I clustered the documentary items according to their utility. Some sources can offer more about a person or family than others, which can lend insight into the context of a particular time or place. Photographs are incredible resources, if the individuals depicted can be identified– at the very least a time frame can be established for the image. There are increasingly more collections on line, which I’ll write more about in future.
Thanks to migration and time, you may be left with vital records and the possibility of discovering these items at the homes of elders, relatives and friends of the family, via FB groups.. or even eBay.
Periodically revisiting your collection of family documents is a good idea– some details may have escaped notice the first time around. For instance, i’ve gleaned information from my grandfather’s passport several times, realizing more detail was applicable than I initially thought regarding his first marriage. It’s also an incredibly rare image of them at a crucial moment as they voyaged to South America.
So, think of these general categories as applicable for different countries– not just Puerto Rico.
Vital records & Notices
vital records [documentos Registro Civil o Registro Demografico]
- church records [matrimonios, bautisos, defunciones, dispensas]
- military documents [US: WW1, WW2, Korean War, Vietnam War, etc. i.e. Spain: 18-19th c. milicias urbanas (urban militias)]
- wills [testamentos– protocolos notariales wills in notarial documents]
- family civil booklets (for marriage registrations issued in Spain or Latin America)
- newspaper clippings [U Florida has the Gazeta de Puerto Rico 1837-1902]; searchable on Library of Congress website.
- baptism notices
- death notices [Puerto Rico Obituaries 2005-2008 (Newsbank); try Legacy.com for recent obituaries and notices]
- marriage notices
- marriage invitations
- retirement papers
- modern nobility papers
- inheritance papers
- family histories [check the results for Puerto Rico-Biography and Puerto Rico-Genealogy on FamilySearch.org– accounts are free, more to explore!]
- school records
- work records
- photographs / picture albums
Suerte en su busqueda! Good luck with your search!