01 November 2016
Here's 5 great reasons why you should visit Jersey Archive
Jersey is the largest of the Channel Islands located in the English Channel not far from the French coast. The island has a rich and fascinating history dating from the Neolithic passage grave at La Hougue Bie to the castles and fortifications that mark the island’s place in the front line of conflicts between England and France. The German fortifications tell the story of the island's occupation during the Second World War.
The Jersey Archive was established in 1993, with purpose built premises opening in 2000. This was the first time that the documents of the island had been stored in the same place and made widely available for researchers to view. Here's 5 great reasons why you should visit the archive:
The documents stored at Jersey Archive help to tell the story of this unique island, which is part of Britain but not the UK and has close links to France and the Duchy of Normandy. Jersey has its own government, court system and honorary police. Many of the documents the archive holds, which tell the stories of your ancestors, are unique to the island.
The Channel Islands were the only part of Britain to be occupied by German forces during the Second World War. The occupation lasted from July 1940 until 9 May 1945. If your ancestors lived in Jersey during this period they will have had ID cards with portrait photographs and may also be one of the thousands of people caught for acts of defiance against the German authorities.
Jersey Archive is a purpose-built award-winning archive building, which opened to the public in 2000. The archive now holds more than 600 years of official records as well as collections relating to local businesses, associations, families and individuals. The archive also holds records from the Church of England, Roman Catholic, Methodist and Nonconformist denominations.
Jersey Archive staff and volunteers from the Channel Islands Family History Society are always available at the archive to assist with your research and help you learn more about the collections. There is an online catalogue at http://catalogue.jerseyheritage.org and many of the more popular collections have been digitised; but a visit to the archive will allow you to delve deeper into the stories of your ancestors and find out about their lives as part of an island community.
Combine your trip to the Jersey Archive with a visit to Jersey to learn more about your ancestors and the unique and beautiful island. Jersey is a wonderful place to visit at all times of the year with stunning scenery, coastal walks, museums and heritage attractions. Once you have discovered where your ancestors lived using the Public Registry database at Jersey Archive, you can take the opportunity to visit their houses and walk in their footsteps.
Find out more about how to trace your Jersey ancestors at Jersey Archive with our guide here!