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Ivory Coast Civil Registration

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Online Records[edit | edit source]

French Overseas National Archives[edit | edit source]

FamilySearch[edit | edit source]

The FamilySearch online record collection for Ivory Coast has been depublished due to rights issues. The collection may be republished in the future. A Wiki article describing this collection is Ivory Coast, Civil Registration - FamilySearch Historical Records.

How to Find the Records[edit | edit source]

Offices to Contact[edit | edit source]

Copies of much of the civil registration for 1843 - 1960 are in Paris, in the Archives Nationales, Section Outre-Mer.[1]

Archives Nationales d'Outre Mer
Address: 29 Chemin du Moulin de Testas, 13090 Aix-en-Provence, France
Phone: +33 4 42 93 38 50
Website: Select Research.

Civil Status Centres
For birth records in the Ivory Coast, a person seeking "a birth certificate extract, or a person representing them, [translation] "must go in person to the civil status centre where the birth was registered (no applications may be made from a distance)".[2]

Ministry of the Interior and Decentralization
Civil registration is under the responsibility of the Ministry of the Interior and Decentralization. This Ministry has under its direct supervision the National Identification Office (ONI), responsible for technical issues related to issuance of identity documents.

Other government departments play a role in civil registration, such as the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Health through the issuance of birth or death certificates, and the National Statistical Office.[3]

Historical Background[edit | edit source]

Ivory Coast became a French Protectorate in 1843-1844 and a Colony in 1893. In 1895 French West Africa came into existence, and in 1904 it was definitely constituted as a federation consisting of Dahomey, French Guinea, French Sudan, Ivory Coast, Mauritania, and Senegal. In 1919 Upper Volta was created, its territory being taken from Ivory Coast. On September 5, 1932, Upper Volta was abolished and distributed between Ivory Coast, Niger, and French Sudan; but in 1934 Upper Volta was reconstituted as an administrative unit called the Upper Coast. On September 4, 1947, Upper Volta again became a territory in its own right and on January 1, 1948, Ivory Coast's districts of Bobo-Dioulasso, Gaoua, Kondougou, Ougadougou, Kaya, Tenkodogo, and Dédougou were transferred to the reconstituted Upper Volta.[4]

"Created in June 1776 by a royal edict, the Depot of Colonial Public Papers, more commonly known as the DPPC, was responsible for keeping at central government level copies of the most important acts drafted in the colonies, which could guarantee rights of persons and the security of the state. The civil status, held on the spot in duplicate as in metropolitan France (the original for the commune of birth, the copy for the tribunal de grande instance) was thus also preserved as a third copy (triplicate) by this institution. It is this copy that keeps and put on line the National Archives of Overseas. The French establishment in Côte d'Ivoire began in 1842 with the founding of the comptoirs of Assinie and Grand-Bassam. Ivory Coast is a French colony from 1893 to 1946 (AOF) then overseas territory from 1946 to 1958. It becomes an autonomous republic, a member of the Community from 1958 to 1960. It becomes independent August 13, 1960."[5]

Coverage and Compliance[edit | edit source]

Population coverage: Estimated to be as high as 80% of the colonial French population, and 50% of the native population prior to independence. Time period: 1843 - present. Note: The civil registration in France can be filmed only to 1900. The civil registration in the Ivory Coast may be filmed to 1930.[1]

The World Bank Group has information about birth and death declarations in Côte d’Ivoire (see pages 9-11). "...registration of new birth continues to be relatively low. It is our understanding that it is around 55% nationally (with 79% in urban and 41% in rural areas). This is according to UNICEF data, which was presented to the DGAT officials during the Mission and was not disputed. No specific data was discussed relative to death registration but it was agreed that it was significantly lower."[6]

Information Recorded in the Records[edit | edit source]

Births[edit | edit source]


For the child:

  • Name of child
  • Date and time of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Sex

For the father and mother:

  • Names
  • Ages
  • Nationalities
  • Professions
  • Domiciles

Marriages[edit | edit source]

Legal age of marriage is 20 years for males, 18 for females. A marriage certificate is required for inheritance and obtaining social assistance. Reference is also made to the marriage and the name of the spouse in the margin of the birth certificate of each spouse. When needed, consents or authorizations are given in the case of a minority of one or both spouses. If needed, a declaration is included of the contracting parties to take the spouse’s place, and the declaration of their union by the registrar of civil status.[3]


For bride and groom:

  • Names
  • Occupations
  • Ages
  • Dates and places of birth
  • Residences

For fathers and mothers:

  • Names
  • Professions
  • Residences

For witnesses:

  • Names
  • Professions
  • Residences
  • Status as adults

Deaths[edit | edit source]


For the deceased:

  • Date, time and place of death
  • Name
  • Date and place of birth
  • Occupation
  • Residence
  • Cause of death

For parents:

  • Names
  • Occupation
  • Residence

For spouse(s), if the deceased was married; widowed or divorced:

  • Name
  • Occupation
  • Residence

For informant:

  • Name
  • Age
  • Occupation
  • Residence
  • If applicable, her or his relationship with the deceased

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 The Family History Department of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, “Family History Record Profile: Ivory Coast,” Word document, private files of the FamilySearch Content Strategy Team, 1987-1999.
  2. RefWorld UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, © UNHCR 2019, "Copyright notice: This document is published with the permission of the copyright holder and producer Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB). The original version of this document may be found on the offical website of the IRB at Documents earlier than 2003 may be found only on Refworld."
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 UNICEF Data: Monitoring the situation of children and women, UNICEF Data for Ivory Coast, accessed 16 August 2019. "Data sources: 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"
  4. FamilySearch Catalog entry for Ivory Coast
  5. Archives Nationales for Ivory Coast Civil Registration (Etat Civil)
  6. World Bank Group, page 10, © 2016 International Bank for Reconstitution and Development/The World Bank, 1818 H Street, NW, Washington, D.C., 20433, Telephone: 202-473-1000; Internet: