Jamaica, Civil Registration (FamilySearch Historical Records)

From FamilySearch Wiki
Revision as of 17:45, 25 July 2014 by Jessicabarker11 (talk | contribs) (updated formatting, added websites, wikis and citations)

Jump to: navigation, search
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

You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for Jamaica, Civil Registration, 1880-1999.

This collection contains records for the year 1871 to 1930. 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 1878-1930. In the future, civil marriage records for the years 1880-1950 and civil death records 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 Birth Marriage Death
Clarendon 1840-1959 1878-1910
Hanover 1878-1930
Kingston 1878-1930 1880-1917 1877-1920
Manchester 1877-1930
Portland 1880-1920 1880-1920 1879-1920
Saint Andrew 1879-1929 1880-1920 1878-1920
Saint Ann 1887-1930 1880-1920 1878-1921
Saint Catherine 1880-1920 1880-1909 1878-1921
Saint Elizabeth 1818-1932
Saint James 1878-1930
Saint Mary 1877-1930 1878-1918
Saint Thomas 1878-1930 1880-1920 1878-1920
Trelawny 1878-1930
Westmoreland 1879-1930

Record Content

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

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

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

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

Search This Collection

To search by 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.

To search by image:
To search the collection you will need to follow this series of links:
⇒Select "Browse through images" on the initial collection page
⇒Select the "Digital Folder Number" category which takes you to the images

Search the collection by image comparing the information with what you already know about your ancestors 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 ancestors to make this determination.

When searching:
As you are searching it is helpful to know such information as your ancestor's given name and surname, some identifying information such as residence, age, and family relationships. Remember that there may be more than one person in the records with the same name as your ancestor and that your ancestor may have used nicknames or different names at different times.

Using the information

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.

Tips to 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.
  • 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.
Dark thin font green pin Version 4.png
Don't overlook FHL Place Jamaica items or FHL Keyword Jamaica items in the FamilySearch Library Catalog. For other libraries (local and national) or to gain access to items of interest, see Jamaica Archives and Libraries.

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.

Citations for This Collection

When you copy information from a record, you should list where you found the information (often called citing your sources). This will help people find the record again and evaluate the reliability of the source. 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. Citations are available for the collection as a whole and each record or image individually.

Collection Citation

"Jamaica, Civil Birth Registration." Index and Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org: accessed 2014. Citing Registrar General's Department, Spanish Town.

Record citation

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 Jamaica, Civil Registration, 1880-1999.

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 Jamaica, Civil Registration, 1880-1999.