Isle of Man, Parish Registers - FamilySearch Historical Records

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Isle of Man Parish Registers, 1598-2009
This article describes a collection of records at
Isle of Man
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Flag of the Isle of Man
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Record Description
Record Type Parish Registers
Collection years 1598-2009
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites
Manx National Heritage Library

What is in This Collection?[edit | edit source]

This collection includes records from 1598-2009. This collection contains parish registers from the Isle of Man containing baptisms, marriages, and deaths. These records have been provided by Manx National Heritage as Records Custodian for the individual churches on the Isle of Man and as such all rights are reserved.

Baptisms (christenings), marriages, and burials were recorded on blank pages in a bound book called a register. The events of baptism, marriage, and burial were all recorded in one volume until 1754, when a law required that marriages be recorded in a separate book. The records are usually recorded in English with a few in Manx, which is the historical language of the island.

In 1530, King Henry VIII established the Church in England, also known as the Anglican Church, the State Church, or the Episcopal Church. In 1537, the Church of England mandated that parishes begin keeping church registers by the next year (1538). The Manx Church was then under the jurisdiction of the Bishop of York, but the first parish registers did not begin until 1598. These records have numerous gaps until 1610. At that time, the Archdeacon of Manx issued an order requiring the ministers under him to keep a register book recording the christenings, marriages, and burials.

Starting in 1812, preprinted registers were introduced, and then separate registers were kept for baptisms, marriages, and burials. However, use of the preprinted registers was not required, so not all parishes used them. The preprinted registers contained additional information not previously recorded.

In 1910, all parish registers were passed temporarily to the General Registry so that government staff could make handwritten copies of all records prior to 1849. These copies, together with the original registers spanning 1849-1883, were subsequently microfilmed in the late 1940s, together with indexes arranged by parish for baptism and marriage entries. This collection covers records for the years 1598 through 1950.

Parish registers were created to record the church events of baptism or christening, marriage, and burial. Baptism, which was also called christening, was performed soon after the birth of a child. Marriage in the church legally united a man and a woman for civil legal reasons and for the purpose of founding a religiously-sanctified family. Marriage license paperwork did not survive for the Isle of Man (Jeremy Gibson, Bishop's Transcripts and Marriage Licenses, Bonds and Allegations (Bury: Federation of Family History Societies, 2001), 51). Burial was a function of the church to inter the deceased soon after death.

Parish registers are the most reliable and accurate family history source until 1878 for births and marriages and until 1884 for marriages, when the government instituted the civil registration of births, marriages, and deaths. Parish registers are one of the best sources for identifying individuals and connecting them to parents, spouses, and other generations.

Image Visibility[edit | edit source]

Whenever possible FamilySearch makes images and indexes available for all users. However, rights to view these data are limited by contract and subject to change. Because of this there may be limitations on where and how images and indexes are available or who can see them. Please be aware some collections consist only of partial information indexed from the records and do not contain any images. For additional information about image restrictions see Restrictions for Viewing Images in FamilySearch Historical Record Collections.

To Browse This Collection[edit | edit source]

You can browse through images in this collection using the waypoints on the Collection Browse Page for Isle of Man Parish Registers, 1598-2009.

What Can These Records Tell Me?[edit | edit source]

The following information may be found in these records:


  • Baptism date
  • Baptism place
  • Name of the child
  • Sex of the child
  • Names of the parents
  • Legitimacy of the child
  • Marital status of the parents
  • Social class of the parents
  • Name of the father and often the mother’s given name
  • Residence of the parents


  • Marriage date
  • Names of the bride and groom
  • Nationality
  • Ages of the bride and groom
  • Names of the parents or other relatives
  • Residence of the bride and groom
  • Marital statuses of individuals and couples
  • The dates that the marriage was announced.
  • Names of the witnesses
  • Whether a spouse is single or widowed at the time of the marriage


  • Burial date
  • Burial place
  • Name of the deceased
  • Age of the deceased
  • Spouse’s name
  • Parents’ names
  • Residence of the deceased
  • Sex of the deceased

Note on marriage announcement dates: 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.

How Do I Search This Collection?[edit | edit source]

Before searching this collection, it is helpful to know:

  • The name of the person you are looking for
  • Approximate date of the event

Search the Index[edit | edit source]

Search by name on the Collection Details Page.
  1. Fill in the search boxes in the Search Collection section with the information you know
  2. Click Search to show possible matches

View the Images[edit | edit source]

View images in this collection by visiting the Collection Browse Page:
  1. Select Town (with parish)
  2. Select Event type and year range (with volume) to view the images

How Do I Analyze the Results?[edit | edit source]

Compare each result from your search with what you know to determine if there is a match. This may require viewing multiple records or images. Keep track of your research in a research log.

What Do I Do Next?[edit | edit source]

I Found the Person I Was Looking For, What Now?[edit | edit source]

  • Add any new information to your records
  • Baptism or christening records list the parents’ names, which you can use to connect your ancestor to an earlier generation
  • You may find a birth date listed or be able to approximate a birth date from the age
  • Sometimes the groom’s occupation is listed, which could help you find more records about the groom
  • Marriage records after 1754 list the names of witnesses, who were often family members
  • Signatures in the records might be used to identify a particular individual by the handwriting style

I Can’t Find the Person I’m Looking For, What Now?[edit | edit source]

  • Try variations of given names and surnames. An individual might have been listed under a middle name, a nickname, or an abbreviation of their given name
  • Spelling was not standardized for much of the period of this collection, so names were often spelled as recorders heard them. Pay attention to how the name should have been pronounced and try spelling variations that could have that pronunciation
  • Vary the search terms. For example, search by either the given name or surname to return broader list of possible matches
  • Try expanding the date range. This is especially useful in searching baptismal records, as it was not unusual for a child to be baptized weeks or even months after birth
  • Search the records of nearby parishes
  • The individual in question may not have records in the Church of England at all, but rather might have belonged to a nonconformist denomination. See England Nonconformist Church Records for more information

Research Helps[edit | edit source]

The following articles will help you in your research for your family in Isle of Man.

Citing This Collection[edit | edit source]

Citations help you keep track of places you have searched and sources you have found. Identifying your sources helps others find the records you used.

Collection Citation:
The citation for this collection can be found on the Collection Details Page in the section Citing this Collection.
Record Citation:
When looking at a record, the citation can be viewed by clicking the drop-down arrow next to Document Information.
Image Citation:
When looking at an image, the citation is found on the Information tab at the bottom left of the screen.