Research Guides

Cuban Genealogy Research


Introduction to the Guide
Esta guía aporta una colección de las materiales y los recoursos digitales que apoyan sus investigaciones a la genealogía, la historia, la ancestría y de la heráldica Cubana y Española. / This guide provides an organized collection of resources and tools for genealogical research of Cuban ancestry and family history. 

En la próxima página, se encuentra recursos disponsibles por la Colección de Herencia Cubana de las bibliotecas de la Universidad de Miami (UML). El siguiente página "External Resources," ofrece una variedad amplia de las herramientas de investigación disponsible por el internet y por las organizaciónes externas a UM. In the next tab, you will find resources and materials available through the University of Miami's Cuban Heritage Collection. Under the next tab, "External Resources," you will find a wide variety of links to genealogical research tools found on the web. 
Groups
Cuban Genealogy Club of Miami, Fl
The Cuban Genealogy Club of Miami Florida, Inc. "seeks to foster an interest in the preservation of records and testimonies that document Cuban family history. The club benefits from being at the center of a rich and vibrant Cuban community that, despite the distances imposed by time, language, and geography, has in many ways, become the guardian of our rich patrimony." The website offers an extensive collection of Cuban genealogy resources including records, newspapers, databases, and archives of Spain, Spanish Florida, and the Islas Canarias.

The Florida State Genealogical Society
The society publishes source materials and family history, while encouraging seminars, workshops, and educational meetings in the State of Florida. Since 1978, the society has held a statewide conference in a different Florida city each year with nationally well-known speakers. The website includes helpful links and other features as well as a list of all local genealogical societies located in the State of Florida.

National Genealogical Society
You can become a member of this group from any geographic location. The group has a website with a few research resources such as member-submitted family trees and a collection of family Bible records. It also publishes a quarterly magazine with genealogical studies and the latest in genealogy news and hosts an annual conference.
Events
Upcoming Events – Cuban Genealogy Club of Miami, Fl., Inc.
Click on the link above to access a calendar of special events and weekly member meetings held by Cuban Genealogy Club of Miami Florida. Currently, attendance is virtual via Zoom. 
Informational Video by the Cuban Genealogy Club of Miami Florida, Inc.
CHC Reading Room Access Notice
CHC materials will be available for use in the Cuban Heritage Collection reading room for University of Miami staff, students, and faculty by appointment only on Mondays and Tuesdays beginning in October 2020 and until future notice. Book an appointment.
Subject Specialist

Juan A. Villanueva

Martin Tsang

  • CHC Librarian, Curator of Latin American Collections
  • mtsang@miami.edu
  • (305) 284-4900

Amanda Moreno

Katherine Villa

  • Peer Research Consultant / UGrow Fellow 2020-21
  • kkv8@miami.edu
  • (305) x
Villalta Family Collection
The Villalta Family Collection housed at the Cuban Heritage Collection at the University of Miami Richter Library contains 1 box of organized documents, clippings, and genealogical information about the Gaona family name and the Villalta family. This collection dates from 1624 to 1918.
Masnata Collection
The David Masnata y de Quesada Collection is unique to the Cuban Heritage Collection at the University of Miami Richter Library and consists of 114 boxes of Spanish-language materials relating to Cuban and Spanish genealogy, heraldry, and family names. It includes correspondence, manuscripts, documents, and family papers.

David Masnata y de Quesada, Marquis of Santa Ana y Santa María, was born on September 11, 1926. He received a law degree from the University of Havana and practiced law in Cuba until 1961 when he moved to New York. He was the founder and first secretary of the Instituto Cubano de Genealogía y Heráldica and a member of other genealogical societies. When he left for New York he left behind a large collection of Cuban books and research papers.
Pedroso Family Collection
The Pedroso Family collection housed at the Cuban Heritage Collection at the University of Miami Richter Library contains 2 boxes of information collected by and about the Pedroso family, of Cuban and Spanish origin. It includes birth and marriage certificates, legal documents, and genealogical information about the extended family throughout the island of Cuba, and documentation of their roots in Spain.
Books

Hispanic Local History and Genealogy in the United States: Selected Titles at The Library of Congress 

Carr, Peter E. Guide to Cuban Genealogical Research: Records And Sources. Chicago, Ill.: Adams Press, 1991.
In this guide, Carr has prepared informative chapters on "getting started," Spanish surnames, and a history of Cuba, to set the stage for his discussion of Cuban genealogical records. The substance of the book consists of separate chapters devoted to each of these pertinent record categories: notarial, land, census, passenger, slave, newspaper, commercial, military, consular, and cemetery. Still other chapters list Cuban archives, libraries, and genealogical societies; maps and atlases; "papeles procedentes de cuba," and listings of streets and barrios in Havana. It also has a bibliography and subject index.
 

 

 
Luis J. Botifoll Oral History
The Luis J. Botifoll Oral History Project digital collection includes videos, outlines, and selected transcripts of oral history interviews conducted principally with members of the first generations of Cubans to leave the island after the Cuban Revolution.
StoryCorps Oral History Collection
The StoryCorps oral histories project began in 2003 with a mission to preserve and share humanity’s stories in order to build connections between people and create a more just and compassionate world. As of 2020, more than 500,000 people have recorded their stories. In 2009, the Cuban Heritage Collection became a community partner of the StoryCorp Historias project, “an initiative to record the diverse stories and life experiences of Latinos in the United States.” As part of this partnership, the Cuban Heritage Collection received all oral histories recorded in Miami and all interviews in which participants self-identified as Cuban or of Cuban descent, regardless of interview location.
Newspapers
The Cuban Heritage Collection includes thousands of titles of journals, newspapers, magazines, and newsletters published both in and outside Cuba, from colonial times to the present. The digital collection of CHC Periodicals focuses primarily on works published before 1923 that are most unique to our holdings. Here is a list of Cuban Newspapers housed in the Cuban Heritage Collection.

Also see:

La Gaceta de La Habana, image courtesy of the Cuban Heritage Collection Digital Collections
Digital Collections
The digitized run of La Gaceta de La Habana
La Gaceta de La Habana was the newspaper of record for the Spanish colonial government in the second half of the nineteenth century in Cuba. The Gaceta was the successor of Diario de La Habana, which was published until 1848, when it changed its name to La Gaceta de La Habana: Periódico Oficial del Gobierno. In turn, it was succeeded by La Gaceta Oficial de la República de Cuba in 1902. 

These years are available online: 1849-1852, 1866-1868, 1870-1872, 1874, 1876-1897

CHC Periodicals
A collection of 446 records of digitized periodicals in the CHC holdings. 

Enrique Hurtado de Mendoza Collection of Cuban Genealogy
The Enrique Hurtado de Mendoza Collections is a unique research collection at the Green Library at Florida International University Special Collections and University Archives which includes thousands of books, handwritten and typed letters, photos and other primary documents relating to Cuba and Cuban genealogy, collected over four decades by Felix Enrique Hurtado de Mendoza. The Enrique Hurtado de Mendoza Collection includes rare 17th and 18th century books, long out-of-print publications and periodicals that few, if any, U.S. libraries hold in their catalogs. Additionally, thousands of unpublished family genealogies and manuscripts make this collection particularly significant. Click here for a brief description of the collection.
Cuba-Specific Genealogy Resources Online

CubaGenWeb is "an online bilingual depository of resources and data dedicated to Cuban Genealogy. It is intended to facilitate the search for your Cuban roots by providing as much information as possible to get you started in your research and help fill in some of the missing blanks." It offers excellent resources such as a passengers and ships database that now surpasses 330,000 names. 
Useful links available on CubaGenWeb include:

Databases available through the Cuban Genealogy Club of Miami, FL Inc.:


FIU Library Catalog Search: 'Cuba -- Genealogy' (fcla.edu)

Family Search's wiki page on Cuban Genealogy

Mailing Lists and Discussions boards for Caribbean ancestry research 

Memorials in Cementerio de Cristóbal Colón - Find A Grave 

My China Roots – Trace Your Ancestry in China: My China Roots helps people of Chinese heritage find records of their ancestors, connect with long-lost relatives, and organize trips to China. Additionally, Family Search's How to Find My Chinese Ancestors 

A Spanish Letter Writing Guide: Here is a handy downloadable copy of a Spanish letter writing guide. Useful for writing to obtain genealogical information from Spain or Latin America.

Caribbean Genealogy Research

Consular Services for requesting documents from Cuba

United States Coast Guard Historian’s Office: HISTORY@USCG.MIL

Local Coast Guard Public Affairs office (District 7) 

 

 
 

Image Courtesy of University of Texas Library Perry-Castañeda Library Map Collection
General Genealogy Resources

Florida International University (FIU) Library's list of specialized resources for researching genealogy 

An extensive list of links to resources for genealogical research provided by the National Archive. It includes general and Cuba-specific resources.  

Ancestry.com: Some public libraries provide access to the paid version via their website/library card login.

College of Arms (Heraldry) 

Church of Latter Days Saints: The family search is a great starting point for research, but it requires a free account. The paid account is required for some levels of access.

City Directories (The site does contain broken links)

Ellis Island Records

Cyndi’s List: A starting point for research with compiled free sources

Resources from the National Archives:

National Genealogy Society

Newberry Library

Rootsweb

Obtaining Enumeration Districts from the Census

United States Social Security Death Index Interactive Search

Slave Voyage from Emory University

US GenWeb & US Vital Records

US Consular Report of Birth Abroad

 

 

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