Caribbean Genealogy Archives, Registry offices

My mother, uncle, cousin, grandmother, aunt in Trinidad


Researching Caribbean family history can be a challenge. Most of our early history chapters are steeped in slavery and indentured servitude. Searching by surname is not always the best way to learn our history. We must look at surnames for clues about the enslaving family and possible locations where our ancestors lived. Then, look for their property records, wills and church records etc. Caribbean genealogy takes a lot of patience.

Many of my ancestors are a mixture of many different people: African, Chinese, Indian, Latino. According the UK National Archives: “More than 1.6 million people were transported between African and the Caribbean between 1640-1807. Although the British slave trade from Africa was abolished in 1807, emancipation of the people did not occur until August 1834.”

Some of my ancestors were Chinese and arrived in the Caribbean via South America after African slavery ended. They were sometimes called Coolies  (a derogatory word similar to the N-word!) and brought in as indentured servants, like many of workers from India, Europe and other places. Although these workers had contracts, they were treated like slaves, according to oral histories and other source material. But, it is possible to review worker contracts to learn their original names, and other information. The key is to ask a lot of questions and listen to the stories told by the oldest people from your island.

I found my grandmother’s papers at the National Archives Chinese Exclusionary Index on Here is an excerpt:

Source Information: New York Chinese Exclusion Index [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 1998. Original data: United States, National Archives and Records Administration. Index to ‘Chinese Exclusion’ Case Files of the New York District Office of the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service, ca. 1882-1960. New York, USA. National Archives and Records Administration–Northeast Region (New York), [April 1998].

Index of New York INS Chinese Exclusion Act Case Files 1882-1960.

But, many records about our families are still in files in the islands and the UK National Archives.  Some Caribbean islands have very good records, some not in such good shape. Here is an excerpt from a list of resources, developed by Guy Grannum, a noted Barbados ancestry expert:

The National Archives (UK), Kew, Surrey TW9 4DU. Tel: 020 8876 3444, email via webform

Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints – the website has online indexes to Barbadian baptisms and marriages, locations of their family history centers, and their catalogue of their microfilms of archive and library material. Its Hyde Park Family History Center, 64/68 Exhibition Road, South Kensington, London, tel: 0207 589 8561, has many Caribbean resources on-site, including registers of births, marriages and deaths for Barbados and Jamaica.

Caribbean archives, libraries and registry offices:

Most archives, libraries and registry offices do not have websites and it has been difficult obtaining these addresses. Where I have found websites I have obtained contact details from these, or used other official and government sites. It is possible that some of these contact details may have changed. My experience is that some services are excellent and others tardy but on the whole it can take some time to get a reply – be patient.


  • Anguilla Library Service, The Valley, Anguilla, BWI, tel: (264) 497-2441
  • Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages, Judicial Department, The Valley, Anguilla, BWI, tel: (264) 497-2377



  • The National Archives, Rappaport Centre, Victoria Park, St John’s Antigua, West Indies, tel: (268) 462-3946, email:
  • The Registrar General’s Office, High Court, High Street, St John’s Antigua, West Indies, tel: (268) 462-3929
  • Antigua and Barbuda Public Library, Market St, St John’s, Antigua and Barbuda,, tel: (268) 462-4959, email:



  • Department of Archives, PO Box SS-6341, Nassau, Bahamas, tel: (242) 393-2175, email:
  • Registrar General’s Office, PO Box N532, Nassau, Bahamas, tel: (242) 322-3316
  • Nassau Public Library and Museum, Shirley St, Nassau, Bahamas, tel (242) 322-4907



  • Department of Archives, Lazaretto Building, Black Rock, St Michael, Barbados, tel: (246) 425-1380, email:
  • Registration Department, Supreme Court of Barbados, Law Courts, Colleridge St, Bridgetown, Barbados,, tel: (246) 426-3461
  • National Library Service, Public Services Division, Coleridge St, Bridgetown, Barbados, tel: (246) 426-6081, email:



  • Belize Archives Department, 26/28 Unity Boulevard, Belmopan, Belize, tel: (501) 822 2247, email:
  • Registrar General, Supreme Court, Belize City, Belize, tel: (501) 227 7377
  • National Library Service, Bliss Institute, PO Box 287, Belize City, Belize,, tel: (501) 223 – 4248, email:



  • Bermuda National Archives, Government Administration Building, 30 Parliament St, Hamilton HM 12, Bermuda, tel: (441) 295-5151
  • Registry General, Ministry of Labor and Home Affairs, Government Administration Building, 30 Parliament St, Hamilton HM 12, Bermuda, tel: (441) 297-7739
  • Bermuda National Library, 13 Queen St, Par-la-Ville, Hamilton HM 11, Bermuda, tel: (441) 295-3104


British Virgin Islands

  • Library Services Department, Flemming St, Road Town, Tortola, British Virgin Islands, tel: (284) 494-3428
  • Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages, Government of the British Virgin Islands, Central Administration Complex, Road Town, Tortola, British Virgin Islands, tel: (284) 494-3492, email:


Cayman Islands

  • Cayman Islands National Archive, Government Administration Building, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands. tel: (345) 949 9809, email:
  • Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages, General Registry Department, Tower Building, Grand Cayman. tel: (345) 244 3404, email:
  • Public Library, Edward St, George Town, Grand Cayman, tel: (345) 949-5159



  • National Documentation Centre and Public Library of Dominica, Roseau, Commonwealth of Dominica, tel: (767) 448-2401, email:
  • General Registrar, Bay Front, Roseau, Commonwealth of Dominica, tel: (767) 448-2401



  • Public Library/National Archives, 2 Carenage, St George’s, Grenada, tel: (473) 440-2506
  • Registrar General, Church St, St George’s, Grenada, tel: (473) 440-2030



  • National Archives of Guyana, 28 Main Street, Cummingsburg, Georgetown, Guyana, tel: (592) 227 7687, email:
  • General Register Office, GPO Building, Robb Street, Georgetown, Guyana, tel: (592) 225-7561
  • National Library, 76/77 Church & Main Streets, Georgetown, Guyana,, tel: (592) 227-4053, email:



  • Jamaica Archives and Records Department, 59 Church St, Kingston, Jamaica,, tel: 876 922-8830, email:
  • The Registrar General, Vital Records Information, Twickenham Park, Spanish Town, Jamaica,, tel: (876) 984-3041, e-mail:
  • National Library of Jamaica, 12 East St, Kingston, Jamaica,, teL; (876) 967-1526, email:



  • Montserrat Public Library, Government Headquarters, BBC Building, Brades, Montserrat, tel: (664) 491-4706, email:
  • Registrar General, Department of Administration, Government Headquarters, Brades, Montserrat, tel: (664) (664) 491-2129


St Kitts and Nevis

  • National Archives, Government Headquarters, Church St, Box 186, Basseterre, St Kitts, West Indies,, tel: (869) 465-2521, email:
  • Nevis Archives and Library, Nevis Historical and Conservation Society, Nelson Museum, Bellevue, Charlestown, Nevis, West Indies,, tel: (869) 469-0408, email:
  • Registrar General, PO Box 236, Basseterre, St Kitts, West Indies, tel: (869) 465-5251


St Lucia

  • St Lucia National Archives, PO Box 3060, Clarke St, Vigie, Castries, St Lucia, tel: (758) 452-1654, email:
  • Registrar of Civil Status, Peynier Street, Castries, St Lucia, tel: (758) 452-1257 Central Library of St Lucia, Bourbon St, Castries, St Lucia,


St Vincent and the Grenadines

  • National Archives, Cotton Ginnery Compound Frenches, Kingstown, St Vincent and the Grenadines, tel: (784) 456-1689, e-mail:
  • Registrar General, Government Buildings, Kingstown, St Vincent and the Grenadines, tel: (784) 457-1424
  • Department of Libraries Archives and Documentation Services, Lower Middle Street, Kingstown, St Vincent and the Grenadines, tel: (784) 457-1111, email:


Trinidad and Tobago

  • National Archives, PO Box 763, 105 St Vincent St, Port-of-Spain, Trinidad, tel: (868) 625-2689, email:
  • Registrar General’s Office, Registration House, 72-74 South Quay, Port-of-Spain, Trinidad,, tel: (868) 624-1660
  • Tobago Registrar General’s Office, Jerningham Street, Scarborough, Tobago, tel: (868) 639-3210
  • National Library and Information System Authority, 105 Abercromby St, Port of Spain, Trinidad,


Turks and Caicos Islands

  • Turks and Caicos National Museum, Guinep House, Front Street, PO Box 188, Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos, British West Indies, tel: (649) 946-2160, e-mail: use webform
  • The Registrar’s General Office, Front Street, Turks & Caicos Islands, British West Indies, tel: (649) 946-2800

Source: Guy Grannum has been researching his own Barbadian ancestry for many years, and in doing so has gained first-hand knowledge of how to research West Indian ancestry. He works at the UK National Archives and is the author of a number of genealogical guides and article.

Have you searched at any of the Caribbean island archives listed above? Please share your experience?