Sources for Philippine Families



The sources of information used for these pages, along with a brief description, are listed below.  For further details on conducting genealogical research in the Philippines, see the narrative which follows the list of sources.


1. The Perez Book:
Formally titled "The Descendants of Jorge Perez and Marcela Veloso," this 297 page book contains an extensive family tree of the Perez family.  The book was compiled by a committee of family members led by Mrs. Corancion Muñasque Cabahug and published in 2005.  In addition to the family genealogy, this book preserves a number of stories of early family members and family history.
2. The Cabahug Clan Family Tree:
Compiling the genealogy of the Cabahug family was spearheaded by Dr. Bonifacio Cabahug, who served until 2003 as President of the Cabahug Clan.  The "Benito Cabahug-Tomasa Sanchez Genealogy" was published and distributed at the 1994 Clan reunion.  This 38 page booklet contains descendants of Benito Cabahug and Tomasa Sanchez, as well as stories and pictures from the first Clan reunion in 1984.  Souvenir booklets issued for later family reunions contain additions to the family tree.
3. Civil Register, Mandaue City, Cebu, Philippines:
The Civil Register for Mandaue is available on microfilm from the Family History Library of the LDS Church, as are Civil Registers from throughout the Philippines.  They can be accessed through any local Family History Center.  Fortunately for the present work, the Mandaue Register is intact, beginning in 1902.  The microfilm copies end in the early 1990s.
4. Dr. Michael Cullinane, Assoc. Dir., Center for Southeast Asia Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison:
Dr. Cullinane's research focuses on social, political, and demographic history of the Philippines.  One area of emphasis in his research is the development of the Chinese-mestizo community of Cebu.  In this regard, he is methodically searching the Spanish Archives in Manila for items relating to Cebu.  Documents deposited in the Archives include notarial records, useful for family information.  However the usefulness of these records is limited to individuals and families sufficiently well off to generate wills, mortgages, land transactions, etc., which were recorded by notaries.
4a. Records, San Fernando Rey Roman Catholic Church, Liloan, Cebu, Philippines:
Fortunately, the records of the San Fernando Rey Church in Liloan survived the ravages of World War II, unlike those of St. Joesph in Mandaue and most of the churches in Cebu City.  These records are available on microfilm from the Family History Library of the LDS Church, and cover the period from 1845 to the late 1920's.
5. Rizal Bonifacio Memorial, Mandawe, Souvenir Booklet, June 19, 1954.
6. Interview with Mamerto Basilgo, 2007.
7. Interview with Catalina Perez, 1991.
8. Interview with Zoe Gaviola, 2007.
9. Tombstone Inscription.
10. Notebook of Carlos Perez.
11. Notebook of Catalina Perez.
12. Interview with Tomas Gestopa, 2007.
13. Civil Register, Aurora, Zamboanga del Sur, Philippines.
14. Personal communication from Diosdado Suico, 2007.
15. Personal communication from Carlo Mendoza.
16. Interview with Rosalia Cabahug, 1985.
17. Cebu Under the Spanish Flag (1521-1896): An Economic and Social History, Fenner, Bruce L., San Carlos Publications, Cebu City, Philippines, 1985.
18. The Changing Nature of the Cebu Urban Elite in the 19th Century, Cullinane, Michael, in Philippine Social History: Global Trade and Local Transformations, McCoy, Alfred W. and de Jesus, Ed. C., editors, Ateneo de Manila University Press, Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines, 1982.
19. Passport Application of Escolastico Cabahug, Manila, Philippines, April 6, 1923.  Images of this application are available on Ancestry.Com.
20. Personal Family Communication.
21. Affidavits of Geronima Seno Cabahug" and Saturnina Cabahug Dabon.
22. California Death Index.
23. Civil Register, Consolacion, Cebu, Philippines.
24. Testamento of Nazarena Maria Cabahug, 8 July 1869, Notary Records of Cebu, National Archives of the Philippines, Manila, Philippines.  Philippines, Court Records, 1838-1936; Cebu; Libro 1841, 1869; Images 370-374.  See reference 49 for details on accessinb these records.
25. Testamento of Nazarena Maria Cabahug, 20 October, 1869, Notary Records of Cebu, National Archives of the Philippines, Manila, Philippines.  Philippines, Court Records, 1838-1936; Cebu; Libro 1841, 1869; Images 607-612.  See reference 49 for details on accessing these records.
26. Records, San Juan Nepomuceno Roman Catholic Church, San Remigio, Cebu, Philippines.
27. Passenger List, April 7, 1928, S.S. Calawaii, Wilminton, California.
28. 1940 U.S. Census, Clarksburg, Yolo County, California.
29. Death Certificate of Arsenio Cabahug, San Diego County, California.
30. City and County of Honolulu Directory, 1933-34 and 1935-36.
31. Passport Application of Sancho Basilgo, Manila, Philippines, March 5, 1923.  Images of this application are available on Ancestry.Com.
32. Social Security Death Index.
33. Death Certificate of Escolastico Sanchez Cabahug, Vital Records, State of Hawaii.
34. Acknowledgment of the Boundary of Liloan, 25 January, 1845, Notary Records of Cebu, National Archives of the Philippines, Manila, Philippines.  Philippines, Court Records, 1838-1936; Cebu; Libro 1294-1304; Images 668-669.  See reference 49 for details on accessinb these records.
35. A Portion of the Will of Maria Estefa recorded by Ambrocio Cabajug, 2 September, 1851, Notary Records of Cebu, National Archives of the Philippines, Manila, Philippines.  Philippines, Court Records, 1838-1936; Cebu; Libro 1314-1320; Images 113-114.  See reference 49 for details on accessinb these records.
36. Record Granting a Power-of-Attorney by seventeen Principales of the Visita of Liloan, to Don Julian Bartolome del Rosario, Notary Records of Cebu, National Archives of the Philippines, Manila, Philippines.  Philippines, Court Records, 1838-1936; Cebu; Libro 1294-1304; Images 469-470.  See reference 49 for details on accessinb these records.
37. Record Granting a Power-of-Attorney by Mariano Cabahug of Tabogon to Leandro Soco, Notary Records of Cebu, National Archives of the Philippines, Manila, Philippines.  Philippines, Court Records, 1838-1936; Cebu; Libro 1348; Images 859-861.  See reference 49 for details on accessinb these records.
38. Civil Register, Bogo, Cebu, Philippines.
39. Records, San Vicente Ferrer Roman Catholic Church, San Remigio, Cebu, Philippines.
40. G.R. No. 5343, September 16, 1910, Supreme Court, Republic of the Philippines.
41. Souvenir Book, 20th Anniversay and Grand Reunion, Cabahug Clan Foundatioin, Inc., 2004
42. Record Granting a Power-of-Attorney by Bartolome Cabahug of Mandaue to Tomas Senisa, Notary Records of Cebu, National Archives of the Philippines, Manila, Philippines.  Philippines, Court Records, 1838-1936; Cebu; Libro 1329-1330; Images 99-101.  See reference 49 for details on accessinb these records.
43. Sale of land by Agustin Sanchez to Bartolome Cabajug, Notary Records of Cebu, National Archives of the Philippines, Manila, Philippines.  Philippines, Court Records, 1838-1936; Cebu; Libro 1345; Images 327-330.  See reference 49 for details on accessinb these records.
44. Sale of land by Cipriano and Fruto Eveñes to Modesto Cabajug, Notary Records of Cebu, National Archives of the Philippines, Manila, Philippines.  Philippines, Court Records, 1838-1936; Cebu; Libro 1350-1353; Images 432-434.  See reference 49.
45. Interview with Ignacio "Gene" Ceniza, Mandaue, Cebu, 2007.
46. Death Certificate of Manuel Briones, Manila, MetroManila, Philippines.
47. Profile of Manuel C. Briones, Senators Profiles.
48. Miscellaneous Philippine Church Records, National Archives of the Philippines, Manila, Philippines.  Philippines, Civil Registration, (Spanish Period), 1706-1911, Cebu; Multiple towns; bautismos, nacimientos, 1843-1848, image 112.  See reference 49 for details on accessinb these records.
49. Protocolos (Spanish notary and court records), National Archives of the Philippines, Manila, Philippines.  These records are available at FamilySearch.Org.  To access the records use the following Link.
50. Mention of Don Luis Cabajug as a Cabeza de Barangay in Mandaure, 23 April 1891, Notary Records of Cebu, National Archives of the Philippines, Manila, Philippines.  Philippines, Court Records, 1838-1936; Cebu; Libro 1398-1399; Images 432-435.  See reference 49 for details on accessinb these records.
51 Civil Register, Borbon, Cebu, Philippines.
52. Mariano Villarosa grants a general Power-of-Attorney to Don Felix Cabajug, 4 September 1868, Notary Records of Cebu, National Archives of the Philippines, Manila, Philippines.  Philippines, Court Records, 1838-1936; Cebu; Libro 1340; Images 190-192.  See reference 49 for details on accessinb these records.
53. Doña Paula Suyco sells a house with land to Felix Cabajug, 30 September 1868, Notary Records of Cebu, National Archives of the Philippines, Manila, Philippines.  Philippines, Court Records, 1838-1936; Cebu; Libro 1340; Images 239-243.  See reference 49 for details on accessinb these records.
54. Felix Cabajug is a witness to the Testamento of Don Luis Gonzaga Regis, 21 December 1869, Notary Records of Cebu, National Archives of the Philippines, Manila, Philippines.  Philippines, Court Records, 1838-1936; Cebu; Libro 1340; Images 792-298.  See reference 49 for details on accessinb these records.
55. Felix Cabajug is listed as a landowner in Mandaue, 20 February 1872, Notary Records of Cebu, National Archives of the Philippines, Manila, Philippines.  Philippines, Court Records, 1838-1936; Cebu; Libro 1344; Images 103-104.  See reference 49 for details on accessinb these records.
56. Lorenzo Cortes is listed as a landowner in sitio Liong, Mandaue, 7 August 1889, Notary Records of Cebu, National Archives of the Philippines, Manila, Philippines.  Philippines, Court Records, 1838-1936; Cebu; Libro 1392; Images 438-441.103-104.  See reference 49 for details on accessinb these records.
57. Lorenzo Cortes sells land to Miguel Sanchez, 14 November 1895, Notary Records of Cebu, National Archives of the Philippines, Manila, Philippines.  Philippines, Court Records, 1838-1936; Cebu; Libro 1410; Images 633-635.103-104.  See reference 49 for details on accessinb these records.
58. Breve Reseña de lo que fue y de lo que es la Diocesis de Cebu en las Islas Filipinas, by D. Felipe Redondo y Sendino, Manila 1886.  A digital copy is available on Google Books and at the University of Cornell Library.
59. Petition of principal citizens of Mandaue and of Liloan for recognition of the boundary between their municipalities, Notary Records of Cebu, National Archives of the Philippines, Manila, Philippines.  Philippines, Court Records, 1838-1936; Cebu; Libro 1294-1304; Images 665-666.103-104.  See reference 49 for details on accessinb these records.
60. Death certificate of Lino (Catalino) Seno, Vital Records, Mandaue City, Cebu, Philippines.
61. Puchase of land by Francisco Perez, Notary Records of Cebu, National Archives of the Philippines, Manila, Philippines.  Philippines, Court Records, 1838-1936; Cebu; Libro 1340; Images 453-455.  See reference 49 for details on accessinb these records.
62. Civil Register, Ormoc, Leyte, Philippines.
63. Civil Register, Alegria, Leyte, Philippines.



Comments on Sources for Philippine Genealogy:

The sources listed above, particularly the major sources, reflect the challenges inherent in Philippine genealogy.  Typically, genealogy in the Philippines consists of collecting family remembrances and using these to build a family tree.  This is well illustrated in the Perez book, which nicely documents the process used in collecting information from early family members and presents some of the uncertainty associated with that information.  As in the case of the Cabahug and Perez families, the production of a family tree is often associated with a family organization and a recurring family reunion.  In most cases, little or no additional research is undertaken.

There are multiple reasons for this approach.  First and foremost is the lack of alternate sources.  In the Philippines, civil registration of births, marriages and deaths only began in 1902 with establishment of civil government under the American occupation.  Church records can extend back to the early 1800's and even the 1700's is some cases.  However, both of these traditional sources are often seriously limited, since many records were destroyed during World War II.  As a result, the records in many municipalities and cities only date from the mid-1940's, with a few years of Civil Registers from the 1920's preserved in the National Archives in Manila.  When records do exist, they are typically incomplete, since births, deaths and marriages were often not reported to the Municipal Registrar.  Fortunately for this work, the Civil Register for Mandaue is intact back to 1902, although the Church records were lost during the War.

The Civil and Church records throughout the Philippines have been microfilmed by the Family History Library of the LDS Church.  This microfilming was performed in the 1990's and, as a result, copies of the Civil records are available for nearly all localities in the Philippines up to the date of filming.  Microfilms can be accessed through the local Family History Centers of the LDS Church.  In addition, many other Philippine records are available, and an increasing number of these records are now available on the Family History Library's web site.  The records pertaining to the Philippines can be accessed at this Link.

Another significant source of genealogical information are the Protocolos18, records of the Spanish Colonial Government.  These records consist largely of notorial and court records and are now held in the Archives of the National Library of the Philippines.  Unfortunately, these microfilm copies are no longer generally available. See reference 49.

The usefulness of these records is limited, however, by the nature of the transactions recorded and the difficulty of searching the collection.  Documents in the archives include governmental appointments, financial transactions (such as land records, mortgages) and inheritance records.  In general, the records are limited to the Principales; leading persons in a city or municipality, and therefore who were wealth enough that their transactions were recorded.  In addition to Spanish officials and priests, a major component of the Principales were Chinses-mestizo families, descended from early Chinese traders.  As a result, native Filipino families are greatly under-represented in these records.

A final limitation to genealogical research in the Philippines is the absence of surnames prior to 1850.  In November of 1849, Don Narciso Claveria y Zaldua, Governor of the Philippines issued a decree requiring all Residents of the Philippines to use a surname.  Prior to this time, Filipinos generally used two names, but there was no connection between a parent's name and that of their children.

The above circumstances create a situation which makes it difficult to trace family lineage beyond that recalled by family members.