Registrar records of
births, marriages and deaths
In January 2015 we obtained scans of the indexes of births, marriages and deaths in Jersey from 1842 onwards. These records, which are registered in each of the 12 civil parishes and held centrally by the Office of the Superintendent Registrar, have been indexed, and these indexes are available to the public at the Registrar's office, Jersey Archive, and in the Public Library.
The information contained in the indexes is limited to the parish, a range of dates between which the event was recorded, and for baptisms, the name of the child; for marriages, the name of the bride and groom, listed separately; and for deaths, the name of the deceased.
Because these details are of limited value to family researchers, after the addition of the births to our database in 2015, the processing of marriage and death records was given a low priority. The ongoing work on these records was overtaken in January 2016 by the availability of baptism, marriage and burial records for the island's Anglican churches, covering the same period and providing much more detail.
Such records as had been processed were relegated to old Jerripedia index pages.
In January 2018 we decided to revive the project to put the majority of BMD records on the site, and make them more accessible.
Although the indexes of birth, marriage and death registrations from 1842 onwards provide limited details, they do perform one invaluable function, which is to identify for researchers when and where an ancestor was born, married or died, and to enable them to request a copy of the official certificate.
The Office of the Superintendent Registrar will only provide these certificates if supplied with the name of the party/parties, the parish and the covering dates of the register as well as the page number listed beside the name when ordering a certificate.
The indexes of birth records give only the names of the child, which parish it was born in, a range of dates for the register in which it is listed and the page number. That is sufficient information to obtain a birth certificate, which will list parents, father's occupation and sometimes the address where the child was born. Locating an ancestor in an index can in itself help confirm their position in your family tree.
Although the range of dates can be quite wide in some registers, it can be as little as 12 months in each set of St Helier baptism indexes. We will provide a range of page numbers for each set of records, which helps to identify where a particular record falls between the start and end dates for the set.
Locating an ancestor in a birth register can be particularly important if the child was not baptised, or at least not baptised in an Anglican church, for which records are currently included in our database. We will, in due course, be adding Roman Catholic and other non-Anglican records to the database and Jerripedia's indexes, but this work is only just starting and it is anticipated that it will take some time to complete.
As noted above, birth registration indexes were transcribed by us in 2015 and added to the database. We did not include St Helier records at the time because our database already included baptisms in the parish over the same period. We are now adding the St Helier birth indexes to our index page for the parish as page views.
The marriage record indexes are probably the least useful to researchers, because all those marrying are indexed alphabetically, meaning that bride and groom are not shown together.
However, if you know the name of either, and have a vague idea of the other person in the marriage, it is possible to locate one in the index to a register covering the likely range of dates within which the marriage happened, and then locate other people for the same page in the same register.
Once again, by identifying where a particular page number appears in the range covered by the set of records, it is possible to estimate the likely year (or in some cases month) in which the marriage was held.
These marriage indexes have not previously been added to Jerripedia family record index pages, but we are now adding records for marriages at non-Anglican churches. In the case of St Helier, these records also include Registry Office marriages, which have previously not been available anywhere online. They show bride and groom separately, making the records of somewhat limited use, but we have decided that the work involved in presenting them as page views is justified by even limited value to researchers. We are only adding these non-Anglican marriages because the Church of England marriages would only be a duplicate of those already in our database and indexes from church records.
The page views of indexes are also available to subscribers to the Jersey Archive online catalogue, but if all you are trying to do is locate a register and page number before requesting a certificate, the combined cost of a subscription and the fee for the certificate exceeds £50 - a very expensive way of obtaining family data.
Although death records indexes show only the names of the deceased, the range of dates for the register concerned and the page number, this is not much less than is shown in the register.
We have previously included page views of the parish death register indexes but these were relegated to our old index pages when records of Anglican church burials were added to the site in 2017. The death records are now being brought into the main parish indexes.
The death records include those who were buried in non-Anglican churchyards, including, in later years, those whose ashes were interred at the Crematorium.
All birth, marriage and death indexes start in 1842, or later for marriage records in certain parishes in which there were no ceremonies until a later date at a non-Anglican church.
The end dates for each parish depend on which registers have been closed and are now publicly available. For deaths and marriages we are including all records available, which means that some marriage records will relate to people still alive. This is a departure from our normal policy of not including records for living people, but as the indexes are open to the public at the locations shown in the box on this page and only identify bride and groom separately, we believe that it makes sense to include them.
For the time being birth records are only being included up to 1918, or thereabouts, depending on date ranges for parish registers which were in use 100 years ago. It is likely that we will, in due course, extend the range of birth records we include, again on the basis that this information is freely available to the public and also included on the Archive website.
Our policy of not showing living people in family trees, unless they have specifically asked us to do so, will continue.