Puerto Rican Genealogy is a website that provides guidance about how to begin a search for ancestors using Puerto Rican records. There is detailed information about surnames, towns, and how to decipher church and town records. Puerto Rican Genealogy Digital Downloads. Shop Puerto Rico Genealogy Records -Tienda Genealogical de Puerto Rico- Censos, Esclavos.
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Puerto Rico Genealogy covers information about an island located in the Caribbean, that is just east of the island of Hispaniola and west of the Virgin Islands. Initially, the island was populated by indigenous people when Europeans arrived in 1493. Although the indigenous people referred to the island as Boriken, Cristobal Colon renamed the island San Juan Bautista. Equally important, it is believed that the island had about 60,0000 natives.
In spite of the people being peaceful, many welcomed these foreigners and believe them to be gods and as a result, perished. Many of these natives perished at the hands of European settlers or diseases, albeit many did not survive.
Puerto Rico and Global History. Even though Puerto Rico is known as a tropical island in the Caribbean that only measures 111.5 x 39.8 miles, it is an island with a vibrant history. Puerto Ricans recognize their identity as being a mixture of three cultures: Native American, European, and African. Puerto Rico Genealogy covers information about an island located in the Caribbean, that is just east of the island of Hispaniola and west of the Virgin Islands. Initially, the island was populated by indigenous people when Europeans arrived in 1493. Civil registration in Puerto Rico began in 1885. Prior to that, registrations of vital events were kept by the Catholic Church, which was the predominant religion. This collection includes registrations of births, marriages, and deaths in Puerto Rico, which at the start of civil registration was a colony of Spain and after the Spanish-American.
It is important to realize that today, the island is inhabited by many cultures from around the globe. However, the primary language spoken is Spanish with English as its second language. So keeping this in mind, this page is dedicated to Puerto Rico ancestors that made it possible for many of us to be here.
The page is written in English to help those who do not live on the island but can be translated into many languages using the flag icons on the page. Moreover, the idea of this page on Puerto Rico genealogy is to assist many who are researching throughout the island no matter their native language. Therefore, if by any chance a language is missing, please feel free to ask for it and I’ll see if it can be added.
Puerto Rican Towns / Municipalities
So the below table contains posts pertaining to specific municipalities or towns that exist today in Puerto Rico. Although not all towns listed below contain content, the website is constantly being updated. Furthermore, it is worthy to note that not all towns existed and you must know the history to avoid frustration.
Moreover, the Puerto Rico genealogy page is here to make it easier for anyone researching their ancestors. Therefore, there are many posts below the list of towns that have not been moved. Lastly, just scroll down to view the additional posts below the town.
Because this website was migrated from its original location, you may discover problems with towns. For this reason, links within the town were added manually. Consequently, due to the manual nature, links URLs may have changed. However, the content does exist. Lastly, if you discover broken links, please feel free to reach out by leaving a comment below.
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Puerto Rico Genealogy Posts
Because these posts are not appearing within all towns yet, they are to remain here. In the event that you visit this page and do not see content, please use the search button. Given that the below posts are general and cover the island, they will remain here until the website has been completed. In the event that you cannot locate a post, even after searching, please feel free to leave a comment so that I can point you in the right direction.
Births in Puerto Rico often occurred at home. A parent or other relative would have to register the birth at a municipal office, and this is where we get the 'Acta de nacimiento', or birth register. Below is a glossary of the terms and phrases shown in these documents:
The beginning of the birth register should indicate in what municipality/town the birth was registered. Depending on where your ancestor was born, their birth record might show a different municipality than their adult home address.
The text of the birth register document reads as follows:
Register of Birth
In the [name of municipality/town], at [numerical hour of the day] on the [numerical day] of the [month] of the [year spelled out in words], before [name of Judge], Judge of the Municipal District of [name of District], and [name of Secretary], Secretary, appeared [name of declarant], of [hometown (country, if not Puerto Rico)], adult, of [marital status], [profession], and resident of [street address and number], in order to register a [daughter / son], and to do that as [relationship to child]:
That said [daughter / son] was born at the home of the declarant on [xx day of xx month].
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That this child is the [legitimate / acknowledged / illegitimate] child of the declarant and [information about other parent; this section might include information on grandparents, as well].
That this child is [granddaughter/grandson] of [paternal grandfather's name], [aged xx years / deceased], and [maternal grandfather's name], [aged xx years / deceased].
And that this child has been given the name [name of child].
All of which was been witnessed by [names and titles of witnesses].
Sealed by the Municipal Court Judge, declarant, and witnesses.
Some useful phrases in translation:
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mil novecientos = 19__ (rarely, 'mil ochocientos' = 18__)
comparecio = appears
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legitimo = legitimate
natural = illegitimate
ya difunto = deceased
de __ años de edad = is __ years old
Some records also list the race of the child, which literally translate as: blanca/o = white; mestiza/o = literally 'mixed', typically refers to a person of Spanish and Native American ancestry; mulata/o = a person with one parent of African descent and one parent of European descent; negra/o = black; parda/o = brown; triqueña/o = 'three cultures'.