Slavery was abolished in Puerto Rico on March 22, 1873, however enslaved people were expected to work for another 3 years and many were kept enslaved beyond that period of time. The Spanish government had a census taken of all the enslaved people on the island in 1872. Owners were paid 35 million pesetas by the Spanish government for each enslave person to be freed. While the 1910 US Federal Census is the first Census that can be found for Puerto Rico, there are many Census for the island from the 1800's and this one is crucial to many of us searching our ancestors.
The US National Archives and Records Administration had microfilmed the 1872 Slave schedule and is available through them, however Ancestry digitized and index the records and have made available to paying subscribers.
The good news is that familysearch.org has also has made them available online but for free. You'll have to view the images manually.
Below is an image of the enslaved people on the island of Puerto Rico.
| Former enslaved people in Puerto Rico|
Davis, George W., Brig. Gen., U.S.A. Military Government of Porto Rico from October 18, 1898, to April 30, 1900. Washington, 1902.
LC CALL NUMBER: F 1971 .P85
Many of us who descend from ancestors from Puerto Rico have the ability to trace our lines back to Africa due to the church records documenting where many of the slaves came from. Spain also has plenty of documentation along with the archives on the island. It requires work but the possibilities are endless.
Below are the links to the digitized images.
District 1. Dorado, Naranjito, Trujillo Alto, Trujillo Bajo, San Juan
District 2. Arecibo, Camuy, Ciales, Hatillo, Manatí, Morovas, Quebradilla, Utuado
District 4. Añasco, Cabo Rojo, Mayagüez
District 4. Mayagüez, Sabana Grande, San Germán
District 5. Ajuntas, Barroa, Coamo, Guayanilla, Juana Díaz, Peñuelas, Yauco
District 5. Barranquitas, Ponce
District 6. Arroyo, Cidra, Guayama
District 6. Aguas Buenas, Caguas, Cayey, Cidra, Gurabo, Hato Grande (San Lorenzo), Sabana del Palmar (Comerío), Salinas
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