Bahamas Civil Registration (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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Bahamas

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Bahamas, Civil Registration, 1850-1959 .
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This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
Bahamas
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Record Description
Record Type: Civil Registration
Collection years: 1850-1959
Languages:
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites
Archive


What is in This Collection?

This collection includes records from 1850 to 1959. The records include births, marriages, and deaths from civil registration in different districts of the Bahamas. These records were created to keep track of the vital events happening in the lives of the citizens and to safeguard their legal interests. 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.

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 no indexes for the birth and death records. Consider finding a marriage record first and then look for birth and death records.

Browse This Collection

You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for Bahamas, Civil Registration, 1850-1959.

Collection Content

Sample Images


What Can These Records Tell Me?

Birth records 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 Records may contain the following information:

  • Marriage date
  • Marriage place
  • Full names of bride and groom
  • Ages of bride and groom
  • Civil status, age and residence of bride and groom
  • Occupation
  • Name of fathers of bride and groom
  • Witnesses

Death Records may contain the following information:

  • Name of deceased
  • Date of death
  • Place of death
  • Age, gender and race of deceased
  • Occupation of deceased
  • Cause of death

How Do I Search This Collection?

Before searching

  • Name of at least one person involved in the event (child, parents, spouse, etc.)
  • Approximate year and place of event

Search the Collection

To search this collection by name:
Fill in the requested information in the initial search page. This search will return a list of possible matches. Compare the information about the people in the list to what you already know about your ancestors to determine if this is the correct family or person. You may need to compare the information about more than one person to find your ancestor.

To search by image:
To search the collection images, select "Browse through images" on the initial collection page:
⇒ Select the appropriate "Record Type and Years" which will take you to the images.

Search the collection image by image, comparing the information with what you already know about your ancestors to determine if the image relates to them. You may need to look at several images and compare the information about the individuals listed in those images to your ancestors to make this determination.

How Do I Analyze the Results?

Compare each result from your search with what you know to determine if there is a match. This may require viewing multiple records or images. Keep track of your research in a research log.

What Do I Do Next?

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.

I Found the Person I Was Looking For, What Now?

  • Use the parents' birth places to find former residences and to establish a migration pattern for the family.
  • The name of the officiator can be 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 records to identify children, siblings, parents, and other relatives who may have lived 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.

I Can’t Find the Person I’m Looking For, What Now?

  • Check for variants of given names and surnames. It was not uncommon for an individual to be listed under a nickname, middle name, or abbreviation of their given name.
  • Search the records of nearby locations. In the period of this collection, few individuals ever lived more than 20 miles from their place pf birth, though smaller moves were common.

Tips to Keep in Mind

  • Earlier records may not contain as much information as the records created after the late 1800s.
  • There is some variation in the information given from one record to another.
  • When looking for a person who had a common name, look at all the entries for the name before deciding which is correct.
  • You may need to search using a nickname or alternate name.
  • Check for variant spellings of names.

General Information About These Records

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 accurately as possible and subsequently returned to the Registry of Records, now the Registrar General’s Department, where all the records are properly archived.

Civil records of birth, marriage, and death are the best records for family history research after 1862.


Citing This Collection

Citations help you keep track of places you have searched and sources you have found. Identifying your sources helps others find the records you used.

Collection Citation

"Bahamas, Civil Registration, 1850-1959." Database with Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2017. Citing Registrar General, Nassau.

Record Citation:
When looking at a record, the citation is found below the record.
Image Citation:
When looking at an image, the citation is found on the Information tab at the bottom left of the screen.

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