Difference between revisions of "Jamaica, Church of England Parish Register Transcripts - FamilySearch Historical Records"

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== Known Issues  ==
== Known Issues  ==
This collection has several rolls of light images. The films were scanned again to see if the quality could be improved, but unfortunately, due to the condition of the original microfilm, that was not possible.  
{{HR Known Issues|no message=}}This collection has several rolls of light images. The films were scanned again to see if the quality could be improved, but unfortunately, due to the condition of the original microfilm, that was not possible.
== Contributions to This Article  ==
== Contributions to This Article  ==

Revision as of 22:45, 2 April 2011

FamilySearch Record Search This article describes a collection of historical records available at FamilySearch.org.
Access the records: Jamaica Church of England Parish Register Transcripts, 1664-1880 .


Collection Time Period[edit | edit source]

This collection covers records for the years 1664 through 1880.

Record Description[edit | edit source]

Baptisms (christenings), marriages, and burials were recorded on blank pages in a bound book called a register. The events of baptism, marriage, and burial were all recorded in one volume until 1754, when a law required that marriages be recorded in a separate book. Banns, or proclamations of “an intent” to marry, were recorded in yet another book. Starting in 1812, preprinted registers were introduced, and then separate registers were kept for baptisms, marriages, and burials. Before 1812, bishops’ transcripts were usually recorded on loose pieces of paper. Following that year, the transcripts were recorded on the same preprinted forms as parish registers.

Record Content[edit | edit source]

Church of England parish register baptism records usually contain:
• Baptism date
• Name of the child
• Sex of the child
• Legitimacy of the child
• Marital status of the parents
• Social class of the parents
• Name of the father and often mother’s given name
• May list the residence of the parents, especially after 1812

Church of England parish register marriage records usually contain:
• Marriage date
• Name of the bride and groom
• Age of the bride and groom
• May list names of parents or other relatives
• Residence of the bride and groom
• Marital status of individuals and couples
• May list the dates that the marriage was announced (also called “banns published”). This normally took place on three separate occasions prior to the marriage and gave anyone with a valid reason a chance to object to the marriage.
• After 1754 the full names of witnesses are also given. After 1837 the full names of the fathers are given.
• May note if a spouse is single or widowed at the time of the marriage.

Church of England parish register burial records usually contain:
• Burial date
• Name of the deceased. If the deceased is a child, the father’s name might be given. If the deceased is a married woman, the husband’s name might be given.
• Age of the person
• Residence of the deceased
• May give the sex of the deceased
• Residence of the deceased

How to Use This Record[edit | edit source]

Parish registers are one of the best sources for identifying individuals and connecting them to parents, spouses, and other generations. In July 1837 the government instituted the civil registration of births, marriages, and deaths. However, parish registers continue to play an important role because they are often more readily available than civil registers. Bishops’ transcripts are a backup source for parish registers that are missing or illegible. If possible, you may want to search both the parish registers and the bishops’ transcripts since one is a handwritten copy of the other and might contain differences.
Baptism or christening records list the parents’ names, making it possible for you to connect your ancestor to an earlier generation. You may find a birth date listed or be able to approximate a birth date. After 1812 the baptismal records list a place of residence, making it easier to identify your family by where they lived. The records also list the father’s occupation, which makes it easier to identify your ancestor's family when more than one family with the same name lived in the parish.

Marriage records sometimes state the residence for the bride and groom. You can use this information to look for their baptisms and to identify the children of this couple. Sometimes the groom’s occupation is listed, which could help you find more records about the groom. Marriage records after 1754 list the names of witnesses, who were often family members. These can help you identify your ancestor’s family. Signatures in the records might be used to identify a particular individual by the handwriting style. After 1812 and sometimes before, burial records include the age of the deceased. Use this age to approximate the person’s birth year and to find the baptismal record. If the deceased is a child, the parents’ names might be given. This information helps to extend your family another generation. The occupation of a deceased male might be given (especially after 1812) and can help identify your ancestor when there is more than one person by that name in the area. Knowing the occupation might also provide you the opportunity to find other records about your ancestor.

Banns indicate the parish of residence of the bride and groom. This information often leads to the records of another parish. You can search for the baptisms of the bride and groom in the parishes of residence since these might also be the parishes where they were born.

To search for a person in a Church of England parish register, you must know the following:
• Where the person lived and the corresponding parish
• When the person lived; if you do not know the time period, you must estimate it from what you know of more recent generations.

Collection History[edit | edit source]

In 1824 the Diocese of Jamaica was established. In 1825 the office of Registrar of the Diocese was established. Rectors sent copies of existing registers there and sent annual transcripts thereafter. The parish register transcripts include baptisms, marriages and burials. Birth and death registers were mandated by law in 1843 and kept for a few years, but the law was widely ignored and was repealed after a few years. Civil registration replaced this system in 1880.

The following list gives information on the origin of the parishes:
• St. Andrew - original parish
• St. Ann - original parish
• St. Catherine - original parish
• Clarendon - original parish
• St. David - original parish, absorbed by St. Thomas in the East, 1866
• St. Dorothy - separated from Clarendon, 1675; absorbed by St. Catherine, 1866
• St. Elizabeth - original parish
• St. George - original parish, absorbed by Portland, 1866
• Hanover - separated from Westmoreland, 1723
• St. James - original parish
• St. John - original parish; absorbed by St. Catherine, 1866
• Kingston - separated from St. Andrew, 1693
• Manchester - created from St. Elizabeth
• Clarendon and Vere, 1814
• St. Mary - original parish
• Metcalfe - created from St. George and St. Mary, 1841; absorbed by St. Mary, 1866
• Portland - created from St. George and St. Thomas in the East, 1723
• Port Royal - original parish, portion absorbed by Kingston and the rest by St. Andrew, 1866
• St. Thomas in the East - original parish, portion absorbed by Portland, 1866
• St. Thomas in the Vale - separated from St. Catherine 1675; reabsorbed by it, 1866
• Trelawny - separated from St. James, 1770
• Vere - separated from Clarendon, 1673; reabsorbed by it, 1866
• Westmoreland - separated from St. Elizabeth, 1703

The registers are arranged in five series:
1) Copy registers of individual parishes, early to about 1825
2) Parish registers (transcripts compiled at the Diocesan Office), 1826 to 1850 and1860 to 1871
3) Parish registers, new series (transcripts as in 2), 1849 to1860
4) Law 6 registers (refers to law 6 passed in 1871)
5) Birth and death registers, 1844-1851

The entries for parishes are combined in all but the first series.

There are indexes for each parish covering the first three series of registers. There is a separate but incomplete index for the period 1860-1871. There is a separate index for Law 6 registers.

Entries for the different events were carried to a succeeding register at different times. Consequently, the inclusive dates of an individual volume may overlap with another volume. For example, the inclusive dates for a vol. may be 1822-1844, representing baptisms 1822-1833, marriages 1822-1844 and burials 1822-1840; and the inclusive dates for the next vol. 1834-1855 representing baptisms 1833-1855, marriages 1844-1855 and burials 1840-1855.

Volume numbers indicated in the listing are those assigned by the archive.

Why This Collection Was Created[edit | edit source]

Parish registers were created to record church events of baptism or christening, marriage, and burial. Baptismal entries usually list the person’s birth date, and burial entries list the death date. In the Church of England, baptism, which was also called christening, was performed soon after the birth of a child. Marriage in the church legally united a man and a woman for civil legal reasons and for the purpose of founding a religiously sanctified family. Burial is a function of the church to inter the deceased soon after death.

Collection Reliability (Heading 3) (Reliability)
Church of England parish registers are the most reliable and accurate family history source until July 1837, when the government instituted the civil registration of births, marriages, and deaths. Information in parish registers and bishops’ transcripts can be verified against each other.

Related Web Sites[edit | edit source]

Jamaican Genealogy Sources For Those Beginning Their Search

The Diocese of Jamaica & The Cayman Islands

Related Wiki Articles[edit | edit source]

Jamaica: Church Records

Known Issues[edit | edit source]

Important.png Problems with this collection?

This collection has several rolls of light images. The films were scanned again to see if the quality could be improved, but unfortunately, due to the condition of the original microfilm, that was not possible.

Contributions to This Article[edit | edit source]

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 Historical Records/Guidelines for Articles.

Sources of This Collection[edit | edit source]

Jamaica Church of England Parish Register Transcripts, 1664-1880, database, FamilySearch; from Ministry of National Security. FHL microfilm, 90 reels. Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah.

Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections[edit | edit source]

A suggested format for keeping track of records that you have searched is found in the Wiki Article: How to Cite FamilySearch Collections

Please add sample citations to this article following the format guidelines in the wiki article listed above.

Examples of Source Citations for a Record in This Collection:[edit | edit source]

Jamaica Church of England Parish Register Transcripts, 1664-1880. digital images, From FamilySearch Internet(www.familysearch,org: February 4, 2011). Baptism Record for Letitia Lowry Mayns--15 September 1816--Browse: St George>Baptisms, marriages, burials 1806-1804, Vol. 1>image 14.