Series 8 - Parish Registers

Identity area

Reference code

JM JARD 1B/11-8


Parish Registers


  • 1664 - 1935 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

435 bound volumes

Context area

Name of creator

(1661 - 1999)

Administrative history

The Island Record Office was established in 1879 following the passage of the Island Records Law (Law 6 of 1879), which took over the functions and records of the long established Office of the Island Secretary. Island Secretary's office was responsible for enrolling in the proper registers all deeds, conveyances, patents, wills which have been admitted to probate, laws of the island, annual accounts, produce of estates, accounts current of executors, administrators, trustees, attorneys, agents and persons acting in a fuduciary character. The Office also kept a register of the medical practitioners in the island. Additional, the Island Secretary was responsible for the registration of dissenters' marriages and baptisms, marriages and burials solemnized and performed by ministers of the Church of England.
With the establishment of the Records Office the Chief Justice became Keeper of the Records and a Deputy Keeper with functions similar to that of the Island Secretary was appointed.

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Island Record Office

Content and structure area

Scope and content

These volumes are registers of baptisms, marriages and burials, mainly of the Church of England in Jamaica. The other registers are Presbyterian (6) and Baptist (4) and are of marriages only.

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System of arrangement

The volumes are listed according to parishes in chronological order.

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Existence and location of originals

Island Record Office

Existence and location of copies

Jamaica Archives and Records Department

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Notes area


Compulsory registration of births, marriages and deaths was introduced in Jamaica in 1878. However from the early 1660s when civil government was established, Ministers of the Church of England were instructed to keep records of baptisms and burials and to transmit Returns to the Island Secretary's Office. In 1824, the Diocese of Jamaica was established and provisions made for the recording of baptisms, marriages and burials.

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