Jamaica, Civil Registration (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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FamilySearch Record Search This article describes a collection of historical records available at FamilySearch.org.
Access the records: Jamaica, Civil Registration, 1880-1999 .

Record Description

This collection contains records for the year 1871 to 1930.

These records include 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.

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.

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.

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.

Coverage Table

The Coverage Table shows the places and time periods covered in the indexed records in this collection. Most of the records in the collection are from the time periods listed in the table; however, the collection may have a few records from before or after the time period.

(Parish) (Record Type) (Year)
Clarendon Birth 1840-1959
Clarendon Death 1878-1910
Hanover Birth 1878-1930
Kingston Birth 1878-1930
Kingston Marriage 1880-1917
Kingston Death 1877-1920
Manchester Birth 1877-1930
Portland Birth 1880-1920
Portland Marriage 1880-1920
Portland Death 1879-1920
Saint Andrew Birth 1879-1929
Saint Andrew Marriage 1880-1920
Saint Andrew Death 1878-1920
Saint Ann Birth 1887-1930
Saint Ann Marriage 1880-1920
Saint Ann Death 1878-1921
Saint Catherine Birth 1880-1920
Saint Catherine Marriage 1880-1909
Saint Catherine Death 1878-1921
Saint Elizabeth Birth 1818-1932
Saint James Birth 1878-1930
Saint Mary Death 1878-1918
Saint Mary Birth 1877-1930
Saint Thomas Birth 1878-1930
Saint Thomas Marriage 1880-1920
Saint Thomas Death 1878-1920
Trelawny Birth 1878-1930
Westmoreland Birth 1879-1930

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.

"Jamaica, Civil Birth Registration ."Index and Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2013. Citing Registrar General's Department, Spanish Town.

Suggested citation format for a record in this collection.

Record Content

These births records generally contain the following information:

  • District and parish name
  • Date and place of birth
  • Name of the child
  • Gender
  • 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

These marriage records generally contain the following information:

  • 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

These death records generally contain the following information:

  • Date and place of death
  • Complete name of the deceased person
  • Gender
  • 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

To begin your search in the birth records, it would be helpful if you knew the following information:

  • Names of parents
  • Approximate birth date and place
  • Parish

The birth, marriage or place of death needs to be matched with the correct parish.

Search This Collection

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 look at several images and compare the information about the individuals listed in those images to your ancestors 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 ancestor’s name.
  • Your ancestor may have used different names or variations of their name throughout their life.

Using the information

Use the information found in these records to find more records about your ancestor or his/her parents.

For example

The residence of the parents, and maiden surname of the mother are useful in searching records from that locality to find information on their marriage and the parents' births.

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.

Known Issues with This Collection

Important.png Problems with this collection?
See a list of known issues, workarounds, tips, restrictions, future fixes, news and other helpful information.

For a full list of all known issues associated with this collection see the attached Wiki article. If you encounter additional problems, please email them to support@familysearch.org. Please include the full path to the link and a description of the problem in your e-mail. Your assistance will help ensure that future reworks will be considered.

Related Websites

Related Wiki Articles

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.