Bahamas, Civil Registration (FamilySearch Historical Records)Edit This Page
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|This article describes a collection of historical records available at FamilySearch.org.|
Access the records: Bahamas Civil Registration, 1850-1959 .
This collection contains records of births, marriages, and deaths from civil registration in different districts of the Bahamas. Earlier records are handwritten in narrative style; later records are handwritten in formatted records. The text of the records is in English. Records are listed in chronological order.
For a list of records by date or locality currently published in this collection, select the Browse link from the collection landing page.
The earliest reference to public registration of records in the Bahamas was in 1764. By 1862, a separate office named the Registry of Records was created to record the civil events; later, the name was changed to Registrar General’s Department in 1914. At that time, there were a few registrars legally appointed to record the events of birth and death, or marriages, or other life event. Before 1914, each registration form was to be filled as accurate as possible and subsequently returned to the Registry of Records, now the Registrar General’s Department, where all the records are properly archived.
This collection of civil registration includes the years 1850 to 1959.
These records were created to keep track of the vital events happening in the lives of the citizens and to safeguard their legal interests.
Civil records of birth, marriage, and death are the best records for family history research after 1862.
Citation for This Collection
The following citation refers to the original source of the information for collections published in FamilySearch.org. Source citations include the author, custodian, publisher and archive for the original records.
Bahamas Registrar General. Bahamas, Civil Registration. Bahamas Registrar General's Department, Nasasau, Bahamas.
Key genealogical facts found in birth records may include:
- Child’s name
- Child’s sex
- Birth date
- Birth place
- Parents' names
- Parents' residence
- May list the father’s title or occupation
Key genealogical facts found in marriage records may include:
- Full name of bride and groom
- Marriage date
- Marriage place
- Age of bride and groom
- Occupation of bride and groom
- Birth place of bride and groom
- Parents of bride and groom
- Number of marriage for bride and groom
Key genealogical facts found in death records may include:
- Name of deceased
- Death date
- Death place
- Age in days, months, and years
- Birth place
- Name of parents
- Parents' birth place
- Burial place
- Burial date
How to Use the Record
To search the collection you will need to follow this series of links:
⇒ Select the "Browse" link in the initial search page
⇒ Select the "Record Type and Years" category which takes you to the images.
Look at the images one by one comparing the information with what you already know about your ancestors to determine which one is your ancestor. You may need to compare the information about more than one person to make this determination.
Begin your search by finding your ancestors in the index. Name indexes to births, marriages, and death make it possible to access a specific record quickly. Remember that these indexes may contain inaccuracies, such as altered spellings, misinterpretations, and optical character recognition errors if the information was scanned.
When searching the index it is helpful to know the following:
- The place where the event occurred
- The name and surname of the person
- The approximate date of the event
- The name of the parents or spouse
Use the locator information found in the index (such as page, entry, or certificate number) to locate your ancestors in the records. Compare the information in the record to what you already know about your ancestors to determine if this is the correct person. You may need to compare the information of more than one person to make this determination.
When you have located your ancestor’s record, carefully evaluate each piece of information given. These pieces of information may give you new biographical details that can lead you to other records about your ancestors. Add this new information to your records of each family.
- Use the marriage date and place as the basis for compiling a new family group or for verifying existing information.
- Use the birth date or age along with the place of birth of each partner to find a couple's birth records and parents' names.
- Use the birth date or age along with the place of birth to find the family in census records.
- Use the residence and names of the parents to locate church and land records.
- Occupations listed can lead you to other types of records such as employment or military records.
- Use the parents' birth places to find former residences and to establish a migration pattern for the family.
- The name of the officiator is a clue to their religion or area of residence in the county. However, ministers may have reported marriages performed in other counties.
- Compile the marriage entries for every person who has the same surname as the bride or groom; this is especially helpful in rural areas or if the surname is unusual.
- Continue to search the marriage records to identify children, siblings, parents, and other relatives of the bride and groom who may have married in the same county or nearby. This can help you identify other generations of your family or even the second marriage of a parent. Repeat this process for each new generation you identify.
- Use the marriage number to identify previous marriages.
- When looking for a person who had a common name, look at all the entries for the name before deciding which is correct.
Keep in mind:
- The information in church records is usually reliable, but depends upon the reliability of the informant.
- Earlier records may not contain as much information as the records created after the late 1800.
- There is also some variation in the information given from one record to another.
If you are unable to find the ancestors you are looking for, try the following:
- Check for variant spellings of the surnames.
- Check for a different index. There are often indexes at the beginning of each volume.
- Search the indexes and records of nearby localities.
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Contributions to This Article
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Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections
A suggested format for keeping track of records that you have searched is found in the wiki article Help:How to Cite FamilySearch Collections.
Citation Example for a Record Found in This Collection
"Bahamas, Civil Registration, 1850-1959," images, FamilySearch(https://familysearch.org: accessed 11 April 2012), Bahamas Civil Registration > Births 1947 > image 3 of 260, entry for Laird Stubbs, born 3 January 1947; citing Bahamas Civil Registration Records, Birth Records, Bahamas Registrar General's Department Nassau, Bahamas.