Documents you may find useful

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Documents you may find useful


Census-page.jpg

A census record page


There are an enormous number of documents which can help family historians with their research. Unfortunately, despite improvements in Jersey in the last five years, the Channel Islands lag some way behind other jurisdications in making their public information accessible on line. This page, which was added in 2010, and had not been updated until October 2017, has largely been overtaken by events, particularly the addition of hundreds of thousands of records to Jerripedia.


Censuses

The records of the public censuses, conducted at the same time as those in the rest of the British Isles at ten-year intervals from 1941 onwards, are not held in Jersey and have become available on line at the same time as the other regions. An easily searchable index to the censuses from 1841 to 1901 and the records which lie behind that index can be found at Ancestry. This is a site which requires a subscription to view the full details of searches, but it is the only one to offer the complete list of eight censuses.

Separate indices to some of the censuses are available elsewhere without charge, but anyone intending to undertake a significant number of searches into family members in Jersey in the 19th century is recommended to take out an Ancestry subscription. Every hobby has its costs, and an annual subscription to Ancestry may be seen as a very worthwhile investment. For those making only a few searches, there is a pay-per-view option. And it costs nothing to make a search - only to view the results which that search generates which you feel may be relevant to your research. And bear in mind that Ancestry offers a lot more than the Census indexes. There is an international membership for those with widespread ancestry wanting to make searches in the records of different countries.

Births, marriages and deaths

These events, and the official records made of them, are the lifeblood of any genealogist's researches. And sadly they are barely accessible for those whose family roots lie in Jersey. No records at all were kept prior to the 16th Century, and progressively from the middle of that century the 12 parish churches began to keep registers of their family events. Amazingly it was to take about a century before they all fell into line, and then there was a hiatus when Royalist Jersey reacted against Parliamentary rule and many baptisms, marriages and funerals went unrecorded.

Normal service was resumed with the accession of Charles II to the throne and church records of baptisms and funerals (not births and deaths and marriages continued to be the only record of family events for another two centuries, until the establishment of centralised registers of births and deaths in 1842.

The indexes to births, marriages and deaths for the island's 12 parishes are available on the Jersey Archive website, but only to subscribers.

Churches records are now also in the hands of the Jersey Archive, who released them in 2016 to Ancestry. They became available to ancestry subscribers in early 2017, at the same time as Jerripedia added them to its existing indexes, maintaining free access.

Will.jpg

Wills

Wills provide another valuable source of information for family historians. Jersey Archive holds all wills and testaments of movable property from 1660 – 1985. All wills and testaments from 1660 – 1971 have been catalogued and are available to subscribers to their website. They are indexed in Jerripedia both in a full A-Z index and on Family pages

Land Registry

One of the most valuable reference sources for family historians is the Land Registry, which records changes in ownership of Jersey properties over the centuries. Despite the best intentions of those responsible for this valuable resource, it remains inaccessible on line to all but practising Jersey lawyers, civil servants, and members of the public visiting the Archive, where there is a terminal for general use.

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