Every result will provide an image of the registration and a transcript of the vital facts. The amount of information you find will depend on the quality and age of the original record. Most results will include
The image may provide additional information; such as, the person’s occupation, marital status, cause of death and who registered the death.
Civil registration in Jamaica – the official registering of births, marriages and deaths by the state – started in 1878, and was enforced from 1880, covering the entire population. A central office, called the Registrar General’s Department (“RGD”), was established in Spanish Town in 1879. Registration is carried out through a network of Local District Registrars (“LDRs”), responsible for their own districts and for submitting copies of their records to the RGD.
Each LDR has an alpha code, which prefixes every registration number given at the registering of a birth, marriage or death (the numbering is sequential).
The first letter in the alpha code relates to the Parish. In this context, Parish means the local authority administrative areas (and not ecclesiastical parishes, such as those created by the Anglican Church). Throughout the civil registration era there have been 14 Parishes in Jamaica; neither they, nor the three Counties in which they are nested, have any significance for civil registration.
The second letter in the alpha code is specific to the Local District Registrar.
In combination, these letters create the identifier for the LDR.
For example, all LDRs in the Parish of Trelawny (in the County of Cornwall) have the leading alpha character O in their code. Falmouth, which is an LDR within Trelawny, has the alpha code OA, while Albert Town has the code OP.
As in many jurisdictions, Jamaica’s Local District Registrars have changed over time. Some have been renamed, other subdivided with population expansion, so creating new LDRs. Where the availability of two-letter codes is no longer sufficient, a third alpha character is added. For example, within St Mary Parish (which has the alpha prefix F), over time new LDRs were created such as Belfield (code FAA) and Cascade (FAC).
Note that it is known that the letter J was never used in any of these codes, and it appears that the same may be true of the letter U.
A list of Local District Registrars and parishes can be accessed from the Useful Links and Resources.
Note that this collection of death register entries is not fully comprehensive or complete; it is a work in progress. Therefore, you may not find every individual you look for.
Certified copy death certificates can be obtained. These are good for family history but also for all legal purposes, such as probate matters. They can be ordered online from the Registrar General’s Department in Spanish Town, Jamaica. The link is available in the Useful Links and Resources.
The form asks for the Death Entry Number, which is the unique reference which the RGD will use to find the original register and then produce a certificate from the right entry in the register. This should be the registration number mentioned above, preceded by its LDR code – e.g. OA1212 would be the 1,212nd death registered in Falmouth (OA) in Trelawny Parish. If you do not have this entry number, you can request it, without charge. A link is available in the Useful Links and Resources section.