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Guide to Jamaica Genealogy ancestry, family history and genealogy parish registers, transcripts, census records, birth records, marriage records, and death records.

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Jamaica is an independent island nation in the Greater Antilles Islands of the West Indies. Jamaica lies south of Cuba in the Caribbean Sea.

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Getting started with Jamaican research 

To begin, collect the reminiscences of family members. They may not know exact dates and places, but the stories they tell will offer important clues for you follow. Next, learn a little about Jamaica's history, because that will direct your research. An excellent resource is the CIA World Factbook: https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/jm.html CIA World Factbook

There are several excellent websites that offer guidance as well as searchable records. 


Spain 1509, England 1655.[1] Slavery abolished 1838, Independence 1962.[2]

Parishes were established as administrative districts at the English conquest of 1655. They were not based on earlier Spanish entities established after European settlement in 1510. Though the boundaries have changed over the succeeding centuries, parishes remain Jamaica’s fundamental civil administrative unit. The three counties of Cornwall, Middlesex, and Surrey have judicial but not administrative relevance. The present parishes were consolidated in 1866 with the re-division of eight now-extinct entities, none of which will have civil records. A good historical look at Jamaica's parishes as they changed over time may be found on the privately compiled Jamaican Parish Reference.

Cornwall County

Middlesex County
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Surrey County

Additional Parishes

Research Tools

Wiki articles describing online collections are found at:


The Jamaican Gleaner More than 1 million historical newspaper pages from The Gleaner dating back to 1834.


Jamaican Family Search This is a virtual genealogy library for those researching family history for Jamaica, West Indies, especially for people born before 1920.

Jamaican Genealogy This blog is a resource for those researching their Jamaican (West Indies) Family History. Jamaican sugar cane (history)


  1. Christina K. Schaefer, Genealogcial Encyclopedia of the Colonial Americas: a Complete Digest of the Records of All the Countries of the Western Hemisphere (Baltimore, Md.: Genealogical Publishing, 1998), 127. WorldCat 39622039; FHL Ref Book 929.11812 D26s.
  2. Jamaica in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia (accessed 29 September 2015).


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  • This page was last modified on 29 September 2015, at 22:15.
  • This page has been accessed 83,561 times.