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British owned islands birth registration

British owned islands birth registration

Posted: 15 Aug 2012 2:48AM GMT
Classification: Query
Are there any resources for researching the vital records of individuals born on British owned islands? I have a Great grandmother born in Jamaica to a British father in 1905. I was wondering if there was any kind of registration that went on for that type of birth.
Thanks in advance!
~Lex Steeber

Re: British owned islands birth registration

Posted: 15 Aug 2012 9:17AM GMT
Classification: Query
The General Register Office (GRO) has records of British citizens that were born outside of the UK from 1818. To appear in this register the British Consul or the UK High Commission in the relevant jurisdiction would have had to have been notified of the birth.

Re: British owned islands birth registration

Posted: 15 Aug 2012 10:20AM GMT
Classification: Query
In 1905 Jamaica was a Crown Colony administered directly from the Colonial Office in London so there would have been no such thing as a British Consul (only for foreign countries) or a High Commission (only post-colonial). I think your best bet would be to write to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (successor of the Colonial Office) and ask what the rules were at that date. I think they took over the Colonial Office Library and Records. If it was not compulsory to register the child as British you will have to approach the Jamaica Archives services - which I understand are quite efficient.

Re: British owned islands birth registration

Posted: 15 Aug 2012 11:36AM GMT
Classification: Query
That is extremely helpful! Would the Foreign and Commonwealth Office be located in England? Or in Jamaica?
As efficient as the Jamaica records services may be, they are horribly gapped because of a records fire. All searches I've done have been inconclusive as to finding a birth record for my Great Grandmother. :-(
Thank you so much for your help!

Re: British owned islands birth registration

Posted: 15 Aug 2012 12:46PM GMT
Classification: Query
The FCO is our Foreign Office so obviously it is in London, However I seem to have made a boob - can only say I was not up-to-date. The FCO apparently closed their Library in 2008 - the 13km of books got too much for them I suppose! However if you google up FCO Library Collections there is a note about "What went where?" On this list, which you can browse for yourself - as long as you have plenty of time - I did spot a "British Overseas: a guide to records of their Births, Marriages etc.", compiled by Geoffrey Yeo. It says this went to "FCO Historians" - if you google them it appears they are some sort of Historical Research unit still based at the FCO. I would be inclined simply to write and ask if they have the sort of record you are looking for, or where it might be, as the Library has been scattered through quite a lot of other institutions including the National Archives, and for some reason I do not understand, King's College, University of London. Anyway, as said. I did not search the whole list of "What went where?" so it could be worth your while to go through the whole list and see if you can find anything which is closer to what you want than the one item I found. Well, they say one finds something new everyday - that is my lot for today. Good luck.

Re: British owned islands birth registration

Posted: 15 Aug 2012 12:54PM GMT
Classification: Query
You have been such a wealth of information! Thank you so much!
~Lex Steeber
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