To do effective research, you need some understanding of the historical events that affected your family and their records. Learning about wars, governments, laws, migrations, and religious trends may help you understand political boundaries, family movements, and settlement patterns. Your family may be listed in records of these events, such as land and military documents.
Your ancestors will become more interesting if you learn about the events that interested or involved them. In a history, for example, you might learn what events occurred the year your great-grandparents were married.
Find histories of the Philippines or its provinces in the Locality section of the Family History Library Catalog under:
PHILIPPINES - HISTORY
PHILIPPINES, (PROVINCE) - HISTORY
The following dates are important:
1521: The Philippines is discovered by Europe.
1762 The early Spanish colonization period.
1571: Regular trade established between the Spaniards and the Chinese.
1762: The later period of Spanish rule. The 1898 Seven Years’ War (1756–63). Cash-crop economy.
1820: Social and economic changes as the Port 72 of Manila opened to foreign commerce.
1868: Spanish Revolution. Queen Isabella II deposed.
1898: Spanish-American War.
1898: 12 June. Declaration of Philippine independence from Spaniards.
1899-1935: First phase of American rule.
1934: First constitution.
1941: The Japanese occupied the Philippines.
1946: The Philippines became a republic.
There are reliable records for four main periods of Philippine history:
- Spanish rule (1521–1898)
- American rule (1898–1946)
- Japanese occupation (1941–1946)
- Philippine self rule (1946–present)
The following are a few of many sources available in most large libraries:
Edgerton, Ronald K. Survey of Historical Materials in Manila on 19th Century Philippine History. Bulletin of the American Historical Collection. 1 (1972): 7–23.
Miravite, Rosalina S. Books on Philippine History. Honolulu, Hawaii, USA: University of Hawaii Press, 1965.
Van Niel, Robert. Survey of Historical Source Material in Java and Manila. Hawaii, USA: University of Hawaii Press, c1970. (FHL book 959 A5v.)
Local histories are some of the most valuable resources for family history research. Published histories of municipalities, cities, and provinces usually have accounts of families. They describe the settlement of the area and the founding of churches, schools, and businesses. You can also find lists of early inhabitants, soldiers, patriots, and civil officials in these records. Even if your ancestor is not listed, information on other relatives may give important clues for locating him or her. A local history may also help a person think of other records to search.
Many histories of cities and provinces have sections or volumes of biographical information. These may give information on up to 25 percent of the families in the area.
In addition, study and enjoy local histories for the background information about your family’s lifestyle, community, and living environment.
In 1952 the Bureau of Public Schools began collecting and compiling local histories, legends, customs, traditions, and even songs and poems. Local schoolteachers led this work and although much of the information is undocumented and secondary, you can gather much information from these sources. These records are in the Philippine National Library’s Filipiniana collection and in libraries throughout the Philippines.
A wiki article describing an online collection is found at: