According to FamilySearch, “The civil registration records in Puerto Rico are an excellent source for genealogical research after 1885. Important genealogical data can be found in these records; see below. The data may even help to find information about an earlier generation.” They include birth, marriage and death records.
The description on FamilySearch indicates that records go back to 1805. But other hints (and a comparison to the Ancestry dataset) indicate that most of the records are for 1885 and later, just like Ancestry’s. Civil registration didn’t start in Puerto Rico until 1885 (before that, look to Catholic church records for BMD data). Of course, like many records, they may contain information about family dates and relationships from earlier in that person’s life.
Those who know about Puerto Rico’s connection to the U.S. may wonder why Puerto Rico had civil registrations at a time that U.S. states and territories did not. Puerto Rico was actually a colony of Spain when civil registration started. Only after the Spanish-American War of 1898 did Puerto Rico become a U.S. protectorate.
Welcome to this step-by-step series for beginning genealogists—and more experienced ones who want to brush up or learn something new. I first ran this series in 2008. So many people have asked about it, I’m bringing it back in weekly segments.
Episode 6: Sleuthing Out Families and What Records Exist
We talk about sleuthing Sherlock Holmes-style for our families. My guest says, “Stop looking for names and start looking for families!” (Disclaimer: this episode was recorded several years ago and is not an endorsement of the guest at that time, and his opinions are his alone.)
In the second segment, I give an overview of the different kinds of historical records in which our ancestors may appear. Basically, whenever any life event happened that involved the government or a church, paperwork was generated: vital records, land sales, wills and probates, baptisms and burials. There was often a ripple effect, too, in which the event was reported in other sources, like newspapers. In future episodes, we’ll talk in depth about finding and using these different kinds of sources. But consider this episode your orientation to them!
Registration is now open for RootsTech 2014, which will be held February 6-8, 2014 at the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City, Utah. Here’s all the info hot off the press including links that reveal classes and computer labs plus a coupon code you can use for early bird pricing:
This annual family history conference, hosted by FamilySearch, is a unique global event where people of all ages learn to discover and share their family stories and connections through technology. Over the past three years, RootsTech has grown in popularity with attendees to become the largest family history event in the United States!
Whether attendees are just beginning their family history, an avid hobbyist, or an experienced researcher, RootsTech has something for everyone:
Classes and Computer Labs —Over 200 classes and computer labs taught by knowledgeable experts and enthusiasts in family history.
Getting Started Track —A track of over 30 classes designed to help beginners start their family tree. Passes start at only $19.
Developer Day —A preconference event on Wednesday, February 5, for developers to innovate and collaborate with other engineers and family history industry experts.
Expo Hall —A huge expo with over 100 informative vendors and interactive booths where attendees can record a family story, scan a book or photo, or create a visual family tree.
Family Discovery Day —New! A day of free inspirational classes for members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to learn more about strengthening family relationships across generations through family history.
Pass Pricing and Discounts
Various pass options are available, with pricing set to make RootsTech an affordable experience. Early Bird pricing discounts for a Full Access Pass ($159) and a Getting Started Pass ($39) are available until January 6, 2014.
An additional $20 discount is available for a limited time. Attendees can get a Full Access Pass for just $139 simply by using the promotional code RT14EXCLSV before September 9, 2013.
I’ll be there conducting a brand new computer lab: Flipboard for Genealogy: Create an Incredible Mobile Magazine of Your Favorite Genealogy Web Content NOTE: Computer labs fill up VERY fast so don’t delay!