Bahamas, Civil Registration (FamilySearch Historical Records)Edit This Page
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|This article describes a collection of historical records available at FamilySearch.org.|
Access the records: Bahamas, Civil Registration, 1850-1959 .
This Collection will include records from 1850 to 1959.
This collection contains records of births, marriages, and deaths from civil registration in different districts of the Bahamas. Earlier records are handwritten in narrative style; later records are handwritten in formatted records. The text of the records is in English. Records are listed in chronological order.
For a list of records by date or locality currently published in this collection, select the Browse link from the collection landing page.
The earliest reference to public registration of records in the Bahamas was in 1764. By 1862, a separate office named the Registry of Records was created to record the civil events; later, the name was changed to Registrar General’s Department in 1914. At that time, there were a few registrars legally appointed to record the events of birth and death, or marriages, or other life event. Before 1914, each registration form was to be filled as accurate as possible and subsequently returned to the Registry of Records, now the Registrar General’s Department, where all the records are properly archived.
These records were created to keep track of the vital events happening in the lives of the citizens and to safeguard their legal interests.
Civil records of birth, marriage, and death are the best records for family history research after 1862.
Citation for This Collection
The following citation refers to the original source of the information for collections published in FamilySearch.org. Source citations include the author, custodian, publisher and archive for the original records.
- Bahamas Registrar General. Bahamas, Civil Registration. Bahamas Registrar General's Department, Nasasau, Bahamas.
Key genealogical facts found in this collection may contain the following information:
- Child’s name
- Birth date
- Child's gender and race
- Birth place
- Parents' names
- Father’s title or occupation
- Marriage date
- Marriage place
- Full names of bride and groom
- Ages of bride and groom
- Civil status, age and residence of bride and groom
- Name of fathers of bride and groom
- Name of deceased
- Date of death
- Place of death
- Age, gender and race of deceased
- Occupation of deceased
- Cause of death
How to Use the Record
To browse this collection you will need to follow this series of links:
⇒ Select the "Browse" link in the initial search page
⇒ Select the "Record Type and Years" category which takes you to the images
There are indexes available for the marriage records in this collections. The indexes are found in the Marriage Index 1910-1955 folder. Find your ancestors name and look for the year, number, page number and book letter located next to their name. This will help you find the record you are looking for in the collection.
There are not indexes for the birth and death records. Consider finding a marriage record first and then look for birth and death records.
Look at each image comparing the information with what you already know about your ancestors to determine which one is your ancestor. You may need to compare the information about more than one person to make this determination.
To begin your search in this collection, it would be helpful if you knew the following information:
- The place where the event occurred
- The name and surname of the person
- The approximate date of the event
- The name of the parents or spouse
Using the information:
When you have located your ancestor’s record, carefully evaluate each piece of information given. These pieces of information may give you new biographical details that can lead you to other records about your ancestors.
- Use the marriage date and place as the basis for compiling a new family group or for verifying existing information.
- Use the birth date or age along with the place of birth of each partner to find a couple's birth records and parents' names.
- Use the birth date or age along with the place of birth to find the family in census records.
- Use the residence and names of the parents to locate church and land records.
- Occupations listed can lead you to other types of records such as employment or military records.
- Use the parents' birth places to find former residences and to establish a migration pattern for the family.
- The name of the officiator is a clue to their religion or area of residence in the county. However, ministers may have reported marriages performed in other counties.
- Compile the marriage entries for every person who has the same surname as the bride or groom; this is especially helpful in rural areas or if the surname is unusual.
- Continue to search the marriage records to identify children, siblings, parents, and other relatives of the bride and groom who may have married in the same county or nearby. This can help you identify other generations of your family or even the second marriage of a parent. Repeat this process for each new generation you identify.
- Use the marriage number to identify previous marriages.
- When looking for a person who had a common name, look at all the entries for the name before deciding which is correct.
Keep in mind:
- The information in church records is usually reliable, but depends upon the reliability of the informant.
- Earlier records may not contain as much information as the records created after the late 1800.
- There is also some variation in the information given from one record to another.
Unable to Find the Information?
- Check for variant spellings of the surnames.
- Check for a different index. There are often indexes at the beginning of each volume.
- Search the indexes and records of nearby localities.
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Contributions to This Article
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Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections
When you copy information from a record, you should list where you found the information. This will help you or others to find the record again. 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.
A suggested format for keeping track of records that you have searched is found in the wiki article Help:How to Cite FamilySearch Collections.
Citation Example for a Record Found in This Collection
"Bahamas, Civil Registration, 1850-1959," images, FamilySearch(https://familysearch.org: accessed 11 April 2012), Bahamas Civil Registration > Births 1947 > image 3 of 260, entry for Laird Stubbs, born 3 January 1947; citing Bahamas Civil Registration Records, Birth Records, Bahamas Registrar General's Department Nassau, Bahamas.
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