6 Replies Latest reply on May 12, 2021 3:16 PM by Ellen Fernandez-Sacco

    Seeking Puerto Rico Census for 1870, 1872 & 1880

    Guillermo R Cruz Jr Newbie

      I am trying to locate any demographic information for my family ancestors in Puerto Rico.  My great grandfather was named Ramon S. Cruz was born on 5/13/1874 in Hormigueros which may have been part of Mayaguez back then.  His mother was Maria Cruz and father was Antonio Torres.  His mother's parents were Esteban Cruz and Catalina Vasquez.  I do not have any birth dates for any of them.  I can only imagine that they lived in the same town of Hormigueros.  I have read that they may be a census of the island done in 1870, 1880, and part in 1872.

        • Re: Seeking Puerto Rico Census for 1870, 1872 & 1880
          Alice Lane Pioneer

          Hi Guillermo,

          Welcome to History Hub

          According to the following Wikipedia article the first US Puerto Rico Census

          was done in 1899, stated in article, prior to that it was done by Spain, ( But I could not find any Spain census for Puerto Rico)




          Alice Lane

          Research Volunteer

          • Re: Seeking Puerto Rico Census for 1870, 1872 & 1880
            Cara Jensen Tracker

            Dear Mr. Cruz,


            Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!


            Since Puerto Rico became a United States territory in 1898 after the Spanish-American War and has been included in every Federal Census since 1900, we searched the National Archives Catalog and located the Population Schedules for the 1900 Census, the Population Schedules for the 1910 Census, the Population Schedules for the 1920 Census, the Population Schedules for the 1930 Census, , the Social and Population Schedules of the 1935 Special Census of Puerto Rico, 1935 - 1936, and the Population Schedules for the 1940 Census in the Records of the Bureau of the Census (Record Group 29) that may contain information about your great-grandfather’s family in Puerto Rico.  The 1940 Census schedules are digitized and available using the Catalog. See NARA’s 1940 Census Records web page for more information.  For access to the non-digitized schedules, please contact the National Archives at Washington, DC - Textual Reference (RDT1) via email at archives1reference@nara.gov


            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 RDT1. We apologize for this inconvenience and appreciate your understanding and patience.


            For information about the U.S. Census, see the Census Bureau technical documentation and questionnaires.


            You may wish to search Ancestry.com and FamilySearch.org for the U.S. Census and the 1935 Puerto Rico Territorial Census. There may be a fee for using Ancestry. Instead, check for access at your local library as many library systems subscribe to these sites, making them free for their patrons.


            The Spanish Colonial census records of Puerto Rico are available at Censo Decenal 2010


            For any civil records prior to 1898, including birth, marriage, and death records for your great-grandfather’s family, we suggest that you search the FamilySearch indexes for Puerto Rico, Civil Registration, 1805-2001 and Puerto Rico, Catholic Church Records, 1645-1969 as well as review the FamilySearch Research wiki for Puerto Rico Genealogy.  We also suggest that you contact the Portada del Archivo Histórico Nacional in Madrid for information about their holdings of colonial Puerto Rican records. 


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

            • Re: Seeking Puerto Rico Census for 1870, 1872 & 1880
              Lidio Rivera Newbie



              The first Spanish census in Puerto Rico was conducted in 1530, and it is still available today, and many others followed it. However, due to the usual reasons, time, the elements, natural disasters and other acts of nature, as well as carelessness and neglected by their custodians, most of these censuses no longer exist. The few that do still exist are for specific towns on the island. I am not aware of any pre-1898 censuses for Hormigueros. That said, I believe you may have a church baptismal record for your great-grandfather and in that case your best bet is to contact the church in Hormigueros, Nuestra Señora de Monserrate 787-849-2260, and ask them if they have a record of 1) Ramon's mother's marriage; 2) since you have Maria's parents' names ask if they have a record of her baptism; and, 3) also ask if they have a record of Maria's parent's marriage as well. Note that Horimgueros was officially founded in 1874 but it had it's own church long before that so the records you seek may still exist. If they don't have any of those records you might want to contact the church in San German, PR (Iglesia San Germán de Auxerre, 787-892–1027) as before it came into it's own Hormigueros was a ward or barrio of San German.


              Good luck!

              1 person found this helpful
              • Re: Seeking Puerto Rico Census for 1870, 1872 & 1880
                Ida Perez Newbie

                No one has mentioned that Hormigueros was also part of Mayagues for a time - at least I was told that from a librarian in Puerto Rico - can't confirm if it is true.  I am also going to suggest that you visit the website:  www.familysearch.org

                It is run by the Mormons who have a massive collection of genealogical resources from around the world.


                Some things can be viewed straight from the computer.  Here is the link of what is available for Hormigueros through online images:  https://www.familysearch.org/records/images/search-results?page=1&place=384332


                You can also look through their catalog and order see if more is available on microfilm.  If you find something you can arrange to rent the microfilm and have it sent to a location close to you.  The Mormons have Family History Center locations all over the country and world.  There is a fee to rent the film but no fee to use their library.  You do not have to be a Mormon to use the center.  I am not and have used it for more than 20 years.


                The other way to see records could be at the Archivo General de Puerto Rico.  They are located in San Juan, PR.  I have not been there since Hurricane Maria and cannot tell you if they are open or not.  Before the Hurricane and Covid, you could visit their library and request to see various files.  The only warning I give is to be very careful.  When you request a census from 1846, they give you THE ACTUAL PAPERS FROM 1846.


                My research is not with this town so I cannot easily say what is available.


                I sincerely hope this is helpful.

                1 person found this helpful
                • Re: Seeking Puerto Rico Census for 1870, 1872 & 1880
                  Ellen Fernandez-Sacco Newbie


                  There's a Wiki for Hormigueros on FamilySearch:


                  I would check the records available via the Sociedad Puertorriquena de Genealogia; they may have relevant transcriptions. Also PReb.com has some document transcriptions for a very modest membership & copy fee that might be helpful.

                  Born in Hormigueros may not mean that they stayed in that municipality their entire lives; if the family worked as jornaleros, braceros, etc on a plantation, or if  for example, they were in police or military, they may have moved distances for work. So knowing what kind of work they may have done is helpful.  They may be under Mayaguez, San German, or further out. 

                  Another way around is to search for siblings, or close relatives if you know who they are.

                  Buena suerte!