Jamaica, 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: Jamaica, Civil Birth Registration .
The records in this collection for births, range from the year 1871 to 1930.
The records in this collection for marriages and deaths, range from the year 1871 to 1955.
At present, this collection includes only birth records; in the future, marriage and death records will be added. The records are handwritten in English on formatted forms. These records are organized by parish and then by district.
This collection contains an index to civil records from all the parishes in Jamaica except for Claredon and Trelawney. Early records are in register (book) format; later records are certificates.
The current collection of civil records of births includes the years 1900-1930. In the future, civil records of marriages for the years 1880-1950 and civil records of deaths for the years 1871-1995 will be added.
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.
Civil records were filmed and cataloged in by the Family History Library in 1995 by parishes. From the Family History Library catalog, choose Civil Registration Indexes to get started in civil record research. The menu shows dates up to 1830. However, the actual filmed records in some parishes may exceed 1950. Checking the index and then the actual record should provide the information sought. The actual record can be found in the catalog under Jamaica/Civil Registration, listed by parish.
Citation for This Collection
The following citation refers to the original source of the information published in FamilySearch.org. Source citations include the author, custodian, publisher, and archive for the original records.
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.
- Civil Births. Registrar General's Department, Kingston, Jamaica.
The key genealogical facts found in this collection usually includes the following:
- District and parish name
- Date and place of birth
- Name of the child
- 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
- 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
- Date and place of death
- Complete name of the deceased person
- 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
Beginning your search
To begin your search, it is helpful to know the following:
- Ancestors name
- Approximate birth date and place
- Names of parents
Searching the 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.
Searching the images
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" category
⇒Select the "County" category
⇒Select the "Volume and Year" category which will take you to the images.
Look at each image 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.
Using the information
Use the information found in these records to find more records about your ancestor or his/her parents. The residence of the parents and maiden surname of the mother, for example, are useful in searching records from that locality to find information on their marriage and the parents' births.
In order to search for church and vital records, it is necessary to know the exact place of an event in the life of an ancestor. The birth, marriage or place of death needs to be matched with the correct parish.
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.
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Contributions to This Article
| 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.
Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections
When you copy information from a record, you should list where you found the information. This will help you or others to find the record again. 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.
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
“Jamaica, Civil Birth Registration” index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org: accessed 14 June 2012), James P Essoa born 21 Aug 1892; citing Jamaica, Civil Birth Registration, FHL film number 1523389, Registrar General's Department, Jamaica.