Resources for family historians at Jersey Archive
A number of factors facilitate family history research in Jersey. The size of the Island means that there is a limited number of Parishes in which to search for your ancestors. Jersey is also lucky to have an extremely active family history society (the CIFHS) who have indexed and transcribed a number of important records. The small numbers of both forenames and surnames in use in the Island, such as Josue, Philippe, Jean, Marie, de Gruchy, Ahier and Le Sueur, can create problems when trying to establish direct relationships. Also, it was only in 1948 that English became the official written language in the Island so it is likely that many older records will be written in French.
Jersey Archive indexes all its catalogued records by name, place and subject. Therefore any name mentioned in the catalogue description of a record will be indexed on the Open Public Access Catalogue (OPAC) available in the reference area of the Jersey Archive and on the Internet at www.jerseyheritage.org. Simply enter the name of the person you are looking for under names on the OPAC.
Each collection held by Jersey Archive has a unique reference code. These collection references have been included in the following information after the collection title. Should you wish to find out about a certain collection simply go to one of the OPACs available in the Help Desk area of the Archive. Click on reference search and enter the collection reference.
Sources for family history
Census Records, S/01 – S/07
Jersey Archive has facilities available for the consultation of census records for the Channel Islands on microfilm for the following years: 1841, 1851, 1861, 1871, 1881, 1891 and microfilm and fiche for 1901. The CIFHS Collection includes indexes and transcriptions of the censuses. Information available on the census includes names, place of birth, relationship to the head of the household, age, occupation and address.
Wills and Testaments, D/Y/A and D/Y/B
Jersey Archive holds all wills and testaments of movable property from 1660 – 1985. Wills and testaments can contain information relating to the heirs of the family and division of property. All wills and testaments from1660 – 1971 have been catalogued and are indexed under name on the OPAC. Please ask staff for wills and testaments after this date until 1985.
Immigration and Nationality – Registration Cards, D/S/A
The entire civil population of Jersey was required by the German authorities to register under the Registration and Identification of Persons (Jersey) Order, 1940. In total we hold over 31,000 registration cards. Each registration card contains personal details, such as name, address, date of birth and a photograph. Any child under the age of 14 is recorded on the back of the father’s card. The registration cards have all been indexed and placed on the Jersey Archive database; simply enter the surname of the individual under nameon the OPAC.
Immigration and Nationality – Alien Cards, D/S/B
In 1920 the States of Jersey introduced the Aliens Restriction Act, which stated that all Jersey residents not of British origin over the age of 16 had to register with the Immigration Officer. From this process a set of cards were created with personal details such as name, address, date of birth, movement in and out of the Island and a photograph. Aliens cards are closed for 100 years from the individual’s date of birth so anyone born in 1909 or before will be catalogued and indexed by name on the Jersey Archive database.
Royal Court Records, D/Y
Jersey Archive holds the records from the Royal Court. The Royal Court records are concerned with the civil and criminal matters that were presented to the courts. The courts are divided into different sections dealing with separate actions.
Land Registry and PRIDE system, D/Y/K & S/06 Sir Walter Raleigh instituted registration of contracts at the Public Registry in 1602. Contracts generally concern the transfer of property from one individual to another. They often include details concerning family relationships and division of property. The land registry consists of volumes called Tables, which act as personal name indexes to the Livres, which contain copies of the contracts. Microfilms of the Tables and Livres from 1602 to 1963 are available to view. The PRIDE system is a computer system that allows you to search the Public Registry volumes from 1800 to the present day and view a digital image of the specific page in the volume. The microfilms (S/06) and the PRIDE computer system are available in the Audio Visual area.
Education Department Records, D/J Jersey Archive holds a number of log books and some admission registers for the Island’s schools. These can provide some information relating to the ages of individuals and their addresses. However, it is important to note that there are some closure periods on more recent admission registers.
Militia Nominal Rolls and Pay Lists – D/AP/R1 & D/AP/R2 Jersey Archive holds official nominal rolls and pay lists of the Jersey Militia. Information contained includes names and addresses of soldiers and details of pay, 1902 – 1938.
Royal Jersey Militia Attestation Papers – L/F/97/M22 Jersey Archive holds attestation papers of the 11th Battalion Hampshire Regiment/Royal Militia Island of Jersey. These papers include details of individuals joining the Militia during the period 1929 – 1940.
Rate Lists – D/AP/AC Printed list of Island ratepayers, listed in alphabetical order in vingtaine include lists of parish officials, parish accounts, dog licence holders and gun licence holders. Information contained in rate lists includes name of property, name of person paying rates and the amount rates to be paid. Duplicate rate lists can be consulted in the Reading Room.
Almanacs – L/D/21 Early almanacs contain lists of notable inhabitants, Jersey officials, categorised lists of professions, mercantile and trading classes of St Helier with name and addresses. Officers of the Royal Jersey Militia are named. Also included are officers of the Island’s commercial associations, banks, societies, clubs, public schools, Churches and religious organisations, shipping companies and lists of vessels. Current almanacs include lists of facts and figures about Island life, including street indexes with lists of names and addresses of ratepayers. The almanacs at the Archive date from 1863 – 1997.
Telephone Directories – D/AR/A1 Information contained in the directories includes names, addresses and telephone numbers. Also includes details of businesses in the Island – 1931 – 2007.
Superintendent Registrar – D/E The Superintendent Registrar collection includes full transcriptions of all pre-1842 baptism, marriage and burial records. The pre-1842 original Church Registers have all been closed as a result of these being available. The CIFHS collection includes indexes for all of the Parish Churches until 1842 and indexes to the Superintendent Registrar’s records, detailing all births, marriages and deaths in the Island after 1842. These are available in the Help Desk area. The Superintendent Registrar collection also includes post-1842 copies of marriage registers.
Church Records Ecclesiastical Parish Churches, G/C Jersey Archive holds baptism, marriage and burial registers for the following parish and district churches:
- St Helier
- St Clement
- St Martin
- St Saviour
- St Mary
- St Ouen
- St Matthew
- St Simon
- St Andrew
- St Marks
- St Brelade
- St Lawrence
- St John
- St Peter
- All Saints
- St Luke
- St James
Please note - Jersey Archive has closed all original church registers pre-1842 due to ongoing conservation work. Complete and detailed transcriptions of all of the Parish Church Registers until 1842 are available to view at the Jersey Archive, D/E/A.
Ecclesiastical Court Records, G/B The earliest records of the Ecclesiastical Court date from 1557. The Jersey Archive holds the rolls of the Court from 1557 until 1899. The Court was used to try people who were accused of ‘moral crimes’ eg adultery. The Ecclesiastical Court was also responsible for probate in the Island until 1949 when this function was taken on by the Judicial Greffe. All probate documents that were created by the Ecclesiastical Court have been transferred to the Archive.
Methodist Records, J/C Jersey Archive holds baptism, marriage and burial registers for the majority of Methodist Chapels in the Island. The Methodist collection also contains lists of Sunday School attendees, membership lists and class books which can prove useful for the family historian. Early registers appear within the Circuit records and then later within individual chapels and span the years 1836 – 1989.
Independent Church Records
- Halkett Place Evangelical Church, J/F – Registers from 1809 – 1947.
- New Church Society Records, J/E – Registers from 1844 – 1987.
- United Reformed Church, J/G – Registers from 1827 – 1965.
Catholic Records, H The Jersey Archive holds the baptism, marriage and burial records of the following Roman Catholic Churches
- St Thomas
- St Mary and St Peter
- St Matthew
- Sacred Heart, St John
- St Anthony Chapel (baptisms only)
- St Anne’s (baptisms only).
There are also indexes for the St Thomas’ records available to order. Private Records Jersey Archive holds a large amount of material deposited by businesses, private individuals, clubs and associations. For more information on the collections contained within each section, please enter the reference number given below on the OPAC under Collection Reference. A list of all catalogued collections within that section will then appear.
- Businesses – L/A/
- Legal Firms – L/B/
- Personal and Estate - L/C/
- Societies and associations – L/D/
- Charities – L/E/
- Miscellaneous Collections – L/F/
Channel Islands Family History Society The CIFHS and their collections are based at the Archive. Their wide-ranging collections include:
- Indexes and transcriptions to the censuses.
- Indexes to the Parish, Nonconformist and Roman Catholic Registers.
- Lists of the cemeteries and monumental inscriptions
- Lists of the militia and the garrison and French refugees.
- Lists of Jersey seamen and pilots.
There are also a number of family trees, rate books, electoral lists and newspaper almanacs, which are available to study.