Virgin Islands US, Church Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)
|This article describes a collection of historical records available at FamilySearch.org.|
Access the records: Virgin Islands US, Church Records, 1765-2010 .
- 1 Record Description
- 2 Record Content
- 3 How to Use the Record
- 4 Known Issues with This Collection
- 5 Related Websites
- 6 Related Wiki Articles
- 7 Contributions to This Article
- 8 Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections
This Collection will include records from 1765 to 2010.
The collection includes birth/baptisms, marriages, and death/burials from Frederick Evangelical Lutheran Church, Reformed Dutch Church, Episcopal Church. Also included are other miscellaneous records such as communions, roll of members, license to marry, confirmations, paternity acknowledgments, refuge regulations, letters, finances, pastoral acts, pew rentals, etc.
This collection of church records includes records for several church denominations in St. Thomas, St. Croix, and St. John, and covers the years 1803 to 2010.
The Frederick Evangelical Lutheran Church was founded by Danes in 1666 on the island of St. Thomas; this was the official church of the Danish West Indies. Since 1917, with the transfer of the Virgin Islands to the United States, Frederick Lutheran Church has been part of the Lutheran Church in America.
Church records were created to record church sacraments associated with the life events of the parishioners, such as baptism, marriage, and burial.
This collection of church books is a reliable and a good source for genealogical research. Accuracy in the records for such information as dates, ages, and places is dependent upon the accuracy of the person giving the information and the accuracy of the recording by the ecclesiastical officer.
For a list of records by localities and dates currently published in this collection, select the Browse.
Citations for This Collection
The following citation refers to the original source of the information published in FamilySearch.org Historical Record collections. Sources include the author, custodian, publisher and archive for the original records.
- Parishes in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Virgin Island U.S. church records. Churches in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands.
Digital copies of originals are also housed in different parish archives throughout the US Virgin Islands:
- “US Virgin Islands, St. Thomas, Charlotte Amalie Episcopal Church Records”, index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org), 2011; from the Episcopal Church of All Saints, Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands. Church records, 1785-1979. All Saints Episcopal Church, St. Thomas, Virgin Islands, USA. FHL digital image folders. Family History Library, Salt lake City, Utah, USA.
- “US Virgin Islands, St. Thomas, Charlotte Amalie Reformed Dutch Church Records”, index and images FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org), 2011; from the St. Thomas Reformed Church, Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands. Church records, 1785-1979. St. Thomas Reformed Church, Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands. FHL digital images, 16 folders. Family History Library, Salt lake City, Utah, USA.
Key genealogical facts found in baptismal records may include the following information:
- Date of baptism
- Date of birth
- Parents’ names, age, and religion
- Sponsors’ names
Key genealogical facts found in marriage records may include:
- Date of marriage
- Names of bride and groom
- Age, marital status, occupation, and residence of bride and groom
- Names and occupation of warrantors
Key genealogical facts found in burial records may include:
- Date of death
- Name of deceased person
- Age, occupation, and last residence of the deceased person
- Place of birth
- Place of burial
- Legitimacy and marital status
Key genealogical facts found in death records may include:
- Name of deceased person
- Place of residence
- Cause of death
- Date of death
- Date of burial
- Place of burial
- Legitimacy and marital status
How to Use the Record
To search the collection you must follow a series of links:
⇒ Select the "Browse" link in the initial collection page
⇒ Select the "Island" category
⇒ Select the "City/Town" category
⇒ Select the "Name of Denomination/Parish" category
⇒ Select the "Record Type and Year Range" which takes you to the images.
Look at the images one by one comparing the information with what you already know about your ancestors to determine which one is your ancestor. You may need to compare the information about more than one person to make this determination.
In general, it is best to begin your search by finding your ancestors in the index. Name indexes to baptisms, marriages, and death or burials make it possible to access a specific record quickly. Remember that these indexes may contain inaccuracies, such as altered spellings, misinterpretations, and optical character recognition errors if the information was scanned.
When searching the index, it is helpful to know the following:
- The place where the event occurred
- The name and surname of the person
- The approximate date of the event
- The name of the parents or spouse
Use the locator information found in the index (such as page, entry, or certificate number) to locate your ancestors in the records. Compare the information in the record to what you already know about your ancestors to determine if this is the correct person. You may need to compare the information of more than one person to make this determination.
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. Add this new information to your records of each family.
- Use the marriage date and place as the basis for compiling a new family group or for verifying existing information.
- Use the birth date or age along with the place of birth of each partner to find a couple's birth records and parents' names.
- Use the birth date or age along with the place of birth to find the family in census records.
- Use the residence and names of the parents to locate church and land records.
- Occupations listed can lead you to other types of records such as employment or military records.
- Use the parents’ birth places to find former residences and to establish a migration pattern for the family.
- The name of the officiator is 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 marriage records to identify children, siblings, parents, and other relatives of the bride and groom who may have married 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.
- When looking for a person who had a common name, look at all the entries for the name before deciding which is correct.
Keep in mind:
- The information in church records is usually reliable, but depends upon the reliability of the informant
- Earlier records may not contain as much information as the records created after the late 1800.
- There is also some variation in the information given from one record to another.
If you are unable to find the ancestors you are looking for, try the following:
- Check for variant spellings of the surnames.
- Check for a different index. There are often indexes at the beginning of each volume. Search the indexes and records of nearby localities.
Known Issues with This Collection
For a full list of all known issues associated with this collection see the attached Wiki article. If you encounter additional problems, please email them to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include the full path to the link and a description of the problem in your e-mail. Your assistance will help ensure that future reworks will be considered.
Related Wiki Articles
- Episcopal Church in the United States
- Dutch Reformed Church in the United States
- U.S. Virgin Islands
Contributions to This Article
| We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. We are looking for additional information that will help readers understand the topic and better use the available records. We also need translations for collection titles and images in articles about records written in languages other than English. For specific needs, please visit WikiProject FamilySearch Records. |
Please follow these guidelines as you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide.
Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections
When you copy information from a record, you should list where you found the information. This will help you or others to find the record again. It is also good to keep track of records where you did not find information, including the names of the people you looked for in the records.
A suggested format for keeping track of records that you have searched is found in the wiki article Help:How to Cite FamilySearch Collections.
Citation Example for a Record Found in This Collection
"Virgin Islands US, Church Records, 1849-1950," images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org: accessed 31 May 2012), St Thomas > Charlotte Amalie > Reformed Dutch Church > Baptisms 1897-1944 > Image 9 of 35, Sylvia Hunger, born 28 June 1906, baptized 7 April 1907; citing Parishes in the Virgin Island, Virgin Island U.S. church records in St.Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands.