Published June 21, 2017

  The Moravian Archives in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania holds a wealth of period documents from their missionary efforts in St Kitts. Examination of┬áthe death records from 1854 shows a heartbreaking number – page after page – of parishioner deaths from cholera. Unfortunately, a combination of poor sanitary conditions and ignorance about…

Read More A fog of ignorance in the cholera epidemic of 1854

Published April 4, 2017

In the civil marriage and birth records of St Kitts, my husband’s 2nd great grandfather Richard Johnson Marshall is listed as a school master, with race recorded as “colored”. It is known that he was born about 1845 on the nearby British West Indian island of Antigua, only a few…

Read More Mico – A path to education after slavery

Published September 3, 2016

Finding genealogical information for families enslaved in the western hemisphere is always a challenge. Information on enslaved people was sparsely recorded (if at all). Slave registers were created in British colonies like St Kitts in the early nineteenth century, after the slave trade was abolished by Great Britain in 1807.…

Read More Genealogy of the enslaved of St Kitts

Published April 25, 2015

  Through the Daniels family, my mother’s western Pennsylvania family is descended from the interesting and colorful Beebe family of Long Island. Samuel Beebe (1631-1712) left Broughton, Northamptonshire, England in 1650, sailing to the Massachusetts Bay Colony. After settling for a time in New London, Connecticut, he eventually ended up…

Read More The infamous King Beebe

Published March 5, 2015

Because many genealogical records from the island of St. Kitts have not been digitized and put online, I have often turned to civil registry records on microfilm. While looking through page after page of Kittitian death records from the mid 1800s, I suddenly noticed that over the space of just…

Read More St Kitts – The Flood of 1880

Published December 8, 2014

While researching some of my husband’s Kittitian ancestors who settled in Harlem in the early 1900s, I have been coming across lots of information about immigrants from the West Indies, and their influence on the Harlem Renaissance period of the 1920s. Escaping the decline of the sugar industry and looking…

Read More West Indians and the Harlem Renaissance

Published October 26, 2014

My husband’s paternal family tree comes from St. Kitts, a beautiful island in the Caribbean that was a British territory until its independence in 1983. His Kittitian ancestors are an interesting blend of British, French, African, and Madeiran lines. The Madeirans came to St. Kitts and Nevis in the mid-1800s,…

Read More Madeirans in St. Kitts

Published September 29, 2014

On my Brewster/Betterton family tree, there is a large branch of Dutch and English ancestors who lived in the area of Albany, NY and the Hudson River valley. One such ancestor was Peter (Pieter) Mees Hogeboom. He was a Dutch merchant and landowner who lived during the 18th century in…

Read More Mum Bett – early civil rights figure