The Argentia parish was founded in 1835. The records included here cover the period from its
inception until the parish was moved to Freshwater in 1942.
The original records are remarkably complete, starting at the inception of the parish, and
missing possibly a page or two.
Why include these records in a Red Island web site? Primarily because Red Island was part of
the Argentia parish from 1835 until 1942.
The records include 6,440 Baptism, 1,962 Marriage and Family, and 544 Death Register records.
Of these, 778 are pseudo-marriages, most representing marriages that took place in other
parishes, and 204 are pseudo-baptisms, most representing names that appear in other sources.
[The meanings of these "pseudo" records are explained in the documentation for Baptisms
Baptism, Marriage and Death (register) records have been transcribed from copies of the
original parish registers. All records have been transcribed twice and extensively edited
and cross-checked. However, errors surely remain. Hopefully these errors are minor and will
not cause confusion or be misleading.
All connections between Baptisms and Marriages, Baptisms and Deaths, and the groupings of
parents and children into Families, have been done manually. These connections are far less
than complete. Up until around 1896, neither Baptisms nor Marriage records usually identified
the town name, Baptisms often didn't list the mother's maiden surname or listed her by her
married surname, and Marriages usually didn't contain the names of the parents of the bride
or groom. Any help with adding missing connections would be greatly appreciated.
The full dates for births and baptisms are shown through 1935. Starting in 1936, month and day
are shown as "xx-xx" (but the full dates do appear in the original records).
Names are spelled (or misspelled) exactly as they appear in the original records, the
exception being when a contraction of a first name is used to represent a full name rather
than a nickname (e.g. "Wm" becomes "William", "Eliz." becomes "Elizabeth", "Patt." becomes
Many entries in the registers were difficult to read due to soiling, water damage, faded ink,
poor penmanship, etc. Question marks are added in places where a transcription is unsure or
The registers are both large heavy books, and it is very doubtful that they accompanied the
priests as they visited the settlements within the parish. Some entries appear out of date
order. At least a few entries are missing. Various errors have been noted, including not
only misspellings, but entirely wrong names. It is not unusual to see variant spellings of
one or both of the parents' names in a Family record.
A unique key is assigned to each Baptism and Marriage in the form "b-ppp-ii" (book-page-item).
"Book 1" is the older (1835-1896) and "Book 2" is the newer (1896 forward),
while "Book 0" is "pseudo" records (explained in the documentation for the Baptism
and Marriage records). "Page" is the page within a book (since Book 1 is not numbered,
page numbers were assigned). "Item" is the entry on a page, counting from top to bottom.
Indexes to baptisms and marriages are sequenced by "standard" surnames (explained in the
documentation for the Baptism & Marriage indexes).
Town names have been standardized (e.g. "Point Latine" and "Latine" appear as
"Argentia [Point Latine]").
Since clergymen often wrote only their initials, or wrote their names with or without titles,
their names have been standardized. That is, regardless of what initials, partial name, or
variant spelling appeared for a given clergyman, it has been converted to a single consistent
The Argentia parish also included other settlements at various times:
. Mussel Harbour (Port Royal) until 1912
. Placentia Sound until 1912
. Long Harbour until 1918
. Iona (Rams) until 1918
. Red Island until 1941
. Fox Harbour until 1945
. Ship Harbour until 1945
In addition, there were some surnames that appeared in the records mostly only in the first
few years, such as Wilson, Pittman, Hines and Movell, possibly indicating that other settlements
may have initially been part of this parish.
The parish Death register is incomplete. It covers only the years 1899-1912, plus parts of
1922, 1926, 1927, 1930, 1931, 1932, 1933 and 1934.
There are doubtless places where there are small discrepencies between information shown in the
Parish records and in the Red Island Family Tree. The primary research for the Family Tree was
done around 1990 from hand written notes, while the Parish records were transcribed in 1996/1997
from copies of the records. The Family Tree was then updated from the Parish records. The
Family Tree also contains additional information provided by correspondants.