Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Cuban Genealogy Online

For those of you that have Hispanic ancestry via Cuba you are well aware of the lack of online resources, however, you might want to take a look at these two sites:
  • http://lib11.library.vanderbilt.edu/diglib/esss.pl - Sacramental records digitalized in Havana and Matanzas. The digitized records are of Pardos (blood mixture: 1 part Spaniard, 2 parts Indian, and 1 part Negro), and Morenos (blood mixture: 2 parts Spaniard, 1 part Indian, and 1 part Negro). Keep in mind that individuals did not have to match these race proportions exactly to be dubbed Pardo(a) or Moreno(a). The site is done through Vanderbilt university by a group studying slave societies in Brazil and Cuba. Clearly the site does not cover the entire Cuban population, but it a wonderful resource for many doing Cuban genealogy.
  • http://immigrants.byu.edu - The Immigrant Ancestors Project (IAP) is under the direction of the Center for Family History and Genealogy at Brigham Young university. The IAP is mainly done by student and non-student volunteers. Students and advisers travel to European countries (including Spain) and identify emigration records, then negotiate with the archives to index the records. The index is then placed on the IAP site, and users who find their ancestors are provided with contact information where the original record is housed. The user can contact the archive and ask for a photocopy of the original record if desired. In 2004 I traveled with a group of students to identify emigration records in Spain. One private collection (in a university archive in Santander) contained a study done of emigrants leaving Santander in the mid 19th century. Of the 3500 to 4000 emigrants done in this study approximately 3,000 were headed to Cuba. Records such as these now make up an ever expanding database. If you would like to participate in the project please visit the site above.
Obviously there isn't as many online resources for Cuban genealogy as U.S. genealogy, but as the demand grows so will the resources. I hope that these sites provide you with a good starting point in discovering your Cuban ancestors.

1 comment:

Tom Santa Cruz said...

I found your post very interesting and have shared them with some cousins.

You did not mention the Cuban Genealogy Center at http://www.cubagenweb.org/
It has some databases on military service during the wars before the Spanish American War and passenger lists; some indices of genealogical journals and the book, "Historia de Familias Cubanas"; and linked digitized books; plus more.

The Cuban Genealogy Club of Miami has a website at http://www.cubangenclub.org/
It has databases as well covering a number of topics.

They provide wonderful bibliographies on what book or resource might hold an answer.