Jamaica

  • Civil registration: Compulsory registration dates from 1878 onwards. The LDS (Mormons) have microfilmed copies of these church records, which are available through their family history centres. There are apparently index volumes for the parishes, organised by the letter of the alphabet, but not necessarily in alphabetical order, so for example you may have to look through all the “C”s to find an ancestor by the name of “Carr”. A few of the index volumes (St Ann, Vol 1, Port Royal, Vol II) are missing and so could not be filmed. These are noted in the FHL catalog.
  • The Island Record Office (IRO) in Jamaica, holds documents including Wills and Deeds from 1660 to the present. Once Wills were Probated at the Supreme Court they were sent to the IRO for preservation.
  • Law 6 Registers: Church Records go up to 1870-72, but overlap with what are called Law 6 registers. These are government registers and started in 1866 up to Civil registration. From 1871 Law 6 Registers cover records for all religious denominations. They are separated into births, marriages and deaths and have also been filmed by the LDS, and should be available through the family history centres. Look under Jamaica/Church Records for the listing of these films in the Family History Catalogue. There are separate indexes for Law 6 registers, which have to be consulted before you get to the original record.
  • Church Records: In 1824, the Diocese of Jamaica was established with its own Bishop of Jamaica. By 1841, the Diocese of Jamaica was organised into 22 separate parishes. In 1867 the parish system was again reorganised, from a maximum of 22 to 14.