Philippines, Civil Registration, National (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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Philippines Civil Registration (National), 1945-1984 .
This article describes a collection of records at
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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
National Statistics Office of the Philippines

What is in the Collection?

This collection includes civil records for 1945-1984. The records include marriage and death certificates from various localities in the Philippines. 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.

Additional records for Manila can be found in the Philippines, Manila Civil Registration, 1899-1994 collection.

Some records may be in Spanish; see the section For Help Reading these Records below.

Collection Contents

The information found in each record varies by year. Because recording civil events such as marriage and death required valid evidence, these records contain reliable information.

Sample Images

Marriage records usually contain the following:

  • 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 the following information:

  • 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?

This section includes tips and information about how to search this collection.

As you are searching it is helpful to know such information as your ancestor's name and the province in which they lived.

Some record sets contain an index of individuals included in the records. These indexes may be useful for finding your ancestor's record. Keep in mind that indexes were created at the end of the year and copy errors could have been made. Always look at the image of the actual record to verify information.

To Search by Name See the Collection Page
To See Image:
To browse the collection you will need to follow this series of links:
⇒Select "Browse through images" on the initial collection page:
⇒Select the "Province"
⇒Select the "Record Type"
⇒Select the "Year Range"
⇒Select the "Municipality" which will take you to the images.

Look at the image and compare the information you find with what you already know about your ancestors to determine if the image relates to them. You may need to look at several images to make this determination.

What Do I Do Next?

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

What Does this Record Tell Me?

  • Use the marriage date and place as the basis for compiling a new family group or for verifying existing information.
  • Use the birth date or age along with the place of birth to find the family in census records.
  • Use the residence and names of the parents to locate church and land records.
  • Use the parents' birth places to find former residences and to establish a migration pattern for the family.
  • The name of a marriage officiator may be a clue to the family's religion or area of residence in the county. However, ministers may have reported marriages performed in other counties.
  • Compile the marriage entries for every person who has the same surname as the bride or groom; this is especially helpful in rural areas or if the surname is unusual.
  • Use the marital status/marriage number (how many times a person was married) to identify previous marriages.
  • Witnesses often were relatives of the parents.

What if I Can't Find Who I'm Looking For?

  • Remember that there may be more than one person in the records with the same name as your ancestor and that your ancestor may have used nicknames or different names at different times.
  • When looking for a person who had a common name, look at all the entries for the name before deciding which is correct.
  • Information in death records is usually reliable, but depends upon the knowledge of the informant.
  • Your ancestors may have used shortened names or nicknames, so pay attention to other relationships (parents, spouse, siblings, children, etc.) that can confirm whether you have the right person/record.
  • Continue to search the marriage records to identify children, siblings, parents, and other relatives of the bride and groom who may have married in the same county or nearby. This can help you identify other generations of your family or even the second marriage of a parent. Repeat this process for each new generation you identify.
  • Continue to search the indexes and records to identify children, siblings, parents, and other relatives who may have lived in the same or nearby area.

Did you find the person you were looking for?

A boundary change could have occurred and the record of you ancestor is now in a neighboring province, or your ancestor immigrated to another country. Search the records of nearby areas or immigration/emigration records Philippines Emigration and Immigration.

Until 1889 there was no central civil administration to collect, interpret, and preserve the civil registration records. Most vital records from before 1889 are in Catholic parish and diocesan archives. Church records are also a good substitute when birth, marriage, and death records can’t be found or are unavailable.

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 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

When you copy information from a record, you should list where you found the information; that is, cite your sources. This will help people find the record again and evaluate the reliability of the source. 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. Citations are available for the collection as a whole and each record or image individually.

Collection citation:

"Philippines, Civil Registration (National), 1945-1984." Images. FamilySearch. : 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.