Jamaica Civil Registration

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How to Find the Records[edit | edit source]

Online Collections[edit | edit source]

Offices to Contact[edit | edit source]

Registrar General's Office
Twickenham Park, St. Catherine
Telephone: 876-749-0550


Email: information@rgd.gov.jm

Online requests available using the Registrar General's Department, Genealogical Application Form.

Historical Background[edit | edit source]

Civil Registration started in 1878 though in isolated districts, it started as much as five years later. Each parish was assigned a letter by the Registrar General, omitting J. Parishes are subdivided into registration districts. Districts continue to be added as the population grows.

Civil records were filmed by parishes (see Jamaica jurisdictions page). To start, choose Civil Registration Indexes. Check the index, then the actual record. The actual record can be found in the catalog under Jamaica/Civil Registration, listed by parish.

Districts are identified at the beginning of each film. Be sure to identify the correct district. Looking at actual records one will find individual certificates.

Civilly registered vital record certificates are identified by two separately stamped character groups that together comprise the civil registration number. Civil registration numbers are alphanumeric codes, for instance: KAC8538. The first part is a two- OR three-character alphabetic code, often stamped in an oval border, where the first character represents the parish and the second (and third) represent the district. The second part of the number is a sequentially assigned one- to five-digit registration number. FamilySearch indexing project examples misidentified the numeric part of the civil registration number on certificates as "page numbers" for some projects, resulting in faulty arbitration and meaningless pagination in some of its indices; sequential page numbers were written on some slip bundles in the upper right-hand corner, but not in all parishes and not by all parish clerks.

Occasionally record slips will be found with both handwritten and stamped numbers. It appears that these records are reproductions or reconstructions from lost records. In such cases the handwritten rather than the stamped number probably represents the correct registration number.

Coverage and Compliance[edit | edit source]

Until at least 1930 (and probably continuing to the present), when a district registrar’s sequential numbering reached 10,000 the series started over: e.g., FB9999, FB10000, FB1, FB2, etc. Registration numbers for urban districts obviously turned over much more frequently than isolated rural ones. This means that no Jamaican civil registration number is absolutely unique.

Information Recorded in the Records[edit | edit source]

Birth Records[edit | edit source]

  • District and parish name
  • Date and place of birth
  • Name of the child
  • Gender
  • Complete name and dwelling place of the father
  • Complete name and maiden name of the mother
  • Rank or profession of the father
  • Signature, qualification, and residence of the informant
  • Date of registration
  • Baptismal name if added after the registration of the birth
  • Signatures of the informant and the registrar

Marriage Records[edit | edit source]

  • Date of marriage
  • Given names and surnames of the groom and bride
  • Marital status of the betrothed
  • Occupation of the groom
  • Ages of the groom and bride
  • Residence
  • Names of the parents of the groom and bride
  • Place of marriage
  • Witnesses’ names

Death Records[edit | edit source]

  • Date and place of death
  • Name of the deceased person
  • Gender
  • Marital status
  • Age
  • Occupation
  • Cause of death
  • Informant
  • Date and place of registration

References[edit | edit source]