Jamaica, Clarendon Civil Registration (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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Record Description

Currently, this collection of civil registration records includes only the births for the Clarendon Parish and covers the years 1878-1930.

Birth notices are collected into annual registers and arranged by parish, district, number, and registration date. The text is handwritten in formatted records. Some records are listed in books similar to a ledger, and other records are on slips of papers with the same ledger format. The records also contain stamped and handwritten numbers.

The civil registration records contain some of the most reliable information after 1880 for genealogical research in Jamaica. Before 1880, churches recorded important events in the life of the Jamaican people, such as baptisms, marriages, and burials.

Record History

Compulsory registration of births, marriages, and deaths was introduced in Jamaica in 1878 and was legally implemented in 1880. Registration of births, marriages, and deaths is done at the Registrar General's Department (RGD), which was established in 1879. The Civil Registration and Vital Statistics Unit is responsible for collating this vital information. These civil records are organized at the parish level, Clarendon being one of the parishes.

Record Content

Birth 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 current 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 birth and date
  • Signatures of the informant and the registrar of births and deaths

How to Use the Records

In order to find an ancestor, it is necessary to know the district where the ancestor was born or lived. The registers are organized by parishes, such as Clarendon, and each parish is assigned a letter. Within a parish there are many districts, which are identified at the beginning of each book. It is recommended to use the indexes first.

Search the 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 “Parish” category
⇒Select the “District” category
⇒Select the “Record Type and Years” 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.

Tips to Keep in Mind

  • When looking for a person who had a common name, look at all the entries for the name before deciding which is correct.
  • Check for variant spellings of the names.
  • You may need to search using an alternate or nickname.
  • Use the birth date to calculate an estimated age for other records, such as marriage.
  • Titles may be clues to property ownership, occupations, rank, or status within the community.
  • Be aware that, as with any index, transcription errors may occur.

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, Clarendon Civil Registration.” Index and Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2017. Citing Registrar General's Office in Spanish Town, Jamaica.