Research in Cuba
Here are a few suggestions and sources that may be useful if you are doing genealogical research on family names from Cuba:
Hope the above helps - please let me know via EMail if you discover any additional sources that you have found useful and should be included.
- The Cuban Genealogical Society
P.O. Box 2650
Salt Lake City, Utah 84110-2650
membership $20/year, publishes a quarterly Revista (in English), mostly devoted to listing groups of names appearing in parish registers in Cuba. They sponsored one conference on Cuban Genealogy in Miami in 1993 and they also sell and/or have published several research booklets, including:
Cuba - General Research Guide
Locality Guide for Cuba ($15+$2 s&h)
The person who runs the organization, Mayra Sanchez-Johnson, is very helpful. She is a professional genealogist and will do research for members (and others) at a very nominal fee.
- Order from the CGS the following back issues of the Revista ($6/ each):
Vol 4 No 1 (January 1991)
Vol 2 No 2 (April 1989)
The first issue listed above has the index of family names included in the 9 volume work "Historia de Familias Cubanas", by the Conde de Jaruco. This is the primary reference work for anyone doing research in Cuban genealogy (see below).
The second issue listed above has the index to the "Diccionario Biografico Cubano", which has short biographies of many prominent Cubans.
- Look through the above indexes and if you recognize any names in your family, you can request the CGS to make copies of the appropriate microfilm pages from the LDS Family History Library archives in Salt Lake City. You can, of course, go to your local branch of the LDS Family History Library and request the microfilms directly and do your own copying, but I find it much less time consuming to go through the CGS, since it avoids coordinating an evening when the local LDS branch is open, signing up and waiting for microfilm readers, waiting for microfilms to be shipped, etc.
- If you really get serious and have money to spare, there are a few ancient copies of the Conde de Jaruco work for sale at the publisher:
3090 S.W. 8 Street
Miami. FL 33135
When I spoke to them last, they would only sell the first 6 volumes (published in Cuba) as a set in "as is" condition for $300, and the three last volumes (published in Miami) for $50 each, so the entire collection costs $450. Both the Conde and his son are dead, so no additional volumes will be published.
Another work published by Universal which may be relevant, if you are connected to the Cardenas or Castro families is:
Genealogia, Heraldica e Historia de Nuestras Familias - Fernando R. de Castro y de Cardenas.
Universal also imports many reference books from Spain, a few dealing with spanish genealogy, heraldry and history, among them:
Some of these books are quite expensive, so you should request a catalog of these reference books before ordering.
- Diccionario de Apellidos Vascos - N. Narbarte Iraola
- Apellidos Gallegos (Heraldica de Galicia/Escudos) - A. Cuartas
- Apellidos Catalanes (Heraldica de Cataluna) - A. Cuartas
- Manual de Heraldica Espanola - E. P. de Guevara
- Diccionarion Heraldico y Nobiliario de los Reinos de Espana - F. Gonzalez-Doria
- There is an organization called the Cuban Index, run by Peter E. Carr, which has computerized data bases extracted from various documents, such as passenger lists, business directories, cemetery plot lists, etc. They will do searches in particular decades for a fee. For a listing of what's available contact:
The Cuban Index
PO Box 11251
San Bernardino, CA 92423-1251
I have tried them several times, but unfortunately have not come up with anything useful from this source (they claim that they are continually adding to their data bases). They also publish a booklet called:
Guide to Cuban Genealogical Research - Records and Sources ($19.95 + $1.50 s&h)
Unfortunately many of the sources listed are in Cuba and most of the other references do not have their library call numbers listed, so this guide is of limited utility.
- There is a professional genealogist, who advertises regularly in the National Genealogical Society Quarterly, who specializes in searches of untranslated Spanish archive documents dealing with the period of Spanish occupation of Florida, Alabama and Louisiana. I have not employed her services, but her name is:
Donna Rachal Mills
PO Box 618462
Orlando, FL 32861-8462
- For research on the genealogy of Spanish surnames, you can search through the monumental 88 volume work "Enciclopedia Heraldica y Genealogica Hispano-Americana" by Alberto & Arturo Garcia Carraffa (NUC 56-190-597). This is available in microfilm from the LDS library. You can do your own research through your local LDS branch or request copies of the sections dealing with any specific last names, if they exist, from the CGS (again depending on how much free time you have). I do not know of a published index to this work. Note that only names starting with letters up to URR are covered, since the authors both died before they completed the work.
- For general reference on what archives are available in Spain and where to write for information, I highly recommend the following reference (in English):
Tracing your Hispanic Heritage - George R. Ryskamp ($29.95+$3.50 s&h).
The book is available in several book stores in Miami, as well as in the book store at the National Archives in Washington. You can also order it from Ancestry, Inc. P.O. Box 476, Salt Lake City, UT 84110. The book is very useful in that it lists many references with their library call numbers, as well as giving you the addresses of many of the archives in Spain.
- The following reference (in spanish) describes and lists the histories of all the municipios (counties) in Cuba, including the more prominent individuals born in each. It is available at most book stores in Miami:
Historia de los Municipios de Cuba, Joaquin Freire, 1985 ($20). La Moderna Poesia, Inc., 5246 S.W. 8th St, Miami, FL 33134
- The LDS (Mormon) Church has the largest archive of genealogical data in the world. You can find the nearest church in your local phonebook under "Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints". You will probably have to visit it to find out whether they have a branch of of their Family History Library on the premises or where the nearest one is located, hours of operation, etc. There you will find volunteer helpers (many of them non-Mormon) which will help you get started. Space does not permit a full discussion, but the main databases of interest for Cuban genealogy are:
These index data bases can be searched at your local LDS Family History branch and then you can request the relevant microfilms, which you can review (and sometimes make copies of pages for a small fee if the right reader is available). If you have access to a microfiche reader, you can purchase the Cuba ($0.15) and/or Spain ($5.85) sections of the IGI (in microfiche only) directly from the Family History Department in Salt Lake City - call (801) 240-1290 for an order blank. The CD ROM version is not yet for sale. For more information on the LDS Church archives and policies you can log onto the appropriate section of this forum.
- International Genealogical Index (IGI) (in microfiche and CD ROM)
- Family History Library Catalog (in microfiche only)
- Locality Index (in microfiche only)
- Social Security Death Index (in microfiche (?) and CD ROM - for immigrants to the US)
- If you are in the Miami area, there are several sources of genealogical and historical data. One main one is at the Library of the University of Miami.
America On Line: EdElizondo
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