The Civil Registry and Passport Office is attempting to preserve more local records through a potential partnership with Family Search Discovery Center.
Registrar General Mrs. Stephanie Benn and Senior Administrative Officer Ms. Myrtle Matthias utilised a fact-finding trip to FamilySearch Discovery Center in Salt Lake City, Utah from October 22 to 24 to determine whether the local Registry will become an affiliate of the genealogy centre.
The duo was given an overview of the centre’s extensive collection of digitally captured and microfilmed records from over 100 countries, before being familiarised with the digitisation process.
During the visit, they saw firsthand the records from the BVI currently in the possession of FamilySearch, which includes: Birth Index: 1859-1966; Birth Registers: 1859-1931; Marriage Index: 1859-1965; Marriage Registers: 1895-1923; Marriage Certificates: 1921-1950; Death Registers: 1868-1992.
Mrs. Benn said that the Civil Registry and Passport Office is also considering becoming an affiliate genealogy centre that would allow individuals from around the region to utilise the services and generate revenue for the Government of the Virgin Islands. She added, “The visit concluded with many questions as to the way forward… as to how much time is now needed and the legal parameters for the digitisation of the BVI records.”
FamilySearch is a nonprofit family history organisation dedicated to connecting families across generations. The organisation began in 1894 under the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and believes that learning about our ancestors helps us better understand who we are—creating a family bond, linking the present to the past, and building a bridge to the future.
Photo Included – Administrative Officer Ms. Myrtle Matthias (3rd from left) and Registrar General Stephanie Benn (4th from left) with FamilySearch team during fact finding trip in Salt Lake City, Utah.