Here's a letter I sent to the Ancestry.com team. I am not sure if anyone else has tried to contact them directly to see if they have any plans for the future in regards to this matter. But here's hoping they take notice! :)
To whom it may concern:
I am not sure if the team at ancestry.com is aware of a particularly unique challenge that all puerto ricans face when attempting to study their family history using ancestry.com
The only Puerto Rican US census records available are the 1910, 20 & 30 census records. Any kind of records dating prior to 1910 are currently unavailable on ancestry.com
So any and all puerto ricans that want to continue searching for ancestors prior to 1910 currently have to do it the old fashion way outside of ancestry.com
So my question is, does ancestry.com have any plans to add puerto rican records dating prior to 1910 to their database in the future?
I'm just a rookie, but it seems to me like all of this information is available for anyone to research, so in my opinion i think it would make sense for the ancestry.com team to look into this. That way it's puerto rican customers don't wander off to other websites/resources when conducting their geneaology research.
If you search ancestry.com's message boards, you can quickly figure out what kind of records/methods are available outside of ancestry.com to help puerto ricans find their ancestors. Just by reading these posts, I learned that the three main options are:
Mormon Churches LDS
Registro Demografico (dept of vital records/demographics registrar): http://www.salud.gov.pr/Programas/RegistroDemografico/Pages/...
Historical and Genealogical Resources
Department of Health, Demographic Registrar:
Here is a list of offices located in the various municipalities holding birth, marriage and other vital records. There are no governmental records listing such events prior to 1885 when the task of official vital record keeping was made a governmental function. Before that date, the Catholic parish churches of the respective municipalities of Puerto Rico were the official originators and repositories of these records.
The procedure for requesting abstracts of any of these official government records is as follows:
If the event happened before July 22, 1931, your request for a vital record should be made to the Demographic Registrar office in the municipality where the person resided at the time. (See list below)
If event occurred after July 22 your request should go to:
Departamento de Salud, Registro Demografico
PO Box 11854, San Juan, PR 00910
Your request for a document must include:
1. A money order of $5.00 for each record made to the order of
Secretary of the Treasury of Puerto Rico.
2. The full and complete name and surnames of the person whose record you want.
3 Your relationship to that person and why you want the document.
4. Copy of your ID, preferably a drivers license, a passport or other document that has a photo and lists your place of birth.
5. A stamped, self-addressed envelope.
Click on to the website below for list of Demographic Registrars of Puerto Rico http://www.topuertorico.org/reference/demogra.html
The Superior District Courts of Puerto Rico
The Superior District Courts maintain records of wills, deeds and other legal documents related to civil and criminal cases under their jurisdiction. Each of the courts has jurisdiction over legal matters occurring in one or more municipalities. Copies of documents can be obtained through the Administrative Officer of the particular court. Fees and procedures for obtaining the legal documents vary and it is always advisable to call ahead for up-to-date fees procedural information and jurisdictions covered
Corte Superior del Disticto de Aguadilla
Centro Judicial Calle Progreso, Box 1010
Aguadilla, PR 00605
(787) 891-0115 Corte Superior del Districto De Ponce
Carretera #1 Box 1791
Ponce, PR 007033
Corte Superior Del Districto de Aibonito
Urb. El Roble
Aibonito, PR 00607
- Corte Superior del Districto de San Juan
Avenida Muñoz Rivera - P.O. Box 887
Hato Rey, PR 00919
Corte Superior del Districto de Arecibo
Avenida Rotario - Box 1235
Arecibo, PR 00613
(787) 878-0060 Corte Superior del Districto de Utuado
Avenida Nueva - Box 950
Utuado, PR 00761
Corte Superior de Bayamón
Carretera #2 - PO Box 60619
Bayamon, PR 00619
(787) 780-8402 Corte Superior del Districto de Mayagüez
Calle León - Box 97
Mayagüez, PR 00708
Corte Superior del Districto de Caguas
Caguas, PR 00625
Puerto Rican Municipalities
Almost all of Puerto Rico's 78 municipalities (pueblos) maintain websites that contain general facts related to their history. Although not usually listed, the municipalities do have an archive where the official record of governmental transactions is kept.