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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. See the CIA World Factbook about Jamaica. 


Getting started with Jamaican research



Jamacia parishs.JPG

Parishes were established as administrative districts at the English conquest of 1655. 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 no 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 the parishes as they changed over time may be found on the privately compiled “Jamaican Parish Reference,” http://prestwidge.com/river/jamaicanparishes.html (cited 2010 Jul 1). 

Cornwall County

  • Hanover Parish
  • Saint Elizabeth Parish
  • Saint James Parish
  • Trelawney Parish
  • Westmoreland Parish

Middlesex County

Surrey County

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)

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