Marleta Childs
P. O. Box 6825
LUBBOCK, TX 79493-6825

     Merry Christmas to everyone!

     Genealogists know that some form of census-taking has occurred for many years. For example, Jesus was born in Bethlehem because his father, Joseph, was required to return to his city of birth to be counted in a Roman census.

     Besides learning the size of the population in a specific area, the early censuses were often taken for military or taxation purposes. The older lists, therefore, do not give facts about family members like they do in the modern ones. Although they usually contain only the men’s names and few other details (if any), the rolls are important for discovering when and where a certain family or individual resided. In his revised edition of CUBAN CENSUS RECORDS OF THE 16TH, 17TH, AND 18TH CENTURIES/CENSOS, PADRONES Y MATRICULAS DE LA POBLACION DE CUBA, SIGLOS 16, 17, Y 18, Peter E. Carr makes some early censuses more easily accessible to genealogists.

     For more than 300 years, Cuba was a key to the Spanish settlement of the Americas. Expeditions to Florida, the American Southwest, and Mexico, as well as to Central and South America, passed through Cuba, generally at Havana. Since access to Cuban records has been limited due to American sanctions, Carr turned to alternate resources for information, such as the Archivo General de Indias in Seville, Spain. In that repository, he discovered numerous colonial enumeration records--a collection of documents that form the basis of this book.

     Carr furnishes a prologue and a brief chapter on the history of census taking. Because the publication is aimed at Cuban-Americans, Carr provides the prologue and the first two chapters in both the English and Spanish languages. The remaining information is in Spanish. Most of the book consists of Carr’s transcriptions of various materials, including a list of Cuban residents in the expedition of Cortes.

     Modern census records in Cuba do not begin until 1774, but Carr unearthed numerous residents’ lists, military rosters, and miscellaneous enumerations that pre-date them. The earliest is for the city of Trinidad in 1540 and the latest pertains to Remedios in 1797. Depending on the purpose of the census, the various lists, besides naming the inhabitants, may indicate an individual’s age, military rank, occupation, and family relationship.

     As readers of the 18 December 2016 “Kinsearching” column know, Carr wrote a manual concerning Cuban genealogical research. Since he devotes a chapter to census records in the publication, his CUBAN CENSUS RECORDS OF THE 16TH, 17TH, AND 18TH CENTURIES/CENSOS, PADRONES Y MATRICULAS DE LA POBLACION DE CUBA, SIGLOS 16, 17, Y 18 makes a nice companion piece to his guide.

     The 113-page volume has soft covers, a prologue, a glossary, a list of abbreviations, an appendix, and a surname index. A map of Cuba appears on the front cover and on the title page.

     To the book’s price of $16.95, buyers should add the cost for postage and handling charges. For U. S. postal mail, the cost is $5.50 for one book and $2.50 for each additional copy; for UPS, the cost is $7.50 for one copy and $2.50 for each additional book. The volume (item order number 9846) may be purchased by check, MasterCard, or Visa from Clearfield Company, 3600 Clipper Mill Rd., Suite 260, Baltimore, Maryland 21211 (for phone orders, call toll free 1-800-296-6687; fax 1-410-752-8492; website ).

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