Philippines, Manila Civil Registration (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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FamilySearch Record Search This article describes a collection of historical records available at
Access the records: Philippines, Manila Civil Registration, 1899-1994 .

Title in the Language of the Records

Filipinas, Manila Registro Civil.

Record Description

This collection includes images and indexes of birth, marriage, and death records for the city of Manila, Philippines. See the coverage table below for date ranges of each record group.

Some folders of images are not arranged chronologically and/or sequentially.

For the most part, birth, marriage, and death records are in English. A few of the earlier marriage records are in Spanish. Spanish is also used in sections of later records. See the "For Help Reading these Records" section for Spanish translation helps.

You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for Philippines, Manila Civil Registration, 1899-1994.

Coverage Table

Description Earliest Year Latest Year
Civil Registration- Births 1898 1980
Civil Registration - Marriages 1900 1991
Civil Registration - Deaths 1899 1994

Record Content

Birth records usually contain the following information:

  • Name and gender of child
  • Child's date and place of birth
  • Child's race
  • Name and birthplace of father
  • Father's occupation
  • Maiden name of mother and her birthplace
  • Name of physician or midwife and their residence

Marriage records or marriage contracts usually contain the following information:

  • Date and place of the marriage
  • Name and age of groom
  • Groom's marital status, nativity and residence
  • Names of groom's parents
  • Name and age of bride
  • Bride's marital status, nativity and residence
  • Names of bride's parents
  • Names of the witnesses and their residence
  • Names of the persons who gave consent
  • Name of the person who solemnized the marriage
  • Beginning in 1945, the birthplace of bride and groom
  • Date of the marriage license
  • Date of the certificate (marriage contract)

Death records usually contain the following information:

  • Name, age and gender of deceased (keep in mind that death records for women may be filed under their married name)
  • Marital status, nativity and race of deceased
  • Name of spouse
  • Day, month and year when death occurred
  • Place of death
  • Duration of illness
  • Cause of death
  • Name of physician and his residence
  • On death certificates after 1958, names of father and mother appear
  • On death certificates after 1958, birth date and birthplace of deceased
  • Sometimes, burial information or transit permit given

How to Use the Record

Some record sets have indexes; these indexes were created at the end of the year. Copy errors could have been made in the index, so you want to find the actual record to verify the information is correct. Using the index is a helpful way to find the actual record.

For death records, the information in records is usually reliable, but depends upon the knowledge of the informant.

Regarding marriage and death records, name changes, shortened names, or nicknames may have been used by your ancestors, so pay attention to other relationships (parents, spouse, siblings, children, etc.) that can confirm whether you have the right person/record.

Search the Collection

To search the collection image by image select "Browse through images" on the initial collection page:
⇒Select the appropriate "Record Type"
⇒Select the appropriate "Year"
⇒Select the appropriate "Month and Certificate Numbers" which will take you to the images

Search the collection by image comparing 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.

When searching: As you are searching it is helpful to know such information as your ancestor’s given name and surname, some identifying information such as residence and age, and family relationships. 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.

For Help Reading These Records

These records are in Spanish and English. For help reading the records, see the following wiki articles:

Spanish Genealogical Word List

Using the Information

  • 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 of each partner to find a couple's birth records and parents' names.
  • Use the birth date or age along with the place of birth to find the family in census records Philippines Census.
  • Use the residence and names of the parents to locate church (see “Related Wiki Articles” section below) and land records Philippines Land and Property.
  • Use the parents' birth places to find former residences and to establish a migration pattern for the family.
  • The name of a marriage officiator is a clue to their religion or area of residence in the province. However, ministers may have reported marriages performed in other provinces.
  • 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 to identify previous marriages (whether a divorce or death dissolved a previous marriage).
  • Witnesses often were relatives of the parents.

Tips to Keep in Mind

When looking for a person who had a common name, look at all the entries for the name before deciding which is correct.

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 area or a nearby area.

General Information About These Records

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.

Only the marriage contract is forwarded to the National Census and Statistics Office. The other three remain in the office of the local civil registrar, although the couple may be given a copy of their marriage certificate. The contract is the vital record and is of most value to the researcher. The other three records, though they have much of the same information, may provide other valuable clues to the discerning genealogist.

Late registrations (beyond 30 days after the fact) are recorded in red ink. If the registration is over six months late, additional documents testifying to the validity of the parentage and legitimacy of the child will be included with the birth certificate. The additional documents may be:

  • Photographs
  • Baptismal certificates
  • Local civil registrar reports
  • Third-person affidavits
  • Police investigation report

These registrations are the best source for locating the date and place of an ancestor’s marriage or death.

For more information, see Philippines Civil Registration- Vital Records.

Known Issues with 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.

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Related Wiki Articles

Contributions to This Article

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.

Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections

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, Manila Civil Registration, 1899-1994.

When you copy information from a record, you should also 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 for This Collection

The following citation refers to the original source of the information published in Historical Record collections. Sources include the author, custodian, publisher and archive for the original records.

"Philippines, Manila Civil Registration, 1899-1994" Images. FamilySearch. : accessed 2013. Citing Civil Registrar's Office, Manila, Philippines.