Jamaican Family Search Genealogy Research Library- home page
This is a virtual genealogy library for those researching family history for Jamaica, West Indies, especially for people born before 1920. The site contains transcriptions from various documents including nineteenth century Jamaica Almanacs (which list property owners and civil and military officials), Jamaica Directories for 1878, 1891 and 1910, extractions from Jamaican Church records, Civil Registration, Wills, Jewish records, and excerpts from newspapers, books, and other documents. There is information on immigration and on slavery.
Jamaica was a British colony from the time of its conquest by the English 1655-1660 from the Spaniards, until it gained its independence in 1962 and became a part of the British Commonwealth. The indigenous Indians had been killed by the Spaniards. The population over the past 350 years has been comprised of:
- British: within its first 100 years as a British colony thousands of British immigrants arrived in the island, and made up the white population along with
- Portuguese Jews who had been left behind by the Spanish. The British remained the dominant majority until
- African slaves grew in number with the slave trade from 1663 until their emancipation in 1838.
- Diversity increased with the addition of other people groups:
- French refugees from St. Domingue arrived in the late 18th century.
- German settlers were brought to the island in the mid 1800s.
- Indian laborers were brought in accordance with Acts of the Assembly in 1842 through 1899.
- Chinese laborers were brought in 1854.
- Indian, Syrian, Lebanese merchants and businessmen came in the late 19th to 20th centuries.
- Individuals from China, Europe, and countries around the world have added to the variety in the population.
Their mingling is reflected in our island motto, “Out of Many, One People.”
In the decade of the 1830s many landowners returned to Great Britain, or dispersed to other parts of the British Empire. In the decade of the 1970s there was another dispersion to North America and the UK in particular.
In the 17th through 19th centuries Britain required that the colony should take a census or a count of the population in various years in order to provide statistics concerning the makeup of the population. The results which have been preserved as census records do not contain any names of individuals, but merely numbers of persons in various categories, which generally included: white, black, free colored, certain countries of origin, and occupation. One exception is the Census information for Hanover for 1823 which has been found in some Colonial Office correspondence and is on this site. Because of this lack of what most genealogists would consider census information, the best substitutes are the Jamaica Almanacs, lists of landowners, Directories, Church Registers, and tombstones. This site offers information from these substitutes, as well as excerpts from old newspapers and other sources.
This site now contains approximately 297,000 names of people who lived in Jamaica at some time. (Please note, therefore, that the site does not include the names of everyone who ever lived in Jamaica, from the arrival of the English in 1655, as the number would then be in the millions.)
This website was created by an individual, and not by a corporation.
The 1751 Almanac is the earliest one that contained the names of people. In 1811 through 1845 the Almanacs contained a list of the proprietors and properties. Almanacs also listed official and other persons on the island in the Civil and Military Lists. These Almanacs are an excellent place in which to kick off your research, especially if you do not know the parish in which your family lived. A search for the surname will lead to a parish in which their property was located. Viewing the details will give you their first names, property name, size of property or number of slaves and livestock. The civil and military lists may provide information on people who were not listed as property owners.
Information from the following Almanacs is on this site:
- Almanac 1751, Civil List
- Almanac 1776, Civil and Military Lists
- Almanac 1779, Civil and Military Lists
- Almanac 1782, Civil and Military Lists
- Almanac 1784, Civil and Military Lists
- Almanac 1787, Civil and Military Lists
- Almanac 1790, Civil and Military Lists
- Almanac 1796, Civil and Military Lists
- Almanac 1799, Civil and Military Lists
- Almanac 1802, Civil and Military Lists
- Almanac 1805, Civil and Military Lists
- Almanac 1808, Civil and Military Lists
- Almanac 1811, Proprietors etc. and Properties
- Almanac 1812, Proprietors etc. and Properties
- Almanac 1816, Proprietors etc. and Properties
- Almanac 1817, Proprietors etc. and Properties
- Almanac 1817, Civil and Military Lists
- Almanac 1818, Proprietors etc. and Properties
- Almanac 1820, Proprietors etc. and Properties
- Almanac 1821, Proprietors etc. and Properties
- Almanac 1822, Proprietors etc. and Properties
- Almanac 1823, Proprietors etc. and Properties
- Almanac 1824, Proprietors etc. and Properties
- Almanac 1824, Civil and Military Lists
- Almanac 1825, Proprietors etc. and Properties
- Almanac 1826, Proprietors etc. and Properties
- Almanac 1827, Proprietors etc. and Properties
- Almanac 1828, Proprietors etc. and Properties
- Almanac 1829, Proprietors etc. and Properties
- Almanac 1831, Proprietors etc. and Properties
- Almanac 1832, Proprietors etc. and Properties
- Almanac 1833, Proprietors etc. and Properties
- Almanac 1838, Proprietors etc. and Properties
- Almanac 1839, Civil and Military Lists
- Almanac 1840, Proprietors etc. and Properties
- Almanac 1840, Civil List for Kingston, Militia for St. James
- Almanac 1845, Proprietors etc. and Properties, and History of Jamaica to 1844
- Almanac 1851, Civil and Parochial Officers, ministers, doctors, lawyers, banks, lodges, Military
- Almanac 1857, more extensive lists of Civil, Public and Parochial officers, ministers, doctors, lawyers, schools, Lodges, etc. and Army and Militia
- Almanac 1860, Register of Voters for 1860
- Almanac 1861, “Who’s Who? in which is Incorporated the Jamaica Almanac”
- Almanac 1865, Civil, banks, ministers, doctors, societies, schools, hospitals, consuls, Masonic Lodges, Military
- Almanac 1870, Civil, Military, banks, ministers, doctors, societies, schools, hospitals
- Almanac 1875: Administration, Judicial, Ecclesiastical, Religious Denominations, Education, Medical, Societies, and Parochial details from each parish.
- Who’s Who and What’s What in which is incorporated DeCordova’s Almanac for 1877, and the 1877 Kingston Business Directory
There are other excerpts from various Almanacs which provide statistics or explanations of what was current at the time.
For a complete Index and Links to all Almanac pages, please go to the Almanacs lead page.
1878 Directory of Jamaica.
This book is an invaluable research tool, and the entire Directory, containing over 370 pages, has been transcribed here. The first section of this Directory lists name, full address, occupation, and place of employment, for people from all walks of life in Jamaica. There is a general Directory for all parishes. Kingston and Spanish Town also have Business Directories.
The second major portion of this book contains the “Directory of Estates Pens and Properties.” It lists properties alphabetically by Parish, and gives the names of the landowners, property attorneys, and overseers.
The final section contains General Information on those in Administration, the military, constabulary, medical, ecclesiastical, and educational fields, lodges and societies.
To access the links to pages please go to: 1878 Directory
1891 Business Directory
This Directory listed business people in Kingston by Street, and those in other areas by Post Office. It also included penkeepers, ministers in various churches, foreign consuls, Members of the Parochial Boards, and other government officials. It lists approximately 3,000 names of individuals. The ads contained in the Directory have also been transcribed.
To access the links to the 1891 Directory pages please go to: 1891 Directory
1910 Commercial and Residential Directory
Although the title is “Commercial Directory,” this also contains residential listings. There are several lists: a list of property owners and pens, sugar estates and plantations, arranged by parishes; a business directory listed by trades; a list of persons living in Kingston and St. Andrew; a list of persons living outside that area; and a list of Ministers arranged by denomination. The name and address of each individual or business is listed. There is a list of the towns referred to in postal addresses, with a brief description.
The book also includes the History, description and leadership of Associations, Clubs, Lodges and Schools, a List of Police officers, and a List of Civil Servants across the island, showing their positions, departments, and Post Office addresses.
To access the pages in this extensive Directory, please go to 1910 Directory
1734-1753 Lists of White Families Introduced into Jamaica
Lists of White Families introduced into Jamaica from 1734 to 1753 under several Acts that were passed in England to encourage settlers to move to the island. The lists were included in CO 137/28. List One consisted of 145 families, for a total of 347 individuals,described as “white families and artificers.” At the end of the page you will find a report taken from the Journals of the House of Commons in 1753 concerning the efficacy of the Acts. See link to List One below in “Immigration.”
List Two consisted of 112 families, for a total of 353 individuals. For most of them the list shows when and where they settled, and how many acres of land they received. See link to List Two below in “Immigration.”
1735 – 1754 Return of Land Grants
These Returns provide the details of each grant: date, name, number of acres, legal description of the location, boundaries, and owners of adjoining properties. There are 208 grants altogether (including one to Nanny, a famous leader of the Maroons). The information comes from the National Archives (England) CO 137/28 folios 197 to 223. See link to the lists in “Immigration.”
American Loyalists 1783
List of American Loyalists who were granted land in St. Elizabeth, Jamaica, in 1783.
1795 Lists of French Prisoners and Emigrants in Kingston
Refugees from St. Domingue began to arrive in Jamaica in 1791. (St. Domingue was a French colony on the western part of the island of Hispaniola, an area which has since become Haiti.) When more refugees arrived in 1792, a Roman Catholic Chapel was opened in Kingston, for the first time in about 100 years. The refugees became the main core of that church, which also included Spaniards, Irish and English congregants.
In 1793 through 1798 more French refugees arrived in Jamaica in considerable numbers. Many of them fled St. Domingue with very little but their lives. Evidence of this is seen in two lists found in Colonial Office Correspondence, viz.:
A list of French Families receiving aid from the Government, showing Names, Number of Persons, and Sums Received per Month.
Names of French taken into Jamaica in 1793-1795, whether as Prisoners or Emigrants, Ships on which captured, or place from which sailed, Military or personal status, Weekly subsistence and financial aid.
See also the Letter to the Earl of Balcarres from Marquis Caduch concerning the situation of the French in Jamaica in 1795, and a proclamation from the governor’s office.
1805 – 1824 Return of Land Grants
A Return of the Number of Patents for Land granted in Jamaica from January 1805 to December 1824 with the names of persons to whom granted, the quantity of land, and the parish where situated. (As reported in Colonial Correspondence CO137/162,Jan)
Immigrants to Jamaica 1840-1841
Return of Immigrants who arrived in the island of Jamaica from the 30th September 1840 to the 30th September 1841 under the immigration Act 4th Victoria Chapter 23. (CO140/133. NA. Kew). There were 1,417 immigrants listed in the report, and they were grouped by families.
The official report gave the name of the Ship or Vessel, and the Port from whence it came. It listed the date and place of arrival in Jamaica. The name and age of each immigrant was listed, and sometimes the trade or calling was included. Newspaper reports provided additional information on some of the immigrants, including their nationalities.
For the passenger lists for the 13 ships on which they arrived, please use the link to “Immigration” below.
For names and details concerning these immigrants, please go to Immigration lead page
The following is a summary of these “Lists of People” in date order, followed by a link to access the pages
1670 Landholders in Jamaica
In 1670 Sir Thomas Modyford, who was then Governor of Jamaica, sent back to England a Survey listing the landowners in the island, and the number of acres that they had patented. The data for the Survey had been compiled by the Receiver General from land patents and the annual rents due to the Crown. It has been reproduced here. There is also a 1670 map of the island.
1673 to 1729 Land Grants in Western Hanover
This is a hand-drawn version of a map showing patents etc. around Orange Bay and Green Island from 1673 to 1729. P. Dickson has numbered and transcribed the names and information written on each parcel on the map, and placed the numbers on the map, so that the information can be easily read and tied together.
1702 Inhabitants of Kingston
This list has been prepared from the names listed on a map of Kingston for 1702. See link below.
1753 Landowners in St. Andrew
This list was contained in Colonial Office Correspondence filed at CO 137/28 pages 169 to 175. It provides the name of the landowners, (noting whether they were deceased), the name of the property (where available), details on the number of acres planted in sugar, coffee, cotton, food crops, etc.; the number of white servants, Negroes, or cattle; the quality of the land and whether or not it was mountainous. Please see link below.
1754 List of Landholders in Jamaica
A list of landholders, together with the number of acres each person possessed taken from the Quit Rent Books in the year 1754. Over 1,550 property owners are listed. For each name, the number of acres held in each parish is listed. Some held land in several parishes.
This list is in the National Archives in London, in the Colonial Office papers, document number CO 142/31. It was sent by Governor Knowles with a letter dated 31st December 1754.
1755 and 1804 Gazetteers of Jamaica
Thousands of names of properties, most of which were the names of the owners, have been extracted from maps for 1755 and 1804 and keyed to coordinates on the maps so that they can be located.
1774 Inhabitants of St. James
These lists concerning St. James are among documents and schedules presented by C. E. Long, Esq. to the British Museum in March 1842. They contain notes on statistics by Edward Long. They are the most detailed lists available on the inhabitants of St. James at the time.
The first is a list of Sugar Estates; the Names of their Owners; number of men there able to bear arms, number of women and children, slaves, stock; sugar production.
The second is a list of smaller settlers, including “Pens, Coffee planters, Jobbers, Millwrights, Carpenters, Masons & such like”. It gives the Name of the landowner, profession, and the same numbers as the first list.
The third is a list of “Housekeepers” who possessed slaves and stock, providing once again the Name and Profession and the same numbers as the first list.
The fourth is a “List of Quarteroons (Quadroons) Mulattoes and Negroes who are Free and Able to bear Arms in the Parish of Saint James,” which provides the “Name, Colour, Profession, Place of Residence.”
1776 Partial List of Hanover Properties and Proprietors
A list prepared by a contributor, compiled from various sources, containing the names of some properties and property owners in Hanover in 1776.
1792 List of holders of slave and stock in St. Ann
A list prepared by order of the House of Assembly, containing the names of persons who had slaves and stock, and the numbers thereof, dated June 15, 1792.
1807-1908 List of Children at RMA Chelsea sponsored by West India Regiment
Data on the children at the Royal Military Asylum Chelsea, who were sponsored by the West India Regiment, and whose fathers had served in the Regiment.
1823 Census of Hanover
The details of a census taken in Hanover have surfaced among some Colonial Office files. The census was undertaken following a circular sent to all the parishes by the Governor requesting information about their populations. The counting began in 1822. It included all persons of free condition, “distinguishing their colour, ages and places of residence.” See link below.
1831 Return of Maroons
In 1655 the fleeing Spaniards freed their slaves. The slaves fled to the interior mountains. They were later called “Maroons” (probably from the Spanish word “cimarron” meaning “wild, untamed”). The numbers of the original Maroons were increased by the addition of runaway slaves who escaped their English masters. The Maroons sometimes raided the English plantations. Skirmishes between the English and the Maroons continued, finally escalating into Maroon Wars in 1738-1739 and ending with the signing of Treaties. Commissioners were appointed for the several Maroon townships and settlements.
The 1831 Returns of the Maroons in Moore Town, Charles Town, Scots Hall, and Accompong, have been transcribed for this site, from CO 140/121 (Colonial Office Correspondence in the National Archives). The Returns contain the names of about 1600 people, and provide the ages of most of them. Some of the Maroons were also slaveholders, and their slaves were included in the Returns.
1717 Lists of Inhabitants of Leeward Islands
1717 List of Inhabitants of Spanish Town in the Leeward Islands
This list includes the country of origin of the inhabitants. It is taken from Colonial Correspondence CO152/12/2. See link below.
1717 List of Inhabitants of Anguilla
In 1721 many of these families were transferred from the island of Anguilla in the Leeward Islands to Jamaica to increase the number of settlers here. This list is taken from the same packet as the list of Spanish Town inhabitants, found in Colonial Correspondence CO152/12/2. See link below.
For access to the links to these lists of people, please go to: Lead page to Other Lists of People.
“Monumental Inscriptions of the British West Indies. “
This is the complete text of J. H. Lawrence-Archer’s book. Written in 1875 it contains over 450 pages. There are tombstones and monuments from Jamaica (pages 1-342), Barbados (345-401; all the inscriptions on the island through 1750), Antigua (405-414; 26 inscriptions), St. Christopher (417-420; 10 inscriptions), and British Guiana (423-426; 7 inscriptions). In addition to inscriptions, the author provided family trees, chronological data, lists of governors, and other details which are interesting as well as useful to those doing Caribbean genealogy.
Index to “Monumental Inscriptions”
The author’s Index is included and may be used for locating names that appear in the book by page number(as well as using the general Search function.) There is one list for Jamaica, and another for the other colonies in the West Indies.
Text of “Monumental Inscriptions”
The complete text of the body of J. H. Lawrence-Archer’s book.
Annotations on the Monumental Inscriptions, by Frank Cundall and Noel B. Livingston, excerpted from “Caribbeana.” This updates the inscriptions for the Spanish Town Cathedral and tombstones in the churchyard.
To access the links to all these pages please go to Monumental Inscriptions
The entire text of the Book by W. A. Feurtado: “Official and Other Personages in Jamaica from 1655 to 1790”, the alphabetical listing of Personages, the Introduction, his chapter on the Peerage in Jamaica, his list of governors and major office holders, and the list of subscribers to his book in 1896, with their names and town of residence. Please see:
Feurtado Introduction, for the Introduction and links to the book itself.
History Of The Parish Of Trelawny
This book was written over the space of many years, and finally completed in 1954, by Daniel L. Ogilvie. As a child I personally accompanied my mother on visits to him on many occasions, and I witnessed his dedication to the task of writing the history of his beloved parish. The entire book is on this site.
Please go to the History of Trelawny.
Louis C. Malabre wrote a 3-Volume record of the families of the colonists who survived the revolts in St. Domingue and fled to Jamaica in the late 18th century. He systematically traced the descendants of these families, supporting their history with transcriptions from church and other documents in St. Domingue and Jamaica, including some church records which have been lost and are no longer available in the Roman Catholic Archives, and some St. Domingue Indemnity records.
A hand-painted chart of Coats of Arms for the families into which the Duquesnay family married.
For details and links please see Malabre Manuscript lead page.
Church of England and other
Here you will find names, dates and places from Baptisms, Marriages and Burials, from Church of England (Anglican) Parish Registers, Civil Registers of Births, Marriages, and Deaths, and transcriptions from Dissenter Marriage Registers. There are also Wills, from the seventeenth through early twentieth centuries. Some are in the form of family genealogy reports, and others are transcriptions of data. Over 450 wills have been transcribed from the Jamaican Supreme Court and District Court records, and from British Probate Courts.
The movements of some Church of England clergymen who served in Jamaica, have been set out in a compilation from various sources, including names from church records.
Index to extant wills
Extant Wills recorded in the Supreme Court 1725-1882, 1883-1889, 1891, 1894-1903, 1904-1914, 1917-1919, 1921, and 1923 to 1930 have been indexed, showing the name, and in most cases the residence and occupation of each testator. The list of Will index pages that are available is on the lead page to Registers and Wills.
For links to pages, and details on the contents of these pages, please go to Registers and Wills lead page.
Roman Catholic Registers
People in Jamaica in the late 18th and early 19th century were natives of many other islands and countries. The early Roman Catholic records, including some that were in French or Spanish, have been translated into English and placed on this site.
The Kingston Registers that have been extracted are: Baptisms for 1798-1807, 1813-1836, 1840, 1842-1845, 1861, 1868 to 1876, which include some records for towns outside of Kingston, as well as some baptisms of people of colour and slaves 1804-1811 and 1824-1834, Marriages in 1800-1878, Burials from 1795 to 1879 and 1900-1906, and a list of early tombstones. Baptisms and Marriages from St. Patrick’s Chapel in Kingston for 1833 to 1842 are also included.
Family genealogy reports have been compiled from records from the French and Spanish Chapels, Holy Trinity and St. Patrick’s, a manuscript and charts prepared by Louis Malabre, as well as records from the USA.
Indexes have been copied for Baptisms 1800-1817, 1837-1868, and 1877-1881, and for Marriages 1879-1901.
From St. Anne’s Church in Kingston come Volumes 7 through 11 of the Baptism Registers for 1925-1947.
Records from Newcastle, St. Andrew, for 1870 to 1905 contain baptisms, marriages and burials of military personnel as well as local residents.
Spanish Town baptisms, as also baptisms and marriages in Agualta Vale, Annotto Bay, Scots Hall and other parts of St. Mary, Kings Weston, and May River, St. Mary, and the Indexes to 6 Volumes of Baptisms throughout the island will be of particular use to those who had relatives outside of Kingston.
You will find links to all these pages at Roman Catholic Registers lead page
Wesleyan Methodist Registers
The original Registers of Baptisms from some of the Methodist Churches in Jamaica have been preserved by the Jamaica Archives in Spanish Town. Some records start as early as 1818 and include baptisms of slaves. Records of baptisms from early Methodist Churches in Kingston, Port Royal, Spanish Town, Montego Bay, Falmouth and Brown’s Town (St. Ann) have been transcribed and added to this site. Baptisms in those towns included people from the surrounding areas, which were considered parts of each circuit. Some of the Registers also included some marriages.
For links, please go to Methodist Registers lead page
The Moravians were the first missionaries in Jamaica from “Dissenter” churches. Extracts from the History of the Moravian mission in Jamaica written in 1854 by J. H. Buchner serve as the lead page to extracts from records of persons received into the mission in Lititz in St. Elizabeth.
For the History, and the Reception of members in the mission in Lititz, St. Elizabeth 1839-1845, containing new name, old slave name, country of origin, and residence in Jamaica, see links to Lititz receptions.
Births and Marriages in the Ashkenazi Congregation in Kingston 1788 – 1906.
Births, Marriages and Deaths in the Sephardic Congregation in Kingston, 1809 – 1902.
Births in the Amalgamated Congregation and United Congregation of Israelites, 1884 – 1930.
Marriages in the Amalgamated Congregation and United Congregation of Israelites, 1883 – 1945.
Deaths in the Amalgamated and United Congregation of Israelites 1883 – 1993.
An Index to some Jewish Births in Montego Bay is included.
There is a brief Index to Jewish Marriages and Deaths in Montego Bay.
There are transcriptions of the tombstones in the Jewish cemetery in Falmouth, and some photographs of the cemetery.
Extracts from the book A Record of Jews in Jamaica by Jacob A. P. M. Andrade, including Tombstones, Will extracts, Patents, and Naturalizations.
For links to all pages please go to: Jewish lead page.
Links to various documents related to slavery in Jamaica, that are to be found throughout this website, have been placed on a special web page called Slaves and Slavery. Please use this link to access the documents which have been arranged in chronological order, with a link to the page on which each one is found.
Generally the documents cited fall into the following categories:
- Historical events, including the abolition of the slave trade, and emancipation.
- Lists of names of slaves on certain estates, found in slave returns, documents, or Parish Registers, including the 1817 Slave Registers for Cousins Cove and Davis Cove in Hanover, and slaves reported by Blair and James.
- Slave marriages in Kingston, Port Royal, St. Catherine, St. John, St. Dorothy, St. Thomas in the Vale, Manchester, Vere, Hanover, Trelawny, St. James, and Portland 1821 to 1825 reported in Colonial Office Correspondence CO 137/162. The records for some parishes include the names of owners and Estates that gave permission for the marriages. There are some transcriptions of slave marriages in Dissenter Churches.
- Persons declared to be “white by law” or “free” by Private Acts passed in the Jamaican Assembly.
- Slaves manumitted, by purchasing their freedom, or being set free by their masters.
- Slave insurrections, particularly the one in Cornwall in 1831.
- Slave Compensation report from St. Thomas in the East 1838.
- Views and reactions from 1732, and 1802 to 1833 as found in Colonial Office Correspondence.
- Information contained in other correspondence and documents.
- Views and reactions by authors.
- Tables showing the number of slaves in a given time or place, including the number of slaves shipped to and from the island for each of the years from 1702 to 1787.
For links to all pages please go to: Slaves and Slavery
Summaries or Selected Passages
Excerpts pertaining to persons who were natives of, or resident in, Jamaica, taken from “Caribbeana: being Miscellaneous Papers relating to the History, Genealogy, Topography, and Antiquities of the British West Indies,” edited by Vere Langford Oliver and published 1909 to 1919. Included are Jamaicans matriculated at University of Glasgow, Monumental Inscriptions in England, large property owners in 1750, marriages in Jamaica before 1680, Deeds in Jamaica, pedigrees, Marriages and Deaths from the Columbian Magazine, the earliest magazine known to have been published in Jamaica, for 1796 to 1799, and Administrations granted in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury 1667-1681 concerning Jamaica, and Jamaican Appeals to the Privy Council in England in the early 18th century.
For details and links to pages, please see Caribbeana lead page.
Who’s Who in Jamaica
Who’s Who in Jamaica 1916
The biographical entries have been summarized from the 1916 edition, and a few from the 1919 edition. The Obituaries which cover 1906 to 1917 are also summarized, as is military information for 1916.
Who’s Who in Jamaica 1919
The Who’s Who in Jamaica for 1919 contained further information on the participation of Jamaicans in World War I (which lasted from 1914 to 1918), including the process of recruiting in Jamaica for the British West Indies Regiment, officers who had proceeded overseas for service with the BWIR, and Commissioned Officers of H.M. Naval and Military Forces connected with Jamaica, a list of people from Jamaica who were killed in service in World War I, War Services Recognized, and members of the Local Defence Force.
The 1919 Who’s Who also contains a list of the Magistrates for each parish, and Obituaries of some prominent Jamaicans who died in 1917 to 1920.
For links to both these volumes please go to Who’s Who lead page.
Handbook of Jamaica
Excerpts from the 1891-1892, 1900 and 1905 Handbooks include information on the owners of properties under cultivation, clergymen, courts, magistrates, notaries, Legislative and Privy Councils, staff of the Customs and Treasury Departments, medical practitioners, the provisions for Naturalization of Aliens, and Commissions of Land Surveyors. It also provides information on the legal status of the Church of England in Jamaica from 1660 to 1870. Excerpts from the 1919 edition list the officers of the Public Works and the Railway.
For details of the Handbook excerpts, and links to pages, go to Handbooks lead page.
Memoir of Thomas Callender
Memoir, 1846-48, from the Journals and Letters of Thomas Callender who left Scotland for Jamaica in 1846. Mr. Callender gives another view of Jamaica shortly after the abolition of slavery. Have you ever wondered what it was like to make a trip in a sailing ship from Scotland to Jamaica a century and a half ago? In Jamaica he was first stationed in Lucea, working mostly with black and colored congregations. Beginning with the fourth excerpt he ministers in Kingston. The selections end with his death in the sixth excerpt. For links to his Memoir and two of his Sermons, please go to Callender Memoir.
Montego Bay its People and its Lodge
A list of the Members of the Friendly Lodge 383 (1818-2000) and the Cornwall Lodge, 450 (697) (1815 to 1830), including the dates of initiation or joining. See Lodges.
” Jamaica in 1850″
The book was written by John Bigelow in 1852. The extracts used here look at the economic condition of the island, and some possible causes for the decline. See 1850 Jamaica.
” A View of the Past and Present State of the Island of Jamaica…”
An extract from this book, written in 1823 by J. Stewart. His remarks on the white population, and people of colour of Jamaica. His observations on the Militia and the Post Office. Go to Stewart Book .
” Stephen Bourne – A Flawed Philanthropist”
Stephen Bourne was a Special Magistrate and then a Stipendiary Magistrate in Jamaica from 1834 to 1841. Excerpts relate particularly to the time of apprenticeship. Go to Bourne Biography .
The “Gleaner” commenced publication in 1834. It is still published daily, and it is the leading newspaper on the island. This site contains excerpts from October 1865 (the Morant Bay Rebellion), 1866 through 1869, the years 1872 through 1878, 1880-1883, 1886-1887, January and February 1894, January 1907 (the Kingston earthquake), an excerpt from December 1916, and a 1920 report from the Calabar Institution.
For a complete list of pages, please go to Gleaner lead page
The “Royal Gazette”
The weekly issues of this newspaper from January 5, 1793 through June 29, 1793, July 5 through December 31, 1794, August 1881, and April 23, 1891, items from April, 1795, and Probate and Administration in 1916-1917, have been excerpted, and can be found at Gazettes.
There are also excerpts from the following newspapers:
“The Trelawny and Public Advertiser”
This newspaper contained not only news of Trelawny, but also news from other parts of the island. Excerpts from 1874 to 1879..
The “Falmouth Post and Jamaica General Advertizer”
This newspaper was published twice a week. It contained not only news of Falmouth, Trelawny, but also news from other parts of the island.
“The Cornwall Chronicle and General Advertiser”
Excerpts from the Cornwall Chronicle for December 1776 through May 1777 and February to March 1789.
The “Jamaica Witness”
“The Jamaica Witness” was published monthly in the late nineteenth century. The editor was a Presbyterian minister. There are excerpts from 1877-1879 and 1883-1887.
Other Jamaican newspapers
- The “Jamaica Courant and Public Advertiser” June 1754 and March 1830 editions
- The “Morning Journal” excerpts from 1840-1847
- The “Kingston Chronicle” excerpts from 1837
- The “Jamaica Creole” a December 1882 report of the Kingston fire
- “Galls Newsletter”, a report of the inauguration of Isaac Levy as Custos in 1878
British Newspapers and Magazines
- Excerpts from the London Gazettes for 1914 through 1920, and 1939 to 1947
- An 1808 excerpt from the “Royal Cornwall Gazette” concerning the attack of a French privateer on the Royal Mail packet sailing from England to Jamaica.
- Excerpts from newspapers from London and Edinburgh, 1772-1964, with reports on Jamaicans. Excerpts from the “Trewman’s Exeter Flying Post” from Exeter 1819-1822.
- Births, Marriages and Deaths for some families in Jamaica extracted from Fisher’s Colonial Magazine for 1842.
- Excerpts from the “Gentleman’s Magazine” 1744 and 1828-1853, and “Blackwood’s” 1848.
- A petition to the King found in the “Whitehall Evening Post” in 1782.
American and Canadian Newspapers
- From a New Brunswick newspaper, more details on the 1907 earthquake in Kingston.
- From a New York newspaper, brief accounts of the 1832 slave rebellion.
To access the links to these newspaper excerpts please go to Newspapers lead page
Articles on the Morant Bay Rebellion
1. JAMAICA PAPERS : FACTS AND DOCUMENTS RELATING TO THE ALLEGED REBELLION IN JAMAICA
Published by the Jamaica Committee, an unofficial group in England investigating the Morant Bay Rebellion.
- Local conditions and outbreak
- Military reports; description of the “reign of terror” by other writers
- George W. Gordon, arrest, death, and letters
2. A MAGAZINE ARTICLE ON THE REBELLION: “Insurrection”, from the Atlantic Monthly, April 1866.
3. ADDRESS TO GOVERNOR EYRE concerning the Morant Bay rebellion, signed by 94 inhabitants of St. Elizabeth.
4. See also excerpts from the autobiography of Thomas Faughnan, a British soldier stationed in Jamaica, including his opinion on the Morant Bay rebellion.
5. See also Jamaican newspaper reports in the “Gleaner” in October 1865.
For links to all these pages concerning the Rebellion, please go to Morant Bay Rebellion.
Articles by F. J. duQuesnay
Frederick J. duQuesnay, a Jamaican author and genealogist, has contributed some original articles on: Museums of Jamaica, the History of Rose Hall Greathouse, Lucea, St. James Parish Church, Brissett, Beckford, Long, Barrett, Nedham, Pinnock, Sir Anthony Musgrave, and Success Estate, Cinnamon Hill, Iter Boreale, the Scarlett family, Hill and Keane. For links please go to duQuesnay articles.
Other Original Articles and Documents
- 1669-1797. List of people with surname James in Index to Deed Books
- A copy of Governor Modyford’s instructions to Henry Morgan, and his commission to make war on the Spanish, dated 1670. Some of Modyford’s servants and their acquaintances who remained in Jamaica after discharge from service.
- 1674-1771. List of James in Index to Patents
- 1676 & 1691. Richard James Plats.
- 1682-1700 Deeds in which the Buyer was Bartiboe [Bartibo]. Thomas Bartiboe purchase of land in St. Elizabeth from Vincent in 1682, and from Creamer in St. James in 1688. John Bartiboe purchase of land on the Great River from Hemingway in 1700.
- Letter from Jamaica in 1687 from the Reverend Francis Crow to the Reverend Giles Firmin in Essex, England, on the manners and mores at Port Royal and the difficulties of getting people to attend to the word of God.
- A history of Kingston, with maps (diagrams) to illustrate the development from its beginning in 1692 through 1959 .
- A study of the relationship and financial dealings and documents involving Col. John Campbell of Jamaica and Alexander Campbell of Kirnan, 1700 to 1752.
- Jamaicans entering Trinity College, Cambridge, 1701-1800.
- William Rhodes Plats, 1711.
- Some notes on the descendants of Col. John Campbell 1720-1793.
- 1720-1814. Launce of Hanover, Jamaica, and his respective heirs.
- An article on a property in Jamaica named Heavitree,1729-1888. It includes information on compensation paid for slaves who were emancipated .
- 1731 to 1792 Excerpts from the Propinquity Records of Aberdeen, Scotland, concerning people from Jamaica, and a few from other areas.
- 1739 Patrick Burke Agreement to Serve as an indentured servant in Jamaica.
- 1732 Letter from the Governor concerning the first Maroon War and how authorities dealt with it.
- Letters from Campbell and Clerk 1740-1751, and 1768-1769.
- Blagrove, particularly John Williams Blagrove – a curious inheritance 1740-1851. A painting of Cardiff Hall.
- 1746-1755. Deed Harriott to Richard James and Patent to Jonathan James 1755
- Early Letters from Campbell and Clerk 1747-1757.
- Inventories and Appraisals of the personal property and rights of certain deceased persons 1747-1879.
- Expenses of Fortifications at Rockfort and Mosquito Point. An accounting for payments to various individuals and for supplies and work.
- Portrait and biography of Nathaniel Neilson who lived 1760-1834.
- A Bill of Exchange for Philip Philip Livingston dated 1764.
- Clarke Inventories 1755 to 1844.
- Letter from Duncan Campbell 1766, and two letters from a John Campbell in Jamaica. Will of Janet McDuffie 1799.
- 1765 Campbell Power of Attorney; letter from William Gale to Haughton James 1765; some Judgments in Chancery 1787-1788.
- Excerpts from Letters from Duncan Campbell 1766-1771 and 1766-1797.
- 1768-1845 Conveyances involving Clark, Clarke, Broadbelt, Malcolm, Virgo, Minto, Downer, Brissett, Isaac, Carr, Cresse, Lawrence, Hislop or others.
- A 1771 Patent to James Giscome for land in St. James.
- An article by G.S. Yates on The Rose Hall Legend.
- A list of merchant ships and their captains who entered some Jamaican ports 1776-1777.
- Data concerning the strength and composition of the Jamaica Militia in 1778 (from Long Manuscripts)
- 1778 Decreet, William Dickson vs John Dickson, accounting for expenditures.
- Biography of George Kirlew 1779-1854, including photographs.
- The business Diary of Philip Philip Livingston for 1782-1783.
- Letters and reports concerning the devastating hurricane of 1780, with lists of many victims.
- Excerpts from Letters from William Samuells 1784, and Mortgage Indenture between Samuells and William Miles.
- 1788 Return of the number of White Inhabitants, Free persons of Colour, and Slaves for each parish.
- The text of Letters from John Fowler, Martha Brae, Trelawny, dated 1788 and 1790. A list of debtors from his Inventory.
- 1789 letter from J. Fowler concerning a shipment of slaves on the “Crescent”, with an analysis of data on the ship, the slaves and crew.
- 1790 letter from J. Fowler concerning a shipment of slaves on the “Sarah”, with an analysis of data on the Sarah, and other information.
- Selections from a Marriage Settlement between Ricketts and Mildmay which involved New Canaan Estate in St. James, including the list of names of about 200 slaves on the estate.
- The ship “Daniel” left Africa in 1792 with slaves to be delivered to John Fowler in Martha Brae/ Falmouth, Trelawny. An analysis of the mortality rate of the slaves and crew.
- The contract between Joseph Thomas Patrice DuBourg and Josephine Charlotte Benigne Brusle widow de Mauleon (translated from the French). The contract lists the names of 95 slaves.
- Diary of Ann and James Taylor 1797-1800 and c1831. Pedigree of Richard Taylor who was stationed in Jamaica c1783 with the British Army.
- Indenture of David and Ann Grant to A. Richie, R. Donaldson, and R. Hibbert, c 1799.
- Letters from Dingwall in Jamaica to Scotland 1801-1830; a letter from the Colonial Secretary in 1884 concerning Cedar Grove pen.
- Mortgages and deeds of Henry Cerf. These deeds transfer ownership of property and slaves in the early 1800s, at a time when slave “ownership” was legal.
- Two letters from Hanover concerning Three Mile River estate in Westmoreland demonstrate how letters were addressed
- Letters from the Revd. William Fraser 1806-1843, report of the Inquest after his death, letter from his widow Elizabeth Lucy (nee James) 1844.
- Conveyance from McCallum to Dixon 1807
- George Bowley Medley, his wife Hester (nee Webb), and their children: images, documents and biographical notes 1802-1902.
- An article about Edward Binns of Lucea, 1804-1851.
- The Inventory of the estate of George Huie of Trelawny contains the names of over 50 slaves.
- Excerpts from Letters from Dugald Campbell 1813-1814.
- The early history of the Presbyterian Church in Jamaica, 1814-1832.
- A History of the Church of England in Jamaica, with special reference to St. Thomas in the Vale from 1816 to 1832, by Mary Mill.
- Conveyance from Rhodes Edward Evans to Edward Evans 1821.
- Journal kept by Alexander Innes while in Jamaica 1823-1824.
- In 1825 Henry Shergold renounced his executorship in the estate of Elizabeth Anderson.
- Memoir of Grace Elizabeth Pinnock concerning her childhood years in Westmoreland from 1825 to 1831.
- Letters from Herbert Jarrett James 1826-1827 concerning Rose Hall and Palmyra
- Memoir of George Pinnock, brother of Grace Elizabeth Pinnock concerning his childhood years in Westmoreland, followed by life in England, and move to Australia.
- The diary of William Rhodes James 1836-1837 during his journey to Jamaica to accompany his father Herbert Jarrett James off the island.
- In 1836-1837 Philip Galindo and his father journeyed to Jamaica. Philip’s journal gives his personal view of life in Kingston at the time.
- Photograph and letter from Thomas Addison Holmes.
- A Conveyance from Anthony Wilkinson to John Clark in 1838 included the names of 112 slaves.
- Letter to Lewis Bowerbank from prominent citizens of Kingston upon his departure in 1876, including image of their signatures.
- Surveyor’s Map of Little Park in St. Elizabeth, 1919.
- Families and people living in Little London, Westmoreland, 1924-1948.
- A collections of family trees, timelines, photographs, wills and newspaper articles on Ffrench and related familes.
For links to all these articles and documents, please go to Lead page to Other articles and Documents.
Book of Burke/Bourke Pedigrees, 1748
In the Museum in Dublin there is an original manuscript dated 1748, called “The Pedigrees of the Right Honourable Smith Burke Earl of Clanrickard, Viscount of Clanmorris and Baron of Dunkellin, and John Bourke Lord Viscount Mayo.” The manuscript actually gives pedigrees of families named Burke, Bourke, DeBurgo, DeBurgh, and Burgh, mostly in Ireland, for over 1000 years. A few of these persons went to Jamaica, or had descendants or connections there. These pedigrees have how been placed on the Members’ pages. For more about the book, and an Index to the pages, you may go to the Introduction to Burke Pedigrees.
- Jamaicans in British Censuses for some areas in 1851, 1871, 1881.
- Jamaicans found in the 1851/1852 Census records for Canada.
- Jamaicans found in other census records.
- Monumental Inscriptions to Jamaicans found elsewhere.
- Jamaicans found in Australian records and newspapers.
- Jamaicans listed among convicts in Australia.
- Some Jamaicans found elsewhere in books.
- Some Jamaicans found in records elsewhere, including obituaries.
For links to all these pages, please go to Jamaicans in Foreign Records.
There are pages on this site that deal particularly with the Military in Jamaica, whether British Regiments serving on the island, British West India Regiments, the local Jamaica Militia, Jamaicans in military service in the World Wars, or other military personnel.
The specific pages are:
- List of Regiments in Jamaica 1702- 1962, from a list at the National Library of Jamaica.
- List of Regiments in Newcastle 1841- 1962, from a list compiled Colonel Douglas of the Jamaica Defence Force.
- Lists of Regiments and their location, compiled by Jamaican Family Search from the Jamaica Almanacs, Parish Registers, Roman Catholic Registers, Gazettes, and the “Gleaner”, 1765-1880
- From The “Who’s Who in Jamaica” 1919, pages on recruiting in Jamaica for the British West Indies Regiment, officers who had proceeded overseas for service with the BWIR, Commissioned Officers of H. M. Naval and Military Forces connected with Jamaica, and Jamaicans decorated for service in World War I.
- There were Jamaicans, and Jamaican places involved in the First and Second World Wars. In Civil Registration records for 1943 there are records of deaths in the Military Hospital as well as in the Internment Camp at Up Park Camp. Among them were British military as well as German seamen who died in the camp.
- The Almanacs listed officers in the Army and Navy stationed on the island, as well as those in the local Militia. The lists for from 1776 to 1870 appear on specific pages from the Almanacs
- The 1878 Directory contains a military section with the names of officers in the Regiments stationed in Jamaica in 1878, particularly in the 1st West India Regiment, as well as Naval ships stationed in the area.
- List of regiments and their officers serving in Jamaica in 1925, the Militia, the Reserves, Naval officers and ships.
- Some names of persons identified as being in the soldiers or seamen have been extracted from the Registers and listed here
- Some army officers surnamed Garsia whose names were found in the National Archives in London.
- Excerpts from the autobiography of Thomas Faughnan, a British soldier stationed in Jamaica, including his observations on life in Jamaica, and his opinion on the Morant Bay rebellion in 1865.
To access the list of links to Military pages, please go to Military lead page
There are other pages on which military personnel may be found mingled with other records, notably:
- Archer’s “Monumental Inscriptions”
- Registers and Wills
- Roman Catholic registers
- Who’s Who 1919
These pages may be accessed in their respective sections, or a ‘Search’ may be done in the Search box on any page, possibly on words such as: soldier, sailor, seaman, lieutenant, captain, regiment.
Plan of this Website
Help – Frequently Asked Questions
WHERE DO I BEGIN?
If you are new to genealogy research, start here. You will also find suggestions on how to use this site.
On this and other pages you may use the Search box at the top of the page to find names for which you are searching. The results page will list all pages on this site that contain the names entered. From the results page you may also access the entire index to this site.
Please try all possible spelling variations when looking up a name. In past centuries the spelling of names was not fixed. In addition to that, in early Jamaica there were people with a great variety of accents–Irish, Scottish, Englishmen with a Cockney or other accent, French, Spanish or Portuguese people speaking broken English, and Africans who had previously spoken various African dialects but were trying to learn English from those people. A large percentage of people could not read, write, or spell their names. It was left to the person writing a record or document to try and write down what he had heard.
For names like “MacFarlane” please try “McFarlane,” “Da Costa” becomes “Dacosta,” “de la Roche” becomes “DelaRoche.” For a name like “D’Aguilar” please try “Aguilar.” etc.
Please do not limit your use of this site to using this Search function only. There are many variations in the spelling of names. For best results you should also browse the Site Index and the pages themselves.
Jamaican Photograph Album
Pages include maps, 19th century drawings, photographs of people, as well as contemporary photographs of Jamaica. Photos
Many terms that appear in the Registers are unfamiliar to the modern reader. These terms are explained in the Glossary
A time-line of Jamaican history, with special reference to events which would affect record-keeping. History
Notes on Occupations
Notes and comments on some occupations and professions that appear in the Almanacs and Registers Occupations
Notes on Surnames
An outline of the various countries from which Jamaican immigrants and their surnames have come. Suggestions for finding these surnames on the site. See Surnames
A list of sources referred to in the extractions from Registers and Wills, and data on other sources consulted . Bibliography
Places in which to do research
Here you will find helpful tips and suggestions for doing genealogical research in Jamaica and elsewhere . Research Places
Announcements, useful links
Links to Jamaican and other useful webpages. Contributors to this site. Announcements of interest. Links
Microfilms of Jamaican Registers and Vital Records
A complete list of the microfilms of the Church Registers which preceded Civil Registration (Baptisms, Marriages and Burials in the Anglican church; Dissenter Marriages). There is also a list of microfilms of wills. These microfilms are available at Family History Centers. There are some amendments to their catalog listings, and some comments. There are instructions on how to find the microfilms of Vital Records under Civil Registration from 1879 to 1900s in the Family History Library Catalog . Microfilms
Research has been done to determine which microfilms contain the pages in the Parish Registers for St. Ann, St. Mary, Clarendon and St. Andrew which have no extant Index.
AUTHOR OF THIS WEBSITE
The biography of the author of this website is in:
© 2013. Jamaican Family Search hereby grants you a limited license to copy and use the materials provided on this site solely for your personal, non-commercial use. No other use of the site or materials is authorized. You agree that any copy of the materials (or any portion of the materials) that you make shall retain all copyright and other proprietary notices contained therein. Posting of materials on other Web Sites is strictly prohibited.
Jamaica Almanacs Slave-owners, Civil & Military officers, Magistrates etc.
Items in the Samples Directory
Items in the Members Directory
Transcriptions from Registers and Wills (Church of England, Dissenters, Civil Registration)
Jamaican Roman Catholic Church Registers – transcriptions
Jamaican Methodist Baptisms – transcriptions
Jewish births marriages deaths – transcriptions