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Saint Helena Church Records

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Saint Helena Wiki Topics
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Beginning Research
Record Types
Saint Helena Background
Local Research Resources

For information about records for non-Christian religions in Saint Helena, go to the Religious Records page.

Online Resources and Websites[edit | edit source]

Ancestry.com, findmypast.com, and MyHeritage.com can be searched free of charge at your local family history center or the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Historical Background[edit | edit source]

Most residents are Anglican and are members of the Diocese of St Helena, which has its own bishop and includes Ascension Island. The 150th anniversary of the diocese was celebrated in June 2009. Other Christian denominations on the island include the Roman Catholic (since 1852), the Salvation Army (since 1884), Baptist (since 1845) and, in more recent times, the Seventh-day Adventist (since 1949), the New Apostolic Church, and Jehovah's Witnesses (of which one in 35 residents is a member, the highest ratio of any country).[46] [1][2]

Information Recorded in the Records[edit | edit source]

Different denominations, different time periods, and practices of different record keepers will effect how much information can be found in the records. This outline will show the types of details which might be found (best case scenario):

Baptisms[edit | edit source]

In Catholic and Anglican records, children were usually baptized a few days after birth, and therefore, the baptism record proves date of birth. Other religions, such as Baptists, baptized at other points in the member's life. Baptism registers might give:

  • baptism date
  • the infant's name
  • parents' names
  • father's occupation
  • status of legitimacy
  • occasionally, names of grandparents
  • names of witnesses or godparents, who may be relatives
  • birth date and place
  • the family's place of residence
  • death information, as an added note or signified by a cross

Marriages[edit | edit source]

Marriage registers can give:

  • the marriage date
  • the names of the bride and groom
  • indicate whether the bride and groom were single or widowed
  • their ages
  • birth dates and places for the bride and groom
  • their residences
  • their occupations
  • birthplaces of the bride and groom
  • parents' names (after 1800)
  • the names of previous spouses and their death dates
  • names of witnesses, who might be relatives.

Burials[edit | edit source]

Burial registers may give:

  • the name of the deceased
  • the date and place of death or burial
  • the deceased's age
  • place of residence
  • cause of death
  • the names of survivors, especially a widow or widower
  • deceased's birth date and place
  • parents' names, or at least the father's name



How to Find Records[edit | edit source]

Digital Copies of Church Records in the FamilySearch Catalog[edit | edit source]

Watch for digitized copies of church records to be added to the collection of the FamilySearch Library. Some records might have viewing restrictions, and can only be viewed at a Family History Center near you, and/or by members of supporting organizations. To find records:

a. Click on the records of Saint Helena.
b. Click on Places within Saint Helena and a list of towns will appear.
c. Click on your town if it appears, or the location which you believe was the parish which served your town or village.
d. Click on the "Church records" topic. Click on the blue links to specific record titles.
e. Some combination of these icons will appear at the far right of the listing for the record. FHL icons.png. The magnifying glass indicates that the record is indexed. Clicking on the magnifying glass will take you to the index. Clicking on the camera will take you to an online digital copy of the records.

Writing for Records[edit | edit source]

You will probably need to write to or email the national archives, the diocese, or local parish priests to find records. See Letter Writing Guide for Genealogy for help with composing letters.

Catholic Church Records[edit | edit source]

Writing to a Local Parish[edit | edit source]

To locate the mailing address or e-mail address for a local parish, consult:

Historical Background[edit | edit source]

The Catholic Church in Saint Helena is part of the worldwide Catholic Church, under the spiritual leadership of the Pope in Rome. Together with the islands of Ascension and Tristan da Cunha, it forms a mission sui iuris (autonomous). There is a Catholic church on St Helena, the Sacred Heart in Jamestown. There is a Catholic church on Tristan da Cunha, St Joseph's Catholic Church.[3]

The Sacred Heart Church is a religious building that is affiliated with the Catholic Church and is located in the town of Jamestown on the island of Saint Helena part of the British overseas territory of Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha in the southern Atlantic Ocean. This is one of 3 operating Catholic churches in that territory, the others being those located in Georgetown, in Ascension Island (Church of Our Lady of the Ascension) and the Edinburgh of the Seven Seas on the island of Tristan da Cunha (Church of St. Joseph). The first Catholic priests came to Saint Helena with Napoleon Bonaparte in 1819. [4]

Anglican (Episcopal) Church Records[edit | edit source]

Writing for Records[edit | edit source]

Historical Background[edit | edit source]

The Diocese of Saint Helena is an Anglican diocese within the Anglican Church of Southern Africa. It covers the islands of Saint Helena and Ascension in the Atlantic Ocean and was created in 1859. St Paul's Cathedral is on Saint Helena. In 1671, the East India Company sent the first of a long sequence of Church of England chaplains. The early, modest little church was replaced by a slightly bigger one in 1674, but was only later named St. James church. Another church ("the Country Church") was built shortly afterwards near the present St. Paul's church.[5]

Baptist Church Records[edit | edit source]

Writing for Records[edit | edit source]

Jehovah's Witnesses Church Records[edit | edit source]

Writing for Records[edit | edit source]

New Apostolic Church Records[edit | edit source]

Writing for Records[edit | edit source]

Salvation Army Church Records[edit | edit source]

Writing for Records[edit | edit source]

Saint Helena Salvation Army
Postal address:
Jamestown
Island of St Helena
South Atlantic Ocean

Tel: +09 2290 2703
Fax: +09 2290 2052
Email:salvationarmy@helenata.co.sh

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Wikipedia contributors, "Saint Helena", in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint Helena, accessed 14 March 2020.
  2. Wikipedia contributors, "Religion in Saint Helena", in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion_in_Saint_Helena, accessed 14 March 2020.
  3. Wikipedia contributors, "Catholic Church in Saint Helena", in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catholic_Church_in_Saint_Helena, accessed 25 March 2020.
  4. Wikipedia contributors, "Sacred Heart Church, Jamestown", in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sacred_Heart_Church,_Jamestown, accessed 25 March 2020.
  5. Wikipedia contributors, "Diocese of Saint Helena", in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diocese_of_St_Helena, accessed 25 March 2020.