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Jewish Genealogical Research in Argentina

By Diana Nimcowicz

Table of Contents

A.   CIVIL OR NATIONAL SOURCES

  1. REGISTRO CIVIL / (REGISTRY OFFICE)
  2. ARCHIVO GENERAL DE LA NACION / (NATIONAL ARCHIVES)
  3. CAMARA NACIONAL ELECTORAL / (NATIONAL ELECTORAL CHAMBER)
  4. INSTITUTO NATIONAL DE ESTADISTICA Y CENSOS / (NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF STATISTICS AND CENSUS)
  5. DIRECCION NACIONAL DE MIGRACIONES / (NATIONAL IMMIGRATION SERVICES)

B.   PRIVATE INSTITUTIONS

  1. CENTRO DE ESTUDIOS MIGRATORIOS DE AMÉRICA LATINA: CEMLA / (LATIN AMERICA CENTRE OF MIGRATORY STUDIES: CEMLA)
  2. CENTRO DE HISTORIA FAMILIAR DE LOS MORMONES / (MORMON FAMILY HISTORY CENTER)

C.   JEWISH COMMUNITY SOURCES

  1. A.M.I.A. - ASSOCIACION MUTUAL ISREALITA ARGENTINA / (THE ARGENTINE ISRAELITE MUTUAL ASSOCIATION)
  2. SEMINARIO RABINICO LATINOAMERICANO / (LATIN AMERICAN RABBINICAL SEMINARY)
  3. CEMETERIES
  4. ASOCIACION DE GENEOLOGIA JUDIA DE ARGENTINA (AGJA) / (ARGENTINIAN ASSOCIATION OF JEWISH GENEALOGY)

A.   CIVIL OR NATIONAL SOURCES

1)   REGISTRO CIVIL   /   (REGISTRY OFFICE)

Address: Uruguay 753
C.P. 1018
Buenos Aires
Argentina
Telephone: 54-11-4373-8441 / 45
Internet: www.registrocivil.gov.ar
Hours: 9:30 am - 3:30 pm
Vacation: Open year-round

ALL INQUIRIES OR REQUESTS CAN BE MADE BY ANY PERSON, FROM ABROAD OR WITHIN THE COUNTRY. THERE IS A FEE FOR SERVICES: $20 EACH DOCUMENT.

If you wish to start a search from abroad, you must write to the central offices on Uruguay Street. You must have at least the first and last name of the person you wish to seek, as well as a year.

Birth, death, and marriage certificates can be acquired. Each includes certain information about the persons named within.

The Birth Certificate includes the date, place and hour of birth, sex and name of the child, name, address and I.D. numbers of the parents and of the attending doctor.

The Marriage Certificate shows the bride and groom’s names, ages, nationalities, I.D. numbers, and the names of their parents.

The Death Certificate indicates the date of birth, name, I.D. number and sex of the deceased as well as the names of his/her parents.

In the City of Buenos Aires there are many offices, as the system is decentralized. There are 16 in all and they are called CENTROS DE GESTION Y PARTICIPACION.

In each center there is:

  • A - General Office of Revenues
  • B - Registry Office
  • C - Special Functions Office: (reception of official complaints from residents of the neighborhood, for example.)

In the offices of Registry, in addition to filing for the above-mentioned certificates, one can also complete other procedures: official changes of domicile, first-time receipt of I.D., and other summary proceedings such as travel permits.

To request photocopies of documentation you must know the following: Year, Tome, Act and Section. If you do not know this information, you may request a search, which costs $20 and takes a few days.

The Provinces are autonomous and each has its own proceedings. Each also has its own Registry Office. The photocopies of certificates must be applied for in the place in which the original certificates were issued.


2)   ARCHIVO GENERAL DE LA NACION   /   (NATIONAL ARCHIVES)

Address: Leandro N. Alem 246
C.P. 1003
Buenos Aires
Argentina
Telephone:
Switchboard:   54-11-4331-5531/5532/5533
Fax:   54-11-4434-0065
Audio and Video:   54-11-4342-2345
Library:   54-11-4334-0051
Documents:   54-11-4331-3730
Photography:   54-11-4334-0081
Internet: none
Hours: Library: 10 am to 4:30 pm
Documents: 10 am to 4:30 pm
Audio and Video: 1:30 pm to 4:30 pm
Photography: 1:30 pm to 4:30 pm
Vacation: 15 December to 15 February

REQUESTS AND INQUIRIES CAN BE MADE BY ANY PERSON FROM ABROAD OR WITHIN THE COUNTRY.

The National Archives is an institution of the Ministry of the Interior (not to be confused with the Ministry of the Environment) which is in charge of classifying, ordering and conserving all documentation produced by the national public administration as well as any relevant historical documentation.

The Archives are organized in five departments.

a) Department of Written Documents

Usually called Written Support (Soportes Escritos), this department is in charge of the reception, ordering, classification and custody of all written documentation: from the colony, the 19th and 20th centuries, private collections, official records of public notaries, judicial material from the 17th,19th and 20th centuries, arrival lists of immigrants and the national censuses of 1869 and 1895.

b) Department of Photography

Also called Paper Support (Soporte Papel), here you may find very old photos and private collections of photos.

c) Department of Audio and Video

Includes important recorded and filmed material.

d) Department of Library and Dissemination

Houses all kinds of bibliographic material as well as various private collections.

e) Department of Intermediate Archives (Archivo Intermedio)

As not all documentation produced is preserved, a selection process takes place before documents are made part of the national archives. This is the role of the Intermediate Archives (classify, order and preserve) which also functions in another office on Paseo Colón and is not open to the public.

Among the materials in the Department of Written Documents, we can find the Entry lists of immigrants.

These lists correspond to the arrival lists of passengers from 1821 to May 15, 1869. This information is not very useful for research on Jewish immigrants, as their entry into the country began in 1889 with the arrival of the steamship Wesser. It is, however, very useful for specialized research.

This information is organized in BOOKS by year and under the name of each ship that entered the port of Buenos Aires. These books include the following data: the name of the ship, the date on which it entered port (day-month-year), the port of embarkation, and the names of passengers. Sometimes professions of passengers are included.

If families arrived with children, it was quite common that the minors were not registered. The wife wasn’t listed by first and last name, but rather as "... y sra" - "... and wife". The same occurred when families entered with servants.

There was always a great amount of ship-changing in the port of Montevideo. Furthermore, it was common during long voyages for a ship to change its flag, nationality, and even its captain, due to political struggles and conquests.

The records from the years 1870-1882 have been lost. Some sources mention a fire in the Archives, but there is no confirmation of this.


3)   CAMARA NACIONAL ELECTORAL   /   (NATIONAL ELECTORAL CHAMBER)

Address: Av. 25 de Mayo 245
C.P. 1002
Buenos Aires
Argentina
Tel.: 54-11-370-2562 / 63
Hours: 8:30 am to 1:30 pm
Vacation: The office is closed in January

All Argentine citizens, dead or alive, have been registered here, in alphabetical order, since the electoral law was passed. Eligible citizens include all those citizens over 18. This office is part of the Judiciary and is not open to the public. Any request or inquiry must be made through a lawyer, and there is a fee of $10.00.


4)   INSTITUTO NATIONAL DE ESTADISTICA Y CENSOS   /   (NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF STATISTICS AND CENSUS)

Address: Av. Julio A. Roca 609
C.P. 1067
Buenos Aires
Argentina
Tel.: 54-11-4349-9200
E-mail: ces@indec.mecon.ar
Internet: www.indec.mecon.ar
Hours: 9:30 am to 4:00 pm
Vacation: Open year-round

Statistical information from the population censuses of the years: 1869-1895-1914-1947-1960-1980-1991. This is anonymous statistical data, does not include individual names and information, and is therefore not of use for genealogical studies.


5)   DIRECCION NACIONAL DE MIGRACIONES   /   (NATIONAL IMMIGRATION SERVICES)

Address: Antártida Argentina 1355
C.P. 1104
Buenos Aires
Argentina
Tel.: Archives: 54-11-4317-0271 / 0272 Cristina Salas
Museum: 54-11-4317-0230 Inés Urdapilleta
Hours: 7:00 am to 2:00 pm (Building 6)
Vacation: Open year-round

They house the passenger lists as of 1927, ordered on file cards by year and in alphabetical order. A search request must be accompanied by the $25 fee.



B.   PRIVATE INSTITUTIONS

1)   CENTRO DE ESTUDIOS MIGRATORIOS DE AMERICA LATINA: CEMLA   /   (LATIN AMERICA CENTRE OF MIGRATORY STUDIES: CEMLA)

Address: Independencia 20
C.P. 1099
Buenos Aires
Argentina
Tel.: 54-11-4342-6749 or 54-11-4344-7717
Tel/Fax: 54-11-4331-0832
E-mail: cemla@ciudad.com.ar
Hours: Tuesday and Thursday, 10 am to 2 pm.
Vacation: The office is closed in January.

A SEARCH REQUEST MAY BE MADE BY ANYONE FROM ABROAD OR WITHIN THE COUNTRY.

If you wish to consult these offices from abroad you must send a traveler’s check in the amount of US$25, made out to CEMLA, along with all the relevant data regarding the person being traced. The fee is for initiating the search, regardless of the outcome.

The data available are: surnames, names, nationalities, marital status, age, profession, religion, port of embarkation, name of ship, date of arrival. The place of birth is only available for some immigrants who arrived in 1910, 1923, 1924, 1925 and 1926. A search may be initiated using the last name of the person in question.

The lists of passengers arriving at the port of Buenos Aires in the period 1882-April 1926 are available on microfilm (partially) and in digital form. Their data base includes more than 3,000,000 names. This data base is open for local and foreign consultation.

If the person searched is found, they will issue a "Certificado de Arribo", or Arrival Certificate, as proof of arrival in the country. This certificate, or Certificado de Arribo may be requested by mail, by sending the corresponding fee (aside from the $25 search fee) plus return postage. If the person is not found, they will try to locate passengers with similar surnames, to avoid any possible error in records.

The original volumes were turned over to CEMLA by the National Immigration Services, which endorses all certificates issued by CEMLA.


2)   CENTRO DE HISTORIA FAMILIAR DE LOS MORMONES   /   (MORMON FAMILY HISTORY CENTER)

Dr. Craig Mayfield is the Director of the Family History Center of the Mormons or the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints. There are 96 centers in Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay.

Address: Zabala 2002
C.P.
Buenos Aires
Argentina
Tel.: 54-11-4783-0291
Internet: www.familysearch.org

Center Heads: Walter and Maria Websy.

A SEARCH MAY BE INITIATED BY ANYONE FROM ABROAD OR WITHIN THE COUNTRY.



C.   JEWISH COMMUNITY SOURCES

The network of Jewish institutions is very broad in Argentina. It is made up of community, social, educational, recreational, and religious institutions, as well as cemeteries. These can be found in all of the cities in which there has been Jewish settlement. In the interior of the country there were many Jewish institutions, some of which have disappeared and others of which have shrunk over the years. There are many commemorative books and magazines about those communities, but very little material is computerized.

1)   A.M.I.A. - ASSOCIACION MUTUAL ISREALITA ARGENTINA   /   (THE ARGENTINE ISRAELITE MUTUAL ASSOCIATION)

This is the centralized Kehilá entity based on a European model. KAHAL, or community, was an organism created by the Russian Empire that existed until 1850 in order to collect taxes. Certain communities around the world took this as a model.

Address: Asociacion Mutual Israelita Argentina
Pasteur 633
C.P 1028
Buenos Aires
Argentina
Tel.: 54-11-4959-8800
Cemetery Section: 54-11-4959-8828/29
E-mail: amia@amia.recom.edu.ar

 

VAAD HAKEHILOT: offers information from the Province Communities

Tel: 54-11-4959-8865 ext. 1700

 

RELIGIOUS: All temples have some degree of organized information about marriages and members of committees. There are many in the country.


2)   SEMINARIO RABINICO LATINOAMERICANO   /   (LATIN AMERICAN RABBINICAL SEMINARY)

They have an excellent library that can be consulted.

Address: José Hernandez 1750
C.P. 1426
Buenos Aires
Argentina
Tel.: 54-11-4783-2009

3)   CEMETERIES

There are no Jewish cemeteries within the city of Buenos Aires, due to an edict of 1896 which canceled the permission to open a Jewish cemetery within the city. Until 1910 Jews were buried in the Dissident section of the Municipal Cemetery of Chacarita and in the Municipal Cemetery of Flores.

AMIA administers four Ashkenazik cemeteries: they have the names of all of those buried in Tablada and Berazategui in their data base.

  1. LINIERS (Created in 1910, more than 24,000 registered)

    Address:
    Reconquista 10
    C.P 1702
    Ciudadela- Pcia. de Buenos Aires
    Argentina

    Tel.: 54-11-4653-1883/ 1215   Sr. Julio

  2. CIUDADELA (Created in 1929, more than 6000 registered)

    Address:
    Marcelo T. De Alvear 3508
    C.P. 1702
    Ciudadela- Pcia. de Buenos Aires
    Argentina

    Tel.: 54-11-4653- 2351   Sr. José

  3. TABLADA (Created in 1930, more than 90.000 registered)

    Address:
    Av. Crovara 2824
    C.P. 1766
    Tablada - Provincia de Buenos Aires
    Argentina

    Tel.: 54-11-4652-8288 / 4845

  4. BERAZATEGUI (Created in 1957, more than 12,000 registered)

    Address:
    Calle 14 Esquina 109
    C.P. 1884
    Berazategui-Provincia de Buenos Aires
    Argentina

    Tel.: 54-11-4351-1494

  5. LOMAS DE ZAMORA: The Ashkenazik community of the south has 1500 buried in their cemetery.

    Address:
    Murature y Marsella
    C.P. 1848
    Lomas de Z amora- Pcia. de Buenos Aires
    Argentina

    Tel.: 54-11-4286-3043

  6. SEFARDIC:

    1. AVELLANEDA (Maroccans, with 2200 registries.)
    2. CIUDADELA (Aleppines, with 4400 registries.)
    3. LOMAS de ZAMORA (Damascene, with 6000 registries.)
    4. Address:
      Marsella 343
      C.P. 1838
      Lomas de Zamora- Pcia. De Buenos Aires
      Argentina

      Tel.: 54-11-4286-0110

      Office in Buenos Aires:
      Lavalle 2559 1º A
      C.P. 1052
      Buenos Aires
      Argentina

      Tel.: 54-11-4961-4374

    5. BANCALARI (Ladino speakers, with 3700 registries.)

      Address:
      Panamericana y 202
      Office in Buenos Aires:
      Camargo 854
      C.P. 1414
      Buenos Aires
      Argentina

      Tel.: 54-11-4854-1952

    6. The AGJA (Association of Jewish Genealogy of Argentina) has the registers of these four cemeteries.


4)   ASOCIACION DE GENEOLOGIA JUDIA DE ARGENTINA   /   (ARGENTINIAN ASSOCIATION OF JEWISH GENEALOGY)

Our Association, which has just completed its third year, has already computerized almost 200,000 registries obtained from different institutions and sources. Our work makes up the largest Jewish data base in Argentina. There are still many more documents to obtain and registries to put onto the data bases.

DATA BASES:

  • SHIPS: records from 51 passenger lists from ships arriving under the auspices of the JCA. Passenger lists from the steamships Wesser (14-8-1889); Lisboa (18-8-1891); Tiyuca (23-8-91); Pampa (16-12-1891).

  • CEMETERIES: we have already included or are in the process of including the registers from the cemeteries of Liniers, Avellaneda, Ciudadela, Bancalari, Tablada, Berazategui and Lomas de Zamora in Greater Buenos Aires. From the provinces we have the records from Córdoba, Tucumán, Santiago del Estero, Posadas, Moisesville, Rivera, Palacios, Santa Fe and Catamarca.

    The AMIA has given us records of close to 110,000 deceased buried in Tablada and Berazategui, which we are revising.

  • COLONIES: We have more than 2500 records, many of which come from the colonies of Clara, Mauricio, Moisesville and Las Palmeras. We also have records of parcels of land owned by colonists in the JCA colonies and those of 3000 ex-colonists who sold their land. We also have records of the schools at Moisesville.

  • CEMLA: We have received 7000 records of immigrants of Russian nationality who arrived in the country between 1890 and 1899. We intend to revise them in order to find the Jewish immigrants among that group.

  • HOGAR DE ANCIANOS DE BURZACO: We’re in the process of in-putting over 2000 records from the Burzaco Home for the Elderly.

The AGJA is a non-profit organization with no subsidies from any Jewish organization in Argentina. They currently meet once a month in the building of the S. Kibrik Jewish Museum, at Libertad Street 769, and organize various activities.

Address: Asociación de Genealogía Judía de Argentina
Juana Azurduy 2223 8º
C.P. 1429
Buenos Aires
Argentina
Tel.: 54-11-4701-0703
E-mail: genarg@infovia.com.ar
Internet: http://www.agja.com.ar

Diana Nimcowicz, August 1999.
Updated by WSB, Sep 2000.


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