The archives of both of these islands have suffered the ravages of time. The public records of Nevis for the period prior to 1706 were destroyed in the French invasion of that year. The court house on St. Kitts was destroyed by fire in the early 1980s resulting in the loss of many of the deeds, wills, court transcripts and land transfer records. Some partial indexes to the lost records survived but they themselves are in poor condition.


NEVIS ARCHIVES

PUBLIC RECORDS

INSTITUTE: Nevis Island Government

MATERIALS: Deeds of sale, wills, court transcripts, land transfers.

LOCATION: Court House, Charlestown.

ACCESS: Limited on site access arranged through the Register's Office for a stamp fee obtained from the Post Office or Philatelic Bureau.

NOTE: Many of the older records are deteriorated to a point that they are no longer available for use.

BIRTH AND DEATH RECORDS

INSTITUTE: Register General's Office

LOCATION: Charlestown, Nevis.

ACCESS: On site access. A stamp fee must be obtained from the Post Office or Philatelic Bureau.

GENERAL ARCHIVES

INSTITUTE: Nevis Historical and Conservation Society

MATERIALS: The Archives contain some deeds, wills, council minutes, and records of baptisms, marriages and burials as well as maps, reports, and newspapers. Also housed in the archives is a photographic collection with over 2000 photographs depicting the history, culture and people of Nevis. Other items included in the archives are slides documenting architectural, cultural and environmental themes and a collection of videos with relevance to Nevis. The NHCS archives also have specialized library collections featuring a complete biography of Alexander Hamilton, books on Lord Nelson and his Nevisian wife Francis (Fanny) Woollard-Nisbet, and a small collection of rare books. An Oral History collection is in the making.

FOR GENEALOGISTS: The NHCS archivists consider the support of genealogical research one of the strongest aspects of the archives.

LOCATION: Nelson Museum, Belle Vue, Charlestown (south of town near the Bath Hotel)

ACCESS: On site access. Look ups available for those off-site (see research fees).

HOURS: 9:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. Monday - Friday
(The Nelson Museum is also open 9am-12p.m. on Saturdays, but the archives are closed.)

RESEARCH FEES: Overseas requests: US$20.00 prior to research done; US$10.00 per hour plus US$1.00 per page for xerox in fullfillment of the work done.
In Person on site search: US$2.00 (except for NHCS members and students) plus cost of xerox.

ARCHIVISTS: Mrs. Lornette Hanley and Ms. Gail Dore

PHONE/FAX: 869-469-0408 (phone), 869-469-0274 (fax)

E-MAIL:archives-library@nevis-nhcs.org

MAIL: NHCS - Archives, P.O. Box 563, Charlestown, NEVIS

ADDITIONAL INFO: The NHCS also operates the Museum of Nevis History in Charlestown in addition to the Nelson Museum in which the archives are housed. If you visit one museum you will receive a discount on the admission to the second museum.


ST. KITTS ARCHIVES

Civil registration began on St. Kitts in 1855.
Some earlier records exist in the first volume of extant St. Kitts Vital Records.
The no surviving Catholic records on the island prior to 1865.

PUBLIC RECORDS

INSTITUTE: St. Kitts Island Government

MATERIALS: Death registers from 1880; marriage bonds and registers from 1771; Slave Returns 1817-1834; deed books, and other records.

ACCESS: Limited on site access. Be sure to make an appointment with the archivist in advance.

LOCATION: Government Headquarters, Church Street, Basseterre

ARCHIVIST: Mrs. Victoria O'Flaherty

PHONE/FAX: 869-465-2521 (phone), 869-465-1001 (fax)

MAIL: National Archives, Govt. Headquarters, P.O. Box 186, Basseterre, ST. KITTS

BIRTH AND DEATH RECORDS

INSTITUTE: Register General's Office

MATERIALS: Birth, marriage and death records are available from January 1859 to the present.

LOCATION: Basseterre, St. Kitts

ACCESS: On site access. A stamp fee must be obtained from the Post Office or Philatelic Bureau.
PHONE/FAX: (869) 465-5251

MAIL: Registrar General, PO Box 236, Basseterre, ST. KITTS

GENERAL ARCHIVES

INSTITUTE: St. Christopher Heritage Society

MATERIALS: The Documentation Centre has over 2000 books, documents, maps, reports, and a collections of photos and videos focusing on the island's history, environment, culture, economy etc..

FOR GENEALOGISTS: The SCHS is in the process of assembling family trees and recording the family histories of present day St. Kittians through the transcription of obituaries, eulogies, and newspaper articles.

LOCATION: Corner of Bank and West Square Street, Basseterre (entrance on Bank St.)

ACCESS: On site access.

HOURS: Weekdays 8.30 am to 4 pm, Saturday 9 am to noon

FEES TO USE THE DOCUMENTATION CENTRE:
EC $10 for non-members, EC $5 students, free to SCHS members

PHOTOCOPYING: EC $1 per page for non-members, EC 75c per page for SCHS members

CONTACTS: Ms. Jacqueline Cramer-Armony and Mrs. Cicely Jacobs

PHONE/FAX: (869) 465-5584

E-MAIL:schs@islandimage.com

MAIL: SCHS, P.O. Box 888, Basseterre, ST. KITTS

ADDITIONAL INFO: The SCHS also has exhibits focusing on local history, biodiversity, island culture, etc. Admission to these exhibits is free.

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Michelle Terrell's Homepage
Revised November 2001


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