Published October 2, 2021

“Six degrees of separation” is an esoteric math concept that began with a short story written in 1929. The idea is that in an ever shrinking world, the connections between any two people might be reduced to no more than six associations. A popular exercise is to find six degrees…

Read More Six degrees of separation

Published August 18, 2021

In researching my husband’s Cannonier ancestors from St Kitts, I have come across connections to Cannoniers from Montserrat. I’ve also found one Cannonier who appears on the small West Indian island of Dominica. Originally populated by the native Ortoroid, Arawak and then Kalinago (also known as Carib) peoples, it was…

Read More A Cannonier from Dominica

Published May 13, 2021

An online book selling marketplace is offering for sale a letter written in 1831 to my husband’s 3rd great-grandfather from St Kitts, Frederick Walton Mallalieu. In the letter, a London banker named William Wilson is pushing the services of his newly formed firm of Hankeys, Plummer & Wilson, in the…

Read More Sugar boom and bust

Published January 13, 2021

My husband’s 3rd great-grandfather was Frederick Walton Mallalieu (1802-1851), who was born in Lancashire, England, and came as a young man to the British West Indian island of St Kitts about 1820 and worked as the manager of the Belvedere sugar plantation. Only just leaving his teen years, his duties…

Read More Hidden story behind manumission

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 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 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