2 Replies Latest reply on Jun 27, 2020 12:33 PM by Georgina McWherter

    Seeking property schedules of the 1899 Cuban Census


      I was watching Dr. Louis Gates' show "Finding Your Roots", dealing with the Cuban heritage of a Cuban-American senator & was inspired to renew my quest for the above records. Back in 2009 I sent off a query on the availability of the above records. Luckily I kept the reply email in my Genealogy folder for later follow-up:


      “This is in reply to your request for Property Schedules of the 1899 Cuban Census, compiled 1899.


      We searched for the Property Schedules (Entry 1  A1), (ARC Identifier 1133501) contained in the Records of the Military Government of Cuba, 1898-1903 (Record Group 140), and located 6 large rolls of schedules (estimated 30 pages each) housed in an oversized box.  Unfortunately, the records need conservation treatment.  They would need to be flattened and because of the age and brittleness of the paper they require a lengthy treatment process. We regret to inform you that the schedules are not now available for research.”


      Last week I sent off another inquiry as to the availability of these records (photocopy, microfilm, digital). Today, I discovered the Record Group Explorer which shows that RG 140 has not been digitized. The microfilm catalog gives the same result. Does anyone know how I would go about checking whether these records have been preserved and are now available to researchers? If they have not been preserved, what would be the next course of action available to those interested in this data? These appear to be the only original schedules remaining from the 1899 Cuban Census. (The population schedules for both the 1899 & 1907 census taken by the US were destroyed at some later date, and only the statistical reports remain). The Report on the Census of Cuba, 1899 pp.523-564 discuss the agricultural schedules & make for fascinating reading. I would love to be able to see this data, and I'm sure lots of other would love to as well, if they knew it existed.

        • Re: Seeking property schedules of the 1899 Cuban Census
          Cara Jensen Navigator

          Dear Ms. McWherter,


          Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!


          Since you have recently submitted an inquiry about the accessibility of the  Property Schedules of the 1899 Cuban Census in the Records of the Military Government of Cuba (Record Group 140), we will not duplicate their efforts. Please note that due to the COVID-19 pandemic and pursuant to guidance received from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), NARA has adjusted its normal operations to balance the need of completing its mission-critical work while also adhering to the recommended social distancing for the safety of NARA staff. As a result of this re-prioritization of activities, you may experience a delay in receiving an initial acknowledgement as well as a substantive response to your reference request from RDT2. We apologize for this inconvenience and appreciate your understanding and patience.


          You may wish to consult the FamilySearch wiki on the Cuba Census for information about possible alternate sources for your records.

          We hope this is helpful. Best of luck with your research!


            • Re: Seeking property schedules of the 1899 Cuban Census

              Sorry, I guess my post wasn’t very clear.


              I first tried to access these records in 2009 and was told that the records were in need of conservation and not accesible to researchers.


              On June 15, 2020 I sent off a query as to their availability to remote users in digital/microfilm/photocopy format. I received a reply that records had not been scheduled for digitization, but that when that happened, they would be available through the catalog.


              What I am currently trying to find out is if the records ever went through the conservation process.


              If they have been conserved, then hopefully they will be available for in-person access whenever the archives re-open. (This won’t help me much since I live on the west coast, but others would be able to access the data).


              As I mentioned earlier, these appear to be the only surviving schedules from the 1899 Cuban Census. Per the “Report on the Census of Cuba, 1899” pp. 523-564, they contain information on 60,711 farms including the names of the owners/renters, location (province & district), size (63.5% were less than 8 acres in size), etc. These records may the closest thing to the destroyed population schedules, especially for the usually overlooked rural inhabitants.