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                                lisaparavisini posted: "

Our thanks to Peter Jordens for bringing this fascinating article to our attention.

A report from Who Do You Think You Are Magazine.

Inspired by Liz Bonnin's episode? Who Do You Think You Are? television series genealogist Laura Berry highlights the w"                       </span>
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                                                                                                                New post on <strong>Repeating Islands</strong>                                                                                                      </h2>
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                                                                                                                                                                <a href="http://repeatingislands.com/author/lisaparavisini/" style="text-decoration:underline;color:#2585b2;display:block;margin-right:10px" target="_blank"><img border="0" alt="" src="http://2.gravatar.com/avatar/edf0dfd525cf650c5b1a55f496a4c2c0?s=50&d=identicon&r=G" class="m_8513802727730063368avatar m_8513802727730063368avatar-50" height="50" width="50"></a>
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                                                                                                                                                                <h2 class="m_8513802727730063368post-title" style="margin:.4em 0 .3em;font-size:1.8em;font-size:1.6em;color:#555;margin:0;font-size:20px"><a href="http://repeatingislands.com/2017/05/13/trace-your-caribbean-ancestors/" style="text-decoration:underline;color:#2585b2;text-decoration:none!important" target="_blank">Trace your Caribbean ancestors</a></h2>
                                                                                                                                                                <span style="color:#888">by <a href="http://repeatingislands.com/author/lisaparavisini/" style="text-decoration:underline;color:#2585b2;color:#888!important" target="_blank">lisaparavisini</a> </span>
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<p style="direction:ltr;font-size:14px;line-height:1.4em;color:#444;font-family:"Helvetica Neue",Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif;margin:0 0 1em">Our thanks to Peter Jordens for bringing this fascinating article to our attention.</p>
<p style="direction:ltr;font-size:14px;line-height:1.4em;color:#444;font-family:"Helvetica Neue",Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif;margin:0 0 1em">A report <a style="text-decoration:underline;color:#2585b2" href="http://www.whodoyouthinkyouaremagazine.com/trace-your-caribbean-ancestors-liz-bonnin" target="_blank">from <em>Who Do You Think You Are Magazine</em>.</a></p>
<p style="direction:ltr;font-size:14px;line-height:1.4em;color:#444;font-family:"Helvetica Neue",Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif;margin:0 0 1em">Inspired by <a style="text-decoration:underline;color:#2585b2" href="http://www.whodoyouthinkyouaremagazine.com/episode/liz-bonnin" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Liz Bonnin's episode</a>? <em>Who Do You Think You Are?</em> television series genealogist <strong>Laura Berry</strong> highlights the wide range of resources available for researching ancestors from the Caribbean</p>
<p style="direction:ltr;font-size:14px;line-height:1.4em;color:#444;font-family:"Helvetica Neue",Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif;margin:0 0 1em"><strong>Irish presenter <a style="text-decoration:underline;color:#2585b2" href="http://www.whodoyouthinkyouaremagazine.com/episode/liz-bonnin" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Liz Bonnin</a> was born to a French Martinican father and Trinidadian mother with Indian and Portuguese ancestry. Such an exotic cultural mix is a reflection of the diverse populations that settled in the Caribbean, whether by choice or by force.</strong></p>
<p style="direction:ltr;font-size:14px;line-height:1.4em;color:#444;font-family:"Helvetica Neue",Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif;margin:0 0 1em">The history of the Caribbean islands was dominated by sugar and slavery from the 16th century, when the first European colonies were established there. African slaves were transported to the islands in huge numbers by the 18th century, and slavery was not abolished in the British Caribbean until 1838, in the French Caribbean until 1848 and in the Dutch Caribbean until 1863.</p>
<p style="direction:ltr;font-size:14px;line-height:1.4em;color:#444;font-family:"Helvetica Neue",Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif;margin:0 0 1em">Unfortunately, researching slave ancestry using documentary sources is often complicated and might not be possible at all before these dates. Even after slavery was abolished, family history research can be difficult because children were frequently born out of wedlock and subsequently registered with their mother’s surname and they sometimes adopted their father’s surname when they grew up.</p>
<p style="direction:ltr;font-size:14px;line-height:1.4em;color:#444;font-family:"Helvetica Neue",Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif;margin:0 0 1em">It wasn’t uncommon for people to have large extended families made up of half brothers and sisters and a couple might marry later in life long after having had children.</p>
<p style="direction:ltr;font-size:14px;line-height:1.4em;color:#444;font-family:"Helvetica Neue",Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif;margin:0 0 1em"><strong>First steps</strong></p>
<p style="direction:ltr;font-size:14px;line-height:1.4em;color:#444;font-family:"Helvetica Neue",Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif;margin:0 0 1em">Oral history is invaluable for researching Caribbean roots. It’s vital to talk to as many relations as possible to try to find out when your relatives left the Caribbean if they emigrated, and exactly where they came from.</p>
<p style="direction:ltr;font-size:14px;line-height:1.4em;color:#444;font-family:"Helvetica Neue",Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif;margin:0 0 1em">If any relations settled in the UK then it may be possible to order a marriage certificate from the <a style="text-decoration:underline;color:#2585b2" href="http://www.gro.gov.uk/gro/content/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">General Register Office</a> here to find out what their fathers’ names and occupations were.</p>
<p style="direction:ltr;font-size:14px;line-height:1.4em;color:#444;font-family:"Helvetica Neue",Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif;margin:0 0 1em">Ships’ passenger lists for people arriving in the UK up to 1960 can be searched on <a style="text-decoration:underline;color:#2585b2" href="http://search.ancestry.co.uk/search/db.aspx?%20dbid=1518" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Ancestry</a> and in the mid-20th century these sometimes provide dates of birth and additional information about citizenship.</p>
<p style="direction:ltr;font-size:14px;line-height:1.4em;color:#444;font-family:"Helvetica Neue",Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif;margin:0 0 1em">A fair amount of research can be done online now, aided by free genealogy websites like <a style="text-decoration:underline;color:#2585b2" href="http://caribbeanfamilyhistory.org/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">caribbeanfamilyhistory.org</a>, but it’s always best to try to visit the places where your family were last known to reside and speak to neighbours – island communities are close-knit and memories go back a long way.</p>
<p style="direction:ltr;font-size:14px;line-height:1.4em;color:#444;font-family:"Helvetica Neue",Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif;margin:0 0 1em"><strong>Births, marriages and deaths</strong></p>
<p style="direction:ltr;font-size:14px;line-height:1.4em;color:#444;font-family:"Helvetica Neue",Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif;margin:0 0 1em">A large number of births, marriages and deaths registered in Jamaica and Barbados have been scanned and made available at <a style="text-decoration:underline;color:#2585b2" href="http://familysearch.org/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">FamilySearch</a>. Just register for a free account to see the digital images. You’ll find records for other areas of the Caribbean too by using the ‘Research by Location’ map on the ‘Search’ page.</p>
<p style="direction:ltr;font-size:14px;line-height:1.4em;color:#444;font-family:"Helvetica Neue",Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif;margin:0 0 1em">Church registers of baptisms and marriages in Martinique, Guadeloupe and other French Caribbean islands can be searched online for free <a style="text-decoration:underline;color:#2585b2" href="http://anom.archivesnationales.culture.gouv.fr/caomec2" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">here</a>, and the available records can be very detailed.</p>
<p style="direction:ltr;font-size:14px;line-height:1.4em;color:#444;font-family:"Helvetica Neue",Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif;margin:0 0 1em">Anglican churches in the British Caribbean did not start to admit slaves until the 1820s. As a result, African-Caribbean people were more likely to worship at a nonconformist chapel instead, so you may need to search the records of the local Baptist, Methodist and Moravian churches.</p>
<p style="direction:ltr;font-size:14px;line-height:1.4em;color:#444;font-family:"Helvetica Neue",Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif;margin:0 0 1em">Locating civil records is not always straightforward either. Only an official government search clerk can access records at the Registrar General’s Department for Trinidad and Tobago, and searches are restricted to three-year blocks. Navigate to the ‘Family and Relationships’ page at <a style="text-decoration:underline;color:#2585b2" href="http://ttconnect.gov.tt/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">ttconnect.gov.tt</a> to find contact details.</p>
<p style="direction:ltr;font-size:14px;line-height:1.4em;color:#444;font-family:"Helvetica Neue",Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif;margin:0 0 1em">Obituaries and announcements of deaths in newspapers can prove useful too. The <a style="text-decoration:underline;color:#2585b2" href="http://bl.uk/collection-guides/newspapers" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">British Library News Room</a> holds microfilmed newspapers published in the colonies, such as <em>The Trinidad Guardian</em> and <em>The Barbados Standard</em>.</p>
<p style="direction:ltr;font-size:14px;line-height:1.4em;color:#444;font-family:"Helvetica Neue",Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif;margin:0 0 1em">Some Carribean newspapers, such as <em>The Daily Gleaner</em> published in Jamaica, can be searched on the subscription sites <a style="text-decoration:underline;color:#2585b2" href="http://newspaperarchive.com/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">newspaperarchive.com</a> and <a style="text-decoration:underline;color:#2585b2" href="http://myheritage.com/" target="_blank">M</a><a style="text-decoration:underline;color:#2585b2" href="http://myheritage.com/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">yHeritage</a>.</p>
<p style="direction:ltr;font-size:14px;line-height:1.4em;color:#444;font-family:"Helvetica Neue",Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif;margin:0 0 1em"><strong>Indentured labourers</strong></p>
<p style="direction:ltr;font-size:14px;line-height:1.4em;color:#444;font-family:"Helvetica Neue",Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif;margin:0 0 1em">Following the abolition of slavery in the British Caribbean, indentured labourers willing to work cheaply were shipped from India and China to replenish the workforce. Passenger lists from the 19th century told <a style="text-decoration:underline;color:#2585b2" href="http://www.whodoyouthinkyouaremagazine.com/episode/liz-bonnin" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Liz Bonnin</a> where her Trinidadian ancestors came from in India. Their passage was paid, but they were contracted to work on the same plantation for years.</p>
<p style="direction:ltr;font-size:14px;line-height:1.4em;color:#444;font-family:"Helvetica Neue",Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif;margin:0 0 1em"><a style="text-decoration:underline;color:#2585b2" href="http://natt.gov.tt/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">The National Archives of Trinidad and Tobago</a> hold registers of Indian immigrants who arrived between 1845 and 1917 – information about them and lots of other useful guides for researching ancestors from these islands can be found at <a style="text-decoration:underline;color:#2585b2" href="http://trinidadandtobagofamilyhistory.org/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">trinidadandtobagofamilyhistory<wbr>.org</a>.</p>
<p style="direction:ltr;font-size:14px;line-height:1.4em;color:#444;font-family:"Helvetica Neue",Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif;margin:0 0 1em">As with slave ancestors, if you can establish which family or estate they worked for then it’s worth searching for estate records. Those that have been brought back to the UK may be found via The National Archives' <a style="text-decoration:underline;color:#2585b2" href="http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Discovery catalogue</a>.</p>
<p style="direction:ltr;font-size:14px;line-height:1.4em;color:#444;font-family:"Helvetica Neue",Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif;margin:0 0 1em"><strong>Slavery</strong></p>
<p style="direction:ltr;font-size:14px;line-height:1.4em;color:#444;font-family:"Helvetica Neue",Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif;margin:0 0 1em">Manumission records created when slaves were freed can be found in local archives, and registers listing slaves and their owners in the British Caribbean between 1813 and 1834 are available on <a style="text-decoration:underline;color:#2585b2" href="http://search.ancestry.co.uk/search/db.aspx?htx=List&dbid=1129&offerid=0%3a7858%3a0" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Ancestry</a>.</p>
<p style="direction:ltr;font-size:14px;line-height:1.4em;color:#444;font-family:"Helvetica Neue",Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif;margin:0 0 1em">Further records of the Slave Compensation Committee may be found in series <a style="text-decoration:underline;color:#2585b2" href="http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C13808" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">T 71</a> at The National Archives in Kew, where there are also reports of protectors of slaves from Trinidad, St Lucia, Guyana and so on within Colonial Office files.</p>
<p style="direction:ltr;font-size:14px;line-height:1.4em;color:#444;font-family:"Helvetica Neue",Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif;margin:0 0 1em">Slaves rarely had surnames so there is a higher chance of finding information for slave owners than their slaves. The Centre for the Study of the Legacies of British Slave-Ownership has a database of owners and their associates at <a style="text-decoration:underline;color:#2585b2" href="http://ucl.ac.uk/lbs" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">ucl.ac.uk/lbs</a>.</p>
<p style="direction:ltr;font-size:14px;line-height:1.4em;color:#444;font-family:"Helvetica Neue",Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif;margin:0 0 1em">There are records and registers of slaves held in Martinique online <a style="text-decoration:underline;color:#2585b2" href="http://www.patrimoines-martinique.org/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">here</a> but, again, you need to know the name of the owner to begin a search, and the records are in French.</p>
<p style="direction:ltr;font-size:14px;line-height:1.4em;color:#444;font-family:"Helvetica Neue",Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif;margin:0 0 1em"><strong>Landowners</strong></p>
<p style="direction:ltr;font-size:14px;line-height:1.4em;color:#444;font-family:"Helvetica Neue",Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif;margin:0 0 1em">Additional information for plantation owners can be found in the form of probate, land and church records in local archives. Newspapers and colonial gazettes are also worth searching. <em>Le Journal Officiel de la Martinique</em> is freely online along with other published sources via the <a style="text-decoration:underline;color:#2585b2" href="http://gallica.bnf.fr/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Bibliothéque Nationale de France website</a>.</p>
<p style="direction:ltr;font-size:14px;line-height:1.4em;color:#444;font-family:"Helvetica Neue",Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif;margin:0 0 1em">In theory, everything in the regional Departmental Archives in the French Caribbean has been duplicated and copies deposited at the <a style="text-decoration:underline;color:#2585b2" href="http://archivesnationales.culture.gouv.fr/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Archives Nationales d’Outre Mer</a>.</p>
<p style="direction:ltr;font-size:14px;line-height:1.4em;color:#444;font-family:"Helvetica Neue",Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif;margin:0 0 1em">This includes colonial compensation records of payments made to owners by the government when slaves were freed, and ‘actes notaries’, being legal records and wills. Some records have been digitised <a style="text-decoration:underline;color:#2585b2" href="http://anom.archivesnationales.culture.gouv.fr/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">here</a>.</p>
<p style="direction:ltr;font-size:14px;line-height:1.4em;color:#444;font-family:"Helvetica Neue",Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif;margin:0 0 1em">In the British Caribbean, colonial ‘Blue Books’ recorded the names of local civil servants, and these may be accessed at some university libraries such as the Senate House Library in London.</p>
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                                                                                                                                                <strong><a style="text-decoration:underline;color:#2585b2" href="http://repeatingislands.com/author/lisaparavisini/" target="_blank">lisaparavisini</a></strong> | May 13, 2017 at 11:43 pm | Categories: <a style="text-decoration:underline;color:#2585b2" href="http://repeatingislands.com/category/news/" target="_blank">News</a>
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