Published January 28, 2021

A 1764 diary of one Jabez Fitch provides a quick glimpse into an episode in one of my Brewster ancestor’s history. Jabez, a cousin of my 6th great-grandfather William Brewster, wrote about meeting William when he traveled from his home in the Oblong area of Dutchess County, New York to…

Read More Dangerous Times in Virginia

Published November 30, 2020

The voices of enslaved people of the past can sometimes be heard, albeit rarely and in painfully brief snippets. On the island of St Kitts, once part of the British West Indies, slavery existed until the 1830s. While the enslaved were brutally treated and had precious few rights, one avenue…

Read More The voices of the enslaved

Published August 19, 2020

A couple of weeks ago, I was idly googling about my husband’s Martin ancestors from Norfolk who were millers or in mill management. Using the search terms “John Martin” and “mill” brought up a hit that was a bit of a shock, and opened up a whole new family branch…

Read More A shocker, courtesy of the Google machine

Published January 26, 2020

Always looking for new sources of records for my husband’s ancestors from St Kitts, I recently found a treasure trove of old records digitized on the Family Search website, for a small island just off the coast of St Kitts. St Eustatius (aka Statia) sits about 5 miles west of…

Read More A tiny island at the crossroads of the world

Published August 13, 2019

Slavery was abolished in the British West Indies in 1834. The transatlantic trade of enslaved Africans was abolished by Great Britain in 1807. So how can multiple births appear in the vital records of St Kitts from the 1860s, classifying parents as Africans? The mothers in these cases were most…

Read More The “liberated Africans” of St Kitts

Published June 29, 2019

My husband’s great uncle (who he grew up calling grandpa) was a Mallalieu, born in St Kitts in 1919. His middle name was Mumford, which would be considered unusual by most Americans today, but in his Kittitian family, it wasn’t the first occurrence. There was an earlier family member who…

Read More Crossed paths of Mumford and Mallalieu

Published March 31, 2019

While trying to reconstruct the history of family from Saint Kitts, I sometimes look at records in the Former British Colonial Dependencies Slave Registers. They can not only give clues to enslaved people, but also their slave owners. My husband’s third great-grandmother, Catherine Fasioux, was living in St Kitts in the early 1800s, where…

Read More Trying to make sense of slave registers

Published February 16, 2019

As a follow up to the blog post regarding an Andrew Cannonier of St Kitts, I have fallen down a rabbit hole with another Andrew Cannonier, who left the beautiful island of St Christopher and jumped, with both feet, into life as an American. I have found multiple Andrew Cannoniers…

Read More Jumping in with both feet

Published August 7, 2018

Among the surnames of the St Kitts branch of my husband’s family tree is Maillard. Ann Francis Catherine Maillard (1828-1919) his 2nd great-grandmother, married William Mallalieu. William and Ann lived in the parish of Saint Ann, located on the northern half of the island. Curious about how far back the Maillards may…

Read More St Kitts land grab

Published November 28, 2017

My husband’s ancestors from St Kitts include his 3rd great-grandparents originally from Madeira, Francisco Ricardo de Meneses Cabral and Libania Joaquina Vieira da Silva. Their daughter Eliza was his 2nd great-grandmother, while another daughter Ascenia Augusta was the grandmother of Edgar Oscar Challenger (1905-2000), a labor leader and historian of St…

Read More Edgar Challenger in the FDR presidential library