Do you have ancestors from the Channel Islands? Our genealogists and onsite agents can assist with your Channel Island genealogy to research.
Accessing Records for Channel Islands Genealogy Research
The Channel Islands (located off the coast of Normany, France – about 90 miles south of England) are British, but are not owned by the United Kingdom. They are comprised of two separate countries – the States of Jersey and the Bailiwick of Guernsey. Genealogy records are generally kept at the local level, by Parish. However, the four largest islands (Jersey, Guernsey, Alderney and Sark) have been included in the British decennial census since 1841. While these records are not released to the public until 100 years have passed (so the most recent one available is 1911, with the 1921 scheduled to be released in 2021), they can be very helpful in learning what Parish your ancestors lived in so that you can search the specific records there. There are also a variety of other websites and sources that can help with research in the Channel Islands.
It is important to be aware of the history of the islands, and have a knowledge of where the various types of records are kept. For example, in Jersey the Registrars Office in the Royal Square allows you to view birth, marriage and death records from 1842 forward without actually purchasing the record, but they suggest that you check the indexed records first in order to find the entry you want because searching through the record books page by page would take too long, and they have limited availability. Prior to 1842 the records were kept by the Church, so they are in different locations and the amount of detail kept varies by Parish.
Our Team of Professional Genealogists Can Help
Our professional genealogists know how to locate the records needed to extend your family lines in the Channel Islands, and we work with onsite agents worldwide to obtain records from the various offices, archives, churches and libraries where they might be kept.