The Cuban Genealogy Club of Miami, Florida

Spanish Vital Records

Vital Records
1.  A baptismal, marriage or burial record is commonly referred to as a "partida" in Spanish.
2.  Vital Records used in genealogy include birth, baptism, marriage, divorce, death and burial records. Vital records and event information are more reliable when they are recorded near the time of the happening. The longer the time from the event occurrence that the record is made, the less accurate it may be based on the memory of the person involved.
3.  "Partida Literal" - This is an exact transcription of the baptism, marriage or burial containing all data relating to the identity of the individual(s) and facts of the sacrament exactly as it appears in the entry contained in the church registry. Always request a "partida literal" . Sometimes entries would included the occupation of father, current address, etc. An abstract would not contain this information.
4.  "Extracto" (Abstract) -  A summary of the information relating to the baptism, marriage or burial contained in the church registry.
5.  "Dispensas de Parentesco" - Dispensation required by the church when persons who were related wanted to marry. Required for 1st and 2nd cousins although many 3rd cousins also got them. These are kept at the Archdiocese.
6.  "Expediente de Solteria" or "Expediente Ultramar" - Document required by the church if a non-national wanted to marry a Cuban national. These usually begin in 1800. They are kept at the Archdiocese.
7.  Familiarize yourself with the locations of the churches (or houses of worship) in the area your ancestors lived. Locate where the records are kept (local church, diocesan archive, etc.) for that church and time period. Locate where civil records are kept for that area and time period.
8.  Spanish Genealogical Word List available on Family Search's Wiki.
9.  Resources for Spanish records and Spain are available on Family Search's Wiki. This includes research resources and language resources (such as translation tips and deciphering old handwriting)
10. Another resource for old Spanish paleography is on Internet Archive. You cannot preview the book but you can dowload it as a PDF file.
Organizing Your Records
1.  Organize your files and information as soon as you start your research in a system that suits your needs but in which you can quickly and easily find information when you want it. Set up "Master Files." These are your original documents and NEVER travel with you. "Working Files" are copies of your original documents and your family group sheets, notes, pedigree charts, chronological profiles, etc.
2.  Archive and protect your original documents (those in your Master Files) by making a digital copy IMMEDIATELY upon receiving the document.