Researching your ancestors from Great Britain and Ireland

A guide to researching your ancestors in England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands, using resources at State Library Victoria.

Channel Islands

Civil registration was introduced in Guernsey in 1840 (marriages from 1919), Jersey in 1842, Alderney in 1850 and Sark in 1915. 

Access from home

  • FamilySearch database has an index to selected Channel Islands births and baptisms 1820-1907.
  • The Priaulx Library, Guernsey holds indexes to civil records for Guernsey from 1840, Alderney from 1850, and for parish registers for the Bailiwick of Guernsey from 1570 onwards. A look up service is available (fees apply).

Ordering certificates

  • Copies of the Jersey registers are held with the Superintendent Registrar, St Helier, Jersey.
  • Copies of the Guernsey and Sark registers are held at the Royal Court House, Guernsey. Further details can be found on the Court's Family History website.
  • Copies of the Alderney registers are held at the Alderney Court Office.

Isle of Man

Registration began on the Isle of Man in 1849, but was not compulsory until 1878 (1884 for marriages).

Access from home

  • The ManxBDM website contains the following indexes:
    • births 1878-2010
    • deaths 1878-2011
    • marriages 1884-1979 

Refer also to the Isle of Man Parish Registers, 1598-2009 available on FamilySearch.

Access in the Library

  • FindMyPast UK  database includes the following indexes:
    • Isle Of Man, Births and Baptisms, 1600-2010
    • Isle Of Man, Marriages, 1598-1979
    • Isle Of Man, Deaths and Burials, 1598-2011


Ordering certificates