Isle of Man


"Man is an island of Great Britain, in the Irish Sea, about 30 miles in length, and from 8 to 15 in breadth. It is very hilly, and one of its heights exceeds 2,000 feet. It has mines of lead, iron and copper, and quarries of building stone and slate. The soil varies in different tracts, yet produces more corn than is sufficient to maintain the natives. The air, which is sharp and cold in winter, is healthy, and the inhabitants live to a very great age. The commodities of this island are small black cattle and horses, wool, fine and coarse linen, hides, skins, honey, tallow, and herrings. About the rocks of the island breeds an incredible number of all sorts of sea-fowl, and especially on the Calf of Man, a small island not far from its most southerly point. The language is a dialect of Erse. In its civil government, which is peculiar to it, the island is divided into six sheedings, each having its proper coroner, who is entrusted with the peace of his district, and acts in the nature of a sheriff. The House of Keys is its elective legislature, &c. Castle Town is its chief place. Population 47,975."
[Quotation from Barclay's Complete and Universal English Dictionary, 1842]


Archives & Libraries

Manx National Heritage has archives and collections at a number of sites. These include National library and archives in Douglas.



The Isle of Man is listed in the census returns for England and Wales.

The 1901 Census of England and Wales is available online.

To accompany this resource, the National Archives publish a fascinating set of pages entitled 1901: Living at the Time of the Census.

Directions to Enumerators on the completion of 1901 Census Enumeration Books.

Ancestry provides census record images, with partial or in some cases complete freely-searchable indexes, of the Isle of Man for 1841-1901.

Our United Kingdom and Ireland census page has information and links which in several cases apply to the Isle of Man.

The L.D.S. (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints) have provided online search facilities for the 1881 British Census (England, Wales, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man only).



Church Records

The IGI for Manx baptisms and marriages is virtually complete and now forms part of the L.D.S. (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints) online search facilities. The index entries are linked to online images of the parish registers. Hugh Wallis has provided a search facility which greatly simplifies searching by batch number. See also Finding L.D.S. Batch Numbers.

There are also Parish register copies in the library of the Society of Genealogists. To locate them search by subject for 'Isle of Man' in the library catalogue.


Civil Registration

Civil registration of marriages started in 1849, of births and deaths in 1878. The records are at Register Offices in Douglas, Peel, Castletown and Ramsey - for addresses, etc., see General registries contact details. For details of registration and how to obtain copies see Isle of Man government Civil Registry page.

Birth, Marriage and Death Indexes for the Isle of Man are online at www.manxbmd.com, covering all births, marriages and deaths registered on the Island up to 1979 in a searchable database.


Description & Travel

Isle of Man Government visitor information has tourism, heritage and accommodation information.

The Isle of Man section of Sketches of The Coasts and Islands of Scotland, The Isle Of Man (1836) by Lord Teignmouth.



Genuki's Church Database covering the whole of the UK. This includes facilities for listing other churches and parishes within any specified distance of the parish church.



Manx National Heritage has a useful Family history information sheet. This has links to relevant parts of Manx Government web pages, for churches, civil registration, property deeds, probate, and others.

An wealth of genealogical, historical and descriptive material is available on Frances Coakley's A Manx Notebook. The site includes more than 40 Mb of material, much of it being transcriptions of original records.

J. Narasimham. The Manx Family Tree: a Beginners Guide to records in the Isle of Man By Janet Narasimham is available from the Manx Heritage shops (which have a number of other Manx history books), at most Island bookshops, or from the Isle of Man Family History Society.

The community website isleofman.com has a genealogy section with a genealogy message board and volunteers offering lookups.

John Fuller has provided full details of the " Manx" Genealogy Mailing List.

Details of upcoming United Kingdom and Ireland Genealogical Events (GENEVA).



Manx National Heritage has a great deal of historical information - "Protecting, presenting and promoting the unique cultural and historical heritage of the Isle of Man".

A Manx Notebook - Frances Coakley's Compendium of Matters Past and Present Connected with the Isle of Man.




Isleofman.com has a map of parishes, as has Wikipedia.


Merchant Marine

The Through Mighty Seas website dealt with merchant sailing vessels built and owned in the North West of England and the Isle of Man in the 19th Century. This no longer seems to be online but is available through the Internet Archive.



Manx Heritage have published digitised Manx Newspapers 1792-1960.


Probate Records

All deeds recorded from 1911, and all Grants of Probate from 1940, to the present day, are in the Deeds and Probate Registry.

All deeds and Grants of Probate recorded prior to 1911 are housed in the Manx Museum.

Grants of Probate from 1912 to 1939 (inclusive) are housed at the Isle of Man Public Record Office.

For contact details see General Registry contacts

From 1885 all probates were in the High Court of Justice. From 1874 to 1885 the Consistory Court of Sodor was the sole probate court. Prior to that the Consistory Court of Sodor and the Archdeaconry Court of the Isle of Man held jurisdiction for different parts of the year, so both courts should be searched. The Consistory Court records start in 1600 (with an index from 1659) and the Archdeaconry Court from 1631 (all years are indexed).