Virgin Islands US, Church Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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U.S. Virgin Islands

FamilySearch Record Search This article describes a collection of historical records available at
Access the records: Virgin Islands US, Church Records, 1765-2010 .

Virgin Islands.png

What is in the Collection?

This Collection will include records from 1765 to 2010.

The collection includes birth/baptisms, marriages, and death/burials from Frederick Evangelical Lutheran Church, Reformed Dutch Church, Episcopal Church. Also included are other miscellaneous records such as communions, roll of members, license to marry, confirmations, paternity acknowledgments, refuge regulations, letters, finances, pastoral acts, pew rentals, etc.

This collection of church records includes records for several church denominations in St. Thomas, St. Croix, and St. John, and covers the years 1803 to 2010. 

The Frederick Evangelical Lutheran Church was founded by Danes in 1666 on the island of St. Thomas; this was the official church of the Danish West Indies. Since 1917, with the transfer of the Virgin Islands to the United States, Frederick Lutheran Church has been part of the Lutheran Church in America.

Church records were created to record church sacraments associated with the life events of the parishioners, such as baptism, marriage, and burial.

This collection of church books is a reliable and a good source for genealogical research. Accuracy in the records for such information as dates, ages, and places is dependent upon the accuracy of the person giving the information and the accuracy of the recording by the ecclesiastical officer.

You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for Virgin Islands US, Church Records, 1765-2010.

Collection Content

The baptismal records may contain the following information:

  • Date and place of baptism
  • Name and gender of child
  • Names and ages of parents
  • Names of sponsors/witnesses

The marriage records may contain the following information:

  • Date and place of marriage
  • Names and ages of bride and groom
  • Marital status (condition) of bride and groom
  • Residences of bride and groom
  • Married by banns or license
  • Names of witnesses
  • Name of officiating minister

The burial records may contain the following information:

  • Date of death
  • Name and age of deceased person
  • Occupation, and last residence of deceased
  • Place of birth
  • Place of burial
  • Legitimate or illegitimate
  • Marital status
  • Name of officiating minister

The death records may contain the following information:

  • Name and age of deceased
  • Last residence of deceased
  • Date of death
  • Cause of death
  • Date of burial
  • Place of burial
  • Officiating priest

The death records of slaves may contain the following information:

  • Date of death
  • Where buried
  • Name and age of deceased
  • When and where baptized
  • To whom married
  • Name of slave/plantation owner
  • Disease or cause of death

How Do I Search the Collection?

To begin your genealogy search it is helpful to know:

  • The first name of the person
  • The approximate date of the event and place where the event occurred
  • The name of the parents or spouse

Searching the Collection

Search by Name by visiting the Collection Page: Fill in the requested information in the boxes on the initial search page. This search will return a list of possible matches. Compare the information about the individuals in the list to what you already know about your relatives to determine if this is the correct family or person. You may need to look at the information on several individuals comparing the information about them to your relatives to make this determination.

View images in this collection by visiting the Browse Page:
⇒Select the "Browse" link in the initial collection page
⇒Select the "Island" category
⇒Select the "City or Town" category
⇒Select the "Denomination or Parish" category
⇒Select the "Record Type and Year Range" which takes you to the images.

Look at each image comparing the information with what you already know about your relative to determine if the image relates to them. You may need to look at several images and compare the information about the individuals listed in those images to your relative to make this determination. Keep in mind:

  • There may be more than one person in the records with the same name.
  • You may not be sure of your own relative’s name.
  • Your relative may have used different names or variations of their name throughout their life.

What Do I Do Next?

When you have located your ancestor’s record, carefully evaluate each piece of information given. Save a copy of the image or transcribe the information. These pieces of information may give you new biographical details. Add this new information to your records of each family. You should also look for leads to other records about your ancestors. For example:

  • 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.
  • Use the parents’ birth places to find former residences and to establish a migration pattern for the family.

I Found Who I was Looking for, What Now?

  • 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.
  • When looking for a person who had a common name, look at all the entries for the name before deciding which is correct.
  • 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.

I Can't Find Who I'm Looking for, What Now?

  • Look for variant spellings of the names. You should also look for alias names, nicknames and abbreviated names.
  • Look for an index. There are often indexes at the beginning of each volume. Local genealogical and historical societies often have indexes to local records.
  • Search the indexes and records of nearby localities.

Related Websites

Frederick Lutheran Church Marker

Related Wiki Articles

Citing this Collection

Citing your sources makes it easy for others to find and evaluate the records you used. When you copy information from a record, list where you found that information. Here you can find citations already created for the entire collection and for each individual record or image.

Collection Citation:

"Virgin Islands US, Church Records, 1765-2010." Images. FamilySearch. : accessed 2016. Citing Parishes, U.S. Virgin Islands.

Record Citation (or citation for the index entry):

The citation for a record is available with each record in this collection, at the bottom of the record screen. You can search records in this collection by visiting the search page for Virgin Islands US, Church Records, 1765-2010.

Image citation:

The image citation is available by clicking on the Information tab at the bottom left of the screen. You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for Virgin Islands US, Church Records, 1765-2010.

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