent copies to the government. After 1889, clergy were required to regularly submit detailed reports. This system continued until the end of the Spanish administration in 1898.

After the Philippine Revolution of 1898, the church and state became separate. Within the first few years, officials responsible for civil registration were appointed in each municipality. In 1930, civil registration became mandatory.

In 1932 the Bureau of Census and Statistics was created to oversee civil registration. Many civil records were destroyed during World War II.

Divorce is not legal in the Philippines, but some records of annulment and legal separation are kept in the National Census and Statistics Office and in the local Domestic Relations Court of First Instance.

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 support@familysearch.org. 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.

Citations for this Collection

Citing sources correctly makes it easier to refer to information which has already been discovered; proper citations are therefore key to keeping track of genealogical research. Following established citation formats 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 (National), 1945-1984." 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 (National), 1945-1984.

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 (National), 1945-1984.

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.