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Cuban Census Records of the 16th, 17th, & 18th Centuries
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Cuban Census Records of the 16th, 17th, and 18th Centuries: Censos, Padrones y Matriculas de la Poblacion de Cuba Siglos 16, 17 y 18. Revised Edition. Peter E. Carr. Softcover, 2004, New, Index, x + 113 pp.
For over 300 years, Cuba was a key to the Spanish settlement of the Americas. Expeditions came and went to Florida, the American Southwest, Mexico, and Central and South America after passing through Cuba, usually at Havana. Despite Cuba's genealogical importance, as Peter Carr has explained in his Guide to Cuban Genealogical Research, access to genealogical records under the Castro regime is difficult. Ordinarily researchers are limited to examining Cuban records in the U.S., writing to parish priests in Cuba, or gaining access to Cuban materials in foreign archives. One such repository, the Archivo General de Indias in Seville, Spain, is the foundation for this collection of colonial enumeration records.
Though modern census records in Cuba do not start until 1774, Mr. Carr has discovered many earlier residents' lists, military lists, census records, and so forth in Seville and other foreign archives. He has transcribed those lists for persons of Cuban ancestry in the work at hand, Censos, Padrones y Matriculas de la Poblacion de Cuba Siglos 16, 17 y 18. (Censos refer to enumerations taken on a national scale, while padrones and matriculas refer to local enumerations, both official and informal.) The lists start with the city of Trinidad in 1520 and conclude with a census of Remedios in 1797. Besides naming the inhabitants the various lists also indicate an individual's age, military rank, family relationship, and occupation--depending on the purpose of the enumeration. In all, book's surname index refers to several thousand Cuban ancestors whose whereabouts would otherwise remain inaccessible to the present generation.