If you haven't done so already, check out our
page on advice on how to
start your genealogical research.
Be sure to check out all the resources listed on our Home Page. If you
think of something to add, please do not hesitate to
send us an e-mail to the address at the bottom of
Note that we have a free Cuban
Surname Bulletin Board where you can post
your surname queries.
We also administer a free Cuban Genealogy e-mail
discussion list, where you can ask questions related
to genealogy to other hobbyists. For instructions on
how to subscribe, visit our page on the CUBA-L Genealogy List.
Looking up Your Surnames
Check our page on Looking Up
Your Surnames for a listing and links to
resources in this web site, to published surname
genealogies and to on-line surname search engines.
Check our page on Published References for
a listing of publications on Cuban genealogy and
the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS
Church) has the largest archive of
genealogical data in the world which they graciously
make available to the public. Much of this
information is in the form of microfilmed records,
indexed in microfiche and CD/ROMs.
You can search on-line for your ancestors in some of
the databases compiled by the LDS Church, including
the International Genealogical Index (IGI), the
Ancestral File, and others through the LDS Family
Search Service. The databases
corresponding to North America, the British Islands
and Finland can now be searched on-line. Due to
restrictions in the contract between the Catholic
Church in Spain and the LDS Church, the databases
corresponding to Spain may never be made available
You can also search for the available publications
on Cuba at the Family History Library by using the LDS Family Search Service. Just follow
History Library Catalog.
All of the databases, Parish records and other
resources are available for consultation at local
LDS Family History Centers. These centers are open
to the public and are staffed by volunteers who will
help you use the resources, but do not perform
research for you.
You can find the address, telephone number and hours
of operation of your nearest LDS Family History
Center by using the LDS Family
Search Service. Just follow the
At an LDS Family History Center the process is as
Always check in with one of the volunteer attendants
and describe what you would like to do. On your
first visit you will be asked to register and
provide your name, address and telephone number. On
subsequent visits you just sign the attendance
sheet. Depending on how busy the Center is at that
particular time, you may have to sign up in advance
for use of the equipment.
Usually one starts by searching one of the CD-ROM
indices, such as the Family History Library Catalog
or IGI, on the local PC; or one of the microfiche
indexes on a microfiche reader (see below). Of
course you can save time if you do your search
on-line before your visit by using the LDS Family
Search Service. After you locate the
microfilm numbers that you want to search, you fill
out a card and pay the attendant a nominal rental
fee for each microfilm which allows you to use the
materials for a period of 60 days (counted from the
time the materials leave the Family History Library
in Salt Lake City). It usually takes a few weeks for
the requested materials to arrive at the local
When the material arrives at the Center, the card
that you filled out is mailed to you to tell you
that the materials are available. You then visit the
Center again to perform the actual search of the
microfilms. Depending on how busy the Center is at
that particular time, you may have to sign up in
advance for use of the equipment. Typically a Center
has various microfilm readers of varying age and
condition, with the best ones being most sought
after. If you want to make copies of any pages
usually you should take notes as you search of the
microfilm item (section) number, document page
numbers (if any), dates, left or right page, etc.,
since you will usually have to use a different
reader to make the copies (usually they don't
allow the use of copying readers for doing
searches). After you have made the copies you pay
the attendant a small fee for each page copied.
After the materials arrive at your local Center, you
may extend the rental period another 60 days for a
small additional fee. Ask the attendant for details.
Note that NO MATERIALS ARE ALLOWED TO LEAVE
THE FAMILY HISTORY CENTER FOR ANY REASON.
The main LDS indexes of interest for Cuban genealogy
The IGI and Family History Library Catalog are also
available for purchase by individuals, in microfiche
format only (The CD ROM version is not currently for
sale). These indices are grouped by region and
country, so only the sections of interest need be
To order, first call or write for an order blank
Family History Department
50 East North Temple Street
Salt Lake City, UT 84150
A video tape on "How to Use the Family History
Library Catalog" is also available for $5 +
$2S&H from the above address. This video is
quite useful if you have never used the LDS
Effective January 2011, US
Treasury Regulations have been changed to permit persons under the jurisdiction of the United States to make periodic remittances of up to $500 in any consecutive 3-month period to Cuban nationals.
This now provides the means to getting someone to do genealogical research
in Cuba, at least for people living in the US. Please check the preceding link for a description of the new regulations.
Cuban Phone Numbers and Addresses
We have compiled a list of Cuban addresses and
telephone numbers of genealogical interest. Click on
the following link for this list of Cuban Addresses and Phone
Numbers of Genealogical Interest.
Please note that writing or telephoning any of the
listed organizations, particularly governmental
organizations, may not provide any useful
information (or even get a response).
Cuban Document Retrieval Service
There is a new (2011) commercial service in the USA, Cuba City Hall, which advertises retrieval of documents from Cuba. The service is expensive, charging US $270 for a certificate for personal use and US $495 for a legalized certificate. For more information click on the preceding link.
The following book, published in the United States in 2003, is a complete guide to the archival sources in Cuba. including provincial, municipal, local and parish archives. The description of each archive includes the address of the archive and a brief description of their holdings. Do not, however, expect to receive an answer if you write them. Currently, the only feasible means of examining an archive's holdings is to have someone visit in person.
Cuba National Archive
The Archivo Nacional de Cuba (Cuba National Archive) offers, for a fee, certificates of original documents contained in Notarial Records, in the Mercantile Registry or in Passenger List Records. For more information on these services click on the preceding link. Please note that US citizens and Residents dealing directly with such an organization may be in violaton of the Treasury Regulations of the US Office of Foreign Assets Control.
For a description and index of the current holdings
of the National Archive in Cuba visit the web page
of the Archivo
Nacional de Cuba.
We do not know of any way
to consult these records other than traveling in
person to Cuba or contracting with an agent there. To obtain access, a petition letter must be prepared directed to the Director General of the Institution (see the first link above). Here is the address of the Archivo
and the name of the Director (2011):
ARCHIVO NACIONAL DE CUBA
Directora General: MSc. Martha Ferriol Marchena
Calle Compostela N° 906 esq. San Isidro
10100 LA HABANA
telephone: +53-7-863-6343 (8:30-12:30 a.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays and 1:00-7:00 p.m. Wednesdays).
Civil Registries started in Cuba in 1880. Before this date there was no civil registry.
Writing directly to the Civil Registers in Cuba is a
waste of time. In Cuba it is against the law to send
official documents to the US Also, government
offices like the Civil Registers will not work for
free. The only way at present to obtain documents
from Cuban Civil Registers is to find someone (like
a relative or friend) in Cuba, or someone visiting
Cuba, willing to do the work for you and pay the
If you are living in the United States and know the
exact date and place of someone's birth or
marriage in Cuba, you may be able to request a copy
of the birth or marriage certificate through
diplomatic channels by contacting one of the
Cuban Interest Section - Embasy of
2639 16th Street N.W.
Washington, DC 20009
Embasy of Czechoslovakia Cuban Interest
2639 16th Street N.W.
Washington, DC 20009
NOTE: At present we do not have any first hand
information of anyone successfully obtaining
documents through the above route. Please let us
know of your experiences so we may pass it on to our
Click on the following link for a description of
available Cuban Church
Under the present circumstances, writing to the Diocesis (Obispado) of the corresponding province probably has the best chance of success. If you know the Parish where your relative was born,
married or died, you can write to the local Parish priest. Always request
literal copies of the entry in
the Parish book. You can find the address of the Dioceses and local Parishes via the links listed on our page dedicated to Church Records. Be very
patient as it may take some time to get a response.
You may increase the likelihood of a response if you
indicate in your letter that you are making a
donation to the Church in their name. Be aware that
US Treasury Department regulations forbid sending
money to Cuba.
Instead of sending money directly, you can make a donation, in the name
of the Parish in Cuba, to the Vatican Embassy in
Washington, DC at the following address:
3339 Massachusetts Ave, NW
Washington, DC 20008
Be sure to indicate in your letter to the Embassy
the purpose of the donation.
Spanish Military Records
Click on the following link for a description of
available Cuban and
Spanish Military Records.
Portal to Spanish Archives (PARES)
Many documents from various
Spanish Archives have been (and are still being) digitized and placed on the
web. The web site interface has recently been updated and is now much easier to use and you no longer have to register. You can search all the archives by
any desired text (including personal names), and
limit your search to a certain date range. You will then get a listing of all the archives having documents that match your seach criteria. Clicking on the name of an archive will bring up a list of the relevant documents in that archive, Many of these documents will show a small camera icon. Clicking on a camera icon will bring up small images of all the pages of the original
document. You can then click on each page, zoom to read it, print it and/or save it to your computer for further study.
Spain's census - padrones - can be found at the
corresponding Registro Civil of the Municipality
(Consejo or Ayuntamiento) Below are links to web
sites showing the location of the civil and
municipal repositories of some regions of Spain.
Remember that Spanish records are not on-line so any
research would have to be conducted via telephone,
mail or by hiring a local researcher.
Your best bet is to consult the extensive microfilm
collection of Parish records at any Family History Center of the LDS Church.
Below are links to web sites showing the parishes of
the Catholic Church in some regions of Spain.
Remember that, with few exceptions, Spanish records
are not on-line so any research would have to be
conducted via telephone, mail or by hiring a local
- Galicia Catholic
Islands Catholic Church Parishes
Basque Country - BADATOR Provides access to information from public services and individuals originating in, or linked to, the Basque region of Spain (Euskadi). Includes a searchable database of all (5,600,000) Catholic Church baptismal, marriage and death records covering the years 1500-1900. Also includes the genealogical collection of Luis de Salazar y Castro (1658-1734) consisting of 49 printed volumes containing nearly 60,000 descriptive articles. (select "eng" at the top right corner of the page for English language web pages).
Click on the following link for a description of
available pasenger lists from Spain to Cuba and from Cuba to
the United States.
August 13, 2008 - The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has established a new Genealogy program. This is a fee-for-service program providiing family historians and other researchers with timely access to historical immigration and naturalization records.
The following records are currently available through the USCIS Genealogy Program:
- Naturalization Certificate Files (C-files) - 27 Sep 1906 to 1 Apr 1956
- Alien Registration Forms - 1 Aug 1940 to 31 Mar 1944
- Visa files - 1 Jul 1924 to 31 Mar 1944
- Registry files - 2 Mar 1929 to 31 Mar 1944
- Alien Files (A-files) - numbered below 8 million (A8000000) and documents therein dated prior to 1 May 1951
The USCIS Genealogy Program offers two services:
- Index Search
- Record Copy Request
You must first perform an Index church to locate any citations related to a specific immigrant. The current (Aug 2008) fee for this service is $20. Search results (record citations) are returned to the researcher along with instructions on how to request the file(s) from USCIS or the National Archives.
Once you obtain valid record citations (USCIS file numbers) you may request copies of the historical immigration and naturalization records. The current (Aug 2008) fee for this service is $20/$35 depending on the record type.
Here are some useful links from the USCIS:
Here is a useful list created by FileRight, a commercial immigration aid service:
If the person you are searching for worked in the
United States and is deceased, you can obtain a copy
of his or her application to obtain a Social
Security Card (Form SS-5), which is required to work and to receive retirement or social benefits from the government. The document contains the
person's name, data and place of birth, and
parent's names that were given when he or she
applied for the Social Security Number.
A deceased person does not have any privacy rights, so all this information is public.
To search for a particular individual, the easiest way is to use the free on-line Social Security Death Index provided by Rootsweb. If you do not find the individual with using the exact spelling option, try using the Soundex option to broaden your search to similarly sounding surnames. Once you find the individual you seek, you can click on the link labeled SS-5 Letter to the right of the entry. This will produce an individualized letter that you can print and mail to the Social
Security Administration, together with your payment. Don't forget to put your name, address and telephone number at the bottom of the letter.
Currently (Mar 2006), the fee for searching the
records is $27 when the SSN is provided and $29 when
the number is unknown or is incorrect. The check or
money order should be made payable to the Social
The Social Security Administration did not begin
keeping records until 1936; therefore, they have no
records about people who died before then.
The US National Archives and Records Administration
(NARA) has many resources of interest to
genealogists. This includes Census documents,
passenger lists, applications for US citizenship,
applications for passports and many others. Many of
these documents are accessible only by visiting NARA
in Washington, DC or in its 13 offices in other
states. Some of these documents have been copied
onto microfilms which can be purchased or viewed at
one of the research rooms at NARA. Visit the
following page for more details of what is
US Census records are released to the public after
72 years. Ancestry.com offers digitized images of
the original census documents for the years 1770 to
1920. These Census records are available on-line on
a subscription basis. Search using the following form
for prices and more information.
US Birth, Marriage & Death Records
Ancestry.com also offers, on a subscription basis, copies of Birth, Marriage and Death records in the USA. Seach using the following form for prices and more information.
For free newspaper obitiuaries in the USA, Europe & Australia check the following link:
Cuban Digital Library
This formidable on-line resource was brought to our attention by Jorge A. Iznaga. Thanks Jorge!
University of Miami Library
If you are located in or visit the greater Miami
area, you can find a vast collection of genealogical
materials at the Otto Richter
Library of the University of Miami. Visit
Heritage Collection. web site for an index to
their collections. You can also peruse many rare
historical photographs, manuscripts, letters and
other documents on-line at their CHC Digital Collection web site.
One important colletion to genealogists are the
documents that were donated by the heirs of the late
Cuban genealogist David Masnata, now part of the Cuban
Heritage Collection. These materials cannot be
borrowed and access must be arranged in advance of
To search the index of the Cuban Heritage Collection
visit the Searchable
Index. For many valuable hints to prospective
visitors, check out our page on Masnata Collection - Visitor
Florida International University Library
The Latin American and Caribbean Center and the
Libraries at Florida International University, in
consortium with the University of Central Florida,
the University of Florida, the University of the
Virgin Islands and five Caribbean partners, have
been awarded a U.S. Department of Education Technological Innovation and Cooperation for
Foreign Information Access (TICFIA) grant to
build the Digital Library of the Caribbean (dLOC).
This award grants approximately $450,000 for a
four-year period beginning in October 2005 and
running through September 2009.
To search the FIU library catalog, visit the FIU
Libraries web site, and select the link to
"library Catalog" on the left. Then select
the link for "Advanced" search. You can
then search by keywords, subject, title, author,
Alvin Sherman Research Library (Nova Southestern Univeristy)
This new and well endowed library has a collection of genealogy documents and data bases (to consult the data bases you must obtain a library card and you must visit the library in person). They give lectures and classes, and hold workshops on various topics and specialties. Visit their web site for the latest information and calendar of events.
Key West Library
One of our readers reports that the Monroe County Library in Key West has "tons
of information" on Cuban arrivals to the US.
Contact the library for more information.
Monroe County Library
Tom Hambright, Librarian
phone: (305) 292-3595
Godfrey Memorial Library
This is a library of genealogy located in Middletown, CT. They are the publishers of the American Genealogical Biographical Index (AGBI) which contians more than 4 million names, statistics, and sources for research including local histories, church and vital records, military lists and more.
For a fee of $35 you can register for 1 year and access thousands of documents on-line. Go to www.godfrey.org or call +1-860-346-4375 for more information.
Your Local Library
Be sure to visit and get a registration card from
your local library. Check the library subject index
under "Cuban Genealogy",
"Spain" and "Hispanic" for any
copies of books that may be available locally.
Remember that many of the references listed in our
listing of Published
References can be borrowed on Interlibrary
loan from other libraries. Merely write down the
exact title and author and ISBN, Library of Congress
(LOC), National Union Catalog (NUC) or other
identifying number and inquire at your library's
help desk. You can find out the identifying numbers
of other publications by using the interactive index
at the Library of
Congress web site.
Genealogical Society, PO Box 2660, Salt
Lake City, UT 84110-2660,
published the REVISTA (in
English) from 1988 to 1995 and from 2000 to 2007, with a single Special Issue published in 2009. The REVISTA was mostly devoted to listing names
appearing in transcriptions of parish
registers and Notary records in Cuba, but also included many articles about historical figures in Cuba. The Society has
published alphabetical indexes to these
transcriptions, by province, as well as
several research guides which are described in
our compilation of Published References. These guides are still for sale by the Society. The Society is now closed, but thanks to the generosity of Mayra Sanchez-Johnson, who ran the Society and published the REVISTA, she has given us permission to digitize the issues of the REVISTA and its Cumulative Index and publish it in .
You can reach the 57 digitized issues of the REVISTA and its Cumulative Index via this link.
The (annual dues $25) is a
non-profit organization founded in February
2001. The Club is very active and holds
monthly meetings where members can interact to
further their knowledge and share information.
The Club also periodically organizes
conferences where distinguished guests
speakers present topics related to Cuban
genealogy and Cuban history. Click on the
above link to visit their web site for
information on membership, meetings and
The Society of
Hispanic Historical and Ancestral Research
("SHHAR"), PO Box 490,
Midway City, CA 92655-0490, (annual dues $15)
is the "umbrella" organization for
many local Hispanic genealogical societies.
SHHAR publishes quarterly an entertaining
newsletter, Somos Primos, with
many genealogical and historical tidbits of
interest to the Hispanic researcher (the table
of contents and some of the articles from Somos Primos are available at
the SHHAR Home Page). Although I find it leans
somewhat towards Mexican-American heritage,
SHHAR has a very active membership and
occasionally publishes items of interest to
the Cuban-American genealogical researcher.
Genealogy Society of New York 1230
Fifth Avenue, Suite 458, New York, NY 10029
(212)532-3662, (annual dues $20), founded by
several Puerto Rico/Hispanic researchers in
the New York City area, publishes a newsletter Nuestra Herencia and have
regular meetings in the New York City area.
They also have a very active web site.
Rico/Hispanic Genealogical Society of
NY 25 Ralph Avenue, Brentwood, NY
11717-2424, (516)366-9366, (annual dues $20),
publishes a newsletter El Coqui de
Ayer 6 times a year and holds monthly
meetings with speakers on specific topics
relating to Puerto Rican/Hispanic genealogical
Hispagen - the Hispanic Genealogical Society - Alejandro Rodriguez nº 19 -6A 28039 MADRID, Spain (annual dues 36€) is the principal genealogical association in Spain. Their web site features numerous data bases, publications and a special area for members only.
The following are items of special interest to Cuban Genealogy which are available for download in PDF format:
Genealogical Society 4527 17th Street
North, Arlington , VA 22207-2399, (800)
473-0060, (annual dues $40), publishes a news
magazine, the NGS Newsmagazine,
6 times a year, which includes by request the NGS Computer Interest Group
Digest. The NGS also publishes a
scholarly NGS Quarterly journal.
They hold an annual national meeting and
regional conferences and have a book loan
program. Unfortunately their coverage of
Hispanic and Cuban genealogy topics is almost
- The Sociedad Genealogica de Puerto Rico (Puerto Rico Genealogical Society), P.O.BOX 362019, San Juan Puerto Rico, 00938-2019, is a non-profit organization founded 1989. (annual dues $40). Holds monthly meetings in which conferences are held on subjects of genealogy and history. Publishes the bi-annual magazine Hereditas included in the dues, as well as a Circular Letter providing news of the monthly activities.
Cuban Genealogy (#40) - order
from Stephen Conte, PO Box 962, West Caldwell,
NJ 07007 ($20 including S&H).
A half hour program devoted to Cuban genealogy
from the NJ local cable TV series "Family
How to Use the Family History Library
Catalog - order from the Church of
Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Family
History Department, 50 East North Temple
Street, Salt Lake City, UT 84150 ($5 + $2
A very informative 24 minute tape describing
the four sections (Surname, Locality, Subject
and Author/Title) of the Family History
Catalog, how the sections are organized, and
how to find information that may relate to
your family research. Highly recommended even
if you have already visited a Family History
The following resources charge for their professional services. They are listed for information only and are not necessarily recommended or endorsed by CubaGenWeb
Are you or do you know of a Professional Genealogist specializing in Cuban or Hispanic genealogy? If so, send us an e-mail to the address at the bottom of the page and we will add the name and contact information here.
Genealogists in the USA
- The professional genealogist who ran the Cuban Genealogical Society in Salt Lake City has retired and moved to Florida. She still does research for clients, but she says that the contacts she had in Cuba have dwindled. She prefers to be contacted via the following e-mail:
- The Institute of Genealogy and History for Latin America(IGHL), run by Lyman Platt, sells family histories, 1-5 pages each, claimed to cover 95% of the living Hispanic population. They also publish several research series of interest to the Cuban genealogical researcher in both English and Spanish Versions which are listed in our Published ReferencesPage. They can be contacted at the following address:
Institute of Genealogy and History for Latin America
316 W 500 N Street
George, UT 84770
- The author of the book Tracing your Hispanic Heritage is a professional genealogist specializing in Spain, Latin America and US research. He can be contacted through his web site at Hispanic Family History Research or at the following address:
George R. Ryscamp
Hispanic Family History Research
PO Box 1364
Provo, UT 84603
- There is a professional genealogist, who advertises regularly in the National Genealogical Society Quarterly, who specializes in searches of untranslated Spanish archive documents dealing with the period of Spanish rule of Florida, Alabama and Louisiana. I have not employed her services, but her address is:
Donna Rachal Mills, CGRS
1732 Ridgedale Drive
Tuscaloosa, AL 35406-1942
Genealogists in Spain
- A professional genealogist that resides and specializes in research in the Canary Islands of Tenerife, La Palma, La Gomera and El Hierro is:
Genealogists in Cuba
- The following genealogist, resident in Matanzas, writes us (in Spanish): "We perform professional investigations of family genealogy, fundamentally related to the colonial history of the provinces of Matanzas and Santiago de Cuba. The studies are backed by the use of archive and library sources. Results are delivered with the official documentation and a GEDCOM (standard format for genealogical data) file with the family data for later editing with any genealogical program."
Do NOT accept mail order
offers for a book, ostensibly prepared by a
person of the same surname as yours, which
claims to list all the relatives that
immigrated to the New World (the United
States, Canada and Australia).
The publication offered is little more that
a listing of names and addresses with the
same surname and contain no genealogical
information. You would do better by
purchasing one of the many telephone
directories available in CD-ROM. See the
March/April 1996 issue of the Newsletter of
Genealogical Society for a
discussion of the Cease and Desist Order
issued by the United States Postal Service
against one such firm (Halbert's Inc.
of Bath, Ohio).
Our Cuban Surname Query
Bulletin Board provides a means to
post queries about specific surnames and to
search for surnames previously posted. This is
very useful for obtaining and exchanging
information on your surnames of interest.
Our CUBA-L e-mail
mailing list provides a means to informally
discuss Cuban genealogy and related topics.
For instructions on how to subscribe to the
list visit the CUBA-L page. Also visit
out page listing Other
Newsgroups and Mailing Lists Useful to Cuban
Genealogy (In general you must
subscribe in order to post messages to any of
On the Internet, there are thousands of web
pages and several discussion groups devoted to
genealogy, Cuba and Hispanic culture. We have
collected the more relevant ones in our page
of Links to Internet
- Before the popularization of the Internet, several commercial on-line services, such as CompuServe and America-On-Line, hosted very active communities dedicated to hispanic genealogy (this was the origin of CubaGenWeb). These groups have declined in popularity, or even dissapeared, with the enormous expansion of the Internet. Many of the former participants have now created their own societies or groups with their own web pages. Please visit our list of Links to Internet