The baptismal, marriage and burial registers, and any available indexes, are kept in the individual Anglican parishes and a

request for permission to research them in person or to obtain information from them should be obtained from the parish in

which your relative(s) were baptised, married or buried.


Although none of the old Anglican Diocese parish registers are kept at the Diocesan Office at Hayes Court, nevertheless,

contacting the Diocesan Secretary, Mrs. Sonia Noel, by an initial letter, fax or email may facilitate matters when you

write subsequently to the parish which holds the registers you wish to research.


No Bishop's Transcripts of the parish registers were sent either to London or to Barbados.


The baptismal and marriage registers for Trinity Cathedral in Port-of-Spain commence in 1801, the burial register being

one year later.


The Holy Trinity Baptismal Register, 1801 - 1845 is particularly useful: for approximately the first 22 years, the father’s

name is given, even when the parents are unmarried. However, the name of the father, in common law relationships,

begins to disappear ca 1824.


People living in Couva and as far distant as Manzanilla have been noticed in this register as well as districts closer to

Port-of-Spain, eg Belmont, La Ventille, Mucurapo, St. James, Woodbrook Estate and St. Ann’s.


In the Abstract of the Triennial Return of Baptisms of Plantation Slaves of November 1824, the Church of England was

reported as having 1,498 baptised slaves.


During this period, the Government granted marriage licences only after the payment of fees. The additional church fees

and the marriage licence rules were an obstruction to marriage among any enslaved people, who had been baptised. The

total high cost also meant that marriage was beyond the reach of any of Trinidad’s poor who were not enslaved.


Research in the Holy Trinity registers is much easier than in the registers of the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception

(Catholic). The handwriting, layout and spelling conventions are more familiar to English language researchers.


Importantly, slave baptisms are also entered in this, the earliest Trinity register.


In respect of the Holy Trinity Baptismal Register, 1801 - 1845, for approximately the first 30 years of the register’s use, there

was an entry describing the person baptised, ie Slave, Free Black Person, Free Person of Colour, Solicitor. Ca 1834 ethnic

background and colour was not recorded, but useful information was still retained for some years, by the use of the terms,

Apprenticed Labourer or African Labourer. By 1841, ethnicity cannot be established, except very infrequently.


No other information on the surving registers of other 19th century Anglican parishes in Trinidad is available, but see:


Anglican Parishes in 19th Century Tobago




The Bishop: The Right Reverend Claude Berkley


Secretary to the Bishop: Mrs. Sharon Brito

Tel.: (868) - 622 - 7387

Email: <>


Diocesan Office: 21 Maraval Road, Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago

Postal Address: Hayes Court, 2 Hayes Street, St. Clair, Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago

Tel.: (868) - 622 - 2863/7704

Fax: (868) - 628 - 1319

Email: <>


Diocesan Secretary: Mrs. Sonia Noel

Email: <>




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Some appreciation of Trinidad Anglican Church History will help your research progress.


The first Anglican Church, Trinity, was a modest wooden building on the corner of Prince and Frederick streets. In 1808 a

great fire swept through Port-of-Spain burning down the Church. On the 30 May, 1816, the foundation stone of the new

Trinity Church was laid, in its current location, being completed in 1818, but it was not until Trinity Sunday, on 25 May, 1823

that it was consecrated.


Reverend John H. Clapham probably came to Trinidad about the time the British occupied the island in 1797 and from

December, 1802, was the first rector of Port-of-Spain. Until 1823, for twenty-two years, he was the only ‘Church of England’

clergyman in Trinidad.


In 1824, formerly under the jurisdiction of the Archbishop of Canterbury, Trinity became part of the new diocese of Barbados.

and until 1835, it was the only Church of England’ church on the island.


The Ecclesiastical Ordinance of 1844 made the Anglican Church the Established Church of Trinidad. This resulted in

Trinidad being divided into sixteen parishes, of which six were endowed as rectories the others as island curacies,while

the Island still remained part of the diocese of Barbados. Grenada and Tobago were to constitute the Archdeaconary of

Trinidad. Six rectories were constituted from seven of sixteen parishes. This Ordinance also laid down rules for the keeping

of Registers of Baptisms, Marriages and Deaths.


In 1844, at the time of the Ecclesiastical Ordinance, the parish of the Holy Trinity comprised the town of Port of Spain and

suburbs, with the Quarters of Laventille, Tragarete, St. Ann's and Maraval.


The foundation-stone of the Gothic All Saints Church in New Town, facing Queen's Park and close to the former red tram

terminus in Tranquillity was laid in 1844. The building when completed was consecrated by Bishop Parry of Barbados, as a

chapel-of-ease for Trinity. Some 40 years later, it was enlarged and restored by the exertions of the Rev. L. A. Taitt, and, at

the time, was reported to be the prettiest of all the Anglican churches.


The records indicate indicate that during the latter part of 1844, additional Anglican clergymen arrived, making a total of

nine in the island, the newcomers taking up position in St. Luke’s Parish in South Naparima and also in Pointe-a-Pierre

and in Oropouche.


In 1846, the Bishop of Barbados consecrated St. Mary’s Church in Tacarigua. A new minister was also appointed to

St Peter’s at Gasparillo in addition to the parish of St. Luke.


The Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in London provided funds to help the building of churches at Savanna

Grande (St. Stephen's), Diego Martin (St, Michael's), San Juan (St. John’s) and the enlargement of St. Paul’s in San



In 1848, expansion of the Anglican Church continued with appointments to the parishes of Arima (St. Jude) and Manzanilla

(St. Bartholomew). Here there was neither church nor rectory.


In 1887, it was reported that, excluding the bishop, there were 15 clergy, 33 churches and chapels, and 5 temporary places

of worship. The grant from the Trinidad Government was 3,576 and from the Imperial Treasury 250. Of the 33 churches,

16 had been built or re-built, and five enlarged, within the previous 10 years.


On June 29, 1872 Trinidad was separated from the diocese of Barbados and the independent Trinidad Anglican Church

was established.


Remember some 19th Century Anglican parishes have disappeared and are now included within ‘new’ parishes.



















Holding Library:











Holding Library:


UWI Call #:


UWI Item ID:

Report of the Church Council of the Church of England in Trinidad

From June 1868 to December 31, 1874


New Era Publishing Office, 3 Abercrombie Street, Port-of-Spain, 1875





The Cathedral of the Holy Trinity, Port of Spain, and the Diocese of Trinidad


Power, Reginald L.


1932........(UWI Ref.: 062117110523)


Dates of interest: p. 206 - 214


University of the West Indies Library (UWI) - Rare Books Collection


BV2500 P69 1932
































Holding Library:



UWI Call #:


LPL Call #:










Holding Library:


UWI Call #:



The Diocese of Trinidad & Tobago, 1872-1972


Church of the Province of the West Indies. Diocese of Trinidad & Tobago


Printed by Rahaman Printery, 1972


[2], 72p.; illus. 27cm


University of the West Indies Library (UWI), St. Augustine;

Lambeth Palace Library (LPL)


BX5640.4 T8 D588 T8





From Chaplaincy to Diocese: A History of the Anglican Church in Trinidad,



Tappin, Bernard Swainson


Thesis (Ph.D.) The University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, 1997


University of the West Indies Library (UWI), St. Augustine


BX5640.4 A45 T7 T37 1997











Other Title:




Holding Libraries:



UWI Call #:


NLTT Call #:



175 YEARS OF ANGLICANISM. A Commemorative Brochure in celebration of the

175th Anniversary of the Parish Church of the Holy Trinity which is the Cathedral

Church in the Diocese of Trinidad and Tobago -

one of the country's historical monuments.


One hundred and seventy years of Anglicanism


Port-of-Spain, Holy Trinity Cathedral: 175th Anniversary Committee, 1998


University of the West Indies Library (UWI), St. Augustine;

National Library of Trinidad & Tobago


BX5640.4 A42 T77 1998 (UWI West Indiana Library)


REF WI 283.72983 (Heritage Library)



Anglican Diocese of Trinidad & Tobago


Anglican Parishes in 19th Century Trinidad


Anglican Parishes in 19th Century Tobago


Anglican Parish Registers


Church Registers: Tobago English Protestant Church Register 1781-1817


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