Monday, March 17, 2008

Hispanic civil registration

From: Lynn Turner, AG®
RE: “
More Hispanic Resources
Some of your readers might be interested in knowing that the civil registration list of beginning dates that you posted are incorrect (understanding you got the information from the
Latin America Research Outline). A few examples include:
  • Brazil - 1889 generally accepted in the genealogical community as the official year of civil registration - it should be noted that civil registration was not really adopted by Brazilians until after 1930ish.
  • Peru - 1874 marks the date when municpios began keeping records, some pre-date, however, records from this year and forward had a copy sent to the regional (similar to U.S. state archive).
  • Mexico - 1860/1 though even with this date it is highly unusual to find an ancestor in both parish registers and civil registration, it's usually one or the other.

Thank-you for your immediate feedback shedding light on beginning dates for civil registration of births, marriages & deaths. My readers will no doubt benefit from your additional insight and expertise. You have studied hard and have a proven track record for excellence in research as an AG® (Accredited Genealogist) with a specialty in Spain. Your email response to the blog entry illustrates a basic genealogical research challenge that cannot be overlooked:

Learn all you can about a particular region of the world where your
ancestors once lived, even though you may need to study a variety of sources over a number of years to gain a better understanding.

In some cases, our understanding of the time period records were kept is a matter of our own experience level. In other cases, old records that were once thought lost, come to light and expand our research possibilities.

Certainly, the “official date” and that of practical application of a government directive may vary. Researchers of US vital records know the “official date” imposed by the federal government is 1920 for keeping public vital records of birth, marriage and death. Yet, experience has taught us that many states, counties and towns kept records for decades prior to that year. There are almost more exceptions to the 1920 rule than not. Indeed, the colonies in New England kept public vital records from early time periods. How Ol' Myrt wishes she had more ancestors there.

Genealogical research certainly isn’t a “quick” study, is it? But it sure is FUN. Thanks, Lynn for adding to the discussion.

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)
Your friend in genealogy.

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