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Hartford History Center Subject Guides: Puerto Rican Genealogy

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Puerto Rico

Puerto Rican Genealogy/Hispanic Genealogy

Before embarking on a search for your ancestors from Puerto Rico, it is very important to have a good background in the history and culture of Puerto Rico.  Most birth, marriage and death records are kept at the local or town level so it is crucial to know the town(s) your ancestors came from.  Additionally, it is important to know that the Catholic Church played a large role in Puerto Rican Society.  Church records, also kept at the local level, provide valuable information about baptisms, marriages, First Communions, Confirmations, etc.  A solid understanding of the roots of Hispanic surnames or family names is necessary because on official records, both the maternal and paternal surnames were used.  Having an understanding of these names will help in the record deciphering process.  Below is a list of books that cover much of the background understanding that will aid in a successful genealogy search. There are also a number of websites which are great sources for searching records and all of the websites listed below have detailed explanations and directions about how to best go about a search.

 

Image source: http://robertospuertorico.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/PR-Topo-1886-with-regions-in-color-225.jpg

Compiled 2019

Hartford Public Library/Hartford History Center Resources

Enciclopedia Puertorriquea Ilustrada. The Puerto Rican Heritage Encyclopedia.

By Ribes Tovar, Federico.

Publication Information:

San Juan, P.R., Plus Ultra Educational Publishers [1970]

Physical Description:

3 volumes illustrations, facisms., maps, portraits 26 cm.

General Note:

Parallel text: Spanish/English.

Geographic Term:

Puerto Rico -- Encyclopedias.

Puerto Rico -- History.

Call Number: F1958.R5 REF

Library: Downtown Library

 

Puerto Rico: Memorias de mi Isla

By Rodriguez, Eli S.

Publication Information:

Hartford, Conn.: T.J. Quirk Students’ Pub. Co., 1989.

Physical Description:

18 pages: ill., 23cm.

Geographic Term:

Puerto Rico

Call Number: F1958.5.R6 1989

Library: Downtown Library (Hartford History Center), Park Library

 

 

Puerto Rico: What Everyone Needs to Know

By Duany, Jorge.

Physical Description:

Xiv, 189 pages; 21cm.

Series:

What Everyone Needs to Know.

Contents:

  1. Puerto Rico before 1898 – 2. Puerto Rico under US rule, 1898-1952 – 3. Puerto Rico as a US Commonwealth since 1952: politics and the economy – 4. Puerto Rico as a US Commonwealth since 1952: population and culture – 5. The Puerto Rican Diaspora to the United States: culture and politics.

Subject Term:

Cultural Pluralism – Puerto Rico.

Puerto Ricans – Migration

Geographic Term:

Puerto Rico – History.

Puerto Rico – Colonization.

Puerto Rico – Relations – United States.

United States – Relations – Puerto Rico.

Puerto Rico – Politics and Government.

Call Number: F1971.D83 2017

Library: Camp Field Library, Downtown Library, Park Library, Dwight Library

 

 

 

 

 

Puerto Rico Past and Present: An Encyclopedia

by Fernandez, Ronald.

Publication Information:

Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1998.

Physical Description:

xxxii, 375 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm.

Geographic Term:

Puerto Rico -- Encyclopedias.

Call Number: F1954.F47 1998 REF

Library: Albany, Barbour, Camp Field, Dwight, Park

 

Historia de los Pueblos de Puerto Rico

By Toro Sugraes, Jos A.

Publication Information:

Rio Piedras, P.R.: Editorial Edil, c1995.

Physical Description:

429 p: col. Ill.; 22cm

Subject Term:

Cities and towns – Puerto Rico – History.

Geographic Term:

Puerto Rico – History, Local.

Call Number: F1971.T65 1995 REF

Library: Downtown Library

 

Memoria Corta: Una Breve Historia de Puerto Rico, 1800 a 2008

By Cruz-Ricart, Juan

Physical Description:

254 pages: illustrations; 22cm.

General Note:

Includes index

Geographic Term:

Puerto Rico – History – 19th Century.

Puerto Rico – History – 20th Century.

Puerto Rico – History – 21st Century.

Call Number: F1971 C78 2010

Library:  Downtown, Dwight, Park

 

Finding Your Hispanic Roots

By Ryskamp, George R.

Publication Information:

Baltimore, MD: Genealogical Pub. Co., c1997.

Physical Description:

xv, 290 pages: illustrations; 23cm.

General Note:

Includes Index.

Subject Term:

Genealogy – Spain – Handbooks, manuals, etc.

Genealogy – Portugal – Handbooks, manuals, etc.

Genealogy – Latin America – Handbooks, manuals, etc.

Call Number: CS943.R97 1997

Library: Downtown Library

 

Hispanic Surnames and Family History

By Platt, Lyman De.

Publication Information:

Baltimore, MD: Genealogical Pub. Co., 1996.

Physical Description:

349 pages; 23cm.

Subject Term:

Names, Personal – Spanish.

Hispanic Americans – Genealogy – Bibliography.

Geographic Term:

Latin America – Genealogy – Bibliography.

Call Number: CS2745.P55 1996 REF

Library: Downtown Library

 

Bird of Paradise: How I Became Latina

By Cepeda, Raquel.

Edition:

First Atria Books hardcover edition

Publication Information:

New York: Atria Books, c2013.

Physical Description:

315 pages; 24cm.

General Note:

Includes index.

Personal Subject:

Cepeda, Raquel.

Cepeda, Raquel-Family.

Subject Term:

Hispanic American Women – Biography.

Hispanic American Women – Ethnic Identity.

Hispanic Americans – Biography.

Hispanic Americans – Ethnic Identity.

Genetic Genealogy.

Call Number: CT275.C383 A3 2013

Library: Albany, Camp Field, Downtown Library, Park

Introduction

Puerto Rican Genealogy

Hispanic Genealogy

 

Before embarking on a search for your ancestors from Puerto Rico, it is very important to have a good background in the history and culture of Puerto Rico.  Most birth, marriage and death records are kept at the local or town level so it is crucial to know the town(s) your ancestors came from.  Additionally, it is important to know that the Catholic Church played a large role in Puerto Rican Society.  Church records, also kept at the local level, provide valuable information about baptisms, marriages, First Communions, Confirmations, etc.  A solid understanding of the roots of Hispanic surnames or family names is necessary because on official records, both the maternal and paternal surnames were used.  Having an understanding of these names will help in the record deciphering process.  Below is a list of books that cover much of the background understanding that will aid in a successful genealogy search. There are also a number of websites which are great sources for searching records and all of the websites listed below have detailed explanations and directions about how to best go about a search.

Online Resources

Familysearch is a nonprofit organization operated by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.  Its offers the largest database of free genealogical records and family trees:

https://www.familysearch.org/wiki/en/Puerto_Rico_Genealogy

 

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:

https://puertoricangenealogy.weebly.com/

 

The New York Public Library set up a Puerto Rican Genealogy Guide in 2018.  It is a tremendous resource with instructions and links about how to get started:

https://www.nypl.org/blog/2018/08/31/puerto-rico-genealogy-guide-reasons-research

 

The Library of Congress provides a great list of books and resources for further reading about Puerto Rican Genealogy:

https://www.loc.gov/rr/genealogy/bib_guid/hispanic/puertorico.html

 

US Census

Puerto Rico has been included in the US Census since 1910.  The census records are in Spanish and include records from the 1910, 1920, 1930, 1940 Censuses.  The records for the 1950 census will be released in 2022.

https://www.censusrecords.com/search?state=puerto%20rico

Puerto Rican flag

Image by Nicolas Raymond (http://freestock.ca/flags_maps_g80-puerto_rico_grunge_flag_p1109.html)


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