Cook Islands Church Records

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Church Records

For information about records for non-Christian religions in the Cook Islands, go to the Religious Records page.

Christian missionaries from the London Missionary Society began arriving in 1821. The Bible was translated into Maori in 1827. Most tribes lived in the valleys, which was not convenient for the missionaries; therefore, the missionaries talked the tribes into moving closer to shore and building around the mission areas.

Parish Registers

Research use: Uniquely identifies individuals and connects those in one generation to the next.

Record type: Church records kept by religious authorities of births/baptisms, marriages, and deaths/burials.

General: The compilation and preservation of church records is random.

Time period: 1838-present.

Contents: Names of the person and other family members, residence, relationships, dates and place of birth and baptism, marriage, death and burial. Sometimes, baptisms include names of godparents; marriages include the ages of the bride and groom; burials include the age of the deceased and cause of death.

Location: Churches and ecclesiastical archives. These locations need to be more fully investigated.

Population coverage: 10% coverage for early periods; 50% coverage for the 20th century.

Reliability: High.[1]


Missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints arrived in 1899. In 1949 church membership numbered 160.


  1. The Family History Department of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, “Family History Record Profile: Polynesia,” Word document, private files of the FamilySearch Content Strategy Team, 1987-2000.