Search for your ancestor among 140 years of Turks & Caicos death and burial records.
The Turks & Caicos islands are a British Overseas Territory. The first British settlers are thought to have been those who came from Bermuda in the second half of the 17th century, bringing their Black African slaves to work the natural salt water lagoons, a process known as salt raking, and develop artificial salinas. Defeated British Loyalists arrived from America in the 1780s following the American War of Independence, again bringing with them where they could an enslaved workforce. They introduced the cotton plantations, as well as participating in the salt industry. The surnames of some of those Loyalists, such as James Misick, John McIntosh and Wade Stubbs, are now frequent among descendants of their slaves.
The records here are indexed from the British Library’s Endangered Archives Project, which imaged the archipelago’s surviving registers held at the Turks & Caicos National Museum. Many of these, as the name of the British Library project indicates, are in poor condition, having been damaged by damp and flooding. In some cases, the records are so damaged that only part of them could be indexed.
Notwithstanding that, this is a valuable resource and, as far as we know, the first time these records have ever been indexed and made available to the genealogy public. Each transcription links through to the source image at the Endangered Archives Project website. Note that sometimes records extend over two or more pages, so you may need to page forward to the next image to see the rest of the original record.
Both our own transcriptions and the British Library’s digital image are made available without charge. The registers indexed here include:
Anglican (St Thomas’s) composite register, 1799-1818
Anglican (St Thomas’s) composite register, 1799-1818 [different to the above]
Anglican (St Thomas’s) death register, 1835-1922
Wesleyan Methodist burial register, 1855-1920
Civil burial register 1822-1835
Civil burial register 1864-1937
As well as recording the deaths and burials of the white settlers, these registers have significant Black History interest. The earliest deaths and burials we can be sure relate to Black individuals seem to date from the mid-1820s. For example, on a page headed “Blacks and Colour’d People, Slaves and Free” we see Sarah Stubbs, “female slave belonging to Henshall Stubbs, Esq” who died aged 60 on 27th July 1825 and was buried in the churchyard; while in May 1833 we find Mary Asia Bascome, aged 18 months, “Slave of Daniel Bascome, Esq”. The civil burial registers should, at least in theory, represent the entire population, and certainly we would expect the second register indexed here, which covers 1864-1937, to be reasonably comprehensive.