Cyprus Church Records

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

Historical Background[edit | edit source]

Religion in Cyprus is characterized by two main religious beliefs and practices; Christianity makes up 73% of the population of the island. Most Greek Cypriots, and thus the majority of the population of Cyprus, are members of the autocephalous Greek Orthodox (Church of Cyprus), whereas most Turkish Cypriots are officially Sunni Muslims. There are also Bahá'í, Catholic, Jewish, Protestant (including Anglican), Maronite, Armenian Apostolic, and non-religious communities in Cyprus.[1]

In the Greek Orthodox church parish priests kept these records for the dioceses. The diocese made the official record based on information from local priests. Thus, the term “diocesan register” may be more appropriate than “parish register.” As there was no separation of church and state under Ottoman rule, the church filled the function of official registrar of vital events, at least for Christians. Dioceses were responsible for issuing marriage licenses and recording marriages (records are known to exist from 1839). Orthodox records are generally in Greek. Records of other faiths (Catholics, Maronites, Armenian, or Gregorian) may be in Greek, Latin, Armenian, or Turkish. There are many gaps in church registers between 1850 and 1920.

Time period: About 1839 to present. (It is possible that some parishes have earlier records.) Many records, however, do not begin until the late 1800s.

Population coverage: 70%.[2]

Information Recorded in the Records[edit | edit source]

Different denominations, different time periods, and practices of different record keepers will effect how much information can be found in the records. This outline will show the types of details which might be found (best case scenario):

Baptisms[edit | edit source]

In Catholic and Anglican records, children were usually baptized a few days after birth, and therefore, the baptism record proves date of birth. Other religions, such as Baptists, baptized at other points in the member's life. Baptism registers might give:

  • baptism date
  • the infant's name
  • parents' names
  • father's occupation
  • status of legitimacy
  • occasionally, names of grandparents
  • names of witnesses or godparents, who may be relatives
  • birth date and place
  • the family's place of residence
  • death information, as an added note or signified by a cross

Marriages[edit | edit source]

Marriage registers can give:

  • the marriage date
  • the names of the bride and groom
  • indicate whether the bride and groom were single or widowed
  • their ages
  • birth dates and places for the bride and groom
  • their residences
  • their occupations
  • birthplaces of the bride and groom
  • parents' names (after 1800)
  • the names of previous spouses and their death dates
  • names of witnesses, who might be relatives.

Burials[edit | edit source]

Burial registers may give:

  • the name of the deceased
  • the date and place of death or burial
  • the deceased's age
  • place of residence
  • cause of death
  • the names of survivors, especially a widow or widower
  • deceased's birth date and place
  • parents' names, or at least the father's name

How to Find Records[edit | edit source]

Digital Copies of Church Records in the FamilySearch Catalog[edit | edit source]

Watch for digitized copies of church records to be added to the collection of the FamilySearch Library. Some records might have viewing restrictions, and can only be viewed at a Family History Center near you, and/or by members of supporting organizations. To find records:

a. Click on the records of Cyprus.
b. Click on Places within Cyprus and a list of towns will appear.
c. Click on your town if it appears, or the location which you believe was the parish which served your town or village.
d. Click on the "Church records" topic. Click on the blue links to specific record titles.
e. Some combination of these icons will appear at the far right of the listing for the record. FHL icons.png. The magnifying glass indicates that the record is indexed. Clicking on the magnifying glass will take you to the index. Clicking on the camera will take you to an online digital copy of the records.

Writing for Records[edit | edit source]

You will probably need to write to or email the national archives, the diocese, or local parish priests to find records.

Writing to Archives[edit | edit source]

All early registers were sent to Nikosia to be centralized there at the Ministry of Interior registration office. Check carefully with the Cyprus Research Center in Nikosia for materials in their Archbishopric Archive. Originals or transcripts of church records are likely kept there. This archive also holds the registers of marriage licenses and registers of names of monks and peasants relating to the Archbishopric. [2]

Street Address:
Gladstonos 6
1095 Nicosia, Cyprus

Correspondence Address:
P.O. Box 21952
1515 Nicosia

Writing to Local Churches[edit | edit source]

Parish registration notes may be in local parishes. Church records of the 1900s are likely to be in the local parishes or diocesan offices.[2]

Anglican (Episcopal) Church Records[edit | edit source]

Writing for Records[edit | edit source]

Historical Background[edit | edit source]

The Anglican Church of Cyprus was established in 1878. As of 1976, it falls under the Diocese of Cyprus and the Gulf. Anglicans and Protestants, according to the official 2011 population census, amount to 2.02% of the population. With regard to Northern Cyprus, Turkish Cypriot Protestants and Anglicans are a very small community. The community numbers around 500 and can be found living throughout northern Cyprus.[3]

Armenian Apostolic Church Records[edit | edit source]

Writing for Records[edit | edit source]

Historical Background[edit | edit source]

The presence of Armenians in Cyprus dates back to 578. Currently, Armenian-Cypriots maintain a notable presence of about 3,500 persons, mainly inhabiting the urban areas of Nicosia, Larnaca, and Limassol. Recently, some Armenian immigrants have settled Paphos. The Armenian Prelature of Cyprus has had a continuous presence on the island since its establishment in 973 by Catholicos Khatchig I. [4]

Baptist Church Records[edit | edit source]

Writing for Records[edit | edit source]

Catholic Church Records[edit | edit source]

Writing to a Local Parish[edit | edit source]

Earlier records can be held at the diocese, with more recent records still kept in the local parish. To locate the mailing address or e-mail address for a diocese or local parish, consult:

Historical Background[edit | edit source]

There are around 10,000 Catholic faithful in Cyprus, corresponding to just over 1% of the total population. Most Catholic worshippers are either Maronite Cypriots, under the Maronite Catholic Archeparchy of Cyprus, or Latins, under the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, with a Patriarchal Vicar General. The Latin Patriarchal Vicariate for Cyprus has four parishes:

  • The Holy Cross church in Nicosia, with a dependent mission at the St. Elizabeth Catholic Church in Kyrenia, Northern Cyprus.
  • The St. Mary of Graces Church in Larnaca.
  • The St. Catherine Catholic Church in Limassol.
  • The St. Paul Catholic Church in Paphos.

There is also a Catholic presence through chapels and chaplains serving British military personnel, staff and dependents in the Sovereign Base Areas of the island that were established in 1960.[5]

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Records[edit | edit source]

Online Records[edit | edit source]

Online information is available to current members, for deceased members and immediate family members who are still living. Sign in to FamilySearch and then select Family Tree in the drop-down menu.

Historical Background[edit | edit source]

By 1961, a small congregation of 20 servicemen and their families stationed at the British Akrotiri Sovereign Base began to meet to worship, forming the Nicosia Cyprus Group. The group was discontinued in 1969 after transfer of LDS servicemen from the base.

In May 1971, Switzerland Mission President M. Elmer Christensen visited southern Cyprus and reestablished the Nicosia Cyprus Group. This group held regular meetings for eight Latter-day Saints and participated in interdenominational protestant meetings, some of which were under the direction of LDS leaders.

During the next decade, several members of the Church emigrated to Cyprus, adding strength to the small congregation. On September 10, 1989, 28 members gathered to witness the creation of the Nicosia Cyprus Branch (a small congregation) under the direction of Austria Vienna East Mission President Dennis B. Neuenshwander.In 1997, there were 90 members of the Church in Cyprus meeting in branches in Nicosia and Limassol and another group of seven saints in Larnaca.Total Church Membership: 507. Congregations: 4. [6]

Greek Orthodox Church Records[edit | edit source]

Writing for Records[edit | edit source]

Historical Background[edit | edit source]

The largest and most important church in Cyprus, the Church of Cyprus, is an autocephalous Greek Orthodox Church within the Orthodox tradition using the Greek liturgy. It is one of the oldest Eastern Orthodox autocephalous churches, achieving independence from the Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East in 431 A.D.. The bishop of the ancient capital, Salamis (renamed Constantia by Emperor Constantius II), was constituted metropolitan by Emperor Zeno, with the title archbishop. The first Bishops that held Christian ministries in Cyprus were Apostle Lazarus (Church of Saint Lazarus, Larnaca), Apostle Barnabas (Barnabas) and is the place of many voyages of the Apostles after the resurrection of Christ. [7]

Maronite Church Records[edit | edit source]

Writing for Records[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Wikipedia contributors, "Religion in Cyprus", in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,, accessed 22 April 2020.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 The Family History Department of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, “Family History Record Profile: Cyprus,” Word document, private files of the FamilySearch Content Strategy Team, 1994-1998.
  3. Wikipedia contributors, "Religion in Cyprus", in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,, accessed 22 April 2020.
  4. Wikipedia contributors, "Religion in Cyprus", in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,, accessed 22 April 2020.
  5. Wikipedia contributors, "Catholic Church in Cyprus", in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,, accessed 22 April 2020.
  6. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, "Facts and Statistics: Cyprus,, accessed 6 April 2020.
  7. Wikipedia contributors, "Religion in Cyprus", in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,, accessed 22 April 2020.

References[edit | edit source]