There is much confusion about what is available on the Archive website, what is available on Ancestry, what is free and what has to be paid for. And then there is Jerripedia's content, all of which is free for everyone to view. Our collection of records covers much of what is in the Archive site and Ancestry – either the content in full or improved indexes.
The main problem with finding what is on the Archive site is that, although this section of the wider Jersey Heritage website is described as Archives and Collections Online, the content lying below the search form or subject index includes much that is not online, and discovering what is accessible and not accessible (even to subscribers) can be a very time-consuming and frustrating experience.
There is a tick box on the front page which means that a search can be limited to records that have an image attached, but unless a complicated advanced search is undertaken, a simple search can yield a large number of results.
Here we attempt to offer a guide to what is there, and also to the documents in the Archive's collection which are accessible elsewhere. We will concentrate on what is there to be viewed, because to cover what appears to be online but is not viewable, would make this explanation longer than it already is. Our guide is also restricted to the content most likely to be of interest to family historians, although there are other collections of documents of interest to a wider audience.
This guide covers Archive material subject by subject, indicating what is on their website, what is available through Ancestry and what is in Jerripedia. This is not a guide to how to use the Archive or Ancestry websites – that is for them to explain to their subscribers. But, because most of the content is available, or indexed, in Jerripedia, we will provide links to our sections where it can be found.
The most sought-after information by family historians are the records of baptisms, marriages and burials in island churches. The only records which have been digitised so far are those for the Church of England churches.
The Archive has nearly 500 of the non-conformist records of St Thomas’ Roman Catholic Church composite registers online (available to view as a subscriber or as Pay per View). An Archive official made the following statement on Facebook early in 2018:
- 'The Jersey archive is starting to add the originals of the Catholic records- but it is a very slow process as they are very difficult to read as the writing is at times illegible. Normally our diligent volunteers would do this for us - however this so time consuming their time is better spent attaching the C of E records. So staff are doing this as and when we have the opportunity.'
It appears that they have not had the opportunity because in March 2019 the number of records had not increased since December 2017.
Transcriptions of Church of England records from the 16th century to 1842, made in the 1990s by members of the Channel Islands Family History Society. These are page images of the transcription folders. They can only be viewed by subscribers.
The Archive also has 13,000 original marriage records online dating from 1842 – 1949, mostly from the St Helier Churches. These are available for free to subscribers or on a Pay Per View basis. The Archive also has transcriptions of the St Helier Town Church Baptisms from 1842 – 1909 (available to view for subscribers)
Page images of the original registers with a searchable index. The quality of transcriptions made for this index can make records very difficult to find.
The Ancestry collection also includes registers from 1842 to 1940 (end dates vary by parish and type of record). These records are not available on the Archive site and can only be viewed by Ancestry subscribers.
- A fully searchable index to all records, from the 16th century to 1940, including some extra records, missing from parish registers and held by the Superintendent Registrar – not part of the Ancestry records.
- A parish-by-parish index to all records
The archive copies of civil registrations of births, marriages and deaths since 1842 are held by the Office of the Superintendent Registrar, not Jersey Archive. These records have not been digitised but indexes exist which are available at the Archive and the Public Library in Jersey, and online as shown below:
Images of the index pages are accessible to subscribers to the Archive's online service.
- The Jerripedia database contains a searchable set of all birth records for all parishes except St Helier from 1842 to 1915
- Jerripedia's family records section has page images for the St Helier birth registrations from 1842 to 1926, for non-Anglican marriages (RC, Registry Office, Methodist etc) from 1842 to 1946, and for deaths from 1842 to 1870
- For the other 11 parishes the Family records indexes contain A-Z indexes of births, images of indexes of non-Anglican marriages and death registrations.
Occupation identity cards
The registration cards of those resident in Jersey during the German Occupation have been digitised and indexed.
Subscribers can view and download individual registration cards and application forms. These are also available as a Pay per View option.
The site contains a searchable index to these cards and forms. Free access.
- Jerripedia has a full A-Z index to these cards, with index numbers allowing subscribers to find those they are interested in on the Archive online site
Alien registration cards
In 1920 a registration system was introduced for all Jersey residents not born in the island or the United Kingdom. Known as alien registration cards, they are held by Jersey Archive and have been digitised.
Subscribers can search for and view and download individual cards. These are also available as a Pay per View option and the searchable index is free.
The site has a searchable index to these cards. Free access
- Jerripedia has A full A-Z index to these cards, showing Archive index number; Name; date of birth; nationality and place of birth; and date of registration
Jersey Archive holds undertakers' registers of burials dating back to the 19th century. These records cover all churches, not just Church of England.
These registers can be viewed by subscribers.
- A full index to all the records is available through Jerripedia's Burial records page.
Wills are a very valuable source of information for family historians. They often name family members, give addresses of properties owned by testators, and, because they are personal documents rather than information supplied to officialdom, they tend to be among the most accurate of historical records. Jersey Archive holds all wills registered in Jersey, and those registered elsewhere relating to assets in the island, from 1662 to the present day. Those up to 1980 have been digitised.
Wills are available to view online as a subscriber or on a Pay per View basis. A searchable index is available.
Wills have only been indexed/catalogued up until 1980. Wills from 2004 onwards can only be accessed at the Judicial Greffe.
- Jerripedia has a full A-Z index to these wills showing the name of the person making the will, address where available, possibly an extract from the will, either or both of the dates when the will was drawn up, and when probate was granted, and the Jersey Archive reference number.
- In March 2018 these were the first documents to be added to a new section of the the Jerripedia database, where they are fully searchable by name, date and content.
General hospital baptisms
Records of children baptised at Jersey's General Hospital are held by the Archive. Those from 1838 to 1878 are the first to be digitised
Although not included in the main index to online content, these records are accessible by subscribers.
- Jerripedia contains a full index to the 1838-1878 baptisms giving the child's name; names of father and mother when known (the records include many abandoned and illegitimate babies); date, circumstances of birth and godparents
Evacuees applications to return to Jersey after the Occupation
Over 6,000 of these application forms are held by Jersey Archive.
These records are indexed by individual’s name and the originals can be viewed as a subscriber or on a Pay per View basis.
- Jerripedia has an A-Z index for these applications giving the applicant's name and Archive index number
Great War service records
Lists of those born in Jersey, and those with strong island connections, who served in the Armed Forces, Merchant Navy and Red Cross during World War 1 (Roll of Service) and those who lost their lives (Roll of Honour)
- Jerripedia's Great War records include both the official States Roll of Honour and Roll of Service from 1919, and indexes to the updated Rolls produced by the Channel Island Great War Study Group. Lists of war service and casualties on our Family pages include information on family connections, links to family trees, and other details not available anywhere else.
Jerripedia family pages
In addition to the main indexes for all the above records, Jerripedia also provides lists on each of its 1,200-plus Family pages.
These lists include, in addition to family trees, family histories, family homes, family businesses, photograph albums and gravestones:
- Occupation identity cards
- Great War service records
- Burial records
- Hospital baptisms
The listings for all famlies are not complete, and new records and updates to existing content are being added daily.