The Third Parish Registers of Belize, 1828-1841


Sonia Murray’s popular series of vital records from Belize (former British Honduras) continues with this third installment. Following a very helpful Introduction that explains some peculiarities of Belize records (e.g., the importance of Scottish patronymics, by which women kept their maiden names throughout their lives), Ms. Murray arranges her findings by record group.

The baptismal and burial registers for St. Johns Church specify newborns by date of birth and names of parents, and decedents by age at and date of death. Next follow cemetery inscriptions for St. George’s Cave Cemetery, Church Street Cemetery, Yarborough Cemetery, and St. John’s Cathedral. Richer in detail than the earlier records described, these provide the names of various family members, dates of birth, and miscellaneous information, along with the decedent’s age at and date of death.

By far, the longest collection of records in this volume is Ms. Murray’s transcriptions of the Belize censuses for 1832, 1835, and 1839. In general, these records indicate the names and ages of all persons living in a household, as well as more specific information (e.g., race, slave or free) for household heads.

Rounding out the book are two collections of vital records Ms. Murray culled from the Belize Advertiser (1839-1840) and a variety of British newspapers. These entries are most detailed, ranging from simple obituaries to mini-genealogies of persons with Belize connections. The concluding full name index refers to well over 5,000 persons, and an index to ships lists all vessels cited in the newspaper articles.

Sonia Bennett Murray

2012, paper, 422 pp.

ISBN: 9780806355801