Jamaica, Civil Registration (FamilySearch Historical Records)Edit This Page

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FamilySearch Record Search This article describes a collection of historical records available at FamilySearch.org.



Record Description

This collection contains records for the year 1880 to 1999. Early records are in register (book) format; later records are certificates.

The records are handwritten in English on formatted forms. These records are organized by parish and then by district.

Compulsory registration of births, marriages, and deaths was introduced in Jamaica in 1878 and was legally implemented in 1880. The registration of births, marriages, and deaths is done at the Registrar General's Department (RGD), which was established in 1879, with the Civil Registration and Vital Statistics Unit responsible for collating this vital information. These civil records are organized by parish.

Civil Registration for Jamaica was mandated in 1878, though actual registration began in isolated districts as much as five years later. Each parish was assigned a letter by the Registrar General; the letter J was omitted. Parishes are subdivided into registration districts, which are relevant only to vital-record registrations and have no other civil or fiscal authority. Districts continue to be added as the population grows, so the earliest registrations may have occurred much later than 1878.

This collection contains digital copies of original records housed at the Registrar General's Office in Spanish Town, Jamaica, and also the Ministry of National Security, Kingston, Jamaica.

Coverage Table

The Coverage Table shows the places and time periods covered in the indexed records in this collection after the 18 August 2014 additions. Most of the records in the collection are from the time periods listed in the table; however, the collection may have a few records from before or after the time period.

Parish Birth Marriage Death
Clarendon 1878-1930 1931-1950
Hanover 1878-1930 1880-1950
Kingston 1878-1930 1880-1950 1877-1995
Manchester 1878-1930 1931-1950
Portland 1878-1930 1880-1950 1878-1995
Saint Andrew 1878-1930 1880-1950 1878-1995
Saint Ann 1878-1930 1880-1950 1878-1995
Saint Catherine 1878-1930 1880-1950 1878-1994
Saint Elizabeth 1878-1930 1926-1950
Saint James 1878-1930 1880-1950
Saint Mary 1878-1930 1921-1950
Saint Thomas 1878-1930 1880-1950 1878-1995
Trelawny 1878-1930 1931-1950
Westmoreland 1881-1930 1931-1950

Record Content

Births records generally contain the following information:

  • District and parish name
  • Date and place of birth
  • Name of the child
  • Gender
  • Complete name and dwelling place of the father
  • Complete name and maiden name of the mother
  • Rank or profession of the father
  • Signature, qualification, and residence of the informant
  • Date of registration
  • Baptismal name if added after the registration of the birth
  • Signatures of the informant and the registrar

Marriage records generally contain the following information:

  • Date of marriage
  • Given names and surnames of the groom and bride
  • Marital status of the betrothed
  • Occupation of the groom
  • Ages of the groom and bride
  • Place of residence at the time of marriage
  • Names of the parents of the groom and bride
  • Place of marriage
  • Witnesses’ names

Death records generally contain the following information:

  • Date and place of death
  • Complete name of the deceased person
  • Gender
  • Marital status
  • Age at time of death
  • Occupation at the time of death
  • Cause of death
  • Witness of the death, with relation to deceased stated (sometimes no more than "present at the death," but often a family member and not a field indexed in FamilySearch)
  • Date and place of registration

How to Use the Records

The birth, marriage or place of death needs to be matched with the correct parish. To begin your search in the birth records, it would be helpful if you knew the following information:

  • Names of parents
  • Approximate birth date and place
  • Parish

Search This Collection

To search by index:
Fill in the requested information in the initial search page. This search will return a list of possible matches. Compare the information about the ancestors in the list to what you already know about your ancestors to determine if this is the correct family or person. You may need to compare the information about more than one person to find your ancestor. You will also be able to view the record image from the result page.

To browse the collection images: Select the Browse link and choose an image folder. Search each individual image, comparing the information with what you already know about your ancestors to determine if the image relates to them. You may need to look at several images and compare the information about the individuals listed in those images to your ancestors to make this determination.

Using the Information

The registers are organized by parishes, such as Trelawny, and then by district, such as Albert Town. Each birth record is given a unique number consisting of letters and numbers to identify each child’s birth registration record. The first letter corresponds to the name of the parish, the second to the district. The numbers are the sequence of the registration of the births. It is recommended to use the indexes first, where the registration number will be included.

Tips to Keep in Mind

  • There may be more than one person in the records with the same name.
  • You may not be sure of your own ancestor’s name.
  • Your ancestor may have used different names or variations of their name throughout their life.
  • The residence of the parents, and maiden surname of the mother are useful in searching records from that locality to find information on their marriage and the parents' births.

Other Searches

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Don't overlook FHL Place Jamaica items or FHL Keyword Jamaica items in the FamilySearch Library Catalog. For other libraries (local and national) or to gain access to items of interest, see Jamaica Archives and Libraries.

Known Issues with This Collection

Important.png Problems with this collection?
See a list of known issues, workarounds, tips, restrictions, future fixes, news and other helpful information.

For a full list of all known issues associated with this collection see the attached article. If you encounter additional problems, please email them to support@familysearch.org. Please include the full path to the link and a description of the problem in your e-mail. Your assistance will help ensure that future reworks will be considered.

Related Websites

Related Wiki Articles

How You Can Contribute

We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. We are looking for additional information that will help readers understand the topic and better use the available records. We also need translations for collection titles and images in articles about records written in languages other than English. For specific needs, please visit WikiProject FamilySearch Records.

Please follow these guidelines as you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide.

Citations for This Collection

When you copy information from a record, you should list where you found the information; that is, cite your sources. This will help people find the record again and evaluate the reliability of the source. It is also good to keep track of records where you did not find information, including the names of the people you looked for in the records. Citations are available for the collection as a whole and each record or image individually.

Collection Citation

"Jamaica, Civil Birth Registration, 1880-1999." Database with Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org: accessed 2015. Citing Registrar General's Department, Spanish Town.
Record Citation
The citation for a record is available with each record in this collection, at the bottom of the record screen. You can search records in this collection by visiting the search page for Jamaica, Civil Registration, 1880-1999.

Image Citation

The citation for an image is available on each image in this collection by clicking Show Citation at the bottom left of the image screen. You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for Jamaica, Civil Registration, 1880-1999.


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  • This page was last modified on 3 November 2015, at 21:26.
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