Published October 21, 2020
Published September 16, 2020

In the mid 1980s, my husband’s Kittitian grandmother sketched a quick family tree of her ancestors. On her maternal side, she wrote a few minimal facts… her grandfather was a Cannonier, whose family came from France or Italy, she thought, and her grandmother was labeled only “Cabral, Madeira”. We also…

Read More Tracing an ancestor from Madeira to the West Indies

Published July 22, 2020

I’ve written several blog posts regarding the Cannoniers of St Kitts. My husband’s great grandmother was Margaret Johanna Cannonier, born in 1868, daughter of a planter on the Lamberts sugar estate. Her father was John Henry Cannonier, about whom little is known. He was born about 1832, married Madeiran Eliza…

Read More A Cannonier connection to newspaper publishing?

Published April 22, 2020

I’ve written about a branch of my husband’s West Indian family tree that includes Edgar Oscar Challenger, an historian, scholar, and labor leader from St Kitts. My hubbie is related to the Challenger family through his 3rd great grandparents from the island of Madeira. There’s another Edgar O. Challenger who…

Read More He died in harness

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

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 the 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 June 16, 2016

My husband recently had his DNA analyzed by ancestry.com. Unlike my family tree, which is limited to a fairly small area of northern Europe, his tree is a melting pot with branches from the United Kingdom, the Portuguese island of Madeira, the West Indies, and Africa. In addition to some…

Read More Mary Todd Lincoln’s seamstress

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