View Full Version : Gibraltar records

30-12-2008, 9:46 AM
I am researching my ex husband's family for my children. Their paternal grandfather was born in Gibraltar and according to his birth certificate his father Albert SMITH was a soldier in the British Army and his mother was a Gibraltarian.

Her name was Ana RIVERS, the child's name is Albert Edward SMITH. He was born in 1915.

I have looked at a website about Gibraltar records but with my usual expertise I have not found anything. I tried Familysearch and found nothing. My only success was finding the birth in the colonial/army records on findmypast. I would like some help in finding the soldier Albert SMITH and the family of Ana Rivers - in fact the marriage would be a good start.

31-12-2008, 12:18 AM
I would like some help in finding the soldier Albert SMITH and the family of Ana Rivers - in fact the marriage would be a good start.

If you go back to Findmypast and check the army marriages, you'll find it in Gibraltar in 1909 (page 26). Either the birth or the marriage certificate might give you the father's regiment, which would assist in a search for his army records.


31-12-2008, 12:37 AM
Thanks for that. You made me go and look at the birth certificate for Albert Edward again and there it is RGA and the number 18738 and they were living in married quarters in Gibraltar too.

I really must find a way of remembering all this stuff after I have read it - not enough space left in this old memory and some of the stuff in there refuses to be thrown away.

I have ordered the marriage certificate now I am off to see if there are medal cards or anything at TNA - another place where I just can't find anything.

31-12-2008, 12:58 AM
Now I am frustrated because it tells me that I can search using

last name
firstname or initial
Regimental number

so I click on search and it gives me a thing to fill in but it does not have a place to put the number or the corps or the rank

Rant starting
I just do not understand their system so I never ever find anything and I get so frustrated because it can't be rocket science can it so why don't they stop diddling about with making the site look pretty and start putting boxes with names like last name and first name and regimental number on them so that I know where to type the information I have just realised I have -- end of rant.

Peter Goodey
31-12-2008, 8:15 AM
so I click on search and it gives me a thing to fill in but it does not have a place to put the number or the corps or the rank


31-12-2008, 6:38 PM
now I am off to see if there are medal cards or anything at TNA - another place where I just can't find anything.

If you have an Ancestry sub, you can see the medal card for free. At TNA it will cost you 2.00, and I can tell you it doesn't say much ;)


31-12-2008, 10:10 PM
Thank you peter but why didn't it do that for me? Why could you get that form and not me?

Ach, don't waste your time telling me because it won't work. I have been trying since the records came online and I just cannot get anything at TNA to work - it hates me!

31-12-2008, 11:03 PM
Where will I find the parish records for Gibraltar? If Albert's wife was Gibraltarian then there should be records of baptisms and stuff and what about births... did they have birth registration there outside the army? It is and was a British protectorate - or was it a Crown colony? there should be records shouldn't there? so where do I look?

I can do Jewish stuff in this country I can do some Welsh records. I can slowly translate secretary hand in wills and such. I am a dab hand at searching the Times archives and the old bailey stuff but I am way outside my comfort zone looking at Gibraltar.

01-01-2009, 11:40 AM
Where will I find the parish records for Gibraltar?

I don't know, but if you type 'gibraltargenealogy' into a search engine you will find a web-site which may point you in the right direction (or the person who created the site may be able to assist).

TNA has a large collection of non-statutory registers in (an index exists in RG43 though I don't know if this covers all entries). Births appear to be in RG33

01-01-2009, 3:11 PM
I have been there Geoffers and I can't find anything on there. Someone else told me about it and told me some of the thin gs they have but I could not find a darned thing.
This is not because the site is no good it is because I am hopeless at searching unless I have step by step destructions - kind of
click here, now do this, now type that, now click here.
Sometimes I can dive straight in and I seem to know instinctively what to do next but mostly I put words in the search box and get
0 results from your search.
I keep trying but the Karma Pixies won't let me do it ~sigh~

01-01-2009, 3:14 PM
TNA has a large collection of non-statutory registers in (an index exists in RG43 though I don't know if this covers all entries). Births appear to be in RG33

Is this online? If I went to TNA and looked at the catalogue - pause here until I stop laughing - would I find something I could look at to see if Ana Rivero is on there?

01-01-2009, 3:46 PM
I may be wrong, but I don't think the Miscellaneous Foreign Returns at TNA cover Gibraltar. Try the International Memoranda at Guildhall Library, if you can get there? They also hold copies of records submitted by the Bishop of Gibraltar, but I think these are later than you want.



01-01-2009, 9:40 PM
I don't travel well and London is just too far. I did it two years ago for the BBC and spent nearly a week in bed recovering. I just can't do that again.

02-01-2009, 11:32 AM
Is this online? If I went to TNA and looked at the catalogue - pause here until I stop laughing - would I find something I could look at to see if Ana Rivero is on there?

'farid not, only the catalogue

I may be wrong, but I don't think the Miscellaneous Foreign Returns at TNA cover Gibraltar.

There are some there, not all the entries appear indexed by place in the catalogue - inspite of great advances there still exist a few anomalies; to quote my ancient copy of 'Tracing your ancestors in the Public Record Office'.

"There is the collection of miscellaneous non-statutory registers and records, 1627-1958 (RG32-RG36, largely indexed in RG43), which used to be in the General Register Office until 1977........................The indexes, in RG43, are kept on open shelves at Chancery Lane. References, by country, are given in 4.7: however, this includes only the most well-represented countires in RG32-36, and there are many others, besides (e.g. Uruguay and [b]Gibraltar[b/]). You should check the indexes in RG43 even if the country you are interested in does not appear in 4.7, or if it does so with a wrong date-range."

02-01-2009, 3:24 PM
Gibraltar does have parish records for the time you are looking, but you will need to write via snail mail or go to see them in person.

Us Llanitos are funny about our family history, it's difficult to get access to the records because people were going to the churches and changing any entried they didn't like lol

It is important to remember is that like England, there are loads of different churches in Gib, all of whom kept their own baptism records and the local people were often somewhat reluctant to register births with the authorities, relying instead on their trusted priest/ vicar.

If that is the case you might have to take pot luck and just start sending letters. The churches are listed here http://www.gibraltar.gov.uk/hol/WhatToSee/worship.asp
and there are no postcodes in Gib, so it's just the addresses as you see them.

If you need ANY help, drop me a PM and I'll do my best for you


02-01-2009, 6:41 PM
Mt thanks to everyone for all the suggestions and ideas. My daughter and I will get to grips with them over the next few weeks.
I have sent for the marriage certificate so that should give me the name of the father of Ana Rivero which will help in getting back another generation.

I only agreed to get this started because of my 3 year old granddaughter and the baby that is due in three weeks. They deserve to have both sides of the family tree even if I am no longer married to their grandfather.

What a mixture eh? scots/irish/welsh/Jewish (ashkenasi and sephardi)/english/gibraltarian and goodness knows what else. That certainly makes them British doesn't it

11-01-2009, 9:41 PM
OK so the copy of the marriage certificate has arrived and now I know that it was Command 9th Company R.G.A at Gibraltar.
Ana Rivero was 22 a spinster and the daughter of Salvador Rivero. She married Gunner Albert Smith 1 January 1901 in the Kings Chapel, Gibraltar according to the rites and ceremonies of the church, after Banns by (Sd) D.F. Carey C.F.(what does C.F. stand for)

Albert was the son of John Smith ~sigh~

The witnesses were Salvador Rivero and Julia Garcia

The really frustrating thing is that where it says residence at the time of the marriage all the writer of the original certificate put was "Gibraltar"
They do it deliberately don't they! just to frustrate us. They knew that exactly 100 years later I would be hoping to find an address, grrrrrr

12-01-2009, 7:50 AM
Place of residence Gib isn't a strange thing to put really, it's just a symptom of the fact that Gib is so small and everyone knows where everyone lives. Not by road name, but by landmarks.

If you ask directions from anyone over the age of 40, you need to be prepared to be looked at blankly when you ask for a road by name, but directed with ease if you ask for "X's house", even if 'X' hasn't been on this earth for 50 years.

Memories are long and until very recently, education was in short supply so people didn't put the same store as you might on details like addresses. In their minds, they know where they live, that's the important thing - and that's still very much the attitude over there now.

And as for Albert, I can tell you exactly where he was living at the time he was married - the barracks are the same today as they were then :)

In terms of King's Chapel, despite sounding catholic, they were married in a C of E chapel (oldest in Gib, still there today, beautiful little place right by the Governer's Mansion). Do a google image search for "King's Chapel, Gibraltar) and you get quite a few images.

What I could do, is look at my Gib census CD this evening to see if there is any info on Salvador Rivero. He is as likely to have come over from La Linea as he is to be local, but if he is, families don't tend to move around the rock much. It used to be a very tribal place and where you came from was where you came from

Let me know if you'd like me to look


12-01-2009, 10:42 AM
I would love it if you would look for Salvador Rivero, that would be a real bonus. I haven't a clue about researching in Gibraltar or in Spain - or anywhere in europe really.

This really is very kind of you, thank you so much

12-01-2009, 12:05 PM
No worries

I make no promises because as I said, Salvador is as likely to have come from La Linea (Spain) as he did Gibraltar (British) and the census returns I have are just for Gib.

One thing you could try though: If Ana is not listed as being a native of Gib, but is listed as being british, there is a chance that she was born in Spain, but registered at the British Consolate in La Linea. This happened a lot. If this is the case, she will be in the overseas registers available in the usual way. If I had a membership to something suitable I would look it up for you but I'm afraid I don't, sorry.

I'll let you know about Salvador tomorrow :)


12-01-2009, 12:13 PM
It says Gibraltarian under her name on both the marriage certificate and the birth certificate of her son

ARRRGGGGGGHHHHHH ! as I wrote that a voice from my past floated up and whispered in my ear. There was at least one other child! I was told this story once, by my ex husband when we were making a list of guests for our wedding. He told me that Ana (he didn't know her name) had died when her children were young and their father brought them back to UK and gave them to a man on the docks who agreed to look after them.
They lived in London for several years but the father never came back and then they moved to South Wales because the man got a job here.

So Ana will have a death certificate! guess what I will be doing right after I have made the apple cake and put the casserole on for dinner.

12-01-2009, 2:48 PM
OK so I took a look on FMP and found a death for Ana Smith in the Overseas Army Indices in 1918.
So then I looked at the births - thinking that perhaps she died in childbirth and there was a child Ana C Smith registered in 1919.

I have sent for both certificates but my mind immediately said that Ana Smith gave birth and died towards the end of 1918 and after the trauma of all that the birth was registered in the January of 1919. We shall see if I am right.

I have reflected on the story I was told about how they came to be in South Wales and the name of the couple that took in the boy was Hawthorne. I think it is interesting that he kept his own name.
Now I must be patient.

I wonder if there was a census on Gibraltar in 1901 and 1911?

12-01-2009, 7:30 PM

I've looked on the 1878 census and there is no Salvador Rivero - there is a Santiago but he is a single 18 year old tobacco cutter.

Census weren't done at the same time as they were in UK, so I can only suggest the following (in lieu of a personal visit)

First, keep looking at the overseas consular records for any other births or deaths (Catholic country, I would doubt Ana will be an only child ;) ) The place you want to look is La Linea de la Concepcion, or just plain La Linea.

Second, write to the C of E cathedral at the address on the page I sent you and lay out names and dates. I think on balance you will want to write to St Mary the Crowned for details of the Rivero family, on the off chance they moved over the border to live out their twilight years.

Sorry I couldn't have given you more help - any more lookups, just shout


12-01-2009, 7:50 PM
I showed my daughter the stuff that has been found and gave her my theory about the child being registered after the death of her mother and she did the "light-bulb going on in her head" reaction.
She has remembered that when she was talking to her uncle Ronnie in Australia he said that Albert Edward had two sisters that lived in Gibraltar and in 2003 they were still there!

She cannot remember the names or anything else - so it could be that Albert brought his son to UK but not the girls. I would love to know what happened.

Natasha, thank you for all the help I will write to the places you suggest and keep you updated with the progress.

12-01-2009, 10:22 PM
I have just had an email from a very new member of this forum who hasn't actually posted a message yet but saw this thread. The email gives me the name of Ana Rivero's sister and the names of that sister's sons - two of whom are still alive and living in Gibraltar!
It gives me the names of Ana's daughters and where they lived in UK and who looked after them after Ana died

So who has had Christmas all over again then? MEEEEEE!

OH OH and the sender of the email has a picture of Ana and Albert on their wedding!
My daughter is just over the moon and has a huge grin on her face because until the email arrived she had a huge blank space on one side of her tree with all the information from my lot spread over 9 A3 pages.

Now I am going to add it to the FTM chart and print it off so they can look at it properly

13-01-2009, 4:31 PM


If you want to, PM me the names of the two living sons and I ask the family about them

SO made up for you though!!!!


16-01-2009, 11:07 AM
I am holding a copy of the wedding photograph of Albert and Ana and now I can really see where my youngest son gets his height and good looks! Oh my goodness, it is wonderful to think that this photograph was taken 100 years ago - January 1st 1909.
There is also a copy of the marriage certificate of Albert's son. My daughter will be blown away by the fragile beauty of her paternal grandmother.
I have also been told that there was possibly at least one more marriage for Albert after Ana died - at least one stepmother anyway. The plot thickens.

29-06-2010, 10:07 PM
Hello, I have just arrived on this forum & would like to know if anyone in Gibraltar or has access to their birth records that would do me a 'look up'? I need the exact birth of a Gibraltarian called Angela Gilbert/Gilabert.She was born in 1909/10 & according to her marriage cert. was wed in St Josephs Parish RC church. It would likely I would think be the church of baptism. Some of the family are on the pilot record search. Thank you for any help.

02-07-2010, 6:26 AM
My friend is off to Gib next week and has said he will try and look this up for you.

I'll let you know what he comes back with