I’m a few weeks late with this one and have decided to add this information from ancestry.com since so many Puerto Rican family historians have asked for resources. Hope this helps. See below:

PROVO, Utah, June 24, 2014 – Ancestry.com today announced the availability of nearly 5 million Puerto Rico birth, marriage and death records.  Spanning 165 years (1836-2001), this comprehensive collection of vital records was originally from the Puerto Rico Department of Health. The addition of these new records, when combined with the existing Puerto Rico records currently available on the site, brings to Ancestry.com the largest online family history resource available to Puerto Ricans outside the Commonwealth.

The new collection is a tremendous resource and an incredible breakthrough in family history for the 4.9 million people of Puerto Rican descent living in the United States today — 3.4 million of whom were born in the U.S. and may not know much about their Puerto Rican roots. Up until now, Puerto Ricans in America have had access to these records only by visiting the Department of Health in Puerto Rico.  The collection will prove particularly useful for people in states like New York and Florida, which boast the largest Puerto Rican populations in the country*.

In Puerto Rican communities, which are often tightly-knit and have stayed true to their culture and values, the new online records can help families learn more about their history. For those who were born and raised in the U.S., these vital records can help reveal names, locations, and important dates in their family histories.

“Taking millions of records out of remote archives and making them available to the world at the click of a mouse is always exciting,” said Michelle Ercanbrack, a family historian at Ancestry.com. “This opportunity to help Puerto Ricans discover their family heritage while connecting to the past represents a new level of accessibility for those whose families left the Isle of Enchantment years ago.”

Puerto Rico is the ancestral home of many of today’s popular entertainers, such as Benicio del Toro and Lana Parilla, both of whom have grandparents listed in the record collection. Several prominent figures in Puerto Rican history have moments from their own lives recorded in the collection, including Roberto Clemente’s death and Jose Ferrer’s birth.

No matter what your family’s role was in Puerto Rican history, the breadth and depth of this collection can help anyone with roots in Puerto Rico discover, preserve and share their family history.

Tips for Researching Your Puerto Rican Roots on Ancestry.com:

  1. Start with what you know and build a family tree – just fill in the names of your family – parents, siblings, grandparents, and you’ll be on your way.
  2. Learn more about Puerto Rican and Hispanic family history research
    1. Consult Ancestry’s guide to Puerto Rican family history research HERE
    2. Learn more about Hispanic family history research with Ancestry’s guide HERE
  3. If you can’t speak Spanish, find a friend or relative who can help. It will greatly simplify your research.
  4. Once you have read the guides and are ready to start researching, search the new Puerto Rico vital records HERE
  5. Check out Ancestry’s collection of Puerto Rican Passenger lists and find your family’s arrival in the U.S. The passenger list database can be found HERE

To start your family tree or begin your free 14-day trial to search these new Puerto Rican records, visit Ancestry.com.

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