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In Jersey the word parish has two rather different meanings. There is the ecclesiastical parish, much as there is in England, but alongside it there is the civil parish, governed by the Constable, complete with its own honorary police force and municipal administrative functions.
The civil and ecclesiastical parish authorities are closely linked - under Jersey law the civil parish is responsible for the upkeep of the external structure of the parish church, and the parish Rector is ex officio a member of the municipality.
Parish registers described here relate to the ecclesiastical parish. Civil registration, introduced to Jersey in 1842, is at bottom the responsibility of the civil parish, although each civil parish registrar submits their records to the Superintendent Registrar in St Helier.
The historic parish registers were deposited with the Jersey Archive and transcripts were made by the CIFHS - these are available on open shelving for research. They cover the following periods:
- Grouville - Baptisms 1584-1842, Marriages 1598-1842, Burials 1593-1842
- St Brelade - 1560-1882
- St Clement - 1623-1842
- St Helier - 1596-1842. In addition baptism registers covering the period from 1842-1909 have been transcribed and the records can be located via the Jersey OPAC.
- St John - 1583-1842
- St Lawrence - 1654-1842
- St Martin - 1593-1960
- St Mary - 1648-1842
- St Ouen - 1634-1842
- St Peter - 1626-1842
- St Saviour - 1541-1842
- Trinity - Baptisms 1624-1842, Marriages 1612-1899, Burials 1612-1842
Registers after 1842 are generally held by the parish churches. It is possible to ask the rector of a given parish to search the registers, and a fixed rate of £21/hour is charged for this service.
In addition to the ecclesiastical parishes, a number of district churches were built from the mid-19th century onwards, the majority of them in St Helier. At first the registration of baptisms and burials was organised through the registers at the Town Church, but in due course nearly all of them gained the right to manage their own registrations. (However, to this day the large urban church of St Paul in New Street registers its baptisms, marriages and burials through the Town Church).
Two of the district churches have districts which straddle more than one parish - Gouray church district is split between St Martin and Grouville, while St Luke is split between St Saviour, St Helier and St Clement. Records from these churches were originally managed through St Martin and St Saviour respectively)
The only district church that has thus far made its registers of baptisms and burials available for transcription is Gouray - transcripts are held at Jersey Archive.
The Superintendent Registrar holds copies of marriages from the registers at the following district churches:
- All Saints (1852-)
- Gouray (1901-)
- St Andrew (1855-)
- St James (1904-)
- St Luke (1852-)
- St Mark (1917-)
- St Simon