Guatemala Civil Registration - FamilySearch Historical Records

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Guatemala

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Guatemala, Civil Registration, 1868-2008
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This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
Guatemala
Flag of Guatemala.svg.png
Flag of the Republic of Guatemala
GT Locator Map Guatemala.png
LOC Guatemala in Central America and the Caribbean.png
Location of Guatemala
Record Description
Record Type: Civil Registration
Collection years: 1868-2008
Language: Spanish
Title in the Language: Guatemala, Registro Civiles
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites
Archive
El Registro Nacional de las Personas


What is in This Collection?[edit | edit source]

Guatemala established the civil registry on September 9, 1877, and set the regulations of the institution. The entire population must be registered at birth; there is a registration office in each municipality.

This collection of civil registration records from Guatemala covers the years 1877 to 2008 and includes birth, marriage, and death records. Most of the records are in relatively good preservation. However, some of the older registers may have some physical damage, but in general they are in good condition for the extraction of genealogical information. Additional images will be published as they become available.

The civil registry registers all the principal events in the life of the people of Guatemala, from their birth to their death. A unique code is assigned to each citizen at the time of the birth registration. This code includes the department and municipality codes of the place where the person was born. These codes are determined by the board of directors of the National Registry of the People (RENAP – Registro Nacional de las Personas). RENAP is an institution under the Judicial Department, with the seat in Guatemala City.

The link to the Guatemala, Civil Registration, 1877-2008 collection covers all of Guatemala but is not a complete collection. For a list of all the departments and cities contained in this collection, see the Provinces of Guatemala - Civil Registration coverage table.

Image Visibility[edit | edit source]

Whenever possible FamilySearch makes images and indexes available for all users. However, rights to view these data are limited by contract and subject to change. Because of this there may be limitations on where and how images and indexes are available or who can see them. Please be aware some collections consist only of partial information indexed from the records and do not contain any images. For additional information about image restrictions see Restrictions for Viewing Images in FamilySearch Historical Record Collections.

Reading These Records[edit | edit source]

These records are written in Spanish. For help reading them see:

If you speak Spanish, the following free online lesson may be helpful to learn how to use the information in these records:

To Browse This Collection[edit | edit source]

You can browse through images in this collection using the waypoints on the Collection Browse Page for Guatemala, Civil Registration, 1877-2008.

What Can These Records Tell Me?[edit | edit source]

The following information may be found in these records:

Birth

  • Date and place of birth
  • Name of the child
  • Child's gender
  • Legitimacy
  • Parents' names, residence, or place of origin
  • Names of witnesses

Marriage

  • Date and place of the marriage
  • Name of the bride and groom
  • Their civil status at the time of marriage
  • Bride and groom's birthplace and current residence
  • Name of witnesses

Death

  • Date and place of death
  • Name and age of deceased
  • Civil status at the time of death
  • Civil status and name of spouse if married
  • Names of parents
  • Sometimes the place of burial

Collection Content[edit | edit source]

Sample Images[edit | edit source]

How Do I Search This Collection?[edit | edit source]

Before searching this collection, it is helpful to know:

  • Your ancestor's given name and surname
  • Identifying information such as residence
  • Estimated marriage or birth year
  • Family relationships

Search the Index[edit | edit source]

Search by name on the Collection Details Page.
  1. Fill in the search boxes in the Search Collection section with the information you know
  2. Click Search to show possible matches

View the Images[edit | edit source]

View images in this collection by visiting the Browse Page:

  1. Select Department
  2. Select City or Municipality
  3. Select Record Type and Years to view the images.

How Do I Analyze the Results?[edit | edit source]

Compare each result from your search with what you know to determine if there is a match. This may require viewing multiple records or images. Keep track of your research in a research log.

What Do I Do Next?[edit | edit source]

I Found the Person I Was Looking For, What Now?[edit | edit source]

  • Add any new information to your records
  • The civil registration records of Guatemala are an excellent source for genealogical research after 1877. If you're looking for an ancestor in Guatemala prior to 1877, try searching the collection Guatemala, Catholic Church Records - FamilySearch Historical Records
  • If possible, look at the actual image of the record to verify the information found in the online description
  • Use the birth date or age along with the place of birth to find the family in census records
  • Use the parents' birthplaces to find former residences and to establish a migration pattern for the family
  • Compile information for every person who has the same surname as your ancestor; this is especially helpful in rural areas or if the surname is unusual
  • Continue to search the records to identify children, siblings, parents, and other relatives 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

I Can’t Find the Person I’m Looking For, What Now?[edit | edit source]

  • Check for variants of given names, surnames, and place names. Transcription errors could occur in any handwritten record. Also, it was not uncommon for an individual to be listed under a nickname or an abbreviation of their name
  • Civil registration records are also a good source of genealogical information. You should obtain copies of both church records and civil registration when possible since they do not necessarily provide the same information. For example, baptismal registers sometimes provide the names of the fathers of illegitimate children when the civil registration does not
  • A boundary change could have occurred and the record of your ancestor is now in a neighboring area. Search the records and indexes of neighboring cities, provinces, and regions
  • Your ancestor may have immigrated to another country. Search the records of nearby countries or immigration/emigration records
  • Hispanic Genealogy Research community on Facebook is a page sponsored by FamilySearch and here you may also post a question or upload an image of a document for further assistance
  • Investigación Genealógica en Guatemala is another FamilySearch research community page on Facebook where you can post questions and upload images of documents. The majority of the posts on this page are in Spanish but you are welcome to post on the page in English.

Known Issues[edit | edit source]

Click here for a list of known issues with this collection.

Research Helps[edit | edit source]

The following articles will help you in your research for your family in Guatemala.

Citing This Collection[edit | edit source]

Citations help you keep track of places you have searched and sources you have found. Identifying your sources helps others find the records you used.

Collection Citation:
The citation for this collection can be found on the Collection Details Page in the section Citing this Collection.
Record Citation:
When looking at a record, the citation can be viewed by clicking the drop-down arrow next to Document Information.
Image Citation:
When looking at an image, the citation is found on the Information tab at the bottom left of the screen.