Caribbean family history

You can now research some of your Caribbean ancestors without leaving Solihull, thanks to the efforts of the Solihull and Birmingham Caribbean family history group and the Jamaican Family Roots Group.

Prior to the discontinuation of the FamilySearch microfilming service on 1 September 2017, the groups that meet at the Core Library Solihull ordered many microfilms of Caribbean records for viewing locally.

The microfilms are still available to view during normal library opening hours but no further records can be ordered. There is a list of the Caribbean records we hold and an individual island register.

Beginning your research

The basic principles of family history apply wherever your ancestors are from.

Births, marriages and deaths

Records of births, marriages and deaths are the most vital records for family history.

Church records

Before the establishment of civil registration, church records of baptism, marriage and burial are particularly useful.

Sometimes, church records will still be at the church concerned but many will be at the main library or archive centre. Records for St Mary's Anglican Church, Anguilla, are detailed within our Caribbean records at Solihull Central Library.

Ships passenger lists 1878 to 1960

For ships arriving in Britain, the National Archives holds inward passenger lists for 1878 to 1960 (catalogue reference BT26).

These records give details of people arriving in the UK aboard ships which set sail from ports outside Europe and the Mediterranean. The passenger lists have been digitised and are available on the Ancestry website (available free of charge from computers in any Solihull library).

Slave registers

The trading of slaves in the British Empire was abolished in 1807, although slavery itself was not abolished until 1834.

Registers were usually compiled every 3 years from approximately 1814 until 1834. These registers are available at the Ancestry website.

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