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Heritage collaboration helps Islanders discover their roots

Heritage collaboration helps Islanders discover their roots

Friday 20 January 2017

Heritage collaboration helps Islanders discover their roots

A young man from Grouville who was once too poor to buy his own golf clubs went on to become the world golfing number one, winning the British Open six times – a record that remains unbroken.

It’s the story of Harry Vardon, which would have made the headlines back in the 1800s – and one that is now available, alongside many others, for Islanders to explore for themselves online, thanks to a new collaboration between Jersey Heritage and Ancestry.

With the permission of the Dean of Jersey, the Island’s Church of England baptism, marriage and burial records from 1540 – 1940 can now be browsed in their entirety.

Digitally housing over 72,000 images, the collection documents the lives of both notable and everyday Islanders spanning the Tudor era to the start of the Second World War.

Two such notable names include Lillie Langtry, the Island actress known for her relation with King Edward VII, and “wholesale druggist” Jesse Boot, the businessman behind Boots the Chemist, whose philanthropy included donating FB fields to the Island.


Pictured: The records can be accessed for free by using the Ancestry catalogue at Jersey Archive (above).

Linda Romeril, Archives and Collections Director at Jersey Heritage, described the initiative as, “…a significant step forward in opening up access to Jersey’s records. These unique images can now be accessed by individuals with Jersey connections around the world.”

She commented: ”We know that a number of people left Jersey over the centuries and believe that their descendants will now be able to find their connections to our unique Island. We hope that this will encourage individuals to continue the stories of their Jersey ancestors by searching our catalogue for more information and ultimately visiting the Island to discover their roots.”

Rhona Murray, Content Manager at Ancestry, adds: “We are delighted to be working with Jersey Heritage to provide online access for people all around the world to these valuable parish records. The large-scale historic migration from the Island has resulted in a broad Jersey diaspora across the globe, so whether you’re aware of having heritage from the Island or are curious to discover if you have ancestors from the Channel Islands, now is the perfect time to search these collections on Ancestry and find out.”

The images can be searched by visiting or can be done for free by accessing the Ancestry catalogue at Jersey Archive.

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