Democratic Republic of the Congo Civil Registration

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Civil registration[edit | edit source]

Civil registration is a primary source for birth, marriage, and death information about people and links them to their families.

For the Democratic Republic of the Congo, civil registration is available from about 1900 to the present.

Legal informants for a birth: Father or mother, ascendants and relatives, those present at the birth.[1]

For additional information, see UNICEF Democratic-Republic of the Congo.

How to Find the Records[edit | edit source]

FamilySearch Online Collections[edit | edit source]

Digital Collections not yet available as of 15 June 2019

Offices to Contact[edit | edit source]

Some civil registration records are also in regional archives and in Belgium.

The National Archives of the Democratic Republic of Congo
42 / A, Justice Avenue
Commune of Gombe
Kinshasa
Website: The National Archives of the Democratic Republic of Congo

National Archives of Belgium and State Archives of Belgium
Rue de Ruysbroeck 2
1000 Bruxelles, Belgium
Telephone: +32 2 513 76 80
Email: State Archives of Belgium
Website: State Archives of Belgium

Federal Public Service Interior (previously the Ministry of Interior) - administrative control of civil registrars; issuance of birth certificates, marriage certificates, death certificates and other documents; establishing the secondary offices and making them operational; appointing and training civil registrars

Historical Background[edit | edit source]

1908 became part of Belgium and was called the Belgian Congo. Some of the civil registration records from 1908 to 1960 may be in the Belgian National Archives.

June 30, 1960, it became the Democratic Republic of the Congo, then Zaire, then the National Archives of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Civil registration stored in the National Archives.[2]

"[i]t is a legal requirement to register birth, marriages and deaths. It is very difficult to ascertain whether birth, marriage and death certificates are genuine as there is no national registry office where copies of birth, marriage, and death certificates are kept. Local authorities issue these documents but do not keep copies for their records (United Kingdom Oct. 2003)."[3]

Coverage and Compliance[edit | edit source]

From 1900 to 1930, civil registration covers:

  • 50% of the Belgians
  • 20% of Zairians

After 1930, civil registration covers:

  • 75% of the Belgians
  • 50% of the Zairians

These percentages are estimates only.

Information Recorded in the Records[edit | edit source]

Birth Records[edit | edit source]

Contents may include:[1]

About the child

  • Name
  • Sex
  • Date of birth
  • Date of registration
  • Place of birth
  • Place of registration

About the mother

  • Name
  • Date of birth or age
  • Place of usual residence
  • Occupation
  • Nationality

About the father

  • Name
  • Date of birth or age
  • Place of usual residence
  • Occupation
  • Nationality

Marriage[edit | edit source]

Contents may include:[1]

  • Name of bride
  • Name of groom
  • Date and place of marriage
  • Date and place of registration
  • Father's name for both bride and groom
  • Mother’s name for both bride and groom
  • Age
  • Place of birth
  • Residence
  • Occupation
  • Names of witnesses

Death[edit | edit source]

Contents may include:[1]

  • Name of deceased
  • Death date and place
  • Birth date and place
  • Burial date
  • Gender
  • Age
  • Residence at time of death
  • Occupation
  • Cause of death
  • Name, age, nationality, occupation and domicile or residence of:
parents (if known), spouse (if married), informant

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 UNICEF Data: Monitoring the situation of children and women, UNICEF Data for Democratic Republic of the Congo, accessed 5 August 2019. "Information on civil registration systems was compiled over a period from December 2016 to November 2017 using the existing relevant legal frameworks and in consultation with CRVS experts, officials within the relevant national institutions, and UNICEF country offices. All reasonable precautions have been taken by UNICEF to verify this country profile; updates will be made to reflect changes in policy and implementation and/or new information."
  2. FamilySearch Catalog Congo (Democratic Republic)
  3. Refworld, The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), © UNHCR 2019, accessed 6 August 2019