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Tracing Ancestors in Barbados, A Practical Guide
Donated to site by Roberta Estes

Article:
Everything is relative 
By Jennifer Sheppard 



Tracing Immigrant Ancestors

 

Finding your immigrant ancestor is one of the most difficult jobs undertaken by a genealogist. We usually have some idea of where to look but many people forget to check the records of a tiny island, and its 11 parishes, in the Caribbean. “Many of these people subsequently moved on to the United States and other destinations………..” Tracing Ancestors in Barbados, a Practical Guide by Geraldine Lane, makes that task much easier. 

Barbados was a British Colony from 1637 until 30 Nov 1966, when it became an independent state. In 1536 Pedro a Campo, a Portuguese explorer became the first European to record visiting the island. He gave it a name but never settled there. John Powell, a British Sea Captain claimed the island for King James I and John’s brother, Captain Henry Powell brought the first English settlers in 1627. 

By 1680, there were 20,000 whites and 38,000 black slaves living on the Island. The settlements of the island facilitated the establishment of many types of family records that are not always easy to locate or understand. Complete emancipation became a reality on 1 Aug 1838 and there were free blacks living on the island as well. The author felt the need to update Genealogical Sources in Barbados, which was published in The Genealogists’ Magazine in England in March of 1974. Although she began compiling this guide for her own use, fortunately, for us, she was willing to share it with the public. 

Ms Lane provides a list of the archives including the phone numbers and e-mail addresses; websites for research on Barbados’ records, and can you believe it, the Anglican Church on Barbados began keeping records as early as 1637! Not only does she cover records of birth, marriage, death and burial records she also includes where to search for: Catholic, Jewish & non-conformist records; census records & other lists of people; wills, letters of administration & inventories; newspapers & directories; deeds & powers of attorney; plantation & land ownership; maps; island administration, military records; immigration & emigration and last but not least slave records and DNA. 

Although birth and death records don’t begin until 1890 (much earlier than NC) and death records not until 1925, because they were recorded by Churches, baptism records begin in 1637, marriages in 1643, burials in 1643 and wills and deeds go back to 1647. This is an excellent reference book that will help you navigate the records in Barbados.

Order from: 

Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 3600 Clipper Mill Road, Suite 260, Baltimore, MD 21211, 1-800-296-6687, FAX 1-410-752-8492/E-mail: sales@genealogical.com , 9 X 6, 155 pp, 2006, reprinted 2007, ISBN 9780-806317656, Item # GPC 3282, $18.95, Include $5.00 postage first book/CD (or vol. of a set) add $1.50 for each additional book/CD (or each additional vol. of a set). UPS Ground $7.00 first book or CD/add $2.50 for each additional book/CD. Contact publisher for international shipping rates. Master Card/Visa accepted. 
Good luck and happy hunting!


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