Jamaican records

This guide was last updated in 2009

Use records of birth, marriage and death to work your family lines back.

Civil registration began in Jamaica in 1878, and you can hope to find similar information to that found on British certificates – although sometimes, frustratingly, essential pieces are missing. Before 1878 the key resource is parish records, which just like their British equivalents, rarely give the same range of information as civil registration certificates.

You can get a lot out of these records, but it is important not to assume that because someone has the right name, that they are necessarily related to your family. It is fine to put dotted lines on your family tree to indicate that you are not sure.

A good collection of Jamaican genealogical records is available at the Latter Day Saints Family History Centre at Hyde Park; their website is a good place to start.

Reels of microfilm can be transferred at a modest charge to other LDS centres around the country, although the cost may add up if you have a lot of research to do. Some of this material is indexed and some not, so you will have to decide between trawling through some of the records and applying directly for records from Jamaica.

The LDS collections do not cover much of the period after 1930. The Registrar’s General Department in Jamaica holds full copies of the birth, marriage and death records, and their material is indexed. Further information is available at their website.

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