Isle of Man Church Records

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Church Records

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

Quick Links

Church records specific to the Isle of Man can be found:

Church records for the entire British Isles (including the Isle of Man) can be found:

Introduction

Church records are an excellent source for accurate information on names, relationships, dates, and places of baptism, marriage, and burial. Since civil registration in the Isle of Man began in 1878, church records are a major source for genealogical research in the Isle of Man before 1878.

The Church of England is the established church of the Isle of Man. Because of this, the oldest and most prevalent church records on the Isle of Man are baptism, marriage, and burial registers created by the Church of England. These records date to 1598.

Church of England

The Church of England was the established church on the Isle of Man by 1538. In 1538, the Church mandated that every parish begin recording baptisms, marriages, and burials. Many parishes did not start keeping registers until later. The oldest church records on the Isle of Man date to 1598. These church records are some of the oldest records on the Isle of Man.

The parish is the most local jurisdictional level in the Church of England. It often consists of one church building and community. The parish is run by the parish priest (also known as vicar or rector), who records baptisms, marriages, and burials. Each local parish keeps their own records. When parishes began recording baptisms, marriages, and burials and the information that was actually recorded varied by parish. Small villages often do not have their own parishes but nevertheless have a chapel of ease built and are part of a parish headquartered in another town. A parish may consist of one or more chapelries, dependent district churches or chapels of ease, which often keep their own records.[1] For a list of parishes, see A Manx Note Book website. Details of which parishes have printed extracts and start and end dates are available on the Parish Records page.

Understanding the Records

The three main types of church records in the Church of England are baptism, marriage, and burial registers. These records date to 1598 and are one of the main genealogical resources in the Isle of Man.

Baptisms

A baptism took place anywhere from a few days or weeks to a few years after a birth. Generally, the baptism took place within a few months after birth. Church of England baptism registers usually contain:

  • Child's name
  • Father's name (occupation and residence included beginning in the mid-1800s)
  • Mother's name (not her maiden name)
  • Baptism date (birth date sometimes included - it is occasionally several years before the baptism)

It is worth mentioning that it was common practice in families to use the same Christian name over and over again until a child survived with it. This means that individuals need to try and capture all of the family members listed in baptism and burial registers, watching for deaths and that same name being given to the next child in the family with the same sex.

Marriages

Couples usually married in the bride’s parish. Typically, those in the British Isles married in their 20s. You may find records that show a couple’s “intent to marry” in addition to the records of the actual marriage. Sometimes, however, the couple registered their intent to marry but never married. Church of England marriage registers usually contain:

  • Marriage date 
  • Name of the bride and groom 
  • Residence of the bride and groom 
  • Marital status of bride and groom 
  • May list the dates that the marriage was announced in church (also called “banns published”)
This normally took place on three separate occasions prior to the marriage and gave anyone with a valid reason a chance to object to the marriage.
  • After 1754: the full names of two witnesses and the minister's name

Beginning in the mid-1800s, marriage records also include:

  • Age of the bride and groom 
  • Name and occupation of fathers of bride and groom 

There were two ways to meet the requirements to marry (see Marriage Allegations, Bonds and Licences in England and Wales for more information).

  1. By Banns. A law required couples to have the minister announce or post notice of their intent to marry for three consecutive Sundays, unless they obtained a license. This gave others the opportunity to object to the marriage. Beginning in 1754, officials recorded banns in separate registers. Banns registers contain information almost identical to marriage registers, but banns usually do not list the witnesses or marriage date.
  2. By License. A couple applied to the proper church authority, usually the bishop, for a license when:
    • Circumstances made it desirable to marry without waiting the three weeks required for the proclamation of banns.
    • The bride and groom lived in different dioceses.
    • A couple preferred not to subject themselves to publication of banns (common among upper classes and nonconformists).

Marriage licence paperwork does not survive for the Isle of Man.[2]

Burials

A burial usually took place in the deceased’s parish a few days after the death. Church of England parish register burial records usually contain:

  • Burial date 
  • Name of the deceased 
  • If the deceased is a child, the father’s name might be given 
  • If the deceased is a married woman, the husband’s name might be given
  • If the deceased is a widow, that may be noted 
  • May give the sex of the deceased

Beginning in the mid-1800s, burial records also include:

  • Age of the deceased
  • Residence of the deceased 
  • Occupation of the deceased
  • Minister's signature

Burial registers may mention infant children who were not christened, including stillbirths. Christening records never record stillbirths.

Accessing the Records

Parish registers from the Isle of Man are available online at FamilySearch, Ancestry ($), FindMyPast ($), MyHeritage ($), and The Isle of Man Family History Society. Some websites have indexes and images, but some only have indexes. If a specific record cannot be found in one of these databases, also search the other databases. If possible, locate the original image to verify the indexed information is correct.

Record Type Collection Database Year Range Index or Images
Church Records Isle of Man Parish Registers, 1598-2009 FamilySearch 1598-2009 Index and images
Isle of Man, Select Parish Registers, 1598-1936 ($) Ancestry 1598-1936 Index
Isle of Man, Parish Registers, 1598-1950 ($) MyHeritage 1598-1950 Index
Register of births, deaths, and marriages of the Isle of Man, 1821-1964 FamilySearch 1821-1964 Images
Baptisms Isle of Man Births and Baptisms, 1607-1910 FamilySearch 1607-1910 Index
Index to Births, 1576-1960 The Isle of Man Family History Society 1576-1960 Index
Isle of Man, Baptism Index, 1600-1981 ($) Manx National Heritage
(search through Ancestry)
1600-1981 Index
Isle of Man, Select Births and Baptisms, 1821-1911 ($) Ancestry 1821-1911 Index
Isle Of Man, Births and Baptisms 1600-2010 ($) FindMyPast 1600-2010 Index
Isle of Man, Births and Baptisms, 1821-1911 ($) MyHeritage 1821-1911 Index
Marriages Isle of Man Marriages, 1606–1911 FamilySearch 1606-1911 Index
Index to Marriages, 1576-1960 The Isle of Man Family History Society 1576-1960 Index
Isle of Man, Marriage Index, 1606-1984 ($) Manx National Heritage
(search through Ancestry)
1606-1984 Index
Isle of Man, Select Marriages, 1849–1911 ($) Ancestry 1849-1911 Index
Isle Of Man, Marriages 1598-1979 ($) FindMyPast 1598-1979 Index
Isle of Man, Marriages, 1849–1911 ($) MyHeritage 1849-1911 Index
Burials Isle of Man Deaths and Burials, 1844-1918 FamilySearch 1844-1918 Index
Isle of Man, Burial Index, 1598-2003 ($) Manx National Heritage
(search through Ancestry)
1598-2003 Index
Isle of Man, Select Deaths and Burials, 1844-1911 ($) Ancestry 1844-1911 Index
Isle Of Man, Deaths and Burials 1598-2011 ($) FindMyPast 1598-2011 Index
Isle of Man Deaths and Burials, 1844-1911 ($) MyHeritage 1844-1911 Index

Learning About the Records


Nonconformists

Nonconformist churches played a minor role in the history of the Isle of Man.

Roman Catholic

Roman Catholicism was found on the Isle of Man following the English reformation in the 1500s. Unlike England, the Isle of Man displayed religious toleration toward Catholics. However, Catholics were still required to obey the Church of England's ecclesiastical laws concerning church attendance and places of marriage and burial. More information about Roman Catholic parishes in the Isle of Man is available at A Manx Note Book. These parishes belong to the Archdiocese of Liverpool.

A limited number of church records can be found on the Manx Note Book website.[3] Images of Catholic records between 1817 and 1849 can be found on FamilySearch as the collection entitled Registry of baptisms and marriages of the Catholics of the Isle of Man, 1817-1849.

Methodist

Methodism began on the Isle of Man in the 1770s. After its introduction, Methodism grew rapidly. More information about Methodist churches in the Isle of Man is available at A Manx Note Book and Methodist Chapels. [4]

Baptist

The Baptist church began on the Isle of Man in the 1840s. Baptists baptized adults by full immersion. More information about Baptist churches in the Isle of Man is available at A Manx Note Book. [5]

Unitarian

Unitarianism did not have a heavy influence on the Isle of Man. A chapel was opened in 1823 but closed six months later. More information about the Unitarian church on the Isle of Man is available at A Manx Note Book. [6]

Congregationalist

Congregationalism began on the Isle of Man in the early 1800s. Their first chapel was opened in 1813. Each congregation was independent in its management; the term "Independents" or "Independent Chapels" is used to describe these individual congregations. More information about Congregationalist churches in the Isle of Man is available at A Manx Note Book. [7][8]

Presbyterian

Presbyterian was present on the Isle of Man beginning in the early 1800s. Presbyterianism had ties to Scotland. More information about the Presbyterian church on the Isle of Man is available at A Manx Note Book. [9]

Non-Denominational

A non-denominational evangelical church was founded on the Isle of Man in 1848. More information about this church is available at A Manx Note Book. [10]

Other

The Quaker, Mormon, Greater World Christian Spiritualist, Jehovah Witness, and more churches can currently be found on the Isle of Mann.

References

  1. Wikipedia contributors, "Church of England," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Church_of_England, accessed 20 July 2018.
  2. Gibson, Jeremy. Bishop's Transcripts and Marriage Licences, Bonds and Allegations (Bury: Federation of Family History Societies, 2001), 51.
  3. Coakley, Frances, "Roman Catholic," Manx Note Book, http://www.isle-of-man.com/manxnotebook/parishes/rcath/rc.htm, accessed 23 July 2018.
  4. Coakley, Frances, "Methodism in the Isle of Man," Manx Note Book, http://www.isle-of-man.com/manxnotebook/methdism/index.htm, accessed 23 July 2018.
  5. Coakley, Frances, "Baptist Churches," Manx Note Book, http://www.isle-of-man.com/manxnotebook/parishes/nc/bapt.htm, accessed 23 July 2018.
  6. Coakley, Frances, "Non-Conformist," Manx Note Book, http://www.isle-of-man.com/manxnotebook/parishes/nc/nc.htm, accessed 23 July 2018.
  7. Coakley, Frances, "Congregationalist Churches," Manx Note Book, http://www.isle-of-man.com/manxnotebook/parishes/nc/cong.htm, accessed 23 July 2018.
  8. Coakley, Frances, "Non-Conformist," Manx Note Book, http://www.isle-of-man.com/manxnotebook/parishes/nc/nc.htm, accessed 23 July 2018.
  9. Coakley, Frances, "Presbyterian Churches," Manx Note Book, http://www.isle-of-man.com/manxnotebook/parishes/nc/pres.htm, accessed 23 July 2018.
  10. Coakley, Frances, "Douglas Town and Seamen's Mission (The Bethel)," Manx Note Book, http://www.isle-of-man.com/manxnotebook/parishes/nc/bethel.htm, accessed 23 July 2018.