Tips on Spain’s Civil Registration System, from Daniel at the Genealogy Corner

The Spanish Flag

Are you tracing ancestors from Spain?

DNA and historical clues tell me that some of my Mexican ancestors likely had Spanish roots, but I have not yet found that Spanish connection in my research. I have my Mexican lines stuck in the 1700s, which leaves me another possible 200 years of records to discover before I might find those Spanish ancestors.

The Genealogy Corner

If you have Spanish roots, I want to introduce you to The Genealogy Corner blog, published by Daniel (he is the @DSRGenealogist on Twitter). Daniel blogs regularly about his Spanish and English research.

There aren’t many of us who blog and teach about Hispanic genealogy, so I like to highlight those whose work I follow. If you subscribe to my free monthly Hispanic research e-newsletter, I have featured some of Daniel’s instructional posts in previous issues.

Daniel published a video tutorial on YouTube this week about Spanish death certificates, so I thought this a good time to steer my readers with Spanish roots to some of Daniel’s work.

Spain’s Civil Registration System

Most countries that were once part of the Spanish Empire incorporated a civil registration system after obtaining independence, to record births, marriages, and deaths. I blog and teach about Mexico’s civil registration system, and do some teaching on Latin America as well.

Accord to Daniel’s new tutorial, Spain’s civil registration system was created at the national level in 1870, and went into effect on 1 January 1871.1 The FamilySearch Research Wiki explains that “some municipios [the equivalent of our counties] may have civil registration records beginning as early as 1837.”2

Spanish Death Registrations Tutorial

Daniel’s tutorial is really a full-blown lecture (almost 1 hour), so set aside the proper amount of time to watch this.

I have broken out the main topic below, with their respective segment start times.

  • (1:21) Provides an overview of Spain’s civil registration system.
  • (15:09) What type of information you need to provide to order a record.
  • (24:17) What type of information is typically found in these records , including some differences between contemporary and older records.
  • (29:16) Explains why death records for 1987 and later do not include a cause of death.
  • (34:24) Demonstrates how to order a death certificate through the Spanish Ministry of Justice.

I particularly recommend these posts on The Genealogy Corner for those with Spanish roots.

Sources Cited

  1.  “Spanish Death Certificates Tutorial,” video, uploaded 26 August 2018; YouTube: DSR Genealogist’s Channel ( : accessed 30 August 2018), at 1:21.
  2.  FamilySearch Research Wiki, (, “Spain Civil Registration – Vital Records,” rev. 22:01, 30 April 2018.

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