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Filipino Genealogy Resources On-Line

9 July 2011

Inspired by this discussion , I wanted to share my insights on websites which provide information that can help FILIPINOS go further in their genealogy research.

ANCESTRY. http://ancestry.com — Even if majority of the data here are based on American and European primary sources, it can be helpful to Filipino researchers when tracking … ancestors or family lines who are from or who migrated to other countries (civil and church records) … or those who made a voyage (via passenger lists) … or those included in the family trees of others. So far, the site gives little data to Filipinos hoping to go deeper into their Filipino lineage. BTW, you would also need a paid subscription to get access to the nifty records.

FAMILYSEARCH. https://familysearch.org/ — They made public the digital images of Manila civil and church records recently, and more to come. For other places, you can still use their search and get text data (indexed by others). If you find something relevant, request the corresponding roll numbers at the LDS Family History Center near you. Note, the indexing is incomplete and some indexers may not have read the documents properly. Access is free; but you have to log-in to see digital images. Over-all, still a good tool.

FILIPINAS HERITAGE LIBRARY. http://bit.ly/filipinas-heritage — Okay, so this isn’t exactly an on-line resource; but the library does hold an impressive Filipiniana collection worth visiting. I have personally handled books and Spanish era docs which are classified as “rare” when you go to the National Library. They have a music library (Eddie Peregrina anyone?) and a photo collection which houses archived photos of prominent Filipinos.  The link above leads to their search engine.  It is not very intuitive, so good search terms would help you get the data you want.

FOOTNOTE. http://www.footnote.com — If you had prominent ancestors who may have dealt with the American-government from 1898 (Spanish-American War) to 1946 (when we were released as a US protectorate), then Footnote would be an interesting read. Some newspapers are free to view; others would require a paid subscription. Personally, I have spent a lot of time laughing/learning at some of the editorials about Rizal, US involvement in the Philippines in the 1900, the Thomasite movement etcetera. Fun!

GENI.  http://geni.com — Aside from the nifty flash-based user interface, Geni’s claim to fame is it’s use of the collective knowledge to build family trees — no stuffy, be-speckled genealogists here.  For Filipinos, who may not have the access to primary data, the platform has been helpful in finding ancestors through the work done by someone else (perhaps a relative).  I have been a user since 2009 and I was very recently inducted as a “curator” (peer support) and I have observed that most Filipino users struggle with Geni’s mission of building towards one big global family tree.  Clannish folks that we are, we prefer our family trees to stay private and are suspicious of lurkers.   We also get skiddish when someone unknown asks to join or collaborate on the family tree.  Personally, I advocate that older, more distant ancestors (especially if you have documented information) should be made public and shared; but living relatives and children should be kept private.  Private profiles are there and can be accessed by you and your family; and no one else — not even curators.  Shedding our personal paranoien can lead to many serendipitous genealogical finds.

GOOGLE BOOKS. http://books.google.com/ — I never thought that using the BOOK search engine (vs just the REGULAR Google search) would make a big difference; but it did!  I found a reference to my great-grandfather in an obscure book with limited circulation on the Philippines Senate. The entire book was not available to read on-line; but with the publication details, I was able to score a copy at the Filipinas Heritage Library (using these tools in combination work too!).  His mini-biography printed in that book opened up the floodgates. What seemed like minor data helped validate dates and places relevant to his life. Some books are available to read in their entirety.

GOOGLE NEWS. http://news.google.com/ — I was disappointed when I heard Google abandoned its attempt to digitize historical newspapers. For the Philippines, they have archived some ten years worth of print and web news. Not bad. Obits have been particularly helpful to me.

US LIBRARY OF CONGRESS.  http://lcweb2.loc.gov/asian/philhtml/ — If you are looking for an accomplished ancestor who figured prominently in a historical event, try the Philippine Bibliography of the Asian Reading room.  The quick search bar is helpful; but not as intuitive as I had hoped.

US NATIONAL ARCHIVES.  http://www.archives.gov/st-louis/military-personnel/philippine-army-records.html — If you are looking for an ancestor who served in the military during World War II or the Philippine Army when the Americans were occupying the country, then you could write to the Archives, requesting for data.  It takes a few weeks to get a response; but they do respond.  I know this first-hand, as I requested for my great-grandfather’s records early this year.

(on-going)

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12 Comments leave one →
  1. 3 August 2011 23:44

    I have been able to find some very good genealogical leads from the information listed in Supreme Court rulings. I find that the LawPhil Project, provided by Arellano Law Foundation: http://www.lawphil.net, is the easiest to navigate of all the sites that make the transcripts of the decisions available.

    • Mona permalink
      4 August 2011 12:48

      Yes, me too! Sadly, it comes with the burden of knowing of some nasty law suits involving inheritance. The more interesting ones that I’ve read involved the Tuazon’s, the Viola’s and a female Cojuangco. :)

    • kctjohnson permalink
      18 December 2012 01:02

      Thank you for that link! I found out the truth about the assassination of my grandfather through that site. It did not paint a pretty picture, but I at least know what happened to him now.

  2. Mariejoe Dulnuan permalink
    20 November 2011 22:11

    genealogy research always comes, if not at all, with land inheritances. but looking at the relation brings sadness to me because tracing one’s family tree opened up things that made me realize why families or clans from one generation to the other keep on quarreling over properties. meaning, this value is an inherited form of acquiring properties especially when inheritances are at stake. no wonder people, kins and relatives kill one another just because of property inheritances. even to the extent of using evil acts like “gamud”. sorry but it is still not only rampant but is happening still nowadays despite the use of technology.

  3. 8 September 2012 06:18

    Looking for information on a Enrique Plaisted b. 1903. His father was Arthur Plaisted from the spanish american war. His mother was Solodad Minerva. He married Emiliana Alvarez in 1929. Need ideas on where to look. This info was from Family Search. We wouldlove to know if there are any descendants.

  4. 14 November 2012 02:03

    My grandmother’s name is Leoncia Monterola Bracero and her husband is Emilio Monsanto Aredidon, both from Sogod, Cebu. I’d like to know if who are there relatives there in Cebu and wanna keep in touch with them.

  5. richardrosario482883801 permalink
    11 December 2012 10:36

    I am researching my family tree… Rosario.. so far no luck…

  6. 10 January 2013 01:11

    I’m currently doing my family tree and my maternal grandfather’s last name was Gonzaga. I know he was from Leyte and his birthday but that’s all I know. I’d love to be able to trace back to his parents if possible… does anyone know where I might be able to access birth or baptism records in that region??

    • Mona permalink*
      28 January 2013 21:53

      Hi Scarlet. LDS Family History Centers all over the world are always the best bet. Limited vital records from Philippine provinces are now also available on familysearch.org.

  7. 10 March 2013 23:20

    Muriel
    Looking for information on Debbie Anne Spiess b 15 Oct 1981 in
    Manila, mother name Adelpa. Can anyone help?

  8. 9 March 2014 20:35

    i found out my grand dads death record, but his birth record is not available, my research about cruz family ancestry in obando bulacan ended there, i wonder where can i get further info about severino cruz and my ancestors before him.

  9. 4 June 2014 17:14

    I found my great-great grandfather & grandmother’s marriage record on familysearch.org. It was interesting to see the names of their parents there. I found another duplicate record, same date, same first names but different spellings of surnames. How strange..
    I tried to go deeper and research them, sadly no luck so far. I’ve tried other sites but they weren’t reliable. Does anyone know any other sites apart from Family Search?

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